So, a lot of people ask me this crazy question. I’m hesitant to pick one over the other, but I will for the sake of this question because that’s what I’m here for. And that question is: “Dr. Burhenne, if you were stranded on a desert island, and you had to pick between floss and a toothbrush, which would you take?”
And of course, that’s a crazy question. But I think you’ll be surprised that the correct answer is floss.
You have to take the floss. Flossing is more important than brushing. The ramifications of not flossing, I think, are greater than not brushing. I think in the long run, gum disease and the build-up of biofilm in between the teeth is more deleterious than the buildup that brushing would access.
And besides, my fallback in this hypothetical island scenario is that I’ll be eating fresh island food (nothing processed), so I won’t have to worry about any kind of cariogenic (cavity-causing) foods.
So, that’s my answer: floss.
Dr. Mark Burhenne