Health & Fitness

I’m a dentist and here’s how we know if you’ve been telling the truth about flossing

YOU know the drill, you’ve got an appointment with the dentist coming up – but you’ve not flossed in weeks.

Hastily, you head to the bathroom and get right to it, before heading off to sit in the dreaded chair.


One dentist has said that they can tell when you haven’t been flossing[/caption]

While you might think this will do just the trick, duping your dentist into believing you’ve been doing it in the last six months before your check up, that’s sadly not the case.

Speaking to The Sun, Neil Sikka, a dentist at Bupa Dental Care said there are telltale signs that someone hasn’t been flossing on a regular basis.

“We can tell if someone doesn’t floss by the buildup of plaque in between your teeth and the gumline,” he said.

Neil said that many people falsely believe that flossing is less important than brushing – but this isn’t the case.

“While brushing can help clean the surface of your teeth, the bristles will struggle to work their way in between your teeth.

“Flossing cleans approximately one-third of your tooth surface, which normal brushing simply can’t reach,” he said.

He added that the plaque between your teeth is the biggest indication you haven’t been flossing.

This is because flossing aims to remove plaque between teeth to help prevent decay and to clean the area between the gum (gingiva) and the tooth, he said.

He added that if plaque is not removed from these areas, there will be increased chance of tooth decay.

Not only this, but there will also be an increased risk of inflammation in the gums.

He explained: “When the gums become inflamed, they become red, swollen and bleed.

“However, this is not a reason to stop flossing – in fact, it’s common for gums to bleed during interdental cleaning, particularly if you don’t clean between your teeth regularly.

“This is due to inflammation caused by the plaque and bacteria that has been living around your gums.”

However, he added that bleeding could also be a sign that there’s some gum disease and will continue until your oral health improves.

“Again, you need to clean your teeth more effectively and frequently to resolve this.

“If you’re still having problems with bleeding after 7 – 10 days, visit your dentist or hygienist for advice,” he advised.

Source of data and images: thesun

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