Even though it was last year that the Associated Press report suggested that flossing was overrated and unnecessary, we are still being asked by patients whether flossing is necessary or not. The simplest answer seems to be answering their question with another question: “What do you suggest for cleaning plaque and food from in between teeth and under the gums?”
Although there are other effective interdental aids for cleaning in between teeth, flossing is the only device that can actually get into the tight area between teeth – assuming there is not already a space or gap.
People will have to excuse their dental care providers for getting a little defensive when the health benefits of flossing is called into question. At Your Smile Dental Care, we’ve seen the value that flossing brings to our patients’ oral care over the past 30 years and we will continue to dig in our heels on the subject.
We only need to use our common sense about flossing. If you have something in a body part that is causing a foul odour and inflammation that can lead to loss of surrounding tissue, infection and loss of said body part, would you not want to get it cleaned out?
Practicing the best oral care you can with the tools available is important when it comes to your overall health. The link between gum disease and a number of other serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory infections, and immune system disorders has been well established.
Most of us are already making changing in our lifestyles so that we can live healthier and longer. A daily 2 minute routine seems like one of the easier changes we could be making. The bottom line is this: There is research and studies that both sides of this argument can cite to continue their claims. No doubt, the debate will go on and on while the plaque and tartar build up and up!
Note to the Associated Press: For all those people that are able to remove meat and popcorn caught between their teeth using their floss – Is that evidence enough? How about how stinky our floss is after use – Is that evidence enough?