You’ve bought it, you’ve used it (sometimes), and you’ve lied about it to your dentist once or twice, and now they are telling you that you shouldn’t use it!
It has been a staple of our dental routines for a long time, since 1908 when it was first introduced, but now the experts are saying that flossing can be doing you harm. It has been accepted that flossing regularly is part of a healthy dental routine and will help keep away those two big nasties; gingivitis and tooth decay.
Where did the accepted knowledge come from? Reports made by the companies that make dental floss. Those same companies buy a “Seal of Approval” from Dental Associations to “sell the science” behind its use. The Associated Press in the US used the Freedom of Information Act to get the studies that showed the benefits of flossing only for the Government to write them back to say no such studies existed.
Flossing is not a useless tool, however, it is ideal for removing food stuck in your teeth and in the hands of your dentist can be used to remove plaque. However, in the hands of most everyone else can lead to careless flossing. Medical experts warn that careless flossing can lead to bacteria being introduced into your bloodstream and cause infections. Carless flossing can also damage your gums and teeth.
The Associated Press dug into 25 studies being done comparing the effects on your teeth when flossing and using a toothbrush versus only a toothbrush. The results showed that those who used floss “fail to demonstrate that flossing is generally effective in plaque removal.”
While it might not be as effective as once thought dentists suggest that it should still be used regularly but that you should be very careful when doing it.
At least now you shouldn’t feel guilty for not flossing as much as your dentist tells you to.