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24 / 05 / 2023

To Floss Or Not To Floss? – That Is The Question

As a dental nurse, I get to hear lots of responses to the following question from Dentists and Hygienists to patient; ‘So what are you using to clean in between your teeth?’

Responses tend to fall in to two categories; those patients who know exactly what interdental aids they are using, and those who admit to using nothing yet say they know that they really should be. So why are Dentists and Hygienists asking patients this question? There are several reasons:

  • Tooth brushing alone can’t reach into all the tight spaces between your teeth and under the gum line. By using floss or interdental aids you’ll be able to remove more plaque (tooth brushing alone means you are missing 35% of your tooth surfaces…..yuk).
  • Plaque is a soft, sticky substance that develops when food debris is left behind. You can remove it yourself at home with tooth brushing, floss and interdental aids. It’s what makes our teeth feel “furry” when we run our tongue over them.
  • By using floss and interdental aids you will prevent the formation of calculus. Calculus is hardened plaque. Calculus can only be removed by a visit to the Dental Hygienist. However, once calculus has formed it will make it harder to toothbrush and floss effectively, in turn harbouring harmful bacteria which can cause cavities and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums).

Prevention is better than the cure!

Dentists and Dental Hygienists care passionately about your oral health and ensuring your mouth is as healthy as possible. At your appointments, whilst it may feel like a telling off, your dentist or hygienist just wants the best for you. By implementing flossing and interdental aids into your daily routine you can be assured that you will be doing your best to prevent conditions such as gingivitis, cavities and preventing harmful bacteria that has been shown to impact on other diseases of the body such as diabetes and heart disease.

Attending your regular maintenance appointments at Absolute Dental you can be assured that your Dentist and Hygienist will assist you to ensure that you have all the tools and skills to make sure your mouth is as healthy as possible. Then it’s up to you to implement this into your daily routine; think 3 R’s;

  • Reminder – when you pick up the toothbrush, this is your reminder to clean interdentally.
  • Routine – floss and use any interdental aids before tooth brushing.
  • Reward – you know that you’re doing your best to maintain your oral health and preventing any other conditions arising.


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  • 3 Duke Street Court
  • Bridge Street
  • Kingsbridge
  • TQ7 1HX
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