To Floss or Not? What Dentists May Not Be Telling You


There are very specific reasons why people avoid the visit to Winnipeg dentist office or some other dental clinic. First, anytime when someone works in your mouth it is a very uncomfortable feeling. Second, dentists and dental hygienists have a way of making people feel bad about not always having the best habits. How many times have you gone to the dentist only to pay them to “shame” you about not flossing your teeth? With so many things on the to-do list these days, is it any wonder that sometimes the teeth get lost in the shuffle?

flossingFor those who are looking for a little retort, scientific findings are concluding that flossing may not be as helpful as you have been led to believe. In fact, many studies find that it does nothing to foster the health of your teeth or to fight against tooth decay.

For the past decade, researchers have tried to find evidence that flossing is a preventive measure to avoid gum disease and cavities, but they haven’t found what they expected. What they have found is that flossing regularly has very little to do with the absence or presence of dental carries. Flossing has been the standard recommendation being pushed since 1979.

The problem with the recommendations is that there is no scientific data to support it being a dietary guideline, and, by law, you have to have conclusive evidence that something works before you make it part of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

There is evidence that flossing was never really studied, nor has there ever been any evidence that it actually does what dentists have been telling us for over four decades. Although telling patients that flossing helps to prevent tooth decay and prevent gingivitis, there is nothing to support those claims.


Around since as early as the 19th century, flossing was patented as far back as 1874. At the time that flossing came into existence, there were no guidelines about what you could claim medically and what you couldn’t. So, it is unlawful for your dentist or hygienist not only to make you feel bad but also to even recommend that you floss your teeth regularly.

Flossing studies recently showed that there was no significant difference between flossing and not flossing on people’s dental health when they performed it on a daily basis. The only time that there seemed to be any benefit at all was when the flossing was done by a dental professional.

Flossing seems to be a pretty straight-forward thing, you put the floss between your teeth and rub up against the gum. Unfortunately, very few people either engage in flossing, and when they do, they rarely do it correctly. What dentists don’t mention is that if flossing is not done properly, it can actually damage your gums or create an infection.

Even if you went to the dentist every day and had them floss your teeth perfectly, the benefit appears to be very minuscule. So why is there still a push toward flossing? Like everything else, once something has been accepted, it is hard to debunk. The reality is that using mouth wash regularly has been shown to have more preventative nature against gum disease and carries than flossing, but you will rarely hear a dentist say that out loud.

Flossing does appear to help stave away inflammation at the gum line and help to prevent the gums from bleeding, which can help with infection, but it certainly isn’t the be all that you have been told throughout the decades.

So, should you floss or not?

flossingThe only conclusion that is for sure is that flossing rarely has any negative effect on your dental health. Sometimes there is a reason why things survive, and it may not always be exactly what we think, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t perform a function. Whether it can prevent tooth decay or gingivitis is in question.

When you have something stuck in your gums, it can be irritating and cause your breath to smell. Nonetheless, flossing may make your mouth smell fresher, make your gums bleed less when you brush your teeth, and, for sure, it will make your dentist get off of your back and leave you alone on your next visit.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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