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To Floss Or Not To Floss…?

There has been a hot debate in the news recently about whether or not we actually need to use dental floss. The US Department of Health have reported that there is little proof that flossing actually works.

But before you rush off to your bathroom cabinets to throw your floss, allow Shine Dental Care Mansfield to provide you with some facts!

Dental plaque, the sticky yellow substance that builds up on our teeth throughout the day, plays a role in the cause of gum disease and tooth decay. In order to prevent these conditions, it is essential to remove the plaque on a daily basis.

Toothbrushing alone can only remove around 65% of the plaque which builds up on our teeth. So how do we remove the remaining 35%? You’ve guessed it, by getting in-between!

Although there may be limited research into the effectiveness of flossing, studies have shown that gum disease lesions predominantly start in-between teeth, that these are the areas most commonly coated with plaque* and that daily flossing results in improved gum condition**.

However, flossing is not the only method of removing plaque from in-between our teeth. Flossing can be tricky and not everybody is able to use it effectively, which is why the dentists and hygienists here at Shine are always tailoring their advice to suit the individual patient. There are other tools to help you clean those hard to reach areas such as flossettes, interdental sticks and, one of our favourites, interdental brushes.

A study looking at the effectiveness of interdental brushes has shown that people tend to comply better with brushes than floss and that daily use of brushes results in improved gingival health in patients with gum disease***.

So our advice is that you don’t have to floss, but you should clean in-between if you want to prevent or treat oral disease.

Combined with twice daily toothbrushing and regular visits to see the team here at Shine, cleaning in-between can really help you to go that extra mile to keep your smile healthy.

Contact us to book your own tailored consultation on 01623 629391.


*Hugoson et al. 1986
**Cronin & Dembling 1996
*** Jackson et al. 2006

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