Is Flossing Really Necessary?

For years, dentists, health professionals, and the makers of oral hygiene products have been instructing patients that’s it’s important to floss every day in order to maintain proper oral health. Still, we often see patients here at Discover Dental who fall short of flossing every day. Sometimes, we see patients who don’t floss at all. Is flossing really necessary, anyway?

The reason that we floss is simple: We can’t brush between our teeth. That makes the tight spaces between our teeth a perfect place for harmful bacteria to grow and thrive. Bacteria causes plaque, which leads to tooth decay and gum disease. Flossing helps to remove this sticky bacteria and plaque from your teeth. In this way, refusing to floss is a bit like refusing to brush the back of your teeth—you can’t keep them clean that way!

With that said, there isn’t much scientific research to back up the importance of flossing. There haven’t been many scientific, peer-reviewed studies conducted on the long-term effects of not flossing, or what the best way to floss is. This is partly because it’s hard to convince large groups of people to stop flossing for years at a time!

Discover Dental recommends that all of our patients floss at least once per day in addition to brushing twice a day. Not only does it remove food stuck in between your teeth, but harmful bacteria, as well. It’s the best way to maintain healthy teeth and gums. If you absolutely hate flossing, you can try interdental brushes or a Waterpik to clean between your teeth, which are better than nothing. But the best way to scrape bacteria off your teeth remains good, old-fashioned floss.

Are you having trouble flossing or concerned about bleeding gums? Schedule an appointment with Discover Dental right away to assess your oral health and learn more about your options!