Floss Shaming: Flossing is the other “F” word for most people. Going to the dentist and being asked whether you’ve been flossing regularly subjects many of us to ‘floss shaming.’
Other Effective Choices: Well, we are here to acknowledge to you that we understand that few people actually do floss, and of those that do, fewer still enjoy the experience. And while we firmly believe that flossing can provide benefit in terms of aiding in dislodging trapped bits of food between teeth that a brush misses, there are other methods that can deliver this same benefit, as well as or better than flossing does in many cases, while also providing a clinically proven, more effective benefit in the fight against plaque formation.
Bacterial Plaque’s the Thing:
It’s when the conversation turns to this critical component of oral health, which revolves around the control of bacterial plaque colonies in your mouth, that we tend to believe that different techniques should be examined as viable alternatives to flossing – techniques that represent necessary and invaluable complements to just brushing. (And after all, since a significant number of the 40 billion bacteria living inside your mouth reside on your tongue, and since you can’t floss your tongue, something besides flossing needs to be considered in the mix anyway.)
Water Irrigation Works Great:
Those flossing alternatives can include using interdental brushes, chew sticks, toothpicks, or water irrigation – depending on the particulars of each individual’s specific situation and needs. We can also tell you that when it comes making a one-size-fits-all recommendation about the necessity of flossing to achieve maximized oral health, the evidence is muted. In fact, clinical trials comparing the effectiveness of flossing versus oral irrigation have concluded that complementing brushing with water irrigation was, in fact, a more effective alternative for plaque removal, as well as for the reduction of bleeding, and gum inflammation.
Surprise, Surprise, Surprise:
Bet you never thought you’d hear a dental office say you didn’t have to floss, now did you?
And Check Out These References:
“Dentists say You Need to Floss. Science Says You Don’t.” – Forbes
“You Asked: Do I Really Need to Floss?”– Time
“Comparison of irrigation to floss as an adjunct to tooth brushing: effect on bleeding, gingivitis, and supragingival plaque.”
“Bacteremia due to dental flossing.”
“Feeling Guilty About Not Flossing? Maybe There’s No Need – NYTimes.com”– New York Times