Did you know that brushing your teeth does not completely clean their entire surface? In fact tooth brushing only cleans about 60% of their surface. So, what about the other 40%? This is exactly the reason why the American Dental Association recommends flossing daily in addition to brushing twice a day. Flossing is an essential practice that removes excess plaque from hard to reach places such as in between the teeth and along the gum line. To make the most of your daily flossing routine, be sure to avoid making these common flossing mistakes:
Flossing at the Wrong Time
While there is not really a “wrong” time to floss, there is definitely a right time to floss in order to make the most of your daily flossing practice. The best time of day to floss is just before you go to bed. This is because saliva production slows down while you sleep, allowing bacteria to do more damage to your enamel. However, flossing before bedtime removes both plaque and bacteria, which decreases the amount of damage done to your teeth while sleeping.
Using the Wrong Type of Floss
Contrary to popular belief, there is not only one type of floss. In fact, there are several different types of dental floss that you can use for your flossing routine. Some types of floss may work better for your smile than others, so it is important to figure out what type of floss works best for you. Unknowingly using the wrong type of dental floss can complicate your flossing routine and be detrimental to the health of your gums.
Not Being Consistent
An extremely common mistake made in relation to flossing is simply a lack of consistency. Very few people floss daily, despite the formal recommendation of the American Dental Association. When it comes to flossing, however, a lack of consistency allows excess plaque to quickly build up in certain areas. This increases the risk of developing tooth decay, as well as gum disease.
Flossing Too Much
On the other hand, there are also some people who may be flossing too much. While you may think that flossing multiple times a day is beneficial, it can actually be more detrimental in some cases. This is because flossing multiple times a day can cause the gums to become irritated. To prevent gum irritation, flossing once a day is recommended.
Flossing Too Hard
Another way the gums can become irritated is by flossing too hard and allowing the floss to snap into the gum tissue. Although floss is used along the gum line, it should never actually hit the gum tissue. An easy way to prevent the floss from hitting the gums is to start at the gums and move the floss away from the gums.
Not Flossing in Certain Places
Finally, it is important to make sure that you are flossing in all the places that need to be flossed. This means that you will need to pay attention and make sure you floss between every tooth, as well as flossing the sides of every tooth. You will also need to floss behind the very back molars, even though there is no tooth on the other side. The back molars are one of the most common places people accidentally neglect while flossing.