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Flossing: Are You Doing It Wrong?
Five Common Flossing Mistakes We're All Guilty Of

How often do you floss? Or, better yet, how well are you flossing?

Flossing is essential to the health of our mouths and, ultimately, the health of our bodies. Patients who neglect a proper flossing routine are allowing the bacteria that live between their teeth to wreak havoc on their oral health – leading to gum disease and an increased risk for dental caries and decay.

Think you're doing a perfect job with your flossing routine and technique? Well, now's your chance to find out!

Below are five of the most common flossing mistakes:

  1. Skipping days.
    This might be the number one mistake that patients are making: they aren't flossing every day! A complete oral care routine involves brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Think of all of the food and bacteria that gets trapped in between your teeth after you eat (yuck). If you're only removing bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth and ignoring the bacteria collecting between your teeth and below the gum line, you're really only doing half the job.
  2. Not flossing both sides of each tooth.
    In order to floss properly, you need to glide the string down and up both of the tooth's sides. Some people will simply push the floss down and up into each gap – unfortunately, this isn't effective.
  3. Using excessive force.
    Snapping the floss up and down between your teeth with excessive pressure can cause your gums to bleed, and eventually recede. When you floss, make sure to do so gently but with enough friction to catch those nasty particles of debris and gunk.
  4. Using the same piece of floss for multiple teeth.
    If you're using the same section of floss string for multiple teeth, you aren't really achieving an effective clean – you're actually spreading the bacteria from one place to another. Use a fresh section of floss for every time you swipe.
  5. Skipping teeth (especially those that are hard to reach).
    Don't be a lazy flosser! Each side of every tooth needs attention – and yes, that includes your back molars. There are different types of floss on the market that may be able to provide you with a more convenient or pleasant flossing experience. Some come in the form of a disposable pick, and some come with a long handle. Some floss is waxed, and some string is thicker than others. Enjoy a minty-fresh feel? There's a floss for that too! There's truly something for everyone.

Your Gums Will Thank You...

So, will you be making any adjustments to your current flossing routine? We hope this article was able to provide you with some insight about what you could or should be doing differently. By making some small (or significant) changes, you'll be doing your oral health a huge favour.