Should I floss?
A recent article from Associated Press reported, “Little proof that flossing works.” Their report says there is no scientific research that proves flossing and brushing help prevent cavities or gum disease. In the Journal of Dental Hygiene research shows flossing and brushing reduce gingivitis at one, three and six months, but do not reduce bacterial plaque.
I don’t floss what is the downside.
Two major dental issues arise without flossing: cavities between your teeth and gingivitis. Not flossing means dental plaque (bacteria) will build up between your teeth. These bacteria irritate the gum tissue, causing red, sore areas that bleed, this allows more bacteria to breed, causing gingivitis. Gingivitis leads to periodontal disease.
The second risk is decay. The same bacteria resting on the tooth structure destroys the enamel, invading the tooth, forming a cavity. Cavities decrease the strength of the tooth and lead to tooth fractures and failures.
According to the Anaerobe Journal, bacteria associated with gum disease can enter your bloodstream and travel to other parts of your body, like the heart or respiratory system. It has also be linked to diabetes and increased risk of low birth weight newborns. You can reduce your risk of these serious medical side effects by practicing optimal oral hygiene at home.
Dr. Larson’s recommendations.
- Brush with an electric toothbrush, either Sonicare or OralB, a minimum of twice a day. Use a soft toothbrush after meals during the day. Use a Fluoridated toothpaste to decrease your decay rate.
- Floss at least once a day. Preferably just before you go to bed. There are many different types of floss or floss aids; waxed, unwaxed, tape, stretchy, thick, etc. Find one that works for you.
Your teeth will feel better, look better, and smell better. You’ll be doing your part, the most important part, to prevent dental disease and systemic disease.
If you have any questions or would like a consultation, please call me, Dr. Larson, 408.374-6160 or send an email.