Did you know that at least 73% of people lie to their dentist? It’s also common for 27% to claim they have far better flossing habits than they really do. What many patients may not know is that there are a number of signs that can indicate whether or not a person is flossing regularly.
Daniel Park, DDS, at Beaumont Cherry Valley Dental knows that patients can tell tall tales when it comes to their oral hygiene habits. However, he strives to work with people in a nonjudgemental environment. Dr. Park believes this approach offers the best results in building good oral hygiene habits, including brushing and flossing on a daily basis.
Do you skip flossing? Here’s how your dentist can tell and how you can take action.
Signs you don’t floss
How often do you floss? Weekly? Monthly? Or right before your dental appointment? If you floss infrequently — or not at all — you’re not fooling your dentist.
Routine dental exams allow dentists to look for numerous issues, from tooth decay and gum recession to oral cancer. These assessments also offer significant clues about your oral hygiene habits. And, if you don’t floss, you can likely see the same signs for yourself.
Do your gums bleed when you brush, floss, or get your teeth cleaned? Do they look bright red instead of pink? These are the first signs of gum disease, and they can often indicate the absence of consistent flossing.
Have your teeth grown yellow? Tooth discoloration can occur for several reasons, including plaque buildup. Brushing may provide a first line of defense, but flossing is crucial if you want to reach hard-to-reach areas in between teeth and along and below your gum line.
How’s your breath? Do you struggle with freshness, even after brushing? It could be due to plaque, bacteria, and food particles stuck on your teeth, gums, and other nooks and crannies that your toothbrush can’t reach.
When you practice good oral hygiene — including flossing daily — you can expect your gums to look healthy and pink.
How to floss like a pro
Are you ready to stop lying to your dentist? It only takes a few minutes to make flossing a part of your daily routine. For the best results, Dr. Park recommends:
- Using 18-20 inches of floss
- Wrapping most of the strand around your middle fingers, leaving 1-2 inches in between
- Gripping the floss with your forefingers and thumbs
- Slipping the floss between your teeth and curving the floss around each tooth
- Gently sliding it up and down and making sure to slip it below the gumline, too
- Removing the floss from between your teeth with the same sliding motion
Then, repeat these steps with a fresh section of floss as you work your way around your mouth and clean each tooth.
And don’t worry — you can still up your oral hygiene game, even if you can’t stand the idea of flossing. Dr. Park can offer personalized suggestions on interdental cleaning tools that earn the ADA Seal of Acceptance, from floss picks and brushes to water-flossing oral irrigators.
Are you tired of lying to your dentist about flossing? Dr. Park can give you the guidance you need to adopt this crucial oral hygiene habit. To learn more, call 951-845-2661 to book an appointment with Beaumont Cherry Valley Dental today.