Why Flossing is Important


A book about flossing your teeth? Really?

I am a periodontist, which means I am a dentist with additional training in the diagnosis and treatment of gum diseases. Yes, some of it is pretty complicated, but not all of it. After years of study and after treating thousands of patients, I have come to two conclusions:

Most periodontal disease is preventable.

This is also true for most tooth decay as well.

And the most important (and least expensive) activity that will help prevent these huge dental problems for life is to learn and practice effective flossing on a daily basis, starting in the early high school years.

Well now, that opens a can of worms. I’m sure you have some questions.
  • What is the best way to teach children to floss?
  • How can parents motivate an adolescent to floss?
  • What if I am much older and already have dental problems?
  • What if I physically can’t floss?
  • What about tooth brushing, toothpaste, mouthwashes, diet, fluoride, etc.? Compared to these, how important is flossing, really?
Now, you may be thinking that I am overstating things a bit. You can’t imagine that the activity you think of as flossing your teeth could possibly make this big a difference. I get it. To be honest, your method of flossing might not. This is because whatever it is you are doing now is very likely not the same method you will learn about here. This will probably trigger at least a couple more questions for you.
  • So what is the best way to floss your teeth?
  • Why didn’t I learn about any of this before now?

So, yes, it’s probably time for you to read the little book about flossing.