A burst of activity in the news and social media followed a report last year that the importance of flossing your teeth daily hasn’t been proven by research. An explosion of social media postings followed and, it is sad to say, some people began believing that flossing is overrated and not as important to oral health as dentists have been saying modern tooth floss came to life in 1819.
Even sadder to say, people continue to spread the word that flossing isn’t important.
Well, you can decide for yourself whether or not you should continue (or even start) flossing, but let me say that common sense should tell you that an oral hygiene regimen of twice-daily brushing and flossing is good for your teeth. Like anything else online, the reports remain online from the New York Times to personal stories on websites.
However, the American Dental Association supports flossing, as does the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which took the step to issue a statement in support of flossing.
Some of the news stories that discussed the importance of flossing cited that there isn’t enough research to show the benefits of flossing. Well, I’d like to say that before I’m convinced that proper flossing doesn’t help with your oral health, someone needs to do detailed research and present THOSE findings for medical professionals to examine.
What studies continue to show is a large number of adults in both the United States and across the world struggle with periodontal disease. I’ve written about this before on this blog and periodontal disease shows its highest percentage in older people. Periodontal disease ultimately leads to bone loss and therefore the loss of teeth.
While brush and flossing are not a guarantee you’ll never have a dental issue, I’d say it would be foolish of anyone to stop or curtail the frequency of flossing because of these news reports. As a matter of fact, I and my staff encourage patients to make SURE that they do floss daily.
Remember, there’s an old dental adage that reminds us of the importance of brushing (no, it doesn’t include flossing, but should): “Brush only the teeth you wish to keep.”