A few studies have come out recently that claim flossing does very little to improve overall mouth health. Some of these studies even claim that the importance of daily flossing was created by the floss manufacturers as a way to create a market. Hearing about this kind of simplistic information might induce some people to stop being regimental with their teeth health and think twice about the advice of dentists—but that would be the wrong reaction!
Dentists find these kinds of studies quite frustrating. Usually this kind of statement is taken out of a scientific context and put into a news context. As scientists, dentists will not put the blame on poor research methodology or a mistake in the approach to the study. The culprit is probably keen journalists who have taken some small information from a larger study and made generalizations.
Journalists want stories with catchy headlines and invigorating information about how what we know is actually not the case. While there is some merit to this approach, oftentimes, as in the case of this flossing story, it leads to misinformation.
The bottom line is that flossing does make a difference to overall teeth health. It is an integral part of general mouth care that will ensure healthy gums and less plaque build-up.
Flossing Removes Bacteria
Flossing can help patients actually make fewer visits to the dentist. WebMD reports that flossing deals with roughly 40% of plaque removal, and we tend to agree. Flossing will reach the areas of the mouth that a tooth brush simply cannot reach—and it’s not like it has to be done for 30 minutes a day. A daily floss of 5-10 minutes will do all the work required for effective plaque removal—and that’s half the battle in preventing cavities!
Flossing also keeps gums healthy and strong. Gum health is something that should be talked about more, as it’s more of a risk than people think. Unhealthy gums will recede and become too thin to protect the teeth it covers. A regular floss will buffer gums in the places it needs the Family dentist columbus most attention: between the front teeth and especially between the molars.
No Instant Gratification
The challenge is that there is no instant gratification with flossing. People need to floss for a couple weeks to see and feel a big difference in their mouths. Part of the problem might be finding the right kind of floss. There are two main types of floss: thick and thin. Thick floss works better for those with larger gaps between their teeth, while thin works best on teeth that are close together.
So don’t believe everything in the news and contact a local dentist in Columbus for a teeth cleaning and some free floss.