Do you brush your teeth twice a day? This is the best way to remove plaque and food debris from your teeth, but it isn’t enough. Your toothbrush cannot reach all areas of your smile, so it’s important to floss every single day to clean between the teeth and beneath the gumline. However, if you aren’t flossing correctly, you could be doing more harm then good. A dentist in Newtown shares some common flossing mistakes so you know not to make them going forward.
Stopping at the Sight of Blood
If you notice that there is blood when you floss, this generally means that your gums are inflamed which is probably a sign that you aren’t flossing enough. After you get into a good routine of flossing every single day, this bleeding should stop.
Not Using Enough Floss
Many people do not use enough floss when they clean their teeth. The American Dental Association (ADA) claims that you should be using approximately 18 inches of floss so that you can use a clean area of the string between each tooth.
Staying Above the Gums
Flossing isn’t just for removing food that is stuck between your teeth. It is also necessary to remove buildup from beneath the gumline. Remember to pull the floss down about two to three millimeters below the gumline so you can protect yourself against periodontal disease.
If you are flossing too aggressively or snapping the string into your gums when you floss, you could be damaging your soft tissue. You could end up with gum recession or other issues. Make sure that you aren’t sawing at the base of the gumline either. Always be gentle so you don’t hurt your smile.
Do you brush or floss first? It doesn’t really matter that much, but if you were to pick one, flossing before brushing is probably a better idea. According to a study that was published in the Journal of Periodontology, participants who flossed before brushing had less plaque buildup left behind. Also, the fluoride in your toothpaste is more likely to coat areas between your teeth if you have already flossed.
Wrong Time of Day
There isn’t a bad time of day to floss, but it is especially important to do so before bed. When you are sleeping, your saliva flow decreases, and food particles that are left behind are more likely to begin the bacterial breakdown process. When you floss before bed, you can avoid inflammation and tooth decay.
Next time you clean your teeth, make sure that you aren’t making any of these mistakes. Flossing properly is crucial for excellent oral health.
About the Practice
At The Dentists of Newtown, there is a skilled team of six general dentists, two oral surgeons, three periodontists, two endodontists, and two orthodontists so you can get everything you need at one convenient location. To learn more about proper oral hygiene practices or to schedule an appointment, visit their website or call (215) 579-9900.