The effectiveness of flossing recently became the subject of controversy based on findings published by the Associated Press. Essentially, the AP announced that there hadn’t been enough reliable research conducted on the benefits of flossing and the overall effects it has on oral health. Their conclusion? Maybe we don’t need to floss after all. However, dentists still recommend using floss on a regular basis for good reasons.
Research on Flossing
The AP went over research on using floss and discovered that the studies were usually poor quality ones that did not provide reliable results. Other findings indicated that these studies only showed weak evidence that using floss helps remove plaque. This has caused some individuals to question just how effective floss is at keeping teeth and gums healthy. While more research on the benefits of using floss is needed, dentists recommend continuing to floss each day to lower the risk of dental problems.
Improved Oral Health
Brushing and flossing every day, as well as limiting sugary foods and drinks, can have a significant impact on your oral health. Although the research on flossing was found to be weak and unreliable in many cases, dentists notice that patients who practice good dental habits, including using floss, have teeth and gums that are in better shape than those who don’t. Those with good dental habits tend to have less plaque buildup on their teeth, which lowers the risk of cavities and gum problems. Those who don’t follow good dental habits tend to have a higher incidence of tooth decay, gum inflammation as well as other tooth and gum problems.
The Problem with Plaque
Plaque can combine with sugar and cause teeth to decay, leading to a higher risk of tooth loss. Plaque between teeth can also irritate the gums, resulting in inflammation and a higher risk of periodontal disease. Using floss helps remove bits of food from between teeth, which helps cut down on plaque buildup. Keep in mind that it’s also important to see a dentist for routine dental cleanings to ensure that plaque is thoroughly removed from your teeth.
Good Flossing Habits
Dentists recommend using floss at least once per day, especially if you have eaten foods that can cause plaque buildup between teeth, such as starchy or sugary foods. In order to remove food particles, it’s important to slide floss between all of your teeth, even the molars in the very back of your mouth. Flossing, when combined with brushing, helps reduce your risk of having plaque build up on and between your teeth, leading to fewer dental problems and improved dental health.
If it’s time for your next dental exam, please contact Brewery District Dental at 604-522-2425 to set up an appointment. Our dentist, Dr. Jonathan Yeung, will help keep your teeth and gums in great condition.