In what has to be a huge victory for anyone who tortures themselves over the fact they don’t floss enough, new research this week suggests that flossing is a complete waste of time.
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Turns out there’s little proof to show that flossing actually prevents gum disease or cavities, contrary to what the government, dental organisations and floss manufacturers have been pushing for the last few decades.
Ever since 1979, the US government has recommended flossing in their Dietary Guidelines for Americans issues every 5 years.
Well last year, the Associated Press asked the Departments of Health and Human Services for evidence that flossing your teeth is beneficial, and followed up with written requests under the Freedom of Informaation Act.
When the US government issues its latest dietary guidelines this year, guess what? The flossing recommendation had been removed, without notice.
The government has sicne acknowledged in a message to the AP that the effectiveness of flossing has NEVER been researched as required.
So the AP looked at the most rigorous research conducted over the past decade. Here are their findings:
The evidence for flossing is “weak, very unreliable,” of “very low” quality, and carries “a moderate to large potential for bias.” “The majority of available studies fail to demonstrate that flossing is generally effective in plaque removal,” said one review conducted last year. Another 2015 review cites “inconsistent/weak evidence” for flossing and a “lack of efficacy.”
So there you have it. Next time you have a flosser talk down to you because you’ve never stood there rubbing a piece of string through the cracks in your teeth, just let them know that science has proven they’re wasting their time. I only floss for about a week every 6 months after my dentist shames me into doing it, but not going to bother anymore based on this evidence.
To read about the bloke who woke up from a tooth extraction anaesthetic to find his dentist’s penis in his mouth, click HERE.