Common Flossing Mistakes

Close-up of a mid adult woman holding dental flossThe biggest flossing mistake people make is not flossing at all. If you’ve gotten past the hurdle of adding flossing to your daily routine, congratulate yourself. Once you make a habit of flossing, it’s important that you make sure you are doing it correctly. Improperly flossing is better than not flossing at all, but you need to give your teeth the maximum level of protection from plaque and cavities. Flossing is your best defense against future gum and teeth problems, so make sure you aren’t making these critical flossing mistakes.

Floss Thoroughly

Many people give their teeth a quick flossing without really thinking about the cleanliness of you’re their teeth. The goal of flossing is to remove the plaque from the spaces between each of your teeth, and the plaque that rest on the surfaces. In order to do this, you must clean the sides of each tooth. This means that when you place the floss between two teeth, you should take special care to floss both teeth involved. This includes your very back teeth. Even though your four furthest back teeth don’t have a tooth next to them, they still need to be flossed. The best way to ensure that you floss thoroughly is to create a plan. Know where you’ll start and where you’ll end, and follow that order so that no teeth get skipped.

Practice Good Technique

A common flossing technique is to quickly slam your floss between two teeth. This can be painful and damage your gums and cause them to recede, but it also is largely ineffective. In doing this, your floss doesn’t get a chance to really clean the sides of your teeth. A better technique is to gently wiggle the floss down to the bottom of each tooth, allowing it to do its job without causing pain. Use enough pressure to remove plaque from the tooth, but not enough to cause damage to your gums.

Another mistake is to use the same section of floss for every tooth. We tend to wrap floss around our fingers and leave it there until we are done. Each time you use the same section of floss, you are essentially transporting the bacteria from one tooth to the next. Use a new section of your string of floss for each section, so that you don’t end up spreading around the bacteria.

Leikin & Baylin Dental Care of Catonsville

If you have questions about dental health, or it’s just been a while since you’ve had a cleaning or talked to your dentist, it’s time to make an appointment. You can contact Leikin & Baylin Dental Care of Catonsville, Maryland by calling 410-747-1115 or visiting

Disclaimer: The writer of this article is not a medical professional. Information contained herein has been collected from sources believed to be reliable, and every precaution has been taken to ensure its accuracy. The information provided here is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care.


This entry was posted on Friday, March 20th, 2015 at 6:52 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.