Flossing Should Never Hurt - What to Do if It Does
Posted on 11/30/2018 by Thomas Wold, DMD
Flossing is a vital part of tooth care, that treats and maintains the sensitive buffer between your teeth and the underlying bone - your gums. Despite this, over 37% of people report not flossing at all, and few report flossing as frequently as recommended (at least once a day.)
The most common reason given is that it causes pain, so what can you do to stop that pain and embrace a healthier smile?
Build Frequent Flosser Miles
It may sound counter intuitive, but if your teeth ache after flossing, it may simply be that you don't floss enough - it takes time to build up tolerance, and if you only floss until it hurts, it'll always hurt to floss. Make sure to start with a threaded floss string, and use a gentle teeter-totter motion to start, until you are comfortable with using a more vigorous flossing style.
But not too vigorous - flossing too much, or with too much enthusiasm, can cut away at the tissue and make your gums sensitive, leading to more pain the next time you floss!
Thin the Crowd
The issue may be that your other teeth are causing too much tightness, especially if you haven't had your wisdom teeth taken out. It is worth exploring with us the option to have oversized and excessive teeth removed or replaced, to free up space inside your mouth and make flossing easier.
Back to the Basics
Sometimes, flossing might hurt simply because you aren't practicing fundamental tooth hygiene. Make sure that you are brushing your teeth at least twice a day, replacing your brush every three months, and properly (no power-scrubbing!) using the right brush for you, for at least two minutes per session.
There may be other underlying issues that can be treated with basic care, such as the start of gum disease, cavities, and enamel erosion. It is important to reach out to us if you believe that you may be experiencing these, as they are normally easily treatable and can lead to worse issues if left unchecked, making flossing (and other routines) more painful.