Recently, there have been some news stories published about flossing. Floss doesn’t usually get a lot of coverage, probably because people don’t like to be told to floss. But this story, in particular, has taken off. That’s because someone noticed that there had not been any scientific research (not tied to flossing companies) that shows flossing as being useful.
Now, there has been research done, but because a majority of that research was conducted by the American Dental Association and others that partner with companies that sell floss, they are ruling that out as evidence.
No one has found that flossing is ineffective, but plenty of people seem to be celebrating the idea that they don’t have to floss. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Please don’t rely on this type of information, ask an actual dentist. Here’s what Dr. Mann has to say in response to these stories:
“As a practicing dentist for over 20 years, I am shocked at the most recent claims that flossing your teeth is a waste of time. The articles claim that there is no “scientific proof” that flossing your teeth does any good. In my opinion, I see no reason that the obvious needs to be proven.
If you carefully consider the shape of every tooth you would see that each one has five surfaces. In general terms, there is an inside, outside, front, back, and biting surface. The front and back surfaces touch each other, and therefore it’s impossible for a toothbrush to reach. If we can agree that brushing our teeth is important, and understand that we are only brushing three of the five surfaces, why wouldn’t we floss? When we wash our hands do we clean between our fingers? Of course we do!
I have seen countless patients with swollen gums that bleed, have bad breath and stained teeth, completely change there condition with a commitment to proper brushing and flossing. Their mouths become healthy because they choose to start brushing AND flossing regularly!
I simply don’t need scientific evidence to prove the obvious. I see it every day!”
So, there you have it. The fact that the current research is being deemed inconclusive is just a formality, and it doesn’t change the fact that flossing works, and is absolutely necessary.