Dental Flossing News

Newspapers say that flossing doesn’t work. It seems to be official.

They say “dentists nag us to floss”. Oh those dentists, how they love to nag! We prefer to call it “motivating”!

The interest in this subject has been so great that the Associated Press have pursued it and examined dental studies themselves.  What they have found is that studies of flossing aren’t good quality,are too short, and inconsistent. Actually what they are saying is that evidence to show that flossing makes a difference is weak . There don’t seem to have been consistent good studies into the subject of flossing.

They also say that flossing incorrectly can damage the gums, which is true , which is why we teach our patients how to floss properly.

At Stafford Street Dental Care we have nearly 30 years of experience and  16 years of computerised data examining gum health.  We use the BPE , basic periodontal evaluation, to monitor our patients’ gum health.  Our patients listen out for their scores, and they are aiming for zero, which means no inflammation or plaque.  We know that people who floss or use small brushes to clean in between their teeth, have healthier gums. (We could produce our own study – and maybe we will!)

What we know is that the area in between the teeth needs to have plaque removed.  The x-ray picture above shows  little black triangles in between the teeth. When you brush, you clean the outside, the inside, and the biting surface of the teeth. The area in between isn’t reached by a toothbrush, even an electric one. When plaque traps in this area it attacks the bone that supports the teeth and also damages the gum right at the “point”  between the teeth.

The photo above shows the little pink points of healthy gums in between the teeth, which is what we are aiming for.

When there is good gum health it helps maintain good general health. And that is why we nag! (motivate!) Our message is, please keep flossing.

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