Orthodontics on Silver Lake!

(302) 672-7776

Love The Gums You’re With

The federal govAngel's Bolg Photos From Dr Steckelernment has recommended flossing since 1979. But when the feds released their latest dietary guidelines earlier in 2016, they omitted the flossing recommendation. The reason? According to the Associated Press(1):

“ ‘The majority of available studies fail to demonstrate that flossing is generally effective in plaque removal,’ said one review conducted last year. Another 2015 review cites ‘inconsistent/weak evidence for flossing and a lack of efficacy.’ “

Two prominent dental professional associations- the ADA and the AAP- cited other studies of the benefits of flossing to prevent plaque build-up which can lead to gingivitis and tooth decay. The problem is the studies cited used small sample sizes and were of short duration, meaning weak evidence for their statements. (2)

Perhaps future studies will include an individualized approach to flossing to better address the controversy, which can be the basis to prove, or even disprove the benefits. Some patients may benefit more than others, based on their medical predispositions or “make-up.”

When I examine patients at Orthodontics on Silver Lake (OSL) in Dover, I review with each new patient their oral hygiene practices, and check the health of their teeth and gums. Patients tell me they do or do not floss, what type of toothbrush, and we discuss options.
All of us know how great it feels to have clean teeth, and we can see the plaque that comes off when we floss or use floss aids. Using floss and/or these aids correctly is key to reaping the benefits, and avoid mistakes that may cause harm.  At OSL, we review how to use floss or other aids when we think there is a need or if the patient/parent asks.
1.  AP “Medical benefits of dental floss unproven”. J. Donn, AP August 2, 2016 pgs. 1-8
2. “Statement from the AAP on Flossing Efficacy”. AAP website, August 2016
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