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Recently, a number of claims have been going around that call into question whether people really need to floss. This dental controversy began with an article published in the Daily Mail that called flossing a waste of time. Networks like CNN and Fox New picked up on the story calling it the Great Flossing Conspiracy, which led to one Fox News correspondent to allege that the only reason dentists recommend flossing is because they have a stake in the “flossing business.”
Of course there’s a reason why you should get your oral health news from someone like Portland family dentist Dr. Melissa Beadnell rather than from TV news personalities. The problem with this latest report is that it’s simply not true.
The article published in the Daily Mail claimed that a review in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology found no evidence that linked flossing with helping to fight gum disease. But read a little further and you see that the study actually concludes that flossing does help to reduce the risk of gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease.
Now research into the effectiveness of flossing has been mixed over the years. Some studies have found little significant evidence to support the claim that flossing helps to protect an individual’s oral health, while others have found evidence that supports claims that flossing reduces gingivitis.
So put all these facts together and what should you believe when it comes to flossing?
A Portland Family Dentist’s Case For Flossing
By far, flossing is one of the most important habits a patient can have for protecting the long-term health of his or her teeth and gums. That’s primarily due to the fact that bristles of your toothbrush can’t adequately clean the tight areas between your teeth. Plaque, a sticky biofilm comprised of bacteria and lingering food particles, builds up in these areas of the mouth where it can contribute to the development of gingivitis.
Plaque also feeds upon the foods we eat to produce acids that slowly erode away tooth enamel. Overtime this erosion can lead to the development of cavities, which increases the risk of permanent tooth loss.
Fortunately, you can lower your risk of tooth decay and gum disease by removing plaque from those hard to clean areas of the mouth. Flossing ranks as by far the most effective and convenient way of removing plaque from between teeth, but water picks and mini brushes can also be used. The best tool for the job really depends on how much space exists between your teeth. A closely fit row of teeth probably requires floss, while a slight separation between teeth opens up the possibility of using other oral hygiene tools.
Ensuring Quality Oral Health
While brushing and flossing rank as the two most effective habits a patient can use to prevent gum disease and tooth loss, you should also schedule regular cleanings and checkups with Portland family dentist Dr. Melissa Beadnell.
Cleanings and checkups provide our staff of gentle dental hygienists the opportunity to remove plaque from hard to reach areas of the mouth, while also providing Dr. Beadnell the chances to spot any early signs of gum disease. The early gum disease is treated, the more quickly a patient can fully recover from any damage the disease may have cause to his or her oral health.