When flossing is the topic, dental patients are a bit aloof in admitting if they floss or not. The reason behind this timid response is the fact that most of us generally stay away from this dental habit. We keep away from it besides the fact that dentists reiterate the importance of flossing in our daily lives. When pressed, some patients would complain that they feel pain after flossing; that is why they stopped doing it. But is it reasonable or even normal to feel pain after flossing? Let us all find out.
Why is there pain after flossing?
There may be different reasons why you experience pain after flossing your teeth.
You do not do it every day
Dentists inform their patients that for the first few times of flossing, tugging and a bit of discomfort may be felt while doing this oral habit. This ache is because you and your teeth are not used to the additional scrubbing and sliding of the thread in between your teeth; that is why your gums may still be sensitive to it. Patients with overcrowded teeth also have tight spaces in between their teeth that make gliding the floss extra challenging. But if you try and add this to your daily oral hygiene routine, using the floss will be easy breezy.
You are not doing it properly.
Flossing may sound easy and can be performed using your common sense, but some patients are doing it forcefully that the gums bleed and get irritated. Use gentle force in sliding the string in and out of the sides of your teeth to make sure that you remove the food particles in between while making sure that your gums are unaffected.
You have existing dental problems.
It is easy to blame flossing if you feel a bit sensitive after cleaning your teeth. However, it is possible that you already have dental problems present in your oral cavity that makes flossing a bit of a struggle. Gum recession, gingivitis, and other gum diseases may make your teeth sensitive, so it is still best to have a regular consultation with your dentist to monitor your overall dental health.
Tips to avoid pain after flossing
Use a floss alternative
You do not need to use the traditional form of floss that is in the string from that you wrap around your fingers. There are now different alternatives, including floss picks, electronic floss, interdental brushes, and water picks. You can ask your dentist and research about these kinds of floss alternatives and discuss with your dentist how each one functions. From there, you can choose what best suits your dental condition and budget.
Some patients think that you have to continue flossing as long as the string does not break while sliding it in and out of the teeth sides. That is very wrong! Once the thread snaps, that means you have exerted extra pressure and forcefully glides the floss in place. This habit will definitely cause pain and bleeding, especially if the floss reaches the inner portion of the gums because of the force. Control the power that you apply in gliding the thread. Hold the floss firmly and slide it at an angle that makes the thread easily fit into space in between your teeth. For tight spaces, there are flat-type flossers that make the string thin, so it is easier to insert and move in between the teeth.
Do not rush
Leisurely and carefully floss before or after eating. It does not have to be a chore that you should do at a certain time, so you would not have to feel obliged and forced. As long as you do it once daily, flossing is enough to ensure that your teeth are completely cleaned.