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Is Flossing Even Effective?

This used to be a debate that swirled around bathroom sinks and dental offices for decades. But in a recent article published on AP’s site The Big Story (1), a look to the past has apparently started pushing the debate toward a resolution of sorts. Because you, dear reader, are always looking to us for sound wisdom and advice, I’d be honored to oblige.

As the article mentions, floss has limited benefits.  It’s hard to hold, tough to manipulate, and can’t always eliminate every bit of food and sludge on and between teeth and gums. Even when performed perfectly, it’s really difficult to expect your flossing effort to clean the entire surface area of a tooth with a limited sweeping motion.

Also not helping the case for floss usage is a substance called biofilm. Made up of bacterial cells and byproducts, biofilm is constantly being produced inside our mouths. And to floss off that film is nearly, if not completely, impossible. But the great news is your mouth is able to survive in this situation as long as you can keep the biofilm down to a level that doesn’t trigger disease.

More good news: we can disrupt the biofilm with something better than floss. It’s called a Water Pik, or a water flosser. A water flosser is like a fire hose to blast away biofilm. It’s more efficient and effective. And studies have shown the amount of bacterial load is reduced significantly more with a water flosser than conventional floss. Couple a water flosser with an electric brush, and you have an excellent strategy to tip the scales toward better oral health.

(1) article via Scott Clampett