Non-Flossers Unite Over New Research
We’ve all been there: reclined in the dental chair saying “ahh” when the dentist asks us about flossing. If you’re like most people, this won’t be the first time you’ll stretch the truth about your regular (or, let’s admit it, irregular) flossing habits. But when a recent report by the Associated Press challenges how effective flossing actually is, media uproar deserves the truth. Is flossing really that important in supporting dental health?
Are We Flossing The Facts?
Flossing has been recommended by dentists for so many years that it’s practically in the lifeblood of every dental practice, and a common topic of discussion. But according to the Department of Agriculture and Human Services, flossing has recently lost its place in the report of dietary guidelines for Americans. To grant the hopes of many non-flossers around the nation, the Associated Press argues that the effectiveness of regular flossing is unproven, and that not enough research has been done. So what are households left to believe?
Studies Are Not Sufficient…Yet
Flossing and dental hygiene studies trusted by the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Periodontology have not made the effects of flossing clear. Recent analysis of these studies reveal that the studies commonly used outdated methods, tested only small subject groups, or were run in too short a time period (such as two weeks) to accurately assess if a cavity or dental disease had developed. So are patients off the hook, and off the floss? Wayne Aldreadge, president of the American Academy of Periodontology, says otherwise.
The Truth Is, It’s Still In Your Teeth
In a statement regarding the recent news, Aldredge argues that insufficient evidence is not equivalent to no evidence at all. He has reported that the effectiveness of flossing could be better proven by researching patients who are at a higher risk of gum disease, including diabetics and smokers. Even the author of the original floss-debunking article, Jeff Donn, comes clean about his regular flossing habits, reporting that he still flosses to remove food stuck in his teeth.
Flossing is “like building a house and not painting two sides of it,” reports Wayne Aldredge, president of the AAP. “Ultimately those two sides are going to rot away quicker.”
We happily brush our teeth to remove harmful plaque, bacteria and debris, prevent gum disease and infection, and achieve that “squeaky clean” feeling that feels oh-so-good and rewarding. But brushing only reaches about 85% of the surface of the teeth, so why limit flossing?
The Advantage of Flossing: Time Will Tell
Gum disease and tooth decay are highly common in adults in America today. These chronic dental issues occur over time as bacteria builds up and forms decay or infection in the mouth. As you snap off a string of dental floss to wind between your fingers and scrub between your teeth, consider that flossing may have many long-term benefits by removing trapped bacteria and debris. For more information about flossing and dental health, talk to us — we have plenty of floss to get you started with cleaner teeth!
In Our Office This Month
\Introducing to the world….. Abigail, Angie’s first born baby girl! She was born Sunday, Aug. 7th at 8lb 8oz. Congratulations!!!
Congratulations to Audrey, our Referral Raffle winner for the month of July!