After the craze surrounding the removal of the recommendation to floss every day in the latest edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture, it is time to step back and see if the right questions are being asked. What are the real aspects of flossing that have made it so crucial to oral health care for so many years?
What questions should be asked?
The revelation of the “inefficiencies” of flossing directly targeted floss’ ability to remove plaque. But what about the important role it plays in the prevention of plaque build up? Using floss to get rid of food that is stuck between the teeth where the toothbrush can’t reach, and preventing the food pieces from hardening and forming plaque is what makes flossing so crucial. According to the ADA, if flossing is not implemented into the daily cleaning routine, the bacteria that lie within plaque will eventually damage the teeth and gums causing cavities and gum disease (gingivitis).
If there is concern as to whether flossing should stay in the regular cleaning routine, the question that should come to mind is, “Would I rather take about 2 minutes every day to floss, or take several hours for painful procedures to treat my damaged gums and/or teeth?”
In a Washington Post interview with Wayne Aldredge, President of the American Academy of Periodontology stated, “[Not flossing is] like building a house and not painting two sides of it. Ultimately those two sides are going to rot away quicker.” He highly recommends the use of floss.
Continue to floss.
Avalon Biomed is committed to improving oral health world wide, and strongly supports the continuation of flossing as part of a daily cleaning routine. In the event a patient experiences pulpal damage from tooth decay and needs treatment, Avalon Biomed offers affordable MTA products, NeoMTA Plus® and Grey MTA Plus ®, which are bioactive to support healing within the tooth.