Have You Really Been Flossing? How Your Dentist Can Tell

You are most likely aware of how brushing is a key part to maintaining great oral health and dental hygiene. A step that you may be avoiding, or simply decide not to do, is flossing. Flossing is just as important as brushing, because it helps get rid of the stubborn food particles and plaque found between your teeth in places that your toothbrush can't reach. Flossing right before your dental appointment will not make up for 6 months of neglect. Here are 3 ways that a dentist can tell if you have actually been flossing or not.

Gums That Bleed

A big sign that you've been skipping out on regular flossing is that if you have bleeding gums when your dentist performs your dental cleaning. You do not need to have severe gingivitis for this to happen, since it can affect somebody on a mild or severe level. Even small amounts of bleeding will indicate that you are not regularly flossing.

The bleeding happens due to bacteria that has collected between your teeth and the gums, which is easy to remove by flossing regularly. You may tell the dentist that you have been doing a good job when it comes to flossing, but the bleeding will be a key sign that you haven't.

Excessive Plaque Buildup

You may have that fancy electric toothbrush that pulses and spins the brushes, but it is not a replacement for using dental floss. Your dentist will notice the buildup of plaque between your teeth, no matter where they are in your mouth. Don't make the mistake of focusing just on the front teeth that you can see, since plaque can build up between your molars as well.

Your dentist will probably let you know that they noticed a problem by saying they see the plaque buildup. They are telling you so that you do a better job at flossing to prevent cavities, tooth decay, or infections.

Inflamed Gums

Gums don't need to be bleeding to show signs that you haven't been brushing. The gums can also be inflamed to indicate that there are underlying problems that can lead to gum disease. Jaw damage and decay are possible after years of neglecting flossing, especially when you are not taking care of your gums because you don't notice the inflammation.

Quality flossing will not only impress your dentist during your next cleaning, but will help prevent these problems from happening to you. To learn more, contact a dental clinic like Sun Dental & Orthodontics