A controversial new flossing study released this week shows that there is no strong proof that flossing your teeth has a medical benefit.
In a bombshell investigative story by Jeff Donn, he questioned the American Dental Association (ADA) about its claim that, “Flossing is an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.” He also tried to find the federal government’s scientific basis for putting flossing in the list of dietary guidelines since 1979.
Donn’s finding: Flossing is a lie.
The ADA’s representative, “acknowledged weak evidence, but he blamed research participants who didn’t floss correctly,” writes Donn. The federal government, meanwhile, removed the guideline after Donn inquired, and when he asked for an explanation, the Fed “acknowledged the effectiveness of flossing had never been researched, as required.”
Going even further, Donn then questioned floss manufacturers Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson. Both, according to the AP, made questionable scientific claims. Johnson & Johnson simply claimed flossing fights plaque without backing it up at all, and the study Procter & Gamble used to defend itself had already been debunked by a A 2011 report published by The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
So is flossing a waste of time?
THE SCIENCE OF SMILES® believes the Fed’s removal of its flossing recommendation is dead wrong. The majority of the U.S. population needs to floss. We have personally observed a reduction in gum bleeding in patients who began a new flossing regimen. But the real difference can be seen from the measurements of patients’ unhealthily wide “gum pockets”— which is an indicator of gum disease.
Our office stands firmly behind the use of daily flossing. And, despite the change in the federal guidelines, we plan to keep giving patients that classic dentist’s bargain: floss or face the potential for expensive dental procedures.
True, some people lie — but we can spot the difference between a flosser and a non-flosser. The gums don’t lie.
THE SCIENCE OF SMILES® offers affordable cosmetic and laser dentistry and gentle, compassionate general dental care in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover affordable up-to-date dentistry and a team who truly cares at THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®.