According To Science, Flossing Is a Crapshoot and a Conspiracy To Get You To Buy Floss
OK. That second part is purely speculation, butit turns out the American Dental Association and the U.S. Surgeon General says that there’s “little proof” flossing helps at all in preventing gum disease.
The Associated Press looked studies that followed “Brushers and Flossers” versus “Just Brushers” over 25 years, and found that evidence for the benefits of flossing were “weak, very unreliable” and carried “a moderate to large potential for bias.”
A 2015 review even said that the majority of available studies “fail to demonstrate that flossing is generally effective in plaque removal”
The “benefits” associated with flossing are so minuscule that the average person won’t notice them.
The old studies that claimed flossing is good use “outdated” methods.
The old studies testing sample sizes were too small.
The studies conducted were so short that any significant claims about the benefits of flossing couldn’t be made.
The studies are biased because, well, flossing companies made them.
One study did say that flossing was good for reducing inflammation of the gums, but that doesn’t help erase the years you felt bad lying to the dentist about flossing.
The AP reported that when pressed, “Matthew J. Messina, a practicing dentist and spokesman for the dental association, acknowledged weak evidence, but he blamed research participants who didn’t floss correctly.”
So it’s back to being our fault.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t floss, as it obviously has benefits like getting that piece of popcorn out of your teeth and it literally only takes one minute.
Tim Lafolla, a dentist at the National Institutes of Health says that it’s probably in our best interest to continue flossing because it’s “low-risk” and “low cost” act with the “possibility” of it working.
There’s also the “possibility” I won’t try and squeeze in six months of flossing into six days before my next appointment if I forget.