Looks like you’re after-eating ritual is about to shorten as, apparently, there’s no scientific evidence that can prove that flossing cleans teeth.
The Associated Press recently examined 25 studies on the use of a toothbrush with the combination of toothbrushes and floss. The findings? The claim that flossing cleans your teeth is “weak, very unreliable,” of “very low” quality, and carries “a moderate to large potential for bias.”
“It turns out that, what little evidence there is to suggest that flossing is good for you probably comes from places that have something to gain from getting you to buy floss,” the AP reported.
The federal government of America has recommended flossing since 1979. However, when they issued their latest dietary guidelines this year, the flossing recommendation had been removed. In a letter to the AP, the government acknowledged the effectiveness of flossing had never been researched, as required.
Professor Damien Walmsley, scientific adviser to the British Dental Association, said in an interview that he has always been skeptical.
“It's important to tell people to do the basics. Flossing is not part of the basics," insisted Prof. Walmsley. The best way to reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, he said, is to "brush teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, see the dentist regularly, cut back on sugar and consume the occasional sweet treat at meal times only."
Flossing is of little value, he added, unless the spaces between your teeth are too tight for the interdental brushes to fit without hurting or causing harm.
Flossing can even occasionally cause harm, according to a study, as careless flossing can damage gums and teeth. Though frequency is unclear, the study suggests that floss can dislodge bad bacteria that invade the bloodstream and cause dangerous infections, especially in people with weak immunity.