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When visiting the dentist, many people dread the question: “have you been flossing?” While the temptation to embellish your good dental hygiene habits may seem alluring, it is important to remember that the only person you are lying to is yourself. If you think sustainable oral health habits can be achieved without your dentist’s help, you are mistaken, and fibbing during your regular visit can be seriously detrimental in the long run. Still not convinced? Well, here are a couple of convincing reasons that staying honest with your dental care provider is the best strategy.

It won’t work

Perhaps the most basic reason to be upfront about your personal hygiene habits with your dentist is that lying just is not very effective. As highly trained and experienced professionals, dentists can read teeth like a book, and once they spot one of the tell-tale signs, like tartar build-up between teeth and under gums, it becomes fairly clear that something’s not right. And if you think you can beat the system by trying to catch up with your bad flossing habits in just a week or two before your dentist visit, think again! Long-term flossing is always apparent to a dentist and there’s no way to fake it.

Trust the professionals

Think of it this way: you’re paying your dentist for their professional opinion. Why not allow them to do their job to the best of their ability? Once you’re both on the same page, it becomes possible to set up your own customized oral home care, to start developing habits that will benefit you in the long run. Similarly, having greater insight into your brushing and flossing habits lets your dentist give you more accurate and effective treatment during your visit. It’s just like any other job, where more information leads to better service.

Identifying the problem

Employing proper flossing habits simplifies the situation for your dentist when it comes time to diagnose a gum disorder. Bleeding gums are one of the tell-tale signs of poor flossing habits, since the tissue between the teeth hasn’t been allowed to strengthen. So if bleeding gums are detected during a visit, your dentist may not be able to tell if your bleeding gums are the result of poor oral hygiene or something more serious. By sustaining the right habits, the situation becomes much clearer.