Can Flossing Hurt Your Gums?

Flossing is an essential part of maintaining good oral health. It helps remove plaque and other harmful substances from between your teeth. Without flossing, you are at risk for dental issues, such as gum disease and tooth decay. But, did you know that it can potentially harm your gums if not done correctly? 

While flossing is crucial, flossing incorrectly can damage your oral health. However, if you know how to floss the right way, you can greatly improve your oral health.

Can Flossing Hurt Your Gums?

The Importance of Flossing

Flossing is a vital part of your daily oral hygiene routine. It helps remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth and along the gumline. These are areas that your toothbrush can’t reach. You can prevent gum disease and cavities while promoting fresh breath and a clean mouth through flossing. 

Common Mistakes in Flossing

While the benefits of flossing are undeniable, many make mistakes that can harm their gums. 

Aggressive Flossing: Using too much force while flossing can lead to injury to the gums. Your gums are delicate and need to be treated gently.

Infrequent Flossing: Skipping flossing can result in gum inflammation. When plaque and food debris build between teeth, it can irritate the gums.

Using the Wrong Type of Floss: Some floss options are harsher on gums. Using a floss that is too thick or rough can cause bleeding and discomfort.

Flossing Too Fast: Rushing through the flossing process may lead to improper technique, potentially injuring the gums.

Effects of Improper Flossing on Gums

When you floss incorrectly, your gums can bear the brunt of the damage. There are certain effects that improper flossing can have on your gums.

One of the most common signs of improper flossing is bleeding gums. If you notice blood when you floss, it may be a sign that you’re flossing too aggressively or neglecting this crucial step.

Aggressive or infrequent flossing can result in gum inflammation. As a result, you can experience pain or discomfort. This can also increase your risk of gum disease. 

Improper flossing can cause your gums to recede over time. Receding gums expose the tooth’s sensitive root surface. This makes it more vulnerable to decay and sensitivity.

Flossing too roughly or using the wrong type of floss can lead to gum sensitivity. This can cause discomfort and pain when consuming hot or cold foods and drinks.

Finally, repeatedly injuring the gums with improper flossing can lead to long-term damage. This can potentially require professional intervention to correct.

Proper Flossing Techniques

To protect your gums while enjoying the benefits of flossing, it’s essential to use the correct techniques. 

First, you need to choose the right floss. A soft and flexible floss will be gentle on your gums. When you floss, you need to use an adequate amount. You can cut about 18-20 inches of floss. Then, you can wrap most of it around your middle fingers and leave a few inches to work with.

You should remember to be gentle while flossing. Gently guide the floss between your teeth, curving it into a “C” shape around each tooth to remove plaque and debris without harming your gums.

Floss daily to maintain gum health and prevent the buildup between teeth.