Since we were young most of us were taught that brushing our teeth, rinsing with mouthwash and flossing at least once daily are the foundation of our dental health care. And our dentists and dental hygienists confirmed it during our visits.
However, in recent months the effectiveness of flossing has been coming under debate.
In fact, over a third of Americans say that they never floss and according to CNN, 37.3% say that they only floss occasionally, compared to 30% who say that they flossed in the past week.
Even more surprising, a new report recently released by the Associated Press stated that there is no evidence that flossing has any effect on oral health! The report further states that there has never been a peer-reviewed study that conclusively proves that flossing really makes a difference.
The study most often referred to by both critics and skeptics about the effectiveness of flossing and tooth brushing is the Cochrane Study of 2011, which credited floss with a slight reduction in gum inflammation. But one drawback to the study was the limited sample size used, which has been deemed to be too small to be statistically significant.
Regardless, dentists and hygienists remain steadfast that all Americans should floss daily because just going a couple of days without it can cause plaque buildup between the teeth. Over time, the plaque hardens into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental hygienist or dentist. Brushing and rinsing with mouthwash can only remove a fraction of the plaque buildup on teeth, and very little between the teeth, which is where decay and gum disease problems start and flourish.
So, what is a dental patient to do?
Dentists have always preached about the importance of regular dental hygiene appointments. For many people, especially younger ones, twice a year is a good regimen to visit the hygienist. Most people who have had a history of gum problems and treatment should visit the hygienist every three months.
Your daily regimen has to include complete cleaning and plaque removal between your teeth at least once a day.
When was your last dental checkup and cleanings?
If it’s been more than 6 months, don’t hesitate another minute, call our office today to schedule an appointment so we can review your oral health routine.