Hate Flossing? Here’s Why You Don’t Need To Do It

The eyes may be the window to the soul, but a bright and dazzling smile is the mark of a charming personality. Everyone wants to be adorned with one, and it is within easy reach if you take daily oral hygiene seriously. 

Brushing your teeth, while necessary, is not sufficient to ensure a perfect set of healthy pearly whites. Harmful plaque and tartar can still collect between the small gaps between your teeth, sometimes below the visible gum line. They simply cannot be reached by a toothbrush. It was once thought that the only option available to remove this harmful material was through flossing, which was only effective if performed perfectly. Today, there are other options.

Why Do We Need Interdental Care?

Plaque is the harmful bacteria that develops on your teeth if you fail to observe regular oral hygiene. It builds up over time, and if not removed regularly, it can cause swollen gums, which may bleed easily. This condition is medically known as gingivitis.

If ignored, gingivitis can progress to severe periodontal disease, characterised by the bone supporting the teeth resorbing away.  If too much of the bony support for the tooth is missing, the tooth will get loose and fall out.  The end-stage of severe Periodontal disease is no teeth! Periodontal disease is also linked to other major health conditions such as stroke, heart disease and diabetes. 

Fortunately, you can easily avoid these serious medical problems with a regular habit of maintaining proper oral hygiene. For a long time, flossing was the only way to access some of the more hard-to-reach places that a toothbrush would fail to clean. 

Minimise the chances of getting cavities between your teeth

Cavities are caused by plaque that remains undisturbed in the hard to reach areas of the teeth.   Any stubborn food particle which remains in the gaps of your teeth can lead to the build-up of plaque within a few days.  This build-up of bacteria releases acid, which damages the tooth enamel, causing a cavity to form over time.  Regularly cleaning the gaps of the teeth ensures that the plaque is removed, significantly reducing the risk of getting a cavity.  

Ineffective Flossing Is the Same As Not Flossing

There has been a lot of talk in the media recently about the idea that flossing doesn’t work. Valid research shows patients who reported flossing were developing as many problems as those that said they didn’t.

This is no surprise. Effective flossing is very technique sensitive, and many people who do floss daily are not using the correct technique. However, that doesn’t change the fact we need to maintain healthy gums and teeth by cleaning the gaps properly.

The European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) released a reply to these reports, reiterating the important truth, “cleaning between the teeth on a daily basis is essential to maintain gum health.” They confirmed that flossing was ineffective only because it was difficult to perform. That is why they now recommend “Interdental Brushes”.

The EFP are not the only people in support of Interdental Brushes. The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends interdental brushes as “quick and easy to use” and, unlike floss, “can be used multiple times before they need to be thrown away”. 

What Are Interdental Brushes?

An interdental brush is a thin wire covered in bristles, giving it a resemblance to a bottle-brush. This wire is connected to a handle to make it easy to move around the mouth. Interdental brushes come in a range of sizes to ensure they can fit comfortably between your teeth.


Oral hygiene is essential to a perfect smile and good health of your mouth. It is crucial to dislodge remnant food particles, plaque and tartar from between your teeth. Using a toothbrush is often not enough. Dentists recommend using interdental techniques, like flossing and interdental brushes, to clean those hard to reach areas between teeth and gums.

While flossing has been recommended for many years, its difficulty of use often means people are not getting the benefits they should. That is why Whitehorse Dental recommends using interdental brushes either instead of or in addition to floss. Easy to use and very effective, these brushes will make your daily oral hygiene routine a breeze. 

To learn about interdental brushes and how to improve your oral hygiene routine, make a check-up appointment with us at Whitehorse Dental Today!