To floss or not to floss that is the question?! But what is the answer?
A recent US study found flossing to be void of any real benefit after a recent survey, but we as a dental practice find that our patients who maintain regular dental check ups, brush twice daily and clean interdentally (the in between bits of your teeth) either with floss or TePe brushes have far better oral health than someone who does not.
Like anything if not used correctly of course Floss can occasionally cause harm. Careless flossing can damage gums, teeth and dental work like bridges & crowns. We advise flossing every evening or at least every other evening as the floss can dislodge bad bacteria which invade the bloodstream and can cause dangerous infections, especially in people with weak immunity, (according to medical literature). If plaque residue is left between the teeth and not removed with flossing (or other inter dental aids) it calcifies into hard calculus which continues to poison your gingivae with bad bacteria leading to sore irritated gums and sometimes gingivitis. Only a dentist or hygienist can remove the plaque once it has calcified so regular dental check ups are key in maintaining good oral health.
This gentleman shows the correct way to floss in between your teeth in one minute! Did you know each tooth has 5 surfaces? Well brushing is brilliant but it only cleans 3 out of those 5 surfaces, so cleaning between our teeth is a critical part of good oral hygiene as it helps to prevent gum disease by removing plaque from any areas missed by brushing alone. I read somewhere online that flossing and interdental cleaning can be compared to having a wooden house and painting all but two sides, the unpainted sides will obviously deteriorate much quicker than the sides which have been cared for, those unpainted sides will rot and breakdown, just like teeth. People in general use that theory when it comes to most things in life. If we look after something it lasts, so why shouldn’t we look after our teeth?
Obviously where the gaps between your teeth are larger flossing would be unbeneficial but interdental cleaning can still be practiced with interdental aids, like Tepe brushes or water flossers. However, when the gaps of the teeth are tight, or the teeth are overlapping and crowded, floss is the best thing to use to remove the plaque between the teeth. If you are unsure what would be beneficial for your interdental cleaning take a read of our interdental cleaning guide here.
Our conclusion to this latest news story is: if you are not going to floss then please use some form of interdental aid as the benefits really do outweigh the chore..
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