For generations, dental flossing has been a standard part of dental hygiene procedures recommended by all dentists. We all feel a little guilty when fail to floss our teeth as frequently and thoroughly as recommended by dentist. However, a recent research by the American Academy of Periodontology seems to throw cold water of the validity of the assumptions that we have made over the years on the importance of dental flossing.

The premise on the American Academy of Periodontology is that the past studies that hailed the benefits of dental flossing were based on very thin research and data and the research had been conducted on such a very short period of time to offer conclusive results. Gum diseases do not develop overnight and for research to provide irrefutable link between flossing and its effect prevention of gum diseases, it must be carried out over a long duration of time. Most of the research carried out in the past was done over a short time period and is, thus, considered weak.

Experts insist that flossing your teeth over an extended period of time does not necessarily prevent the formation of serious periodontal diseases or cavities while dentists argue that failing to floss on a regular basis would be like “throwing dice”, gambling with your dental health. So, should you floss or not?

The studies on the benefits of dental flossing have been mixed. Some studies have found that flossing your teeth on a regular basis will make a big difference on your oral health such as reducing gingivitis while others suggest that the effect is minimal.

Flossing is Still Important

In spite of the weak evidence supporting the benefits of flossing, dental flossing is still an important part of dental hygiene. It is a great extra step that will help keep your mouth healthy. The bristles on your toothbrush will not always reach the tightest spaces in your teeth and that means when you brush your teeth, there will be some extra food particles left in between teeth. Over time, these will cause a build up of bacteria and plaque that can cause gum diseases.

The germs stuck between your pearly whites also generate acid that can cause the corrosion of the enamels and also irritate the gums, eventually causing gum diseases. The progression of gum disease will eventually loosen your teeth.

However, you don’t have just to limit yourself to flossing. If you find it cumbersome, you can also buy and use mini brushes that can reach those tight corners and crevices of your teeth. Water flossers can equally be effective in getting rid of those tiny food particles.

The best advice when it comes to flossing is to take the advice of your dentist: don’t gamble with your oral health. Use flossing as a precautionary oral health measure. It is better to be safe than sorry.