Ouch! It Hurts When I Floss!

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Do your gums hurt or bleed after flossing?


Experiencing a little pain and bleeding after flossing is not uncommon. This is especially true if you have not flossed in a long time. Make sure to address the pain and bleeding you are experiencing with McFarland Orthodontics, but know that we don’t want you to give up on flossing altogether!


Here are a 3 tips on flossing with less pain and bleeding:

1. Be Gentle

The easiest way to combat gum soreness and bleeding is to be gentle. One of the most common occurrences of these gum problems is over-aggressive flossing. In other words, if you are too rough on your gums while flossing, either because you are out of practice or because you are in a hurry, soreness and hurting is to be expected. Instead, try taking your time and be gentle. Also, if you are just starting out, be patient and consistent, your gums will become more conditioned over time.


2. Be Consistent

Typically, the more you floss, the less your gums will bleed.* Flossing removes particles that your toothbrush can’t reach. It’s important to floss every day to remove plaque and bacteria from your gums.

3. Use an Alternative

If being gentle and consistent does not work, there are other alternative methods of flossing that you can try. You can also try a water floss machine, or what is sometimes called a water pick. The device essentially shoots water into the spaces between your teeth, and in other areas of your mouth, in order to dislodge food and plaque. These oral instruments also come with different attachments that allow you to reach many of the hard to see and reach areas of your mouth. And lastly, you can always buy floss that is not as abrasive to your gums. There is floss that comes with soft and gentle coatings that will do less harm to your gums while they are adjusting to the good oral hygiene habit you are creating.


Flossing is one of the easiest parts of oral hygiene to overlook. When you first start out, it is common that you may want to stop because of the pain it can initially cause. However, if you try one, or all, of the above mentioned methods, you will give yourself the best chance of being success with your flossing, and it won't hurt as much.


For more flossing tips, schedule an appointment with McFarland Orthodontics! We’d love to help you out in person. Call us today. (972) 221-2515


*It is important to note that bleeding gums can be a symptom of Gingivitis, a gum disease. Other symptoms of Gingivitis include tender or inflamed gums, pus between the gums and teeth, bad breath, loose or shifting teeth, receding gums, sensitivity to cold and hot foods and beverages, and changes in how teeth fit together while biting.

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