Mexican Floss7th October 2019
Dental Floss and it’s effect on your dental health…
Last year I was at Alton Towers in the summer holidays with my family and every time we stopped in a queue, which was quite regularly, a child would start doing the floss dance. Then another child would notice this and start and a floss wave would start through the line like some sort of “Mexican floss”. As a dentist I wish it were this easy to spread the word of flossing, or actually I should say interdental cleaning, because cleaning between your teeth isn’t just about flossing these days.
However, I would love to get a Mexican floss going through the population in general. The need to clean between your teeth hit a major set back in 2016 when its was reported in national press that flossing was not proven to be of any use in removing plaque so it wasn’t required. However, this was a very poorly reported bit of evidence and too basic. The British society of periodontology released this as part of a statement on flossing:
Evidence supports the use of small interdental brushes for cleaning between the teeth, where there is space to do so, in preference to flossing. The recommendation from the 11th European Workshop on the prevention of gum diseases (2015) to patients is:
“Daily cleaning between your teeth using special interdental brushes is essential for treating and preventing gum disease. Floss is of little value unless the spaces between your teeth are too tight for the interdental brushes to fit without hurting or causing harm. Therefore, floss is not a waste of time – it is a viable alternative to interdental brushing where appropriate.”
Public Health England makes a similar recommendation.
So, you still need to clean between your teeth and the most effective method is interdental brushes (such as Tepe or Pikster) but, there is still value in using floss for areas where the small brushes don’t fit. Hopefully with this message we can start a Mexican floss or at least interdental cleaning trend to improve the oral health of the nation.
For more information on maintaining your dental hygiene please get in touch on 01926 422509.