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Don’t Make These Common Flossing Mistakes

Don’t Make These Common Flossing Mistakes

You’ve probably heard it over and over again: “You need to floss every day!” Despite these reminders, only about 16% of Americans floss at least once daily. Worse yet? An estimated 8% never floss at all. Unfortunately, skipping this important task can lead to plaque and tartar buildup.

Nearly 50% of Americans over age 30 have some degree of periodontal disease. This serious oral infection damages gum tissue and, in severe cases, it can cause tooth and bone loss. 

One of the major culprits behind periodontal disease involves inadequate flossing. 

Family Dental Care in West Palm Beach, Florida, is an integrative and multidisciplinary practice that offers comprehensive general and cosmetic dentistry as well as emergency services. Our experienced team can happily serve all of your dental needs, including teaching you the proper way to floss, so you can avoid these common mistakes. 

Not flossing every day

Do you brush regularly but don’t bother flossing? You could be putting your oral health at risk. Ignoring the debris between your teeth can lead to plaque, the soft film of bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease.

Flossing can help prevent plaque buildup and even help remove plaque that’s already formed. So it’s imperative that you floss every day.

Not flossing correctly

When flossing, it’s important to remember that you’re flossing your teeth, not your gums. So you shouldn’t put pressure onto your gum tissue when you floss.

Instead, insert the floss between your teeth and form a C shape with the floss and draw it snugly around a tooth. Then, slide the floss up and down against the tooth to clean away the plaque and food debris. 

Forgetting to clean under your gumline 

Not only do you have to clean the sides of your tooth, you also have to clean under the gumline. While flossing, simply keep the floss firmly against the side of your tooth and go just below the gum tissue on both sides of each tooth to remove any hidden debris. 

Stopping your flossing when you spot blood

If your gum bleeds when you brush or floss, you need to brush or floss more often — not less. When bleeding occurs, you likely have plaque buildup on your teeth, and your gum tissue has become inflamed. 

As you begin to floss regularly using the proper techniques, your gum health should improve and bleeding should diminish. 

Using the same part of floss to clean all of your teeth 

If you use one section of floss for all your teeth, this can spread bacteria from one area to another.

When flossing, use a string of floss approximately 18 inches long and continue using a fresh section for each tooth. This will give you enough floss to get the job done right. 

Cutting corners

If you ever try to floss two sections of your teeth at the same time or weave the strand between multiple teeth, you’re asking for trouble. It may not clean your teeth well, and the floss may get stuck.

It usually takes a few minutes to floss, so take a deep breath and take it one tooth at a time, and you’ll be done before you know it.

If you need more tips on flossing, or if you need dental care, call 561-556-1698 or book an appointment online with Family Dental Care today.

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