Proper brushing and flossing are essential if you want a healthy smile. If you are being proactive with your oral hygiene efforts, we applaud you! But it can be easy to slide into bad habits over time, and we want your efforts to be productive.
Flossing can be particularly problematic for many people. Even if your hygienist has shown you the proper steps, you may have trouble applying them to your daily routine.
One question patients ask is, “Am I flossing too much?” The fact is that, while brushing two or three times a day is recommended, you really only need to floss once. The reason is that, unlike the surfaces of your teeth that immediately start collecting plaque, it takes about 24 hours for plaque to develop between teeth. Since the purpose of flossing is to remove plaque, once a day is sufficient.
Here are three common flossing mistakes and how you can correct them:
- Not flossing both sides of the tooth – When you slide the floss between teeth, you should first clean one side of the tooth, then clean the tooth on the other side. Repeat this process to ensure you are flossing all your teeth.
- Forcing floss between teeth – When teeth are spaced close together, the floss may not slide easily between them. Rather than forcing the floss, use a gentle sawing motion to get into the tight space. Forcing the floss can cause it to snap up and damage tender gum tissue.
- Flossing without a plan – Flossing haphazardly can be almost as bad as not flossing at all. Come up with a plan that works for you – work quadrants of your mouth or in any way that makes sense to you. Then stick with that plan every single time you floss. Like anything else, flossing thoroughly every time will soon become second nature.
Please Call Tysons’ Dentistry to Learn More
Our professional team loves helping patients enjoy the healthiest smile possible. If you have questions for our dentist about oral hygiene or anything else, please call our Vienna office.