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COMMON FLOSSING MISTAKES

1. Superficial flossing

Floss that doesn’t clean both surfaces of the two teeth standing in a contact isn’t helping too much. If floss is only pulled down against the gums and then up, it cleans only 50% of interdental space. It is necessary to clean all the surfaces that are forming interdental space, that is surfaces of the two adjacent teeth. If we have in our mouth all teeth except wisdom teeth, we must clean 56 dental surfaces. It is necessary to take a few seconds for each tooth area. Floss is needed to be pulled up and down a few times. You need to floss for about 2 minutes to clean all interdental spaces well.

2. Using uncontrolled force during flossing

This is the easiest way to damage gums. The consequence can result in receded gums. Since some of the teeth are positioned close together, the floss is difficult to fit into the interdental spaces. Therefore, it is important that floss gently passes the contact between the teeth with a help of sawing movements towards the gums.

3. Forgeting to clean the last tooth in the row

This is a surface that should also be cleaned, but unfortunately it is often forgotten.

4. Not flossing artificial teeth

It is wrong to believe that artificial teeth are not necessary to floss. Plaque accumulates on dental prosthetic material as much as on natural teeth. Under the fixed bridge is necessary to floss with a help of a super floss, which is designed for that purpose (floss with cleaning sponge).

5. Not flossing between teeth connected with orthodontic wire

Most post-orthodontic patient gets wire for retention on the upper and lower teeth to ensure that the teeth will not move in the future. Flossing between wired teeth is difficult, but necessary. For that kind of circumstances you can use a special floss with a cleaning sponge on one end.

6. Flossing without order

It is good to get used of a certain brushing order every evening. However, it is not so important where we start flossing. Try to get used to systematical brushing which is enough comfortable for you, so that you won’t forget to clean any tooth. If we floss in a manner “a little here, a little there,” it often happens that we forget to clean certain interdental spaces, or even a whole side of arch. The easiest way may be to start at the top right, and from there we go to the upper left side of the arch, then left below and to the lower right side.

7. Not flossing, if gums are bleeding

This is the most common mistake. Bleeding gums are a sign of a poor oral hygiene. If you don’t pronounce brushing and cleaning of interdental spaces, bleeding will continue and you may do to yourself a huge damage over a longer period of time. Bleeding of the gums will stop only, if you start removing dental plaque, so flossing around bleeding areas is a must. Otherwise, inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) can turn into periodontal disease. People often think, that bleeding gums are caused because of harsh brushing or flossing. Of course, this can also happen, especially, if the floss is forced into the gums, or during a harsh use of a coarse, hard or medium-hard brush. Don’t floss and brush in a manner that your gums hurt due to the traumatized tissue. In most cases, it is not a trauma but gum disease. If you didn’t floss for a long time, you will most likely have bleeding gums, because of a long term retention of dental plaque. Inflammed soft tissue has bigger blood flow and it’s swollen, so even a slight stimulus can cause bleeding. This is the way by which body fights the infection. After a few days of flossing, the situation settles down and bleeding stops.

8. Floss is performing with too little pressure on tooth surface

In order to remove the bacterial biofilm, it is necessary to slightly press against the surface of the tooth with the floss and then to pull up away from the gums. If we are too gentle, the plaque is not removed sufficiently.

9. Floss is used only for removing food

Floss is not only suitable for removal of food debris after meals, but it is a must in everyday oral hygiene routine. Food residues can be seen, whereas dental plaque is often invisible at the beginning, therefore people think that teeth are clean if there is nothing stuck between them.

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