Does Flossing Reduce Your Risk for Periodontal Disease?

DF2 Uncategorized

Recent news reports have called into doubt the research evidence behind flossing. This can be misleading. Research (and our decades of experience as periodontists in Portsmouth and the Seacoast) have shown that the following are essential to avoid the need for periodontal therapy, including scaling and root planing (deep scaling) or gum surgery:
1. Brush twice daily with a soft toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. Electric toothbrushes are usually more effective than manual brushes. We recommend Oral-B brushes.
2. Clean between your teeth once daily. Floss is very effective for this, but it can be difficult to use properly. Other suitable options include Proxabrushes, Stimudents, rubber tip stimulators, and the Waterflosser (formerly Water-Pik). The research behind flossing per se is weak, but the evidence supporting careful brushing and cleaning between your teeth is strong.
3. Have a professional cleaning and scaling performed regularly. If you have a history of periodontal treatment or multiple dental implant placement, the ideal interval is every 3 months. If not, a 6-month interval is generally sufficient.