The Tangible Benefits of Flossing: What Research Says

Dear Patients, this is Cristina. At your appointment time you have gotten accustomed to me asking you if you floss daily and encouraging you to do so. I have attached some research findings with my commentaries added.

Flossing, for some, still remains an often-overlooked aspect of oral hygiene. While brushing is almost universal, some still wonder about the actual benefits of sliding that thin piece of string between our teeth. But as several studies suggest, the benefits of flossing extend far beyond just removing that annoying piece of spinach from dinner. Let’s discuss some research-backed reasons you should be making flossing a non-negotiable daily habit.

  1. Reduction in Periodontal Disease and Cavities. The Journal of Dental Research conducted a study that found individuals who flossed regularly experienced a notable decrease in both periodontal diseases and cavities compared to those who did not. Flossing helps remove the plaque between teeth, a major contributor to both these issues.
  2. Reduction in Systemic Diseases. In a study published in the American Heart Journal, there’s evidence suggesting a correlation between periodontal diseases (often preventable by flossing) and cardiovascular diseases. Inflammation caused by gum diseases can lead to a higher risk of heart-related conditions (more on this in a future post!)
  3. Cost-effective Preventative Measure. According to a study in the Journal of Periodontology, regular use of floss can lead to a reduction in the long-term health costs associated with dental issues. By preventing the onset of cavities and gum diseases, individuals can save on treatments, medications, and even potential surgeries.
  4. Improved Breath and Aesthetics. While not always measured in formal research, one of the most immediate and noticeable benefits of flossing is fresher breath. The Journal of Clinical Periodontology confirms that the accumulation of interdental food debris and plaque is a primary cause of bad breath, and flossing is one of the most effective means of removal.
  5. Positive Impact on Diabetes. The New York University College of Dentistry conducted research that revealed people with diabetes benefit significantly from regular flossing. Gum infections can make diabetes harder to control due to the body’s inflammatory response, but flossing can help manage these complications.
  6. Flossing as a Predictor of Other Healthy Behaviours. A broader observational study has indicated that individuals who floss regularly are more likely to engage in other proactive health behaviours, such as regular check-ups, balanced diets, and exercise. Thus, flossing isn’t just a singular good habit; it’s potentially indicative of a more health-conscious lifestyle.

The thread of floss might appear inconsequential, but its impact on our overall health is far from minimal. The research is clear: incorporating this simple, quick step into our daily routine can yield dividends when it comes to our oral and overall health. If you aren’t already, it’s time to get in between those teeth with floss. Your future self will undoubtedly thank you.

Yours, Cristina


Here is how to Floss like Dr. Cristina 🙂

Flossing is an essential part of a healthy oral hygiene routine. To do it right, follow these simple steps:

  1. Begin with a generous length of dental floss (about 45cm) and wind most of it around your middle fingers, leaving about 3-5cm to work with.
  2. Gently glide the floss between your teeth using a sawing motion. Be careful not to snap or force it, as this can damage your gums.
  3. Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and move it up and down to remove plaque and food particles.
  4. Repeat this process for each tooth, including the back ones.
  5. Finish by rinsing your mouth and enjoying that fresh, clean feeling!



To all our patients in Surrey Hills, Mont Albert, Mont Albert North, Balwyn, North Balwyn, Canterbury, Box Hill, Box Hill South, Box Hill North, Camberwell, Hawthorn and surrounding areas.