We all know that we are supposed to floss our teeth daily to help prevent gum disease; however, only half of Americans admit to flossing their teeth daily. Often, flossing is viewed as a chore that many would like to avoid at all cost. With recent claims from an article saying that flossing is ineffective, many feel they can finally ditch the task without feeling guilty. However, despite the recent claims, Dr. Ronald E. Richardson encourages you to continue flossing. As your trusted dentist in Melbourne, Dr. Richardson has seen the benefits of flossing first hand.
Do I Still Need to Floss My Teeth?
A recent article by the Associated Press claims that the dental benefits of flossing remain unproven. However, there are several flaws in the findings of this article. Per the 25 studies analyzed by the Associated Press, their results found flossing to be “weak, very unreliable.” However, what the article fails to mention is the fact that the studies analyzed only involved brief periods of study. Thus, there was not enough time permitted to analyze the long-term benefits of flossing. Most of the studies involved the use of outdated methods and too few of people to provide realistic results. In addition, there were not any guidelines to determine if those who were studied were flossing their teeth correctly.
Considering the article, the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Periodontology both recommend people continue to floss their teeth daily. While the effectiveness of flossing was not proven in the article, the clinical success of flossing has been seen by dentists and patients across the world for decades.
Why Is Flossing Important?
Flossing removes the gunk that tends to accumulate in between the teeth and around the gum line each day. Many believe that brushing their teeth twice a day is enough; however, a tooth brush is incapable of reaching in between the teeth to remove plaque, tarter, and bacteria. When the accumulations of plaque and tarter are not removed each day, the bacteria found in plaque and tarter cause the gums to become infected, which is known as gum disease. With roughly half of all adult Americans having a form of gum disease, flossing is vital to the prevention of periodontal disease.
In the early stages of periodontal disease, the condition is easily treatable. Unfortunately, most adults are not aware they have the infection. As a result, it goes untreated, advancing to the later stages of the condition. During advanced stages of gum disease, serious and irreversible damage to oral health develops. Not to mention, the bacteria responsible for gum disease is also directly linked to causing serious overall health complications, including heart disease. In order to prevent the development of gum disease to protect oral and overall health, you must practice proper oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly.
If you have not had the best oral hygiene habits in the past, it is never too late to make your oral health a priority. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist every six months for a regular checkup and cleaning for a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime.