You should already know that flossing is important, but it’s entirely possible that the way you’re flossing is doing just as much harm as good. Read on to make sure you aren’t committing these common flossing mistakes.
Using too Little Floss
Dentists and other oral healthcare experts recommend using around 18-inches of floss per session. At first, that probably seems like far too much, but there’s a reason for using such a length. When you floss, you need to use a separate piece for the gap between each tooth. If you don’t you’ll be transferring bacteria from one gap to the next – you could potentially brew up an infection in part of your mouth not yet affected. Adjust your floss after each gap to keep everything fresh.
Being too Vigorous
We floss to remove food debris and plaque while disrupting the growth of bacteria. As such, it’s no surprise some people are a little too rough when they floss. After all, shouldn’t going harder mean getting rid of more plaque, food debris, and bacteria? Actually, no. It doesn’t take much pressure to rid your teeth of those nasties. What going too hard can do is irritate your gums, which is only going to make them more prone to infection. Gently does it; your gums might feel a little irritated when you first start flossing, but that discomfort should fade after a few weeks. If it doesn’t, you’re probably flossing too vigorously.
Not Flossing Both Sides
One of the more common mistakes people make while flossing is only removing plaque and bacteria from one side of the teeth. You need to floss up the side of both teeth before you move on. If you don’t, you could easily end up with a cavity on the side of the tooth you’re ignoring.