Flossing, necessary or optional??
People are still asking is it necessary to floss? They read the recent news article that said in effect that no studies have proven that flossing is beneficial. Many people were left questioning, ‘flossing, necessary or optional?’ It is amazing to me what a controversy a news article can cause. The simple answer is YES we should floss!
Let me be more clear. We should floss or do some activity to clean between our teeth that is as good as flossing every day!
This is in response to ‘an ADA News inquiry about why flossing was not included in federal dietary guidelines released in 2015. The Associated Press noted the omission in an August news story that questioned the benefits of using dental floss’. (See ADA News August 8th, 2016 ‘National media focus on floss; government confirms importance’ for many comments in this blog)
Dental floss or the use of tools such as between the teeth cleaners really is important oral hygiene if you want to have healthy teeth, and gums. Professional cleanings remove the hard deposits and stain that you cannot do at home. Brushing your teeth and cleaning between the teeth has been shown to remove gooey plaque. Plaque is the sticky film that contains bacteria and food that builds up constantly and must be removed daily to maintain or to obtain health. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agreed to this in a statement August 3rd, 2016 (also from the ADA News article August 8th, 2016).
The ADA News asked the governmental agency why the guidelines did not mention flossing. The U.S. Department of health and Human Services sent a statement that called flossing “an important oral hygiene practice” and said that by not mentioning flossing it did not imply otherwise.
The ADA News August 8th, 2016 article goes on to say that the ‘primary emphasis (of the guidelines) was on the nutrition-based recommendations to reduce added sugars’.
In our office, we routinely see the improved health changes that result from using dental floss. Flossing is great especially when done well but there are alternatives out there for people that just don’t like to floss.
If you are one of the people that wants the benefits of floss without sticking your floss holing fingers in your mouth, try one of these:
- soft picks or go betweens
- floss holders
- the air flosser
- water pics
- toothpicks (especially when used carefully in a toothpick holder that allows better access to the insides of the teeth)
Our office loves to help our patients improve their oral health and we will be glad to come up with a plan that works with your life to help you achieve and maintain ideal oral health!