Is the Associated Press right about flossing?
The Associated Press has come out with a controversial article on flossing. They claim there are no proven benefits to flossing. I know that sounds like good news for everyone looking for that "get out of jail free" card, but sadly it's just not true. In my 30 plus years as a dental hygienist at Sharp Smile Center, I have seen huge benefits to people who floss on a regular basis. It's true that some people have healthy gums and low decay even though they don't floss regularly, but according to the American Dental Association (ADA), almost half of Americans have gum disease. Ask any hygienist and they will agree, the deepest pocketing and bleeding areas happen in between the teeth! That's where flossing, interdental brushing, or water flossing comes in!
The A.P. news story implies that because the 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines (DGAC) did not include flossing in the article the government has changed it's stance about flossing, however, this just isn't true! The DGAC intentionally decided to focus on food and nutrient intake in relation to oral health, not brushing or flossing!
So how do you keep your gums and the supporting bone healthy?
- Brush twice daily--preferably with a power tootbrush
- Clean between your teeth with floss, an inter-dental brush or a water flosser
- Visit us at the recommended maintenance schedule with your hygienist, Kelli, Courtney or Julie, by calling Sharp Smile Center at 269-344-4004
If you are looking for more evidence that cleaning the in between spots here are a few more links!
Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Causes, symptoms and treatment
The effectiveness of interdental brushes
Federal Government, ADA Emphasize importance of flossing and interdental cleaners
If you really want to see how effective a water flosser is--watch how it cleans around a dirty ear of corn!