The experts' ultimate flossing guide: worth doing to care for our teeth?

4 dental expert views on flossing

British Dental Association:

'Small interdental brushes are best for cleaning the areas in between the teeth, where there is space to do so. Floss is of little value unless the spaces between your teeth are too tight for the interdental brushes to fit, without hurting or causing harm.'

British Society of Dental Hygiene & Therapy:

'Although there has been no conclusive proof to show that flossing is beneficial to oral health, there is evidence which shows that regular interdental cleaning, with interdental brushes, plays an important role in our oral health routine. It helps to prevent gum disease by removing plaque from any areas missed by brushing alone.'

Dentist Rahul Doshi:

'Plaque is the cause of gum disease, potential bone and tooth loss, and a toothbrush alone cannot clean plaque between teeth, which means floss is the ideal aid to achieve this. Interdental cleaning is important and, for those of us who find it awkward, there are alternatives such as flossettes, interdental brushes and power flossers.'

Dentist James Goolnik:

'Research shows that the use of interdental brushes daily between teeth is effective against gum disease. So, say goodbye to your floss (unless you get something stuck between your teeth) and say hello to interdental brushes. They are simpler to use but you will need to find the correct size so it's a snug fit to remove the plaque. If you want to know what size is best for you, ask your dentist or hygienist.'

Julie Bissett is a freelance journalist. Follow Julie on twitter: @JulesBiscuit


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