Following the recent announcement that the US government is withdrawing its recommendation to floss from its dietary guidelines, based on the lack of definitive scientific studies to prove its effectiveness on gum disease and tooth decay, Denplan has shared its response.
“When talking about evidence and studies, it’s important to distinguish between the terms ‘flossing’ and ‘cleaning between teeth’,” says Henry Clover, Chief Dental Officer at Denplan. “Floss, whether it’s tape or string, is only one of the methods to clean between teeth and some studies have shown that traditional floss is not always effective for some people. This is partly due to patients not always being able to use the floss correctly and the fact that a thin piece of floss might only remove a proportion of plaque and food particles between teeth. There is, however, strong evidence* to show that other methods of cleaning between teeth, such as interdental brushes, are highly effective in removing plaque and helping to prevent or treat gum disease.
“Tooth brushing only reaches around 70 percent of tooth surfaces, so if you’re not regularly removing plaque from in between your teeth, there will be bacteria building up and potentially causing problems. This includes an increased risk of gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath.
“It’s vitally important that patients don’t misinterpret the US government’s recent withdrawal of the recommendation to floss as a message that they only need to brush their teeth, and never clean in between them. We would strongly urge patients to follow an evidence-based approach continue to clean between their teeth, as advised by their dental team, using whatever method work best for them, be it floss, interdental brushes or waterpiks.”
About Henry Clover
Henry Clover joined the Professional Services team of Denplan in 1998, having worked as a dentist for 17 years looking after patients’ oral health in his own practice. He now holds the position of Director of Dental Policy at Simplyhealth and is also Chief Dental Officer at Denplan. Henry playing a vital role in Simplyhealth’s Leadership Team and is at the forefront of private dentistry liaising with more than 6,500 member dentists.
Denplan is the UK’s leading dental payment plan specialist, with more than 6,500 member dentists nationwide caring for approximately 1.7 million registered patients. Established in 1986 by two dentists who pioneered the concept of dental payment plans, Denplan has been at the heart of dental care for nearly 30 years and today the company is owned by Simplyhealth. Denplan has a wide range of dental plans for adults and children, enabling patients to budget for their private dental care by spreading the cost through a fixed monthly fee. We support regular attendance and preventive care, reducing the need for clinical intervention and helping patients to maintain healthy teeth and gums for life.
Denplan also provides a range of professional services for its member dentists and their practice teams, including the Denplan Quality Programme, Denplan Excel Accreditation Programme and Denplan Training, plus regulatory advice, business and marketing consultancy services and networking opportunities.
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