Building a flossing habit can be difficult, but it's especially problematic if you try to floss and experience negative effects. If you've flossed and been uncomfortable, had bleeding, or had problems getting the floss to glide between your teeth, here are three things you need to know about the flossing process that could make it easier for you.
You Don't Have To Be Hard
Just like brushing your teeth, you don't need to use extreme pressure while flossing. In fact, you should be as gentle as possible. If you've had pain while trying to floss, this adjustment could help you.
When you floss, pull the floss tightly against one tooth until you reach the gumline. Then, gently pull it across the gums, using the lightest pressure possible. Repeat this process with the tooth on the other side. Being gentle should help to reduce pain and reduce the risk of gum bleeding.
It Gets Easier
When you begin flossing, it can be difficult. Plaque and tartar build-up can reduce the space between your teeth, making it harder to get floss in-between the teeth. The good news is that this will get easier if you stick with flossing.
While tartar can't be removed via flossing, plaque can. By reducing the amount of plaque between your teeth and under your gumline, more space will open up to allow floss to enter between your teeth. In a few days, you should notice a difference, and it will be easier to floss more gently, which will make the whole process easier and less uncomfortable.
Getting a Cleaning First Helps
Anytime is a good time to commit to flossing as part of your dental hygiene process. However, it's not a bad idea to get a thorough dental cleaning from a dentist first.
If you see a dentist, they will be able to remove existing tartar, making the flossing process easier for you. In addition, they can take steps to help reverse gum disease and any problems with your teeth that could make it harder to floss, like ragged or chipped tooth edges.
After you've seen your dentist, flossing will be easier, and you'll be able to maintain your dental cleaning results for longer.
If you want to floss but are having a hard time with it, these tips can help you. If you don't notice an improvement in the discomfort and difficulty flossing soon, contact a dentist, such as Dr. Jon Douglas Lesan, DDS, RpH, PA, for support.