Flossing and Interdental Aides

There has been some recent controversy regarding flossing. The benefits of flossing has been taking for granted, and have observable clinical benefit. Dentist have been recommending flossing since at least 1902. In August of 2016, the Associated Press announced that flossing did not have proven medical benefit. The Department of Health and Human Services, in turn, dropped flossing from its recommendations due to lack of strong scientific evidence in the 25 studies that were used to make the original recommendation in 1970. New studies are underway to evaluate the benefit of flossing. The ADA and most dentist and dental hygienists are confident in their continued recommendation for flossing or using other interdental aides.

The trouble with flossing studies is teaching patients the proper technique and patients following through with the recommendations. Brushing and flossing is still the best way to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Besides tooth loss, gum disease has been linked to multiple ailments in the body, including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s.

Traditional Floss:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other options for floss include floss forks, floss picks, and gum picks. These are not as effective as traditional floss because the floss is not flexible and not as readily manipulated in the gum pockets.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Another great option is a water flosser. This is a device that uses a high stream of water to clean the gums. This device is fun to use, but has a specific technique that must be followed for maximum effectiveness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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