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Can Flossing Ever Be Bad for You?

November 1st, 2018|
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This is for those 95% of us who don’t floss regularly. We all know that part of being an adult includes regular flossing. Morning and night – otherwise gum disease may set in. But truth is, we don’t floss as we should. And are there ever bad side effects to flossing that can offset or outweigh the benefits? If so, are there ways to achieve the same positive results as flossing, while avoiding the bad? Read on to learn whether you can retire the floss for good.

Flossing 101

Commonly, flossing is considered a staple of dental hygiene. It has the potential of keeping those narrow gaps between your teeth free of bacteria-feeding foods, and plaque. Flossing reduces the chances of gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss.

People simply don’t floss as much as they say they do

That said, there’s simply no getting around that we don’t floss as much as we say we do. We lie to our friends and family, and we lie to our dentists. Numbers show that only around five percent of us are regular flossers, which is a frightening statistic if flossing is the only way to keep the interdental surfaces clean and periodontal disease at bay. The reasons why people forego the floss range from it being painful, an inconvenience, or simply being impossible due to teeth that sit too close together. The reasons we lie may be that we know that flossing is the responsible and sensible thing to do, and by admitting that we don’t – potentially around serial-flossers – may make us feel bad, or not good enough.

So, is it the only way?

No. There are other ways to remove foods between your teeth. If flossing isn’t your cup of tea, we recommend investing in an oral irrigator. It removes bacteria build-up through pressurised pulsating water. It’s like showering your teeth! Studies show that if done correctly, it’s more effective than flossing, with less side effects, as it also gets to bacteria in your gums as well as between your teeth. It might seem like a pricey investment, but avoiding gum disease and tooth decay later in life is likely to save you much more money and headache.

The potential bad side effects of flossing

While floss can get to the food stuck between your teeth, it doesn’t do much for the food stuck in folds in your gums. Here, pathogenic bacteria can flourish undetected, causing periodontal disease and other problems. If these bacteria are allowed to enter our bloodstream (through a sore or perhaps inexperienced flossing), it can lead to inflammation and a range of more serious conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and more.

Are you taking proper care of your teeth? Seeing a dentist regularly is the easiest way to know if your dental routine is up to scratch. Book an appointment today.

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