You probably know that flossing is a vital part of any good oral health routine, but are you sure you're using the best flossing technique to protect your teeth? Many people make mistakes during flossing that prevent them from reaping all the benefits that it can provide. Make the most of the time you spend flossing by learning about the five top flossing mistakes so you can avoid making them yourself.

1. Using The Same Floss For All Your Teeth

When you floss your teeth, you remove bacteria from the tiny gaps between them. If you use the same piece of floss for all your teeth, you transfer this bacteria from one tooth to another. Avoid spreading bacteria around your mouth by using a fresh section of floss for each tooth.

2. Not Having a System

When you floss, it's best to work systematically through your teeth. Floss all the teeth on the top arc before moving onto the bottom teeth. Within each arc, work from left to right and check your progress in the mirror so you don't miss any teeth.

3. Forgetting Your Back Teeth

Many people forget to floss behind their back molars. Unfortunately, these teeth, which you use to chew everything you eat, are very susceptible to cavities. Remember to hook the floss behind your back molar on each side and slide it up the tooth surface to clean away plaque.

4. Sawing Back and Forth

Many people think the best way to floss is to jam the floss between their teeth and vigorously saw it back and forth. However, this forceful motion can eventually wear a groove in your tooth enamel. Instead of sawing away like you're trying to chop off a tree branch, slip the floss between your teeth, pull it around the tooth so it makes a "c" shape and gently slide it out again. Don't forget to put the floss back into the gap so you can floss the neighbouring tooth.

5. Assuming Blood Means You Should Stop Flossing

If it's been a while since you last flossed, you might see some blood when you finally give it a try. Don't let this put you off. It's normal for flossing to cause slight bleeding, but your gums should soon toughen up and stop bleeding. If you're still bleeding after flossing every day for two weeks, see your dentist; you could have gum problems that need professional treatment.