Is Flossing Still Necessary After Brushing?

To Floss Or Not To Floss

While teeth brushing is the imperative cornerstone of oral health routine, flossing does not seem to share the same perception by most. It’s become a highly debated question in spite of dentists’ recommendation.

Is it really necessary to floss?

Most dentists think so. Daily flossing is a key step in oral health routine. Daily flossing is highly effective in removing the build-up of plaque in hard-to-reach areas that can cause decay. And as if it were not enough, many professionals and their patients as well regard flossing as central to maintaining overall oral health and preventing decay.

What can flossing really accomplish?

While brushing can clean tooth surfaces and give you clean-feeling teeth, flossing reaches the places a toothbrush cannot, removing from between teeth the food particles and bacteria that get trapped before they develop into plaque and tartar. Without flossing, plaque can build up and lead to cavity formation in between teeth and involve the gumline. It can also reach root surfaces and inflame the gums, initiating gum disease.

The ADA recommends flossing teeth at least once a day. The federal government, dental organizations and manufacturers of floss have pushed the practice for decades. Why is there contention regarding flossing? When the Associated Press demanded proof of the efficacy of flossing in 2015, the government responded saying that though there are many studies on the subject, substantive evidence is lacking, weak, insufficient or flawed. As such, the government took out their flossing recommendation. Majority of available studies fail to demonstrate flossing’s effectiveness in plaque removal, and benefits are minute or insignificant.

Still many professionals stick by flossing’s benefits. Flossing your teeth every night can be a hard habit to develop, but it’s one that is worth the effort, dentists and periodontists say. It not only keeps gingivitis and its more serious form, periodontitis, at bay but also eliminates the source of bad breath. When you consider introducing flossing into your health routine, you think of it as inconvenient, messy and unpleasant But if you’ve developed a good technique using traditional floss, it doesn’t become cumbersome anymore. The dentist is the proper resource person to ask.

Technologies continue to evolve and now manufacturers are producing user-friendly devices. Patients should also be educated, those who are afraid to floss if they have sensitive or bleeding gums. If they only knew that flossing will improve the gum health and stop the bleeding.

Advocating Flossing by our Seattle Dentist

Our team at Smile Art, like many other practitioners, educate our patients in the benefits of flossing. Where the perils of gum disease is concerned, flossing’s usefulness cannot be downplayed or ignored.