Why Does Flossing Hurt My Gums and Teeth?

f Learn why flossing may be hurting your gums or teeth.

Learn why flossing may be hurting your gums or teeth.

Your dentist always tells you how important flossing is to your oral care routine, but do you experience pain every time you try to floss? Flossing has many advantages, such as preventing gum disease, but many people decide to skip the easy step because it hurts. Continue reading to learn why flossing may be hurting your gums and teeth, and how to floss without pain!

Reasons For Pain

Flossing helps to remove plaque and food particles under the gum lines and between your teeth, but since these are such sensitive areas, string floss can cause irritation. String flossing can be quite abrasive, as you’re essentially cutting and scraping to strip away bacteria and infections from the enamel of your teeth. Your teeth are bound to hurt if you’re not used to regular flossing, as the pain typically reduces with everyday practice. You may also be experiencing pain because you have sensitive teeth, you are flossing too aggressively, you have food particles stuck between your teeth, there’s a tooth decaying, or if there are underlying issues with your gums, such as gum disease or gingivitis. Be sure to communicate any issues or pain with your dentist, as curing gum disease will require the help of a professional.

Correct Technique

Incorrect flossing can be the cause of your gum pain and can cause damage to your gums, teeth, or dental work. To floss correctly, take 12-16 inches of floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about two inches of floss between the hands. Then, gently insert the floss between your teeth using a sawing motion- but be careful not to be too aggressive. Curve the floss into a C-shape around the tooth and under the gum line, and gently move the floss up and down.

Water Flossing

If string floss is still causing you pain, there is another non-intrusive approach called water flossing. This technique uses a handheld device called a water flosser, or water pick, and aims a steady stream of water between your teeth. It is a great way to remove food particles from between your teeth without the pain of traditional flossing.

Keep Your Smile Healthy with Affinity

Affinity Dental, located in Catonsville, MD, has six dentists and provides a variety of services from pediatric dentistry to orthodontics. Affinity Dental is capable of meeting all your needs. With 170 combined years of treating a variety of dental needs, Affinity is committed to providing quality dental care. To get your teeth back into good health and make your smile bright, call us at 410-719-7900 or contact us online. For other useful tips on dental care follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.


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