Have you ever lied to your dentist? If so, you’re not alone—many people have.
It can be intimidating when your dentist asks you, “How often do you floss?”
The truth is, your dentist won’t judge you; they only want to help you take care of your teeth, not shame you for your hygiene habits.
But if you tell a white lie and say that, “Yes, I do floss regularly” (even though you don’t), they will be able to tell. How? The following signs will indicate just how often you floss:
Food Between Your Teeth
Those who brush frequently still miss important spots where bacteria build up. Toothbrush bristles can’t clean the narrow spaces between your teeth—for that, you’ll need a thin strip of floss.
Cavities can form on all sides of your teeth, like the front, the back, the chewing surfaces, and between your teeth. Flossing can remove plaque, which is the main cause of gum disease.
If you’ve flossed your teeth for the first time in a while, you might be surprised at what you find—last week’s meal may still be lurking between your teeth!
Your gums show the truth when it comes to flossing. If they begin to bleed or become swollen once your dentist starts flossing, they’ll know immediately that it has been a while since the last time you’ve flossed.
Many dental patients only floss in the days leading up to their cleaning appointment. But this isn’t enough time for your gums to adjust; they’ll probably still bleed during your cleaning.
A lack of flossing regularly may lead to gum recession and gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease). One of the main symptoms of these conditions is bleeding gums.
Excessive Plaque & Tartar Buildup
A sign that patients aren’t flossing is when they have multiple cavities. If your teeth aren’t flossed, the plaque on them may harden into tartar, which often leads to cavities.
Some patients are surprised to learn that they have cavities even though they brush regularly. But the only way to completely remove plaque from your teeth is to add flossing to your daily routine.
How to Encourage Flossing Habits
It can be tough to form new habits; you might have every intention to floss, but when nighttime arrives, you simply forget. Work these tips into your routine to help you pick up flossing:
- Use a floss pick or water flosser. If you have trouble using a string of floss, try an alternative product that may make the process easier.
- Place the floss in a visible location. Out of sight, out of mind—put your floss near your toothbrush so that you remember to use it.
- Keep track of the days you’ve flossed on a calendar. It’s satisfying to check off each day that you remember to floss. You can look back at all the progress you’ve made and pat yourself on the back!
The next time you’re in the dentist’s chair and they ask you about flossing, don’t stretch the truth. Lying to the dentist about your hygiene habits only serves to make your oral health worse.
At EK Dental, we offer Winnipeg teeth cleaning services. Our dentists can help you develop routines that will keep your teeth strong, clean, and bright for years to come. Give us a call to schedule your appointment!