Health & Fit How Often Do You Really Need to Floss?

22:38  07 december  2017
22:38  07 december  2017 Source:

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Here, experts explain how often you should floss for the best oral health possible. Unfortunately, the answer isn't "never." Health‘Super Gonorrhea': How Worried Do You Really Need to Be?

It doesn’t have to be with floss . You can also use mini brushes designed for reaching between your teeth, special wooden or plastic picks, or water flossers. How Often Should You Get Tested For STDs? How Much Produce Do You REALLY Need ?

a woman brushing her teeth © PeopleImages/Getty Images

It’s the perennial oral-health question: How often should you floss? Some people do it three times a day. Some do it whenever they remember. And others only do it a few times after a dentist visit, then the floss goes back to the recesses of their medicine cabinet.

As insignificant as the act may seem, flossing is actually at the center of an oral-hygiene debate.

Forgetful flossers were vindicated when the government removed its recommendation for daily flossing from the 2015-2020 version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a set of recommendations the departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services release every five years. The year before the report’s release, the Associated Press asked the two departments for their evidence that flossing was actually beneficial. “In a letter to the AP, the government acknowledged the effectiveness of flossing had never been researched, as required,” the AP said in an August 2, 2016 article.

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There was barely time to put down the floss before the American Academy of Periodontology quickly responded the same day to say that actually, flossing is an important part of daily oral hygiene. They acknowledged that studies showing as much are generally lacking, but “in the absence of quality research, patients should continue to include flossing as a part of their daily oral hygiene habit.” Two days later, the American Dental Association released a statement saying that interdental cleaners such as floss are “an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.”

Confused about how important flossing actually is and how often you should be doing it? Here’s what you need to know.

What even is the point of working that little piece of string between your teeth?

Flossing, proponents say, helps to remove food particles and bacteria from between your teeth and along your gumline. When this bacteria builds up, it forms plaque, a sticky, colorless film that can threaten your oral health by contributing to tooth decay and gingivitis. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, which can then evolve into periodontitis, the full-blown form of this health condition. “Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums around your teeth, which will progress to periodontitis, which is inflammation of the gums in combination with bone loss,” dentist Greg Gelfand, D.D.S., tells SELF. When left untreated, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.

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A) How often do you need to floss ? C) Should you floss your teeth before or after brushing? It doesn't really matter whether you brush or floss first. What does matter is that you do a good job of both.

How often do you need to floss ? | Tips and pointers to keep in mind. You 'll need to use a long enough piece. Especially at first, using too short a piece of dental floss can really hinder your efforts.

Dr. Gelfand says he can quickly tell when a patient hasn’t touched floss in too long, telling SELF that he more often sees “bleeding gums, a high rate of cavities, bone loss, and bad breath” in people who don’t make flossing a habit.

You're not alone if you're confused about how important floss is or how often you should be doing it.

The differing recommendations stem from the absence of solid, large-scale randomized clinical trials to support flossing as an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums, periodontist David Genet, D.M.D., tells SELF. What research there is doesn’t paint a very convincing picture.

For example, a 2011 review of 12 studies with a total of 1,083 people only found “some” evidence that flossing in addition to tooth brushing reduces gum disease compared to tooth brushing alone. Based on 10 of the 12 studies in the review, published in the Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews, there was also only “weak, very unreliable” evidence that flossing plus tooth brushing may be associated with a small reduction in plaque at one and three months.

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Read about why it's important to floss . How to use interdental brushes. If yes, how often is too often ? If I keep brush my teeth for a hour, can my teeth become really white? If I drink a beer after brushing my teeth do I need to brush them again?

How often should I floss ? It is recommended that you floss every time you brush your teeth, but at least once a day. The scraping and pressure of the floss just isn’t something swishing mouthwash can accomplish. Does flossing really make a difference?

A 2015 meta-review published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology came to a similar conclusion. The authors analyzed six reviews (including the above one from 2011) with a combined 3,534 people to see how effective various methods, like flossing, are at cleaning between the teeth. “The majority of available studies fail to demonstrate that flossing is generally effective in plaque removal,” the study authors concluded. “Routine instruction [from dentists and periodontists] in using floss is not supported by scientific evidence.”

According to oral-health experts, though, you’re not just off the hook for flossing, no matter what the science says (or doesn’t). “If you floss after you brush and there are food particles on your floss that otherwise would’ve remained between your teeth, it is hard to believe that the process of flossing is not beneficial,” says Dr. Genet. “Maybe flossing is not as ‘essential’ as was previously suggested, but it definitely plays an important role in maintaining your dental and periodontal health.”

Fine, fine, flossing sounds pretty important. So how often should you actually do it?

In an ideal world, you’d floss every time you brush your teeth, which would be at least twice a day—morning and night—and maybe a third if you brush after lunch, too, Lindsay Marshall, D.M.D., a dentist in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, tells SELF.

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Be honest— how often do you really floss ? While we know we should be flossing daily, flossing remains one of the most difficult things to get people to commit to doing on a regular basis. But how often do you really need to floss ?

How Often Do You Need to Floss ? "I don't recommend the picks because you can really be messing your gums up," Sands said. If it's not used right, you can damage your papilla (the gums in between each tooth).

Dr. Gelfand agrees, noting that “we should brush and floss after every meal to make sure there is no food or bacteria accumulating between the teeth.” Unfortunately, for some people, flossing feels like a Sisyphean task, and doing it three times a day is just laughable. In that case, Dr. Gelfand recommends doing it at least once a day. So do the American Dental Association and American Academy of Periodontology.

Flossing is only effective, however, if you do it correctly. Many people don’t.

Imagine wasting every second you spend flossing like a responsible human being because you’re not doing it properly. Don’t do that to yourself. “Many people just slide the floss into the space between the two teeth and just go up and down, which does not clean both teeth equally,” Dr. Gelfand says.

Here are Dr. Gelfand’s tips for flossing more effectively:

  • When using traditional floss instead of another type of interdental cleaner, use a long piece around 18 inches so there’s enough clean floss to get in between all your teeth.
  • Tie the floss around your middle finger on both hands and pinch it with your thumbs.
  • Keep the distance between your two hands small and go between each tooth in your mouth. Do this gently to avoid harming your gums.
  • To clean both teeth, make a C shape, hugging one tooth and sliding up and down, then make a C shape around the adjacent tooth and repeat the motion. Don’t forget the back sides of your last teeth!
  • Consider using a mouthwash after flossing to rinse your mouth and remove as much bad bacteria as possible. Here’s information from the American Dental Association on choosing the best one for you.

The bottom line: When combined with brushing your teeth, flossing every day is a great way to keep your mouth healthy and make your dentist proud, which is a strangely satisfying feeling.

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Ask Dean, The Go To Gay Guy — How Often Do I Really Need To Floss ? by Dean Hervochon on August 24, 2011. I HATE to floss and dread hearing my dentist tell me every year I need to do a better job flossing following that by showing me the correct way to floss .

How far back do we really need to floss ? Do floss picks really work as well as floss ? How often do you floss ? Why should you use Reach Total Care floss ? How much of a difference does flossing actually make?

But if you have a health issue that compromises your dexterity, like rheumatoid arthritis, there are other options out there. “Various products on the market can achieve the same level of clean as flossing,” Dr. Gelfand says. “Water flossers, dental picks, floss holders, and soft picks are great alternatives to flossing.” If you’re not sure which is the best for you, try experimenting with different types of interdental cleaners or asking your dentist if they have any recommendations.

Slideshow: Why You Shouldn't Skip Brushing Your Teeth (Even If You're Feeling Lazy) (Courtesy: Refinery29) 

Daily brushing gets harmful bacteria out of your mouth.: When you brush your teeth, you're removing bacteria that colonizes in your mouth after you eat, says <a href=Jonathan Levine, DMD. Plus, you're also brushing away any leftover pieces of food that can cause gum irritation.

"The longer you allow bacteria to colonize and collect, the more you nurture the progression of disease," Dr. Levine says. "Brushing well and often will keep the bacterial balance in the mouth healthy and not swing to the bad bacteria that causes decay and gum disease."

The human mouth is home to billions of bacteria — some good, some bad, and some benign — so removing excess harmful bacteria via daily brushing is a good idea if you want to avoid tooth decay and oral diseases like periodontitis." src="/upload/images/real/2017/12/07/daily-brushing-gets-harmful-bacteria-out-of-your-mouth-when-you-brush-your-teeth-youre-removing-bact_833793_.img?content=1" />
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