To Floss or Not to Floss?

flossThe American Dental Association (ADA) is aware of the recent preliminary injunction against a mouthwash manufacturer's advertising claim that its mouth rinse is as effective as flossing.  The ADA continues to recommend flossing as part of a superior oral hygiene regimen.  While some study results indicate the use of a mouth rinse can be as effective as flossing for reducing plaque between the teeth, the American Dental Association (ADA) still recommends that individuals  brush twice a day and clean between the teeth with floss or interdental cleaners once each day to remove plaque from all tooth surfaces.  Plaque is responsible for both tooth decay and gum disease.  Regarding the studies, the authors concluded that in patients with mild to moderate gingivitis (early peridontal (gum) disease), rinsing twice a day with the antiseptic mouth rinse was as effective as flossing for reducing plaque and gingivitis between the teeth.  The studies did not examine whether the mouth rinse had the same effect as floss on reducing tooth decay or periodontitis (advanced peridontal (gum) disease).  Flossing and interdental cleaners also help remove food debris caught between teeth that may not be rinsed away.

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