Having good dental hygiene is essential, and everyone strives to have minty-fresh breath. It’s recommended that you visit your local dentist at least twice a year, and you should brush your teeth at least two times a day. Not just any toothbrushing session will do. You need to make sure you get all down into your gum lines and don’t forget to brush the roof of your mouth or your tongue. While all of that is the start of good dental health, but do you floss regularly?
If you’re like one of the many people that threads a string through their teeth only when they’ve eaten something that gets caught in a crevice, then it doesn’t count as a habit. Many people skip this step because it’s difficult, and there’s almost always a little bit of blood. Who likes to taste their blood anyway? Some equate this experience to being as painful as making the trek to the dentist’s office and having the drill used, but it’s not that bad. It’s all what you make it in your mind.
When you get to the dentist’s office, one of the first few things that a hygienist will ask you is if you brush and floss regularly. It seems like a loaded question with no simple answer, yet most will tell a white lie. Remember, these people are experts, and they can look for subtle clues to see if you’re telling the truth.
You Can’t Fool the Professionals
As you sit back in the infamous chair and try to relax, you find that even a routine cleaning feels like a major chore. Once the scraping of your enamel has begun, you will swear the hygienist is using a pickax rather than a board-approved dental tool. Have you ever wondered why there is so much blood? It feels like they’re drilling for oil in your gum line, and they’ve hit a wellspring of fluids. The taste of blood is unpleasant, and the splatters all over your bib are alarming.
After working and chiseling for what seems like an eternity, you’re asked the notorious question: “Do you floss regularly?” However, can the hygienist and dentist tell if you floss or not? Yes, they can tell the minute they start working in your mouth. To the professionals, it takes just one look to see that your oral hygiene lacks one major element, and it causes all sorts of problems.
We asked Dr. Irina Kellerman-Volk, a Port Washington dentist if she could tell her patients haven’t been flossing. The answer: “Absolutely!”, says Dr. Kellerman-Volk. She adds, “most patients don’t realize how much your gums and oral hygiene improve with just a 5-minute floss every day. So when you haven’t flossed in a while, a professional can tell.”
First, when they start working to clear the debris from your teeth, your gums will begin to swell and bleed like they’ve hit an artery. Second, when you don’t floss, there is an abundance of plaque that they must chisel off your choppers. This routine check-up has just become something that could have been avoided if you had only taken care of your teeth. Flossing is an essential part of prevention, and it’s not something you can skimp on.
The Lies You Tell
By now, you feel like you’re being ambushed. Whether it’s been two weeks or six months since your last flossing, the buildup of plaque on your teeth and gums are indistinguishable. Even if you lie to your hygienist, they are likely not going to confront you on the matter. Rather, they might offer a kind suggestion that you fine-tune your technique for better oral care. The trick is not to floss only when you have something wedged into a tight space, but you need to run the string down the entire perimeter of the tooth.
Have you ever wondered how a person who lacks dental care feels when they go to the dentist? They probably will say that the dentist told them everything looked great, and they won’t even mention that they’ve hardly brushed, flossed, or done anything they needed to. This might discourage someone who is eager to get their check-ups and is into prevention methods. However, things are not always as they might appear.
See, the dental hygienist is the one who cleans all the rubbish out of the mouth before the dentist comes into the office. Your dentist is looking at things after all the years of plague and tartar are removed, so why wouldn’t they say things look great. Sure, the hygienist is going to brief them on the way the mouth appeared before it was cleaned, but it’s not the dentist’s job to browbeat the patient.
Conquering the Fear
Remember, if they’re a good dentist, then they look in 100’s of mouths each month, and what’s going on inside yours is nothing out of the ordinary. Maybe it’s because these professionals feel like a priest working in a confessional because of the number of times they’re lied to.
Finally, after faced with hard facts, the patient breaks down and tells them all the sins of their oral health. For your conscience, you can ask them to forgive you, promise that you will brush, floss, and rinse every night, and strive to do better.
Stop looking at this medical professional as your parent who will scold you for not having good oral health as this only causes fear for your next visit. Additionally, please don’t lie to them either because they can see through your lies when they peek inside your mouth. Having a presumably plaque-free gum line and the shiny chopper is something that everyone should strive to achieve.
When it comes to flossing, stop lying to yourself that it’s unnecessary. If you would regularly floss, it would hurt a lot worse when you go for your bi-annual cleaning. Toss out the random strings and threads you use when something gets wedged in between your teeth and gums. Dental floss is very inexpensive, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have plenty on hand. If you take care of this little hygiene matter every day, then it won’t be such a big deal with the hygienist comes for you with her pickax and string.