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    Dental Flossing Mistakes - Man Flossing

    7 Flossing Mistakes You May be Making

    If you’re taking the time each day to focus on your oral cleaning routine, you probably feel pretty great about your mouth health. Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day and using mouthwash regularly can all play a significant role in how healthy your teeth and gums are. However, there are several mistakes you may be making when it comes to flossing that could be holding back your progress.

    The team at Reflections Dental Oakville is here to provide tips on all your oral health care and dentistry needs. Flossing is important, so let’s make sure your family is doing it right!

    1. Putting too much pressure on your gums

    It’s common for flossing to irritate your gums, especially if you don’t floss often. However, there is a difference between your gums being irritated from irregular flossing and you creating irritation by putting too much pressure on them. Rather than just pushing then floss into the spaces between your teeth, make a point of flossing your upper teeth by pulling the floss downwards and your bottom teeth by pulling your floss upwards in a controlled manner.

    2. Skipping important areas

    Flossing between your teeth is no doubt standard practice, but if that’s your only focus you may be missing some key points in your flossing routine. While flossing it is also important that you use your floss to clean both sides of your teeth, not just the space where they meet your gums. You also want to make sure that you floss around your last molar in order to remove any food that may have gotten stuck between that tooth and your gums.

    3. Using the wrong floss

    Not all floss is created equal and your teeth will thank you for taking the time to find the right floss for your mouth. Some floss is made to accommodate teeth that are very tight together while others are designed to clean teeth that have larger gaps in between. There are also styles of floss that are made to get around a dental appliance like braces or a retainer.

    4. Not choosing the best time to floss

    Flossing at night right before you go to bed is going to have the most positive effect on your mouth health. When you sleep at night your saliva production decreases which will make your teeth much more susceptible to bacteria. To combat this, floss your teeth every night before bed in order to remove as much bacteria as possible. To supercharge the effects of your flossing efforts, it’s recommended to floss before you brush your teeth so that the fluoride from your toothpaste can leave its protective coating in between your teeth overnight.

    5. Flossing too quickly or frequently

    When flossing it is important to take your time and clean in between each pair of teeth. Flossing is not a competition so it shouldn’t be something you try to rush through. Plan to floss your teeth once per day, in the evening before you go to bed. Flossing too often can lead to gum irritation and even damage.

    6. Not changing your floss

    When using floss to remove bacteria from between your teeth and gums it is important that you change what section of floss that you use each time you change which teeth you’re flossing between. This will help reduce the number of bacteria you are spreading around and ensure that you aren’t pushing plaque that you’ve just removed from one area back into another.

    7. Giving up when your gums bleed

    Although seeing blood coming from your gums can be intimidating, this is not a reason to cut your flossing routine short. As long as you are not flossing too hard, you are not hurting your gums. In most instances, your gums are likely bleeding because they haven’t been flossed in awhile and are suffering from gingivitis- a build-up of plaque. By flossing you are actually removing the plaque from your teeth which will result in an improvement in your gum health.

    Flossing is only part of the picture

    While flossing and brushing your teeth are a necessary part of a great oral health routine, they’re not the only part. Visiting your dentist every year can help you to stay ahead of any potential issues like cavities, gingivitis and poor brushing or flossing habits.