Controversy is erupting over dental floss.
An AP report reveals that flossing isn’t as beneficial as you think, despite what dentists say about it. The claim that its good practice for your oral health is supposedly weak. But the American Dental Association and the Department of Health and Services have reaffirmed the importance of interdental cleaning.
Meanwhile, other studies show the stark contrast between people who floss and people who don’t; those who flossed regularly maintained good oral health.
And here’s further confusion to throw you off, just a bit: Which dental floss product would your dentist in Sterling Heights recommend? Here’s a look at water flossing vs flossing.
The String Floss
Traditional flossing lets you scrape those bits and pieces that get stuck between your teeth. Whereas brushing allows you to get rid of plaque on the surface, flossing with a piece of string enables you to remove food particles in those hard-to-reach places (i.e., below the gum line).
You can choose from among a variety of interdental products:
- Unwaxed floss — The traditional, disposable string from nylon; it can fit into tight spaces, but can give way to shredding.
- Waxed floss — The wax coating may make it more challenging to clean between tight spaces, but it’s less prone to damage.
- Super flosses — Ideal for those with braces as it has stiffer sections.
- Dental tape — Comes in waxed and unwaxed versions, and suitable for people with wider spaces between teeth.
You’ll also find flavored string floss, which could be more appealing to use since it promotes fresh breath.
Traditional flossing works for some people because it’s quick and affordable. You don’t need to make a lot of room in your personal kit. String floss also makes it easy to floss after lunch at work or even after a date at a restaurant because you can discreetly duck into the bathroom.
But recent findings show that not many people do it; about 10 percent to 30 percent of people follow the practice. When introduced to water flossing though, some people ended up following through with the oral hygiene habit.
The Water Flosser
Water flossing involves using a handheld device that gets rid of food particles through a stream of water. Instead of scraping, the device uses the force of the water to “massage” the gums, forcing the bits and pieces away from your teeth.
This alternative, and somewhat novel way, to flossing, works mostly for people with braces or temporary or permanent bridges. It’s effective in cleaning those hard-to-reach places.
The downside to this approach is that it will cost more in comparison to traditional flossing. Additionally, you would need more room to store the device. You also need access to electricity and water to floss. And unlike most interdental products, you’ll need to clean this device.
Experts still debate the legitimacy of flossing as a way to curb dental problems. While both sides gather evidence to substantiate their claims, it’s wise to follow your Sterling Heights dentist’s advice when it comes to this oral hygiene practice.
Read our blog to learn more interesting facts about your oral health.