Flossing is one of those essential, but often thankless tasks that we know many of our Leeds patients find tricky to do properly. It is one of those things that needs a good technique, and it can be a good idea to ask our dental hygienists or Dr David Brown or another of the dentists for advice next time you visit Leeds City Dentalcare. We realise it can be tricky to reach right into the back of the mouth or to other hard to reach places, but we assure you it is worth the effort. Failing to do so could lead to you requiring costly restorative dental work, or at the very least you may need a new filling. If you aren’t due to visit our Leeds surgery for a while then we’ve put together a few of the most common mistakes that people make when flossing as well as how to avoid them.
Using the Same Section of Dental Floss for the Whole of Your Mouth
When properly used dental floss is excellent at helping to remove plaque bacteria from in between your teeth, but it is essential to use a nice fresh section for each tooth as otherwise you’ll simply be moving the plaque bacteria to a different site in your mouth. Dental floss is pretty cheap, so make sure you break off a nice long section of approximately 18 inches so you can easily cover the whole of your mouth. Some people find it useful to wind the ends around the middle finger of each hand, so the floss can be easily wound on for each tooth.
Failing to Floss the Teeth Right at the Back of the Mouth
A lot of people make this mistake, and think it is adequate to only floss their front teeth, or those that are relatively easy to reach. You should be flossing all of your teeth, even those teeth right at the back of the mouth as pieces of food and bacteria can still become trapped in these areas.
Forcing the Floss In Between Tight Spaces
Many of our Leeds patients have teeth that are very tightly squeezed in, and this can make it very difficult to thread the floss in between each tooth. If this is the case you shouldn’t be forcing the floss down between each tooth, but should be working in gently down to the gum line. If you find it very difficult then try a different brand of floss, as some are thinner or more heavily waxed than others, making them much easier to use.
Failing to Floss because it makes Your Gums Bleed
We sometimes find that patients fail to floss because their gums bleed whenever they try. While this may be off-putting it is extremely important to persevere and to take action over any bleeding. Healthy gums do not bleed when flossed as the gum tissues are strong enough to take the flossing action without reacting in this way. Bleeding is the first sign of gum disease, and it is worthwhile booking an appointment to visit our dentist in Leeds City Dentalcare for a check-up and cleaning. This should help remove infection from your gums, and our hygienists can also help you improve your oral hygiene routine to stop the bleeding while flossing. If you follow their advice then you should notice significant improvements within a couple of weeks.
Failing to Think About Which Teeth You Have Flossed
We know it isn’t the most scintillating of tasks, but it is important to keep track of which teeth you have flossed and those still left to do. Approaching it methodically helps a lot. You may have heard the saying that you should only floss the teeth you want to keep, well unfortunately it is true.