Writer: Aditi Bang
Current Solutions and Their Insufficiencies
Tooth decay is a very prevalent issue in our world, affecting more than half our population. The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice and flossing teeth once a day (ADA). Flossing is an efficient way to remove plaque and other materials stuck in between the teeth. The risk for cavities and gum diseases is decreased a great amount by this simple action. Flossing is an essential method for an oral hygiene routine and needed to maintain a person’s oral health. However, many Americans do not floss despite all the obvious advantages and constant awareness. Approximately, only one-third of the population flosses regularly (Sternberg). Despite dentists’ recommendations, a study shows how 37% floss regularly and 32% never floss (Sternberg).
There are various types of floss- ranging from unwaxed floss to electric floss. Unwaxed floss contains nylon strands twisted together. This floss is good for tight spaces; waxed floss, on the other hand, is harder to use in tight spaces because of the wax coating (Qureshi). Dental tape is broader which benefits those with teeth that have gaps. Polytetrafluorethylene floss (PTFE) goes between the teeth easily and sturdier. Super flosses are firm on the ends so it is easy for those with braces. There are also electric flosses which provide an option for people having a difficult time using floss.
Even though flossing has many benefits, there can be risks when done aggressively. Over time, it can create serious harm to the gum tissues and enamel (“How Teeth Can Be Damaged by Flossing Too Hard”). Flossing excessively during the day can wear out the gums leading the roots of the teeth at risk. Wounding the gums or flossing forcefully can cause bleeding or gum sensitivity.
As stated previously, floss is made of simple nylon strings. It is effective, but there is no cavity- preventing material in the floss. Those who floss regularly receive many benefits, but those who do not follow these rules are at a greater likelihood of oral diseases. Floss coated with a cavity- preventing substances such as fluoride would be more functional and attract more people to floss. Instead of long dentist appointments, people can easily floss and prevent oral disease primarily themselves.
The author did an effective job of expanding on a simple topic, flossing, with great detail. She went over all the required information such as types, drawbacks, and advantages. The author provides many statistics in the introduction to attract the reader’s attention. She describes the risks and explains its relation to oral health. She provides background information to readers to fully develop her idea and allow them to understand in depth. She can improve by expanding more about the risks of explaining which parts of the teeth will be affected. To conclude her writing, she hinted at a new possible idea. In conclusion, she did a great job of displaying all the available methods to prevent cavities.
ADA. “Floss/Interdental Cleaners.” American Dental Association, 25 Mar. 2019, www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/floss.
“How Teeth Can Be Damaged by Flossing Too Hard.” Severance Dental, severancedental.com/blog/how-teeth-can-be-damaged-flossing-too-hard.
Sternberg, Steven. “How Many Americans Floss Their Teeth?” How Many Americans Floss Their Teeth?, 2 May 2016, www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-05-02/how-many-americans-floss-their-teeth#:%7E:text=The%20first%20nationally%20representative%20analysis,Lead%20author%20Duong%20T.
Qureshi, Annie. “Pros And Cons Of Flossing: Why Is This Dental Tip Overlooked?” HealthWorksCollective, oralb.com/en-us/dental-floss-types-the-pros-and-cons.