A lot of attention is going to a study that says dental floss is not an effective way to keep your teeth clean. The University of Alberta’s School of Medicine and Dentistry says that may be misleading – that it’s how you use the dental floss that’s important.
The school says the report does not actually recommend not to clean between your teeth, but it says that flossing may not be the ideal tool for that. They say cavities and periodontal disease, are caused by bacteria so it is extremely important for you to remove plaque on a regular basis.
UAlberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry expert, Dr. Liran Levin, says there are other tools that might be easier to use than floss. “We have inter-dental brushes, which are small brushes that help clean between teeth. We have specific dental toothpicks that are designed to clean between the teeth in a more effective and easier way of doing that.”
The plaque should be removed from all tooth surfaces including the inter-dental space. The main problem with using a floss is that it is rather difficult to floss effectively, especially if you are not well trained in doing so.
Dr. Levin says “Most people just don’t do it in a correct way, and saying that it’s not helpful is like buying a new tool and not reading the instructions. Not using it properly, and then saying, ‘Okay it doesn’t work.'”
He says brushing is also important because it cleans the other surfaces of your teeth. (eb)