Everyone knows you need to brush and floss every single day, but the quality of your brushing and flossing is just as important as the quantity. Flossing is one thing that you may be doing wrong, which makes your technique not as effective at removing plaque and preventing cavities. Here are three flossing mistakes you may be making without even realizing it.
Not Gripping the Floss Properly
You are not going to be able to get your teeth clean if you do not know how to grip the dental floss. Many people hold the floss in their hand by pinching it between their fingers, which is the wrong technique to use if you want to get the floss between your teeth.
The correct method involves wrapping the dental floss around your index fingers. This allows you to put more pressure on the floss to get it between each tooth. This way the floss won't slip around, which gives you a better grip on the floss when getting between tight teeth. Wrapping the floss around the index fingers also makes it easier to get between gaps in the rear of the mouth.
Hurting the Gum Line
With the added pressure you're able to put on the floss, you may find yourself pressing a bit too hard and actually hurting your gums. While bleeding gums may occur when you have not flossed in a while, putting too much pressure on the gums will actually create cuts that will take a while to heal.
All you want to do is put less pressure on your gums to avoid bleeding. If you do cause bleeding, rinse out your mouth with water.
Neglecting the Back Teeth
Many people focus on the visible plaque they can see between their teeth, which means that they spend most of their time flossing between the front teeth that can easily be seen in the mirror. However, the rear teeth do most of the chewing and are more likely to have areas where plaque collects between the teeth.
Try not to make a subpar pass at flossing those rear teeth and give them as much attention as the front teeth. It may take several passes to remove the plaque stuck between the rear teeth, but it will be worth it in the end to get rid of the plaque. Rinsing with mouthwash or water will also help loosen plaque and food particles found between your teeth that you cannot see.
Along with proper brushing and flossing, good dental hygiene also includes regular visits to the dentist. Contact a dental office, such as All Valley Dental, to schedule your next appointment.