Can Flossing Damage Gums and Teeth?
Yes, flossing can damage your gums. Some of you might wonder "how"? Improper flossing can lead to remodeling of the gums to the extent that the areas cannot be further cleaned with a toothbrush or dental floss. This leads to the accumulation of food in these areas leading to gum disease and eventually periodontal disease.
This article shines a light on the following aspects of flossing:
· Flossing and gum recession
· Gums are damaged by flossing: What to do
· How often to floss your teeth
· Common mistakes in flossing
· Easy steps of proper flossing
Dental floss and gum recession:
As mentioned earlier, improper flossing can reshape the gums and form clefts. This leads to increased bacterial colonies subgingivally. More bacteria equals more infection and bleeding, more condition equals bone loss, and bone loss equals gum recession.
If left untreated, the loop goes on and on to a point where a tooth cannot be retained in the socket. This can result in root exposure, tooth sensitivity, and a less confident smile. Thus, every individual must seek proper guidance regarding flossing.
Gums are damaged by flossing: What to do.
Oozing blood from the gums after flossing is an alarming sign for you to stop flossing. More blood is sent by the body to the gingiva to fight the subgingival plaque bacteria. The result is inflammation with the appearance of 5 cardinal signs, namely redness, swelling, pain, increased temperature, and loss of malfunction of tooth-associated structures.
In the light of the facts stated above, the first and foremost thing to do is stop using dental floss and see a dentist or a dental hygienist. Another option one can opt for is saltwater rinses, two times a day. The latter option is to be done till the signs and symptoms subside.
How often to floss your teeth
Flossing once each day is recommended by American Dental Association (ADA). Flossing can be done before or after brushing, i.e., whatever suits your needs. However, a thorough job must be done. Moreover, flossing aggressively should be avoided as it can have detrimental effects on the gum tissue. Furthermore, a strand of floss should never be re-used as it may deposit anaerobic bacteria underneath the gum line.
Common mistakes in flossing
· Inconsistent flossing
Suppose you're using dental floss ideally, but you're not persistent. In that case, you may end up with all the hazards mentioned earlier. The following quote must always be kept in mind.
"Being persistent may lead you to the door, but consistency is the key which unlocks it." – Kenny Dasinger.
· Same part of dental floss used on every teeth
If you pick up a bottle of water from one table and place it on another table, it would still be a bottle of water. The same goes for dental floss. If you're using the same section of floss on all your teeth, you're picking up the bacteria from one tooth to another.
Thus, it is always recommended to change the part of the floss after cleaning all the tooth's surfaces. The water flosser is the use of flowing water, which can avoid the problem of bacterial crossing between teeth.
· Being overly enthusiastic
Flossing teeth with full zeal often leads to damage to the associated tooth structures. Though the mistake is less common, it is something that must not be neglected. You must make sure that you brush once daily, and you should not be too rough in doing so.
· Wrong flossing technique
Lack of knowledge on the correct flossing motion leads to more gum disease. This is because of the accumulation of disease-causing bacteria. Except for flossing, Smart toothbrush can efficiently eliminate those bacteria. The use of toothbrush sanitizer is also essential for this.
The proper technique involves the loop method for kids and the spool method for adults. Both these techniques are discussed in the upcoming section.
Easy steps of proper flossing
· For Kids
The Loop technique involves the following steps;
1. Take about 25cm of dental floss.
2. Make a double knot – a loop is formed.
3. Hold the floss so that the thumb of one hand touches the index finger of the other.
4. Insert the floss between the teeth spaces and touch the gum line.
5. Using new loop sections, clean all interdental spaces in the same way.
· For Adults
The spool method involves the following steps;
1. Take about 18 inches of dental floss, and wind it around the middle fingers of both the hands.
2. Leave 1 to 2 inches of dental floss and pinch between thumb and index finger.
3. Guide the floss on all the surfaces of teeth using a zig-zag motion.
4. Using new loop sections, clean all interdental spaces in the same way.
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