Common Flossing Mistakes

Common Flossing Mistakes

Do you floss your teeth at least once a day every single day? If so, good for you! Unfortunately, a large number of people do not floss once a day and some people may not even floss at all. While there are various reasons why someone may not floss, one reason is that many people don’t understand how to floss properly. Eventually, flossing incorrectly can cause so much pain and frustration that this causes them to give up the behavior altogether. Struggling with a flossing routine is more common than you think. To help improve your flossing routine, here are some of the most common flossing mistakes and some solutions: 

Not Flossing Daily

One of the most common mistakes people make with flossing is simply not doing it every day. Many people argue that flossing takes too much time, so they skip it on days when they are in a hurry. However, when you skip flossing sessions it makes it harder to keep flossing in your daily routine, which makes it more likely that you will eventually discontinue flossing altogether. Instead, working to improve your flossing routine can make it go faster. Not to mention, flossing does not take that long to begin with. 

Flossing Too Much

Although this mistake is not nearly as common as not flossing enough, it is still a mistake that some people make. It is recommended that you only floss once a day, and this is just the perfect amount. Flossing too much can irritate your gums and can even damage the gum tissue. 

types of dental floss

Not Using the Right Type of Floss

There are different types of dental floss and each type has its own set of characteristics. While these characteristics can make one type of floss perfect for one person, they can also make a certain type of floss not ideal for another. The key is to find the type of floss that works best for your teeth. 

Flossing at the Wrong Time

Did you know that there is an ideal time to floss? If not, don’t worry you’re not alone. The best time to floss is just before bedtime. Since saliva flow is decreased while you sleep, any remaining plaque has the ability to do more damage to your teeth and gums. Therefore, removing this plaque before you go to bed is recommended to reduce your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. It is also recommended to floss before you brush your teeth so that the fluoride in toothpaste can better coat the spaces between your teeth. 

Irritating Your Gums

Another common mistake that people make while flossing is that they unintentionally irritate their gums. This can cause bleeding, discomfort, and eventually, gum recession. The reason gums become irritated from flossing is usually because the floss is being forcefully moved over the gums or is applying pressure. To prevent this from happening, be sure to floss in a downward direction on your upper teeth and in an upward direction on your lower teeth. This will keep the floss moving away from your gums and will prevent them from becoming irritated. 

Not Flossing Around Dental Appliances or Restorations

While dental restorations are not susceptible to tooth decay, it is still important to floss around their base. In these cases, you may need to use a floss threader or a special type of floss that is stiffer and somewhat spongy. This allows you to get into places that traditional floss cannot normally reach due to fixed dental appliances or restorations. 

Dr. Sam Sadati wearing black suite portrait

Dr. Sadati possesses extensive experience in all aspects of advanced restorative dentistry, with an emphasis in cosmetic and implant dentistry.  He has attained Accredited Fellow status in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the most rigorous, demanding credentialing process in the world. He is the only AACD Accredited Fellow in South Florida.