Recently an article was published which reviewed past studies testing the benefits of flossing. The article concluded that the studies, which organizations often cite to support flossing, provide no proof that flossing actually benefits oral health. This article was released just as the U.S. Health and Human Services lifted flossing from its list of suggested oral care practices. But don’t dentists and hygienists actively advocate for flossing? What’s the scoop?
Professionals are split on the issue. Some dentists and hygienists argue that tooth decay and gum disease are microbial problems, not something a macro, mechanical option, like flossing, solves. Others state that when patients come in, they can tell when their patients do or don’t floss, so it must be doing something.
But how many people actually floss? And of those who do, how many floss every day? Whether flossing is good for you or not may be a moot point because many people don’t even follow the protocol. In the end, whether you floss or not, there is an easier way to take care of teeth on a micro level. And some studies show that it can be one of the most beneficial options for improving oral health. Xylitol is the answer.
Xylitol is a natural sweetener that creates an environment where bacteria can’t thrive. Xylitol inhibits bacteria from adhering to teeth and gums, starves out the bacteria, and disrupts the creation of bacterial biofilm. It also promotes salivation, helping to moisturize and cleanse the mouth.
The best thing about xylitol is it can be used in numerous oral care products to make exposure to it easy and convenient. The Spry line has toothpaste, mouth rinse, gum, mints, and even floss for those who like the flossing routine.
To gain the optimal affect of xylitol, studies show that we need to have five exposures to it throughout the day. And yet, it doesn’t have to be hard. If you brush your teeth in the morning and at night and have xylitol gum or mints after each meal, you have the five exposures. And what a difference following that protocol will make.
So whether you floss or not, get on the xylitol protocol to address the bigger issue of bacterial build-up in the mouth. Your smile will thank you later.