Flossing May Not Be as Important as We’ve Been Told

By: Jordyn Cormier

No need to feel so guilty the next time your dentist sneers, “someone hasn’t been flossing,” as he or she whips out the Floss of Truth and wedges it deep into your gums. Yes, the dentist always knows when you’re lying about your flossing routine. It’s a gift. But it turns out that daily flossing may not be so important after all. On the latest American Dietary Guidelines, there is actually no mention of flossing. Careless oversight? Not so.

It seems that there is no scientific evidence to prove the benefits of religious flossing. That’s right, your entire dental life has been a ruse! A recent review of 12 trials instigated by the Associated Press found “very unreliable” evidence that flossing reduces the development of plaque after three months. Actually, there is little proof that flossing offersany benefits in plaque reduction or oral disease reduction. Additionally, most of the trials and studies supporting flossing were conducted by highly biased floss manufacturers. While many dentists will still recommend regular flossing as a part of your dental care routine, daily flossing may not be as big of a deal as we thought.

Be aware, flossing may still reduce gingivitis, so it may not be wise to abandon flossing altogether until more research is conducted. Flossing once in a while doesn’t do any real harm after all. But do we need to obsess over flossing every single day? As long as you give your teeth a deep, solid floss semi-regularly, it seems that you can still reap the benefits of flossing without the guilt of missing a night or two.

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