To floss or not to floss that is the latest question facing the dental industry
New startling study says there’s no evidence that flossing teeth has any medical benefitsBy Patti Pietschmann
|Dr. Roger Gershfeld DMD offers opinion on flossing|
Well after years of dentists telling us to floss, floss, floss, data comes out that it’s not necessary. The new findings that allege there are no valid medical benefits to flossing came from an Associated Press piece that shocked everyone including dentists and the American Dental Association.
Los Angeles dentist, Dr. Roger Gershfeld DMD, doesn’t agree with the AP piece and says he would need more concrete evidence to be convinced. ‘We’ve been taught flossing and oral hygiene is good and to recommend it to our patients,” he said in a phone interview. Dr. Gershfeld did admit that elderly people and others who have problems using threaded floss because of lack of dexterity would be better off using hdyro or water therapy. Dr. Gershfeld maintains that anyone who is able to floss should, “You really need to remove food that gets stuck between the teeth and flossing is the best way to do it.”
However a dentist across the pond in England was quoted in various reports saying that there is only weak evidence that flossing is indeed beneficial. A premise that the ADA vigorously denied saying that flossing is very good for teeth and gums. Let’s face it, it’s also a pain in the neck to brush for the prescribed two minutes twice or three times a day, depending on your dentist, and then have to floss and rinse.
Enter Waterpik which came out yesterday, Aug.4, saying that there is very little scientific evidence that flossing daily prevents gum disease and cavities, only applies to string flossing, not water flossing. The giant dental care company quoted Deborah M. Lyle, RDH, BS, MS, director of professional & clinical Affairs at Waterpik® as saying that "The Associated Press just confirmed what I have known for years -- the unequivocal recommendation of string floss is not scientifically based. However, the announcement did not say you do not have to clean between your teeth. As a clinician and researcher, I have found that a water flosser was better for my patients than string floss and they have been proven more effective in several clinical studies." She also insists that there is scientific evidence to support the use a Waterpik over string floss and that water flossing removes plaque and reduces bleeding gums.
Lyle maintains that cleaning teeth below the gum line is critical to dental heath because that’s where bacteria breathe.
Flossing with water is also a lot easier than struggling with string and trying to get it threaded through slits in your teeth. Still floss, floss, floss is a mantra heard from dentists for ages.
To floss or not is a personal matter, but brushing one teeth and regular checkups are still highly recommended if you don’t want cavities or other dental distresses. And you can't really have a beautiful selfie without pearly white, healthy-looking teeth.