Flossing every day is a must in order to maintain good oral health and to reduce the risk of cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems. However, how you floss is just as important as flossing at all. If you're not flossing the right way, you could actually end up hurting your gums and increasing your risk for gum disease. Here's what you need to know to ensure that you're flossing the right way.
The Wrong Way and Why It's Wrong
Have you ever heard that it's a bad idea to brush your teeth with too much pressure? The same is true when it comes to flossing.
Some people think that vigorous flossing using a sawing motion is the best way to get everything out from between your teeth. While it might be effective at doing so, you can also hurt your gums in the process.
As you've likely noticed, gums - even healthy ones - tend to be a bit sensitive. This sawing motion can cause sensitivity in your gums, but it can also actually harm the gum tissue, wearing away at it or even tearing it. This creates an opening for oral bacteria to sneak into, which can trigger gum disease even if you're doing everything you should in order to manage your oral health. In short, if you're currently striking your gums with force with the floss, or sawing against the edges of your teeth or gums, you're probably hurting yourself in the process.
The Right Way
Flossing doesn't have to be hard. The easiest way to ensure that you're doing it the right way is to use your floss in a c-shape. This means you hold it in both hands, curve it, and slide it gently down the side of one tooth. Then, maintaining that curved shape, scoop the floss gently over the surface of your gums while moving to the tooth on the opposite side. Glide up the side of that tooth and pull out the floss entirely. That's it!
Flossing this way will ensure that you're not carving away bits of your tooth enamel or causing damage to your sensitive gum tissue. It's also more effective at removing gunk from between your teeth than simply sliding the floss up and down the middle.
Talk to a Dentist
If you know now that you've been flossing the wrong way, you should visit a dentist as soon as possible. Unfortunately, you could potentially already have mild gum disease and steps will need to be taken to reverse it.
Of course, this doesn't mean that your teeth or gums are doomed! Flossing is still a good habit to follow, no matter how you do it, but visiting a dentist will ensure that any damage that's been done can be repaired so that you can go forward with your flossing habit in a safe way. To learn more about gum health and flossing contact clinics such as Wakim Family Dentistry.Share
31 May 2019
Do you have "bad teeth"? I do. Ever since I was a kid, every checkup turns up a number of issues ranging from cavities to dental fractures. It has always been frustrating to keep my smile in decent shape, which is one of the reasons I started focusing on understanding different dental problems. I wanted to know what I was getting into when I visited the doctor, so I began focusing on learning as much as I could. I wanted to create this blog all about dentistry so that other people could find out what to expect when they head to the dentist. Check it out!