Flossing removes plaque and bacteria that you cannot reach with your toothbrush. Plaque is an invisible bacterial film that develops on your teeth every day and is the main cause of gum disease. Within 24 to 36 hours, plaque hardens into tartar or calculus, which can only be removed by professional cleaning. Floss at least once a day, and plaque never gets the chance to harden into tartar.
This has been the common wisdom supported by the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) and one supported by Stroud Dental for patients in Innisfil and all our locations. We recognize how important your smile and competent dental care is to you, and offer you these insights into the recent controversy surrounding flossing.
In a report published Tuesday, August 2, 2016, The Associated Press (AP) cited 25 studies that found evidence for flossing is “weak, very unreliable” and of “very low” quality. The U.S. government acknowledged that its support for flossing wasn’t backed by sufficient research, and it quietly removed flossing from the dietary guidelines this year.
In a subsequent CTV New report, the Canadian Dental Association re-iterated its official stance on flossing - that it is an effective way to remove plaque and bacteria between teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach.
“There is no study that has shown leaving plaque on your teeth is beneficial for good oral health,” said Dr. Larry Levin, President-elect CDA. “On the contrary, every study has shown the need to remove plaque in order for your teeth and gums to be healthy.”
Dr. Levin also called for more research to explore the efficacy of flossing. Until that happens, “If we haven’t got another tool to suggest, I would never suggest changing what we now are using to prevent cavities in that regard,” he said.
According to the Canadian Dental Association (CDA), to properly floss your teeth:
- Take a length of floss equal to the distance from your hand to your shoulder. Wrap it around your index and middle fingers, leaving about two inches between your hands.
- Slide the floss between your teeth and wrap it into a "C" shape around the base of the tooth and gently under the gum line. Wipe the tooth from base to tip two or three times.
- Be sure to floss both sides of every tooth. Don't forget the backs of your last molars. Go to a new section of the floss as it wears and picks up particles.
- Brush your teeth after you floss - it is a more effective method of preventing tooth decay and gum disease.
Bleeding is a common side effect when a person begins flossing, but it should stop after a few days. If it does not stop, the Canadian Dental Association recommends visiting a dentist, like the professionals at Stroud Dental, a proud part of the Dentistry Plus team.
Put your fears about the dentist behind you and call 705-436-6527 today for an appointment in Innisfil, or check our website for information on our locations in Brantford, Burlington, Oshawa, Toronto, and Waterdown.