Floss, floss, baby…
I’m sure most people have heard about the new dietary guidelines set by our government that there is no scientific proof that flossing is effective. Therefore, they are removing the recommendation from their guidelines.
So of course I have been asked by many of my patients what my thoughts are. And I have to say this is a hygienist’s nightmare! I know most people hate to floss, they find it difficult and time consuming. And I know I sound like the biggest nag in the world when I remind them to do it, they say yes to when really they mean no. Believe me, I know when I’m being lied to! :)
But seriously, I know for a fact that toothbrushing alone is not enough to thoroughly clean between the teeth. No matter how the toothbrush is designed, even the electric one. It will not get in between tight spaces all the way through. There are small interproximal brushes on the market like GUM Soft-piks that’s a good alternative or even a Waterpik. Food that gets trapped between teeth will break down into simple sugars, bacteria will feed on these sugars and produce acids that cause tooth decay. I have unfortunately seen too many of these cases recently. Of course, flossing is not the only factor, a healthy diet and lifestyle all lead to good oral health.
Next time I see you, please ask me to show you alternatives to flossing if it’s too difficult for you, or if you need a refresher course. I promise to get the lesson in and still have time to catch up on all the latest with you!
Anne Liu, RDH, BA