Don't Make These Common Flossing Mistakes

Almost half of American adults over the age of 30 have some degree of periodontal disease, according to the CDC. This infection damages your gum tissue and, in severe cases, causes tooth and bone loss. 

Inadequate flossing as part of your daily dental hygiene is one of the major culprits in periodontal disease

Couture Smiles Dental Group is a multi-specialty practice that encompasses general and cosmetic dentistry, as well as endodontics and periodontics. Our experts serve all of your dental needs, including teaching you the proper way to floss. 

We’re committed to becoming your dental hygiene partner, helping you practice preventive steps to keep your teeth and mouth healthy

Why flossing is an important part of good dental hygiene

Do you brush regularly but sometimes don’t bother to floss? The American Dental Association says that flossing is an essential part of taking good care of your teeth. The floss cleans the area between your teeth in places where your toothbrush can’t reach effectively. 

Debris left between your teeth forms plaque, the soft film of bacteria that leads to cavities and gum disease. Flossing dislodges pieces of food that can lead to plaque and help remove plaque where it’s formed. 

Following are common flossing mistakes, along with what to do to correct them. 

Floss teeth, not gums

Flossing incorrectly doesn’t accomplish its purpose of cleaning between your teeth, and it can do more harm than good. When flossing, don’t pull the floss straight down onto the gums. Doing so repeatedly can damage your gum tissue. Remember that you’re flossing your teeth — not your gums. 

If you’re inserting the floss between your teeth and pulling it straight out with snapping motion, you won’t accomplish what flossing is intended to do. Instead, form a C shape with the floss and draw it snugly around a tooth. Slide the floss up and down against the tooth to clean the plaque and food debris away. 

Forgetting to clean under the gum line 

In addition to taking the floss up and down on the surface of your tooth, you also need to clean under the line of your gum. Keeping the floss firmly against the side of your tooth, go just under the gum line on both sides of each tooth to ferret out any debris. 

Don’t quit flossing if you see blood

If your gum is bleeding when you brush or floss, you’re not brushing or flossing enough. There’s likely a buildup of plaque on your teeth and your gum has become inflamed. 

As you begin to floss regularly using the correct moves, your gum health should improve and instances of bleeding should diminish. 

Don’t use the same part of the string of floss for all your teeth 

Use a new section of floss for new areas of your tooth. Using the same floss repeatedly for your mouth at large simply spreads bacteria from one area to the other. Plus, the floss usually gets thinner in the area where you’ve worked and may get stuck more easily than unused floss. 

Use a string of floss about 18 inches long to give yourself enough room to get the job done right. 

Don’t take shortcuts 

Have you ever tried to floss two sections of your teeth or weave floss between multiple teeth at one time because you were in a hurry? Don’t try this technique. It doesn’t work and the floss is likely to get stuck.

Call our office in Woodland Hills, California, today to get started on better tooth care.

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