Recently, there were news stories released which challenged the conventional wisdom dispensed by dentists for decades that flossing the teeth regularly helps ward off tooth decay and gum disease. According to these stories put out by the Associated Press, there is a lack of strong evidence showing that daily flossing actually prevents gum disease and tooth decay. This new information has come to light due to the federal government recently removing its decades-old flossing recommendation from its Dietary Guidelines for Americans that is issued every five years. Under law, these guidelines must be based on scientific evidence and it’s been determined by the government that there is a lack of robust research that convincingly demonstrates the efficacy of flossing when it comes to preventing cavities or gum disease.
So does mean you can chuck that floss dispenser once and for all, and never floss your teeth again? The answer to that questions is a resounding “No” and here’s why. Even though there is a lack of long-term, large-scale studies to definitely show that flossing helps safeguard dental health, the American Dental Association, The American Academy of Periodontology and the National Institutes of Health all firmly recommend flossing the teeth regularly to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
When you floss your teeth, it removes built-up plaque and food debris that is trapped between the teeth and under the gumline which are places where a toothbrush simply cannot reach. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research tells us that there is a good amount of scientific evidence which shows clearly that flossing removes plaque and debris.
Since gum disease can take up to 15 years to develop, it is nearly impossible to conduct studies which show the effectiveness of flossing for safeguarding oral health. Researchers would essentially have to ask one group of people to floss daily and another group never to floss and then wait and see what happens. This type of study would never be approved by a institutional review board even if money were invested for it.
The doctors at Arizona Smile Designers recommend flossing at least once per day as a way to keep the teeth clean, the breath fresh and to reduce the chances for developing common problems like tooth decay and gum disease. So in spite of what you’ve read or heard, flossing is still something that must be done each day to keep your smile healthy and attractive!