2016 has brought some interesting news from the world of dentistry. While the Australian Dental Association have their own guidelines when it comes to flossing your teeth, it seems that the official American view has changed. When the matter was queried with the US Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture, it appears that the official recommendation that people should floss their teeth has been dropped. So does this mean that you no longer need to floss? It's not so straightforward. Some people might floss their teeth on a regular basis, and yet might not be doing such a good job. If you shred your gums when you floss then you simply might not be doing it properly. It's also possible that standard dental floss might not be the best option for you.
Your Flossing Technique
Sometimes flossing serves an immediate purpose, such as when you want to dislodge a piece of food that has become stuck between your teeth. But do you have difficulty flossing? Does it result in discomfort and bleeding? You might want to refine your flossing technique. Don't be afraid to have a word with your dentist about flossing, no matter how old you might be. They would be happy to show you the best way to floss your teeth. Having said that, regular dental floss is not the best choice for everyone. You might want to have a look at some of the available alternatives.
Alternatives to Traditional Dental Floss
When the act of flossing is problematic, then you need to consider your options. There are ways to floss your teeth without using actual floss.
- Try using an interdental brush. These are inexpensive and can be bought in packs at most supermarkets and pharmacies. Like a piece of dental floss, you only use these brushes once. The brush is an ultra-thin piece of plastic (much like a needle) which is covered with small, soft, flexible plastic bristles. You insert the interdental brush between your teeth and the bristles remove any debris. There doesn't have to be an upward jerking motion (as can be the case with dental floss), so you don't need to worry about hurting your gums.
- What about flossing with water? It's not as cheap as using traditional dental floss or interdental brushes, and yet it's perhaps the most gentle option. A water flosser directs a thin stream of water between the gaps in your teeth to dislodge debris. This can be a fantastic option if you hate traditional floss. It's effective and easy.
As always, don't hesitate to have a word with your dentist if you have any questions about flossing. Just because there have been reports that query the importance of flossing, it does not mean that you should give it up. But it's good to know that there are some great alternatives to traditional flossing.