To Floss or Not Floss

Last month the Associated Press published a report about the weak evidentiary basis for flossing as way to reduce plaque and tooth decay and to prevent gum disease. In response, the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Periodontology acknowledged the lack of evidence.

After this report hit the news, we have been bombarded with questions from our patients….”Do I have to floss?”

how-to-floss

As always in our practice, what we recommend for a patient, is very patient specific. We
hat everyone, do every and anything; brush, floss, have x-rays, have cleanings, etc. Some patients need to only be seen once per year for hygiene. While other patients may need to be seen 4-5 times per year.do not recommend that everyone, do every and anything; brush, floss, have x-rays, have cleanings, etc. Some patients need to only be seen once per year for hygiene. While other patients may need to be seen 4-5 times per year.

Studies can help us understand what works best for a certain segment of the population. Only careful attention to conditions and changes in their mouth will tell us what works best for them.

At Johns Family Dentistry, whether a patient is being seen for either an initial or periodic examination, they can expect three things from us:

We look for health. We want patients to know that we look for what they are already doing to support health that is working well for them. We start with the belief that you have been trying to take care of yourself the best you can, and we will look for evidence to support this.

Look for disease. We want to assure patients that we will carefully check their teeth and surrounding structures for any active disease. We will look for dental decay, gum and bone disease, oral cancer and other soft tissue lesions and joint disease. We want the patients perspective on any changes that you may be observing and we will continue to pay attention to your concerns.

Look for risk factors. We believe it is easier and more economical to prevent a problem than to fix it. Patients need to know that changes in your overall health frequently show up first in your mouth.

Patients have a right to expect our thoroughness, our perspective and our honest counsel in the context of your unique set of circumstances.

With all this being said, will some patients still be encouraged to floss? Absolutely. Will some patients still be shown the flossing technique? Sure. Will Dr. Johns still walk in to the exam and declare he has never had a cavity and does not floss? You can bet on it.

To floss or not to floss? That is not the true question. The true questions/answers are the communication and decisions that you as a patient has with our team in deciding and recommending the best care and results for you.