Common Flossing Mistakes
1. Skipping Teeth: Most people skip the teeth in the very back because there is open space behind them or they’re too far back to reach. If the teeth are too far back, simply open your mouth wide and breathe through your nose to avoid your gag reflex. Go slow and be deliberate to ensure cavities don’t develop back there. If it’s the open space you’re not fused about, food and plaque can still build up around the gums and against the teeth. A quick but thorough rub of the floss can take care of this problem in seconds.
2. Using the Same Section of Floss For the Whole Mouth: Since floss is used to remove plaque and bacteria, you want to avoid using the same section of floss for your whole mouth. Be sure to rinse off the floss section well, rotate along the string and, if necessary, get a whole new piece of floss for a new area. If you continue to use the same string, you could simply be moving bacteria and plaque around your mouth from one place to another.
3. Forcing Floss Between Teeth: Sometimes the floss slides easily between teeth and other times it takes some force. However, if you constantly push the floss between teeth until it runs painfully into your gum, you could experience bleeding, pain and eventually gum disease. Instead of forcing the floss, run it slowly back and forth between teeth until it goes in and out.
4. Not Flossing Both Sides of Teeth: Simply running the floss up and down is not enough to get all the plaque that may be hiding. When flossing, rub the string against one side of the tooth and then the other to ensure you get both sides. This is the best way to avoid cavities between teeth.
5. Not Spending Enough Time: Flossing aimlessly and quickly can only lead to a poor floss job. Even if you’ve brushed extra thoroughly, skimping on the floss can leave plaque and food in hard to reach places. Be sure to apply these tips to secure your healthiest smile.