Much has been said yesterday regarding the ineffectiveness of flossing following a report from the United States questioning it’s true benefits in reducing gum disease and tooth decay. The worrying thing about this story is the potential for media outlets to misinform the general public who will not investigate the ‘science’ behind the study.
Gum disease and tooth decay affect the biting surfaces and those in between your teeth due to the nature of the anatomy. The pits and grooves on the biting surface are issues if not regularly cleaned with a toothbrush, while in between it is impossible for a brushes bristles to penetrate. There is no disputing this.
Flossing helps break away any plaque or food debris stuck at the contact point between teeth but maybe in effective in areas where there has been previous gum disease. This usually results in gum shrinkage and gaps.
In such cases we recommend the use of interdental brushes.
The most common brands include Curaprox and Tepes. Brushes of various diameters will help clean effectively in between your teeth to remove plaque and promote healthy environment in your mouth. Logic should always supersede science especially when the methods used in studies that portray such reports are poor and not applicable to general society.
In summary, please:
- Brush gently for at least 2 minutes with a fluoride toothpaste twice daily.
- Remember to replace your toothbrush approximately every 3 months (or when the bristles start splaying).
- Clean in between your teeth as instructed by your dentist, hygienist or therapist.
- Visit your dental team regularly to ensure your dental and general health is monitored.