Due to recent news stories in publications like The New York Times, there is a myth floating around that “flossing may be overrated.” Such reports have lead many people to wonder, “Is flossing necessary?” The answer is yes! Dr. Dougherty and the American Dental Association (ADA) recommend flossing, or using some other type of interdental cleaning tool, once a day—every day.
Why Is Flossing Necessary?
Daily flossing is necessary for the prevention of plaque buildup, cavities, and gum disease. According to the ADA, “interdental cleaners such as floss are an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums. Cleaning between teeth removes plaque that can lead to cavities or gum disease from the areas where a toothbrush can’t reach. Interdental cleaning is proven to help remove debris between teeth that can contribute to plaque buildup.”
Click here to read the ADA’s full statement addressing the recent news reports that have raised the question, “Is flossing necessary?”
The Importance of Flossing Correctly
For flossing to be truly effective, it must be done correctly. Click here for a guide on how to floss properly. You can also ask your dental hygienist to watch you floss and make sure you’re doing it right. If not, he or she can give you pointers on how to improve your technique and get the most out of your daily flossing routine.
Flossing with Braces
If you wear braces, flossing can be a little tricky. However, simple tools like Platypus Orthodontic Flossers, Oral B Super Floss, and floss threaders make it much easier. For proper flossing instructions (and a video demonstration), check out our previous post on How to Floss with Braces.