Go Floss. Now.

16 August 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

There was a minor brouhaha in August 2016 over the news that flossing might not actually be effective. Supposedly the Associated Press did some digging into studies about flossing and found that any benefits were inconclusive at best. However, despite this finding, you still need to floss daily. Not only were the studies not very long term and not very large, but if you've ever gone through a period of flossing and then not flossing, and then flossing again, you've seen for yourself how beneficial flossing is.

Food Stuck in Your Teeth

There's no better way to get that bit of corn silk or broccoli out from between your teeth than to floss it out, but that's not the only way floss helps get food off your teeth. As you eat, debris from the food (not necessarily a recognizable bit of food but a bit of debris from the chewed mass) gets stuck up by your gums and in the spaces between your teeth. It doesn't take much of this debris to make your teeth look horrible, and flossing is the easiest way to get rid of the debris. Even brushing alone isn't best -- that just pushes a lot of the debris around instead of removing it. Want your smile to look good instead of food-filled? Floss.


Leaving the food debris in place can lead to gum inflammation and bleeding, and stuck food can irritate the gums. Flossing to remove the debris lets the gums breathe and rest and not deal with this gunk all day and night. That gunk also becomes plaque and tartar, which can protect bacteria from the reach of your toothbrush. Plaque and tartar are also irritating substances that lead to redness and bleeding in gums. Flossing regularly reduces, if not eliminates, the majority of the gunk/plaque/tartar that can build up.

Long-Term Effects

Flossing isn't just an immediate-effect kind of routine, either. Over the years, flossing will help keep your teeth and gums in much better condition because they won't have had to deal with as much irritation in the first place. Bacteria will have had fewer places to hide and nestle up against your teeth, which means fewer cavities.

As annoying as flossing can be, it's a short procedure that doesn't require expensive equipment (one packet of floss is all you need for several weeks) and that doesn't take long to do at all. In fact, if you've been flossing daily, there should be so little to remove that flossing your entire set of teeth should take only a couple of minutes. If you're not sure of the most efficient way to floss, or if you haven't been flossing and have noticed issues with your gums, contact a dental clinic like Family Dentistry Of Brick, PA to set up an appointment. And then go floss.