Let’s say you’ve been slacking a bit in the oral hygiene department and you get a text reminding you of your dental appointment this afternoon. You frantically run to the bathroom and brush and floss and brush again, and you avoid sugar like the plague until it’s time to go. When you're asked all the routine questions about your oral hygiene habits, you smile and nod. But that burning question looms over you the whole time, and you can't help but wonder - can I really fool my dentist?
The Answer: Maybe…
The short answer is that we as dental professionals can't always tell when you're fibbing. Even so, depending on how long you've been neglecting your smile, there are a few telltale signs that your dentist may pick up on. When it comes to brushing and (especially) flossing, your gums can't lie. If you haven't taken the time to clean in between your teeth in a while, your gums will likely bleed when the hygienist gets to this step or when the dentist probes them. They may even become swollen. On top of that, there is also going to be an accumulation of food particles and plaque, which sets and becomes calculus. At this point, your dentist’s tools and expertise are required for removal.
...But Here’s Why You Shouldn't Try It
You may think that the effects of poor oral health decisions are limited to bad breath, but that is unfortunately not the case. Gingivitis can creep in and become advanced periodontal disease before you know it, and from there the consequences can be as serious as tooth decay and bone loss. Periodontitis has also been connected to diabetes among other serious medical conditions. And yes - these are extreme cases, but they show how important those two-minute brushing and flossing sessions are in the long run. Skipping out on them will eventually catch up with you, and then more people than just your dentist may take notice!
And Really, We’re Just Glad You’re Here!
Remember, we may only see you two times out of the year. During those appointments we’ll do everything we can to get your dental health on track. It’s what you do with those other 363 days that matter the most. Prevention is key, and if you are honest about your oral hygiene, we can do our part in providing the best treatment and education to set you up for a lifetime of good oral health.
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