Dr. Ellie Phillips claims that tooth decay and gum infections are preventable diseases, and the prevention method doesn’t necessarily involve flossing. In general, flossing is ineffective in reducing tooth decay and may even damage the gums if done incorrectly, Dr. Phillips has generally suggested.
Although apparently no longer in active practice Dr. Phillips has been a dentist for some 35 years, and based on this experience, instead recommends using three different mouthwashes every day–one before brushing and two after. She also says that after meals you should chew gum or mints containing the natural sweetener xylitol.
Although Dr. Phillips is not a big fan of fluoride in the drinking water supply, she does suggest using a particular mouthwash that contains fluoride. More information on the do-it-yourself system for healthy gums and teeth can be found on her website.
Her book Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye also describes her protocol for achieving dental health.
Several dental authorities cited by London’s Daily Mail suggest that Dr. Phillips — who trained in both the US and in England — may have point that flossing has limited effectiveness in combating tooth decay. But flossing still has an important function in the prevention of gum disease, except that most people fail to floss properly enough to get rid of sufficient plaque.
“Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, says flossing is definitely not a waste of time — provided you’re doing it properly.
” ‘We certainly shouldn’t be encouraging people not to do it,’ he says. ‘If you don’t clean between the teeth, you’re cleaning only 60 per cent of the tooth’s surface.’ “
Do you floss your teeth every day?
[Image credit: Stan Zurek]
Watch a recent interview with Dr. Ellie Phillips: