There was a story making a lot of buzz earlier this week that current evidence doesn't support the need to floss. We spoke with Dr. Fred Guerra here in Colorado Springs who says hold on, before you throw your floss away.
"I don't think you will find a dentist that will stand behind that report. This has created quite a firestorm in the dental community because we on the front lines know the benefits flossing or using some other mechanical device to clean in between your teeth."
Dr. Guerra says the nearly 50 years of experience between he and his staff is all the evidence he needs of the positive effects of flossing.
"We see it daily, so this is more than anecdotal evidence when we look at our patients mouths, we can tell if someone is a flosser, isn't a flosser,or if they are an effective flosser. When we talk about flossing what we are talking about is cleaning between the teeth and gums. Dental floss was probably the first thing that was invented years ago, now there are other ways to clean between the teeth, there are inaproximal picks, there are water flossers, water picks, a whole host of devices.”
No matter how you clean between the teeth Dr. Guerra says it serves a specific purpose.
"The benefit of flossing is to clean off the microbes and plaque that is getting in between where your toothbrush is not able to reach. I often tell people where they hear the floss snap between their teeth that is the weak link for developing decay."
If floss is your weapon of choice there is a right way and a wrong way to floss says Dr. Guerra. “Get it wrapped around middle fingers properly, snap it down between the teeth and then go 180 degrees around one tooth, then 180 degrees around the other tooth and cleanse as much of the tooth surface as your can, it's just not snapping it through and pulling it out, you are not cleaning anything. There is a technique to it, your hygienist can help you, your dentist can help you do that.”
Dr. Guerra is confident cleaning between your teeth will help prevent gum disease and cavities. It's a lesson he learned in dental school and feels flossing is one of the big reasons he hasn't had a cavity since. If you have question about flossing make sure to follow up with your dentist.