Is Flossing Really Necessary?

YOU'VE BEEN HEARING a lot about flossing in the news these days. Recent articles stating that flossing doesn't do any good for your oral health have left many feeling shocked and confused. As your trusted dental professionals, we're here to set the record straight!

It all started with an article by the Associated Press stating that the benefits of flossing have been unproven. Unfortunately, haters of flossing were quick to take up their torches and pitchforks against the practice. In response to the Associated Press article, the American Dental Association released a statement saying that flossing is "an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums." And we're going to tell you why.

 Here's Why You Should Continue Flossing

It's really all about the bugs! We call it the "biofilm" or plaque. That slimy, scuzzy, fuzzy coat that grows on your teeth. The longer that film stays on your teeth, the more organized and the more harmful it becomes. A brush does a pretty good job of breaking that film up, but a brush can't reach in between your teeth. Cavities and bone loss can start between your teeth so it is important to clean those areas as well. Floss is the most effective way to clean between teeth, but many people find flossing difficult. If you have been flossing, by all means continue to do so!  When you floss you are doing your teeth and your gums a favor. And, besides, some studies indicate flossing also reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes!

If you find flossing difficult there are other ways to clean between your teeth. You will find floss aids on the dental aisle in any grocery store or pharmacy and many people find these make flossing much easier. There are also special toothpick-like aids that many people find helpful. We recommend Flix (which we will gladly give you if you are a patient). Flix looks like a toothpick which has floss embedded in the end. Many of our patients really enjoying using Flix. There are also special brushes called Proxabrushes for people with larger spaces between their teeth. Water-pik or Hydrofloss can also be helpful aids in cleaning between teeth, but do not replace flossing.

The important thing is to clean between your teeth daily to remove the biofilm that forms there and leads to cavities and bone loss.

We Care About Our Patients

We only recommend flossing because we care about your oral and overall health! Through our years of experience, we've seen the difference that flossing can make. So, ignore the headlines and take it from the professionals: flossing works! Keep up the good flossing habits and we promise you'll feel the difference.

Have any more questions about flossing or your oral hygiene?Call us or come in today!

Here's to your health!

Top image by Flickr user KellyB. used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.