We all have our dental routines, and whether you attend regular check-ups, brush your teeth two times a day or brush in between every meal, we all have the same question… Do I really need to floss? There are many different opinions and reports from different professionals and experts, so which one do we go with and who do we listen to?

What the Experts Say

Most dentists say that flossing can help with removing plaque, any build-up of food, reduce the risk of gingivitis, gum disease and reduce the risk of decay. A statement from the NHS states that that “Dental floss helps to prevent gum disease by getting rid of pieces of food and plaque from between your teeth”

Young woman flossing her teeth , close up , isolated on white background

What the Evidence Says

Many studies have been carried out to discover the actual results and whether the evidence matches up with the expert’s words. According to different resources, the evaluation of studies carried out in the past 10 years have been very unreliable or of low quality. This was due to a large potential for bias results. One major review conducted last year said, “The majority of available studies fail to demonstrate that flossing is generally effective in plaque removal” But overall, more sophisticated trials are needed.

Where did it all begin?

Flossing began in 1908 after a dentist in America invented the process. The first ever floss was patented in 1874 and by this time dentists all over the world were recommending this as a simple yet effective practice. Since then, two major floss producers Procter & Gamble and Johnson and Johnson have backed the method of removing plaque.
Close up to Woman Flossing her teeth

Are There Any Benefits?

The British Dental Association said, “Small inter-dental brushes are best for cleaning the area in between the teeth, where there is space to do so” “Floss is of little value unless the spaced between your teeth are too tight for the brushes to fit without causing harm” Even sceptics of flossing say that flossing is good for your teeth.

A toothpick can work just as well to get rid of built up plaque and food. The US National Institute of Health Dentist Tim Iafolla says “It’s low risk, low cost, and we know there’s a possibility that it works, so we feel comfortable telling people to go ahead and do it” What is there to lose?

If you would like any advice on the best way to keep your teeth in tip-top shape, our friendly team at Bay Dental, dentists in Lancaster would love to help. Contact us today and we would love to advise you on the best services, products and methods for you!

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