• Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

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Top dentist hits out at fuss over floss

Ken Harris
Ken Harris

Believing that flossing may not be effective, the American government has now dropped flossing from its recommendations.

But multi-award winning dentist Dr Ken Harris of Riveredge Cosmetic Dentistry – who teaches dentists around the world – warned that stopping flossing could set people up for huge dental problems in the future.

“The only reason that people are saying that flossing may not be effective is because nobody has actually done a credible study on it; what is needed is more quality research,” said Dr Harris, who runs practices in Sunderland and Newcastle.

“Flossing is not about protecting your teeth right now, it’s about keeping your mouth healthy for the future, and you’ll see the benefits in years to come. It’s like an insurance policy; you keep paying, but hope you never need to make a claim.”

Dr Harris added that many people don’t realise the real purpose of flossing

“It’s not about getting out pieces of food that might be jammed in your teeth,” he said.

“It’s about being able to remove the really nasty bugs that lurk in your mouth hiding between your teeth. About 75 per cent of these bugs can be removed by normal brushing but the remaining 25 per cent need more effort to reach.”

“The bugs” are better known as anaerobic bacteria, which if left in the mouth can cause foul smelling breath and “over a long period of time, can loosen teeth”.

Dr Harris suggests flossing reduces the risk of losing your teeth in the future, and recommends everyone to do it. “People shouldn’t play roulette with their dental future and shouldn’t take the risk.”

“By not flossing that’s like saying there’s no point in my having car insurance because I’ve not had an accident in 40 years, but everyone still does it … just in case.”

“People should not use the USA decision as a reason to stop flossing,” said Dr Harris.

“By continuing to floss you may not see immediate benefits but 20-30 years down the road when people still have their own teeth, they’ll understand why they did it”.

Dr Harris added, “flossing does reduce plaque and it helps people get into the crevices in their mouths that they can’t get to by just normal brushing alone.”

“There is absolutely no logical reason at all for people to stop flossing,” he said.

“It is an excellent preventative measure and will bring with it many benefits in the long term.”

Multi-award winner Dr Harris is respected across the globe for his expansive knowledge on cosmetic dentistry and he regularly teaches around the world.

He is one of only two Fellows of the British Academy of Aesthetic Dentistry (BACD) which involves him teaching other dentists around the UK. He is a member of the British Academy of Aesthetic Dentistry (BAAD), and regularly teaches USA dentists at the world-renowned Kois Center programme across in Seattle.

He regularly travels across to North America and Canada, delivering lectures on aesthetic dentistry to practitioners in New York, Vancouver, San Francisco, Orange County, Fresno and San Diego in his role as the Clinical Director for California Center (sic) for Advanced Dental Studies.

His award-winning team also provide general dentistry. For further information visit www.riveredge.co.uk

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