Dentist Teeth Whitening Methods For Stains

Is Flossing Harder For You Than It Should Be?

Most people know that in order to have a truly healthy set of teeth and gums, flossing is a must. Chances are you've had your dentist suggest it to you at least once, and if you're trying to floss, you're taking a step in the right direction. However, if you find flossing to be painful, difficult, or unpleasant, you should know that it doesn't have to be this way. Here are some of the likely reasons behind your problems with flossing and what you can do to get them fixed.

Tartar Buildup

One of the biggest problems that can make flossing difficult is the development and build-up of dental tartar.

Dental tartar is the hardened form of plaque. Flossing is supposed to help remove this sticky substance before it can turn into tartar. However, if you haven't been flossing for a long time or if you have waited a considerable amount of time since your last dentist appointment before starting, tartar may already be a problem for you.

Tartar buildup between the teeth can add a lot of difficulty to flossing because it takes up valuable space. You should naturally have a small gap between each pair of teeth, but tartar can fill up this space and make it harder to pull the floss through. Unfortunately, floss can't remove tartar, so if this is your problem, you'll need outside help.

Gum Health

Unhealthy gums can also contribute to making flossing more difficult. When gums become unhealthy, either due to infection or gum disease, they can become swollen and sore. This can make flossing painful or uncomfortable, as the floss striking your gums can be enough to trigger discomfort in the already-irritated surface of the gums. In addition, gums that are swollen can take up space between teeth that would normally be free, resulting in less space for flossing.

In some cases, continuing to floss may help with this symptom. However, if you have advanced gum disease, flossing won't be able to help much. 

What You Should Do

Flossing isn't supposed to be difficult or painful. If you're having problems with flossing, it likely means that it's time for a dental appointment.

When you go to the dentist, they'll evaluate your teeth and gums and give you a thorough cleaning. This will clear away tartar and can help to reverse gum disease and infections. If you start flossing and continue immediately after having your dental cleaning, you can expect the process to be easier and faster, which will help you to maintain the habit.