Here’s a little secret, if you don’t floss regularly and think you can pull a fast one on your dentist by flossing and brushing the morning of your checkup, it won’t work! Dentists can tell when you’ve been flossing and when you haven’t and the way they can tell that you’re not flossing is if your gums bleed during your cleaning and dental exam. If you don’t floss regularly, no amount of last minute flossing will do the trick and, as far as your dentist or hygienist is concerned, the jig is up!
Gingivitis is the main cause of bleeding gums although there are other, less common conditions that can cause it. Gingivitis (inflamed gums) result from the buildup of an invisible bacterial film, called plaque, at your gum line. Plaque develops on your teeth every day and if you don’t floss and brush it away the plaque hardens into tartar (calculus) within 24 to 36 hours and becomes a job for your dental hygienist to remove.
Regular flossing removes the bacteria and plaque from between your teeth and under your gum line, leaving your gums healthy and able to withstand a little dental probing. Gums will sometimes bleed when you start flossing but don’t let that stop you, this will usually diminish within a few days.
The problem, from the point of view of those who want to give the illusion of regular flossing, is that it takes about a week of daily flossing for gingivitis to go away, so your gums don’t bleed when they are cleaned and examined. Of course you could just floss every day so you don’t need to worry about it when cleaning or checkup time rolls around!
How important is oral health? “Poor oral health can affect a person’s quality of life. Oral pain, missing teeth or oral infections can influence the way a person speaks, eats and socializes. These oral health problems can reduce a person’s quality of life by affecting their physical, mental and social well-being.” Canadian Dental Association
A Canadian Health Measures Survey found that just 28% of Canadians floss at least 5 times a week. What about the other 72%? A good guess is that they’re the ones who floss twice a year, right before their semi-annual dental checkups.
Don’t underestimate the value good dental practices bring to your life and the lives of your children. Contact Babin Dentistry to book your dental appointment; and START FLOSSING! FYI – You can also book your appointment online.