4 Signs You're Not Flossing The Correct Way

Posted on: 11 October 2019

Flossing is sometimes overlooked, but it is one of the most critical parts of your oral care regimen. When you don't floss, you open the door to all sorts of issues that can lead to discomfort around your teeth and gums, and you may even eventually lose some of your teeth. However, flossing incorrectly can also make you susceptible to these concerns. Learn some of the signs that often indicate poor flossing habits.

1. Smelly Floss

The next time you floss your teeth, take a second to smell the floss tape after you remove it from your mouth. If it smells, then you should probably revisit your flossing habits. When you don't floss well, the tiny particles of food that get stuck between your teeth start to rot. As they rot, they start to smell. When you run the floss tape between your teeth, it picks up this scent. 

2. Finishing Fast

A common mistake people make is to assume that to floss, you only need to run the tape through your teeth one time. However, to floss correctly, you need to run the tape through your teeth several times, and you also need to run the tape up and down the sides of your teeth. You can't possibly complete all these steps, on all your teeth, in a few seconds. Anyone that finishes flossing too quickly probably isn't doing it correctly.

3. Only Using Flossing Picks

Always think of flossing picks as somewhat of a band-aid, in that they are only intended to be a temporary fix. When you're away from home and need to get some food out of your teeth, it's okay to use a pick. However, the size of the tape on a pick is simply not long enough to thoroughly floss your teeth. If a pick is your go-to flossing tool, it's time to make a change if you want to protect your teeth and gums.

4. Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums can be a sign of gum disease, and a leading cause of gum disease is poor flossing habits. When you don't floss well, food particles can settle underneath the gums and cause bacteria to form. The bacteria can cause your gums to bleed when you brush, and cause your breath to smell and your gums to recede. Receding gums can quickly lead to tooth loss. 

If you have experienced any of these issues, the problem could be that you're not flossing correctly, not using the right type of tool, or not flossing enough. Speak with your dentist to ensure you're on track.