Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter, Florida
You may have heard about the publication by the Associated Press claiming that the health benefits of flossing are a myth. Now, before you do the happy dance and throw away your floss, read further. The truth may surprise you more than you think.
The biggest highlight of AP’s flossing myth article was that there is little to no supporting evidence that flossing actually improves your health and oral health. The claim is that the studies that have been conducted were too short, and did not take into account enough people to yield supportive results.
When it comes down to conducting studies about the benefits, or lack thereof, of flossing, it simply is not worth the research dollars. In fact, it would take millions to conduct sufficient studies to support the claim that flossing improves your health. Therefore, you likely will not see studies about flossing anytime in the near future.
With that being said, why are dentists and oral health organizations such as the American Dental Association (ADA) still recommending that we continue flossing every day? Wouldn’t it be nice to put an end to this seemingly useless task once and for all?
The answer to the latter question is, probably not.
Here is the thing, research support that flossing does remove plaque buildup from between your teeth and gums. If you do not remove plaque, which naturally forms from the bacteria in our mouths that feed off of the foods that we eat, it will harden and become tartar. Once tartar forms, your risk of developing gum disease and cavities increases. With that being said, the ADA stands firmly behind its claim that flossing does, in fact, remove plaque from between your teeth.
So, if we know that flossing is the only true way to “brush” between your teeth, why not do it? There is not any other way to actually clean between your teeth. Since floss does not cost that much, and it takes less than two minutes of your day, why not do it knowing you are in fact cleaning between your teeth, removing bacteria and buildup that would otherwise result in an unhealthy mouth?
The even bigger pictures here is that the release of the AP’s claim should be sparking conversation between patients and their dentist. Discussing your oral health with the dentist is an important part of your health. Be sure to discuss your questions and concerns with the dentist to determine the best oral hygiene routine for you.
At PGA Smiles, we like to help educate our patients on practices to improve their oral health. Not only are routine dental cleanings and exams important, but also maintaining a good regimen of at home care will help protect your teeth between your dental visits. To schedule an appointment, please contact PGA Smiles today at (561) 627-7090.
PGA Smiles is here to serve patients in the areas of Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens in South Florida.