Is Flossing Still Necessary?

flossing

Recently, a report emerged within the dental industry that attempted to debunk the long-standing, time-tested recommendation to floss daily to prevent gum disease and cavities.

However, this is a classic case of not believing everything you read.

According to the American Dental Association, and also upon the recommendation of Austin Family Dentistry, patients should continue the daily dental hygiene practice of flossing and to ignore the hype. Flossing remains an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums, and it’s been that way since the first official recommendation first made in 1979 when the industry began to fully understand the benefits of this preventative measure.

So why the new report? Well, in 2015, the Associated Press requested in writing under the Freedom of Information Act that the Department of Health provide evidence that flossing is as effective as dental professionals have claimed for decades. Yet, the claim was made that the research was “outdated” or “unreliable,” simply based on a lack of recent evidence. As a result, the report was published earlier this summer citing these reasons as “proof” of its ineffectiveness.

As dental professionals, we still maintain that daily flossing is essential to help prevent gum disease, remove plaque, and prevent cavities. Whether or not you’re flossing correctly certainly plays a role in its effectiveness, making it critical to consult your dentist or hygienist to understand how it should be done and how often.

In its response to the report, the American Dental Association stands by its recommendations to maintain oral health, which include “brushing for two minutes, twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cleaning between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner, and scheduling regular dental visits with your dentist.” The ADA also stated that interdental cleaners, including floss, “are an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.”

If you have questions about flossing or general dental practices, contact our Little Rock family dental care practice today! A good hygienist makes all the difference when it comes to your oral health, and you’ll find the absolute best in the area at our dentist office in Little Rock, AR. Austin Family Dentistry specializes in family dentistry, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, sedation dentistry, and much more. Click below to make an appointment with us today!

 

Sources:

http://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2016-archive/august/association-responds-to-news-story-challenging-benefits-of-dental-floss-use

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/f7e66079d9ba4b4985d7af350619a9e3/medical-benefits-dental-floss-unproven

http://oralb.com/en-us/oral-care-topics/how-flossing-can-improve-your-gum-health