The “Flossing” Myth: A Waste Of Time?

How long have we been told not to floss when cleaning our mouths? However, it is not that efficient and, if used incorrectly, causes more damage than expected.


Statistics show that very few adults floss regularly. Expert Robin Seymour, Emeritus Professor of Dental Sciences at Newcastle University and leading periodontist, explains why we can do more harm to our teeth by flossing and what more efficient alternatives there are.

Why floss in the first place?

The reason why we should floss is that it allows us to remove the smallest food particles and plaque even in the interdental spaces. Flossing is basically the best way to remove plaque if it is done properly. However, most people simply push the remains and thus bacteria “down” into the gums instead of moving them towards the oral cavity. Incorrect use encourages inflammation and gum disease. Also, pulling the floss back and forth irritates the gums more than it cares for them – so the grooming method is a waste of time.

Better alternatives
The expert advises brushing your teeth very precisely, preferably with an automatic toothbrush. Afterwards, you should use an

interdental brush to clean the
interdental spaces. Finally, an alcohol-free mouthwash helps to remove any remaining plaque. Antiseptic rinses in particular have proven very effective so far.


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