Can My Dentist Tell if I Don’t Floss? What Are the Consequences of Not Flossing?

Nov 30, 2023 | Blog Posts

Can My Dentist Tell if I Don't Floss? What Are the Consequences of Not Flossing?

How often do you floss? If the answer is “never” or “not often,” you could be putting your oral health in jeopardy. Flossing is essential to the oral hygiene routine, helping remove food particles and bacteria from the space between your teeth. With that said, too many people are nonchalant about their flossing habits and even neglect to do it all together. Learn more about the consequences of not flossing in this guide.

The Consequences of Not Flossing

If you find yourself skipping flossing, it could be time to reconsider your oral hygiene routine. Flossing may seem like an inconsequential action, but not flossing can cause several problems. These include:

Bad Breath

When food particles become lodged in the gaps between teeth, they rot and ferment. This produces a foul odor that will be hard to address with even the best toothpaste. Leftover food pieces also encourage bacterial growth, which comes with an unpleasant odor all of its own. Either way, not flossing leads to bad breath.

Tooth Decay

One of the most common consequences of not flossing is tooth decay. If you don’t remove all the food from around your teeth, it can compromise the health of an individual tooth. This can eventually lead to tooth decay or a rotten tooth.

Tooth Loss

Left untreated, tooth decay gradually leads to tooth loss. When a tooth is dead or decaying, it puts the entire mouth in a vulnerable position, and infection can spread to the surrounding teeth. In severe cases, infection can spread to the bloodstream by entering the gum line. This is why a decaying tooth needs to be extracted, leaving you with one less natural tooth in your smile.

Gum Disease

Proper Flossing removes food debris and bacteria from under the gum line. It is, therefore critical for the health of your gums to properly floss twice a day. Advanced gum disease may lead to gum recession, bone loss, and tooth loss.

Will My Dentist Notice My Flossing Habits?

If you’re one of the many people who hasn’t kept up with adequate flossing, you might be worried that your dentist will notice. When you attend your regular cleaning, your dentist can tell you have not been flossing.

Plaque buildup around the edges of the teeth and gum line indicates poor flossing habits. Bacteria between the teeth is another sign. While your dentist will notice these things, they will not pass judgment about your cleaning habits. Instead, your dentist will educate you on the importance of flossing and give you helpful tips on further developing this beneficial habit.

Most dental experts agree that flossing should be performed at least twice daily. When flossing, gently glide between each tooth, sliding just below the gumline. Then, push upwards in a swift motion to remove any debris or bacteria. Do not forcefully snap or tug the floss from between the teeth, as this can damage your gum line. Afterward, you can rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash to flush out any loose pieces of food or bacteria that remain. 1

Keeping Your Teeth Healthy With Albion Family Dental

Proper oral hygiene is the only way to keep your teeth strong and healthy for as long as possible. At Albion Family Dental, we guide our patients on oral hygiene and how to avoid common dental concerns. You can also look to us for professional dental cleanings to ward off plaque buildup, cavities, and gingivitis. To schedule your first appointment, contact us online or by phone now at (585) 589-9044.



[1] Flossing: Information for Caregivers (