Can Flossing Too Often Damage Teeth?

closeup of a woman flossing her teeth

Most people probably don’t floss as frequently as they should, but did you know that you can actually floss too much? The old saying – “Too much of a good thing” – applies to flossing. How?

Flossing is an important part of dental health, since it’s the best way to get food particles from between your teeth. However, you only need to do it once a day. Plaque takes about 24-48 hours to harden, so if you floss more than once a day, you aren’t actually fighting it any more effectively. If there’s something stuck between your teeth, it’s okay to floss to get it out, but if you start getting obsessive about flossing and floss 2+ times a day, you do more harm than good.

What’s the Harm?

Flossing too much damages your gums. They can get irritated and swollen, and even bleed. You might think this is a sign you aren’t flossing enough, and go at it even more aggressively. If you’re this type of flosser, you’re probably sawing away at your gums and teeth. This can wear down your tooth’s enamel, which protects your teeth from decay. As for your gums, you’ll actually erode the gum line with over-flossing. This exposes the root of the tooth. Losing your enamel and exposing roots makes your teeth more vulnerable to decay and cavities.

Some Signs of Over-Flossing or Flossing Too Aggressively

  • Your gums are sore after flossing
  • Your gums start receding, making your teeth look longer
  • Your gums look irritated & red, even though you always brush & floss

Flossing Questions? We Have Answers

If you aren’t sure about the proper flossing technique or you’re concerned you might be flossing too often, Dr. Patel and the team at Jackson Smiles Family Dentistry can help you out. We look forward to hearing from you!

Proper flossing is key to oral hygiene! Contact us with any questions about flossing and oral health.

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