Regular flossing has been part of established oral health advice for many years now, but you may have noticed the value of dental floss is increasingly debated in the press. With nearly 65,000 adults and around 25,000 children treated in hospital for tooth decay in the UK last year, is this really the time to advise people to stop?
A recent investigation by the Associated Press into research conducted over the past decade on flossing concluded that the evidence for it is ‘weak, very unreliable’ and of ‘very low’ quality.
What is the official advice on dental floss?
Britain’s leading dental bodies, the Oral Health Foundation and the British Dental Association, agree there is little evidence that flossing is an effective means of improving dental health.
The priorities listed by all the experts at our London specialist dental practice should be: twice daily brushing of the teeth with a fluoride toothpaste for two minutes, regular dental appointments and reducing your consumption of sweet treats and fizzy drinks, especially between mealtimes.
Is there something I can do instead?
During a consultation with our hygienist at central London specialist dental practice 76 Harley Street, you will discuss how brushing can only tackle the bacteria on three of the five sides of your teeth – the other two surfaces are inaccessible to a toothbrush.
Interdental cleaning – of which flossing has hitherto been the accepted form – is essential to removing plaque from this problem area where most gum disease and dental decay starts. If you can no longer floss, you would be wise to use interdental brushes instead which come in a variety of sizes.
Consciously tackling these areas is important to the overall health of your teeth so do discuss your best options for an at-home oral health regime with your hygienist who will gladly advise you on the best interdental cleaning methods for your individual case.