“Turns out, all that flossing may be overrated.”
The New York Times and several other publications reported back in August that flossing may not actually be important for a healthy smile. These reports followed the Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services excluding the mention of flossing from dietary guidelines.
What’s the truth behind this story? Dr. Abdullah Sayed and the talented staff at Pristine Periodontics and Implants dish the scoop on the importance of flossing and why patients should continue to make flossing a priority.
News Reports Question The Importance Of Flossing
A surge in reports covering the importance of flossing occurred after this oral hygiene practice was not included in the U.S Dietary Guidelines. The Associated Press noted that there is no scientific evidence that flossing actually benefits dental health. The AP article also pointed out that evidence showcasing the benefits of flossing come from outdated studies.
News outlets flocked to this story but the American Dental Association was quick to respond by stating:
“Recent news reports question whether existing scientific research support oral health benefits associated with flossing. The bottom line for dentists and patients is that a lack of strong evidence doesn’t equate to a lack of effectiveness.”
The ADA also stressed the importance of flossing by stating that the Department of Health and Human Services didn’t leave out flossing because it’s ineffective. The department still has the same stance on flossing but instead, made a deliberate decision to focus on food and nutrient intake for the guidelines.
To set the record straight, there are more than 500 bacterial species that can be found in plaque, and flossing is absolutely critical to removing bacteria to avoid oral health problems.
5 Top Reasons To Floss Each Day
Flossing each day doesn’t just remove pesky food leftovers. There are countless other reasons why flossing is important. Some of the top benefits of flossing each day include:
Avoid Gum Disease
Without regular flossing, plaque and food particles will build up along and beneath the gum line. After enough time has passed, the gum tissue will become inflamed and the first stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis, will begin. Signs of gingivitis include red, swollen and tender gums. At this point, the early stages of gum disease can still be reversed by simply brushing and flossing more frequently. If this issue isn’t treated in a timely manner, gum disease will continue to worsen and can develop into periodontitis. Periodontitis will result in damaged supportive tissue and ligaments that hold the teeth in place.
Skipping daily flossing doesn’t just harm your gums. Not flossing can also leave you vulnerable to tooth decay. Many cavities form in between the teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth create an acidic substance that wears down on the tooth. To avoid cavities, remove bacteria in these hard-to-reach areas by flossing each day.
Enjoy A Whiter Smile
Did you know that flossing can also help you enjoy a whiter smile? When plaque accumulates on your teeth, it will eventually harden into tartar, which often appears a yellow-ish color. Tartar is calcified plaque that is virtually impossible to remove without the help of a dental professional. Avoid the formation of tartar by flossing each day to remove plaque before it hardens.
Benefit Overall Health
Most patients are surprised to find out that dental health is closely linked to overall health. To put it simply — a healthy mouth will typically indicate a healthy body. For example, there have been several studies that have linked heart disease to oral health. While researchers can’t establish a causal relationship between the two, they know that these two areas of health share many risk factors such as poor diet and tobacco use. To keep both your smile and body healthy, be sure to implement flossing in your daily oral hygiene routine.
It’s no secret that dental work can be quite a burden for many patients in need of extensive treatment. Investing a few dollars into a pack of floss can end up saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the long run. Floss is a cheap and effective way of keeping your smile healthy and avoiding the need for expensive treatment down the road.
Contact Pristine Periodontics And Implants
Do you have more questions about flossing or another aspect of your oral health? Don’t wait to address your concerns. Here at Pristine Periodontics and Implants, your dental health and happiness are our top priority. We offer a range of dental services including dental implants, crown lengthening and more. Start your journey to a healthy smile by contacting our office to schedule your no-obligation consultation today!