Sugar Land, Texas– Recent news reports questioning the importance of flossing or that it has oral health benefits are becoming a common topic in dental offices nationwide. Patients are questioning their dentists if flossing is a necessary part of their oral health care. The story released questions the 2015 updates to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines which no longer include flossing. However, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee turned their focus to nutrition in their updates-especially on the amounts of added sugar in the standard American diet.
In a statement released on August 4, 2016, in answer to questions posed about flossing, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states, “Flossing is an important oral hygiene practice. Tooth decay and gum disease can develop when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth and along the gumline. Professional cleaning, tooth brushing, and cleaning between teeth (flossing and the use of other tools such as interdental brushes) have been shown to disrupt and remove plaque. At HHS, NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), CDC’s Division of Oral Health and Healthy People 2020 have additional information and resources about efforts to address and improve oral health.”
Dr. Nasha Hunter, a Sugar Land dentist for kids, states she will encourage all her patients to continue the practice of flossing on a regular basis, as it is an essential component of caring for your teeth. Removing plaque between the teeth that a toothbrush cannot reach reduces the risk of gum disease and tooth decay and should not be taken lightly.
Dr. Hunter is not alone. Along with the best pediatric dentists in the nation, the American Dental Association says that interdental cleaners are an essential part of caring for your teeth and gums. Over 500 species of bacteria can be found in plaque. When combined with food particles, drinks, and other components, the buildup of plaque will lead to tooth decay and gum disease. For questions regarding flossing and its health benefits, contact your local dentist.