A recent media conducted by Associated Press, suggested that flossing, is not as effective as what it has been suggested.
Journalist Jeff Down noted, that either the evidence for flossing was weak, or the results of the experiments were so inconclusive that they could neither endorse nor disprove the act of flossing.
Down states that “It’s one of the most universal recommendations in all of public health: Floss daily to prevent gum disease and cavities…Except there’s little proof that flossing works.”
Dr Peter Alldritt, chairman of the oral health committee of the Australian Dental Association, reported that “…this research doesn’t say that flossing is bad or harmful – it only says that the evidence isn’t very strong….What this means is two things: one, we need better and more research around flossing, and two, that it’s extremely hard to research the effectiveness of flossing because of a whole range of variables like diets and even individual technique.”
A toothbrush can only get to 3 out of the 5 surfaces of the teeth exposed in the mouth; the biting surface, the cheek side and the tongue side. Floss passes between the teeth and essentially cleans the last 2 surfaces where teeth touch each other.
The ADA, the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Periodontists and the Australian Society of Periodontology, have issued a joint statement strongly arguing in favour of flossing’s integral role in maintaining good oral health.
“The Australian Dental Association, Australian and New Zealand Academy of Periodontists and the Australian Society of Periodontology strongly recommends interdental cleaning such as flossing as an essential part of good oral health. Flossing disrupts and removes plaque and food in between teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach. Tooth decay and gum disease can develop when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth and along the gum line.
“The limited amount of scientific evidence surrounding flossing is not a reflection of its clinical effectiveness. Patients should continue to include interdental cleaning as a part of their daily oral hygiene routine, along with brushing twice a day and regular dental visits. It is important to understand that the efficacy of oral hygiene practices is moderated by diet, use of fluoride and genetic factors.”
You can click on the following links to review brushing and flossing techniques. These guides have been developed by Dental Health Services Victoria or the Australian Dental Association.
How To Brush Adult Teeth Infographic – Information by Dental Health Services Victoria
How To Brush Children’s Teeth Infographic – Information by Dental Health Services Victoria
How To Floss Teeth Infographic – Information by Dental Health Services Victoria
Oral Health Resources – Australian Dental Association.