Almost every time you go to the dentist you are probably asked how many times you brush and floss every week, and like most Americans you fall short of your dentist recommendation of flossing a week. In recent news from the Associated Press, revealed that the Department of Health and Human Services and Agriculture was unable to present evidence that flossing might reduce plaque and cavity. The US government discreetly dropped any mention of flossing in the latest dietary guidelines for Americans and has caused a wave of news outlets to question the effectiveness of flossing and the studies conducted for it.
The American Academy of Periodontology released a statement last Tuesday acknowledging that their research fell short because of they were unable to include enough participants or “examine gum health over a significant amount of time.”. This matches the research that the Associated Press uncovered of 25 studies in leading journals that concluded that evidence for flossing is “weak, very unreliable” and of “very low” quality.
This comes as a surprise to people who floss daily and has dentist crossed between opinions. The American Dental Association’s website claims that flossing “is an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.” While brushing wit fluoride does prevent dental decay, there has only been speculation that flossing has the same benefit but never been proven.
But this recent discovery does not only affect dentist but serval brands from Procter & Gamble that claim that their flossing product fight plaque and gingivitis. Johnson & Johnson’s spokesman Marc Boston also claimed that flossing helps remove plaque, and since the reveal from the Associated Press, has refused to make a comment. This is only the beginning of the debate of whether flossing is effective or not, in the upcoming month we should see more studies being performed to prove flossing is useful or not.
While flossing may be your daily routine, you do not have to stop immediately. You should consult your dentist and get a trusted opinion on flossing before stopping completely.