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Should I Floss My Teeth?

Posted 31st January, 2017

In recent months, a number of articles in leading magazines and newspapers have suggested that flossing the teeth after meals has no benefit to our teeth. This is despite many people flossing regularly at their dentist’s advice for several years. In order to help clarify the situation, The British Society of Periodontology recently published a bulletin outlining the benefits of flossing and the best advice for UK patients.

Mind the Gap!

Almost everybody has gaps between some or all of their teeth. These gaps may vary from a fraction of a millimetre to a visibly noticeable gap that is considerably bigger. There is rarely any need to worry – it is completely natural and part of the unique natural formation of your teeth. What can cause concern, however, is effective cleaning of these tight spaces which traditional toothbrushes simply can’t get into. Allowing food particles to remain in these gaps can increase the formation of acid, and in turn the risk of tooth decay is higher. Both floss and interdental brushes offer a solution to help address the problem.

What’s Better – Interdentals or Floss?

Tiny toothbrushes known as interdental brushes, which are often not unlike toothpicks in appearance, have become increasingly popular over recent years and are now widely available in the tooth care section of most supermarkets. With a choice between interdental brushes and floss, it is natural that a debate has arisen about which is more effective. In answer to this key question, the British Society of Periodontology conducted research into the prevention of gum disease and concluded that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Ultimately, the decision about whether to use interdental brushes versus floss should be decided by the size of the gaps between teeth.

Generally speaking, if the gap between the teeth is large enough to allow access with an interdental brush and does not cause pain or discomfort, this is the most effective solution and should be incorporated into your daily oral hygiene routine. If, on the other hand, regular interdental brushes do not fit, then floss offers a good alternative that can still offer benefits.

Smile Like You Mean It

The British Society of Periodontology and Public Health England have publicly endorsed the use of both interdental brushes and floss. In order to promote the wider health benefits of looking after the teeth and gums, they have recently launched the #howsyoursmile campaign, whose mission is to promote the importance of understanding gum disease and its effects not just on the teeth and gums but on the wider health. The #howsyoursmile website offers a wealth of information including educational videos and a quiz to help you get to grips with gum disease and help fight it off through good oral hygiene practices. With statistics indicating that over 45% of UK adults are currently experiencing some form of gum disease, there has never been a better time than now to take action and protect your quality of life.

At Gwersyllt Dental Care in Wrexham, we offer the very best in family dentistry and preventative treatment in a relaxed, comfortable and stress free environment. To book an appointment now or enquire about becoming a member, call us on 01978 757409 or contact us online for a swift response.


References:

http://www.bsperio.org.uk/howsyoursmile/

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