The school buses are on the roads around Lynchburg, the children are heading back to school, the parents are jubilant, which means it is time for an important reminder for kids and adults alike:
Make sure to floss when you brush, at least three times a day
Contrary to recent sensational articles questioning the impact flossing has on your teeth, gums and overall oral health, flossing is vital to a healthy mouth. This is the official position from the American Dental Association, who determines the standards for good oral health and dental care. As far as the reminder about the need to floss, it seemed pertinent since it is the beginning of school and is the perfect time for one of those Mom type reminders about the importance of flossing. I can still hear my mothers voice…”be sure to floss.” My childhood dentist, and every dentist since then have always asked if I was flossing. I have never questioned that flossing is good.
Keep Lynchburg Smiles and Teeth Beautiful
Whether you are in Lynchburg, or anywhere else, having a good smile depends on healthy teeth and gums. Food particles are a threat to healthy teeth and gums. Food naturally gets trapped between teeth. Brushing cannot get at this food. The American Dental Association says:
“More than 500 bacterial species can be found in plaque; some are good and some are bad for your mouth. Together with food debris, water and other components, the plaque buildup around the teeth and on the gum line will contribute to disease in teeth and gums.”
So you have to disrupt this flow of bacteria which causes inflammation, smell, and dental decay. And the biggest point of all..it is gross. Yes, gross. Who wants to leave hundreds of strains of bad bacteria in your mouth. Anywhere else on the body we would immediately stop this with deodorants, shampoos, soaps, talc, body sprays etc.
Many people look at flossing as an extra thing you do after brushing. Flossing is an essential habit just like brushing. If you ever doubt why, floss your teeth and see what comes onto the string. Those are food particles which can permanently damage your oral health over time.
Flossing In The News: Claims That Flossing Has No Impact On Oral Health
A few thoughts about the studies of not flossing
I can’t believe I am addressing this in the 21st Century. I have heard it..flossing does not work. I sit stunned. Flossing is an essential part of great oral care. For years Lynchburg parents and teachers have spread the important message for people to brush AND floss. Some of the studies say they see no correlation between flossing and good dental hygiene and my answer to that is
Are you kidding me?
When you floss you can see particles of food that were trapped in the teeth (gross). At the very least this could lead to bad breath.
Things You Take On Faith
There are lots of times where we take science on faith. We are told that there are an infinite number of smaller particles that you don’t see. These make up bigger particles that you do. I have never seen a molecule, but I have seen pictures of an Atomic bomb, the result of splitting those molecules. It seems pretty real to me. Food particles I see and they are irritating when stuck in my teeth.
The no floss argument looks suspiciously like flawed logic. Conclusions have been inferred from data that may not be telling the whole story. Here is a hypothetical example of this kind of flawed logic being used, albeit humorously..
Here is some evidence and conclusions you could get from eating fast food
- Eat fast food because it is cheap
- This can save you money
- Which means you have to work less
- Which means you might feel less stress
- Which will help you live longer
This could, in a parallel universe, lead us to these conclusions:
- Can I conclude that fast food helps people live longer?
- Or can I conclude that because of this research, there is no evidence fast food is or isn’t helping you.
I can tell you this, based on intuition and common sense…fast food is not helping you. Yes, I eat it, but I have no delusions of its health benefits.
Oh and by the way, if you do eat it, be sure to floss afterwards:)
Flossing focuses on particles… YOU CAN SEE
Flossing is proven practical medical science. You can see particles in your teeth. You can feel them. A piece of floss will show them to you. And science does show that it hardens into plaque. Teeth with plaque or food particles have gums showing irritation. Remove those particles. Floss.
Flossing is to Dentistry what Gravity is to Physics
You can see the effects of gravity pretty clearly. It exists. It affects things. Flossing is the same. You may not see the area between the teeth with the naked eye, but you feel those particles if they are there. Food particles left in the teeth irritate the gums and cause plaque.
The American Dental Association Says to Floss
The ADA says you should floss with some pretty compelling statistics. Keep in mind this is the American Dental Association. This is not 4 out of 5 dentists, politicians, publicity seekers or cute cartoon characters with toothbrushes. This is the authority that makes the dental rules, does the research, and keeps the dental industry at incredibly high standards.
Lynchburg Dental Options
If you are looking for a dentist, need cosmetic surgery, or have questions on oral hygiene subjects, say..like flossing, contact us and set up an appointment.
Here is a link to an additional flossing resource:
How To Floss pdf
Here are some other subjects on our site you want to check out
ADA. (2016, August 4th). Re: Federal Government, ADA Emphasize Importance of Flossing and Interdental Cleaners . Retrieved from http://www.ada.org/en/press-room/news-releases/2016-archive/august/statement-from-the-american-dental-association-about-interdental-cleaners
ADA. (2014, October 8). How to Floss Your Teeth [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhdoPXNKNm4
Written by Michael Saks