Hygiene Hacks: Dental Flossing and Its Alternatives

The everyday dental hygiene routine consists of brushing, flossing and using mouthwash to keep the mouth and teeth clean on a daily basis. Furthermore, dental hygiene routine includes regularly visiting dentists such as Dentistry With A Smile and having preventative treatment for optimum oral health.

Recent studies, however, changed the regular dental hygiene routine when results showed little proof that flossing actually works.

Does flossing actually help?

Since you can remember, dental hygienists and dental organisations have been recommending flossing to prevent gum disease and cavities. A recent Associated Press US-focused investigation negates this notion because of the revelation that there is weak and inconclusive evidence that flossing helps with oral health. What’s more, incorrect flossing may even cause greater damage.

With findings that flossing is unreliable and of low quality, the latest US guidelines do not mention flossing. The New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA), however, recommends people to continue flossing while they review their own guidelines.

What are the alternatives to flossing?

Even if flossing does turn out to be unhelpful in oral health maintenance for NZDA, it does not eradicate the fact that there are plaque and bacteria between teeth that require removal.

Small brushes used specifically for cleaning between teeth as well as irrigators such as water-picks are devices with strong evidence of helping clean the mouth.

On the other hand, hygiene treatment by an actual dental hygienist remains a constant part of the regular dental hygiene routine. After all, it is a dental hygienist’s job to remove plaque and tartar, treat or prevent gum disease and provide smooth tooth surfaces that feel good and look better.

Some things, regardless of their constancy, turn out to be different. Flossing is a proper example. Other things, however, will always be true—like the fact that thorough cleaning between the teeth should be part of regular dental hygiene.