Three Common Side Effects Of First-Time Flossing That Are Actually A Good Sign

If you typically don't floss and try to start, there can be some alarming things that happen the first few times. While these may scare you enough to make you want to stop flossing, rest assured that they're actually a sign of improvement. Here are three signs that your flossing is doing something good, even if the side effects seem like the opposite.


Most people who floss a few times for the first time will experience some sensitivity between their teeth. This isn't to be confused with pain, which isn't a good sign. However, light sensitivity typically means that you've removed plaque from between your teeth.

Your teeth are full of nerve endings that allow them to feel touch as well as pain. However, if the tooth is encapsulated by plaque, you may not feel as much. Once that plaque is removed, the edges of the teeth will be able to send nerve signals when liquid or food brushes past them. This just means that your teeth are cleaner now, and you should become accustomed to the new sensations quickly.

Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums are another common issue that first-time flossers encounter. To be fair, if your gums are unwell enough to be bleeding, that's not the greatest thing. However, if they've never bled until you started flossing, you're on the right path.

When your gums bleed from flossing, that's because the gums are sensitive and potentially a little sick with gum disease. By removing plaque from near and under the gum line, you're getting rid of a patch of irritation that also acts as a bacteria breeding ground. Your gums should stop bleeding after a few days of good oral health care once the inflammation reduces from having the plaque and bacteria out.

Stinky Floss

Finally, it can be appalling to discover that your floss literally stinks, especially if you brush your teeth before you floss. Well, rest assured that this stinky stuff is actually a good sign.

If the debris on your floss smells, think of it this way: that stinky stuff used to be in your mouth all the time. Plaque and bacteria do stink, and they can contribute to bad breath among the many other problems that they can trigger. If you're removing it, that means you're reducing your risk of stinky breath. Over time, you'll be able to maintain your teeth rather than trying to remove what's built up, and your floss shouldn't smell bad anymore.

Flossing is extremely important if you want to keep all your teeth and keep your mouth healthy. If you encounter other problems not mentioned on this list, be sure to talk it over with your dentist.

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