Why Flossing Can Seem So Hard At First

Posted on: 15 May 2017

Getting into the habit of flossing everyday can be tough, but sometimes it's more than a simple matter of willpower. If you've struggled to floss because of pain or because the floss gets stuck between your teeth, you could have a problem that requires a visit to the dentist. Read on to learn more about this and why seeing a dentist can help.

Inflamed Gums

If flossing hurts, chances are your gums are inflamed. Gum inflammation is one of the signs of gum disease, and if it's early enough, flossing can help to reverse it. However, if your gum disease has progressed into periodontitis, only a dentist can reverse it.

Even if your gum disease is still relatively minor, flossing can be quite painful. Doing it nightly can help to improve the health of your gums and gradually make it less painful, but if you can't stand it, see a dentist.

Built-Up Plaque and Tartar

Another common problem with first-time flossers is that it's hard to get the floss in-between teeth. Some patients think that this is just due to closely spaced teeth, but generally speaking, tartar is to blame.

Teeth that are close together or even overlapping typically still have a little space in-between them. Floss, especially when waxed, is extremely thin and good at sliding into these spaces. However, if you've already got tartar on your teeth, it becomes a lot more difficult.

The reason dentists want you to floss is that it's a great way to remove plaque from between the teeth, before it becomes tartar. However, if you didn't floss for a long time, a lot of plaque has already become tartar. Flossing can't remove tartar, and tartar is hard enough to take up some of the space between your teeth, making it nearly impossible to slide your floss through.

See Dentist First

If you're having either of these problems, simply seeing a dentist prior to beginning your new good habit is the best way to go about it. Dentists can reverse gum disease and professionally remove tartar, which will help to make it easier and less painful for your to floss.

Once you've seen a dentist and had a full cleaning, make sure to continue your habit of flossing. If you stop flossing, you'll probably develop all of the same problems again, and you'll need to visit a dentist if you ever want to start maintaining this good habit. There's a lot of information out there about flossing. Check it out with your local dentist today.