You don't need to floss your teeth! (Apparently)

There has been some news about some US government health departments stopping the recommendation of flossing. So let's all stop flossing! Right?

The reason for the stopping of the recommendation is because there is insufficient scientific research to support the use of floss. However, it is only specific to floss. It does not mean we do not need to clean in between teeth.

Lack of proof however does not mean something is not true. Tooth decay and gum disease is a slow & gradual process but the studies only lasted a couple of months. Maybe because it is such a logical thing to do, no one can bother to do a long term study.

Try this: floss your teeth and sniff the floss. I think that will be enough proof for yourself that you need to clean in between your teeth.

I am not surprised about this change in recommendations, as flossing is actually quite difficult to do well. It is not simply just passing the floss through the contact of the teeth and pulling it back out.

To floss well, you must wipe the floss against the surfaces of the teeth and go underneath the gums. All at the same time without cutting your gums. I'm sure you have accidentally snapped floss into your gums, when it is really tight.

Pack of piksters
 

So what should you use instead of floss?? There are interdental brushes and soft toothpicks which are much easier to use and safer.

There is also insufficient scientific evidence to say these brushes are better but again, let's apply some logic. I doubt there is a scientific study on whether eating food keeps people alive.

Discuss with your dentist, the best way to maintain the health of your teeth and gums.

For further reading:

Cochrane review on interdental brushes