If you dread hearing your dentist ask you if you floss your teeth on a regular basis, it is probably because you don't. But how does the dentist know this? Dentists are experts with teeth and gums, and they can tell by examining your mouth whether or not you floss. They ask you this question to help them understand potential problems you may have, and they also do this to remind you of the importance of flossing daily. Here are the two main ways dentists can tell if you have not been flossing your teeth.
By Noticing That Your Gums Bleed When Flossing
The first way a dentist can tell you haven't been flossing regularly is if your gums bleed when you do. The main reason flossing is important is to remove the bacteria found in between the teeth. After eating, it is normal for small particles of food to get trapped between your teeth. Brushing your teeth can help eliminate some of this, but flossing is the only method that can remove all of it. When food gets trapped in these areas, it leaves bacteria there. This bacteria eventually breaks down into acids, and these acids can destroy your teeth.
Flossing reduces the amount of food in between the teeth, which therefore reduces the risk of developing decay. When you floss daily, your gums will be healthy and generally will not bleed when you floss.
If your gums bleed when you floss, it is most likely because of the damage caused by the bacteria. When the bacteria damages your gums, you can easily develop gingivitis, and this will leave your gums bleeding when you do occasionally floss.
By Examining the Condition of Your Teeth and Gums
The second way dentists can tell whether or not you have been flossing is by closely examining your teeth and gums. When a person flosses, the person typically has healthy gums and teeth. When a person does not floss, there are signs the dentist can see. These signs are primarily located between the teeth and on the gum line. These signs can include the following:
- Decay around the gum line and in between teeth
- Swollen, red gums
- Receding gum lines
You can prevent these things by flossing each day, and this is why dentists recommend making this part of your daily routine.
If you want to feel better next time the dentist asks you if you floss daily, start doing it each time you brush your teeth. By doing this, you can answer the dentist's question honestly, and you can have healthier teeth and gums. To learn more about preventing oral problems, contact a dentist today, like Kevin J Owoc.