What the New Study about Flossing Doesn't Show
Truth: Toothbrushing only reaches 65% of tooth surfaces.
Truth: Flossing alone does not prevent cavities or bone loss, also called periodontal disease. (Note: Periodontal means gums and bone or the tooth's support structure.) Flossing should be a part of a consistent oral care regimen that also includes toothbrushing and rinsing with mouthwash. Routine dental visits are also required for good oral health.
Truth: When done correctly, flossing can reduce cavity risk because it removes impacted food and sweeps away the bacteria or plaque harboring at and below the gum line. This plaque is what causes gum inflammation or gingivitis and over time (say about 30 years) can lead to severe periodontal disease and tooth loss.
Truth: String floss is not the only type of interdental cleaner. Others such as waterflossers and interproximal brushes have actually been found to be increasingly more effective than a poor flossing technique. So, if you still want to throw away your floss, replace it with a Waterpik.
Bottom Line: Flossing helps to keep your teeth healthy, but it must be done properly. Consult with your dental provider to determine what oral care regimen is best for you.
Here is the Step-By-Step Guide to Proper Flossing from the American Dental Association: