Flossing is an excellent way to protect your teeth. However, flossing will only benefit your oral health if you are doing it properly. Many people make mistakes when flossing which prevent them from reaping all the advantages that it has to offer. Below is a guide to 5 common mistakes people make when flossing their teeth. By avoiding these mistakes, you can protect your teeth and gums.

Using the same piece of floss multiple times

The floss you use on your teeth helps to maintain your dental health by removing bacteria from the gaps between each tooth. If you use the same piece of floss multiple times, you will be transferring this bacteria from tooth to tooth, increasing the chance of infection. You should use a new piece of floss for each tooth that you clean.

Not having a cleaning system

The main problem of not having a cleaning system is that it makes it easy to miss parts of your mouth. You should work from tooth to tooth in a systematic manner. Start by flossing all of your top teeth before moving on to the bottom set. You should always work from one side of your mouth to the other, making sure you clean each tooth.

Stopping flossing because of blood

From time to time, you may see blood when you floss. If this occurs, you should not stop. If you have gum disease, it is normal for your gums to bleed a little bit until the condition is under control. If the bleeding does not stop after several weeks, you should visit your dentist.

Forgetting to floss your back teeth

When flossing, some people only floss the teeth that they can see, forgetting to clean their back teeth. Your back teeth are used to chew the food you eat and so are particularly at risk of cavities. To clean your back teeth, you should hook the floss behind your back teeth and slide it up and down to remove any build up of plaque.

Using a sawing motion during flossing

A common misconception is that the best way to floss is to move the string using a vigorous sawing motion. However, this back and forwards movement can wear a small groove on the surface of each tooth. Rather than using a sawing motion, you should place the floss between your teeth and pull on it until it forms a "C" shape. You should then slide it out and repeat the process on the next tooth.

If you would like further advice about maintaining your dental health, you should contact a dentist today.