Please Don't Toss the Floss!

Dinner table conversations last weekend may have included a snarky teen (or adult or two) bringing up last week’s Associated Press story which said that flossing wasn’t necessary after all. The article was quickly cited with sensational headlines in hundreds of websites media like NBC Nightly News and The New York Times.

Sorry, folks, but Williamsburg Dental (and thousands of dentists across the country) beg to differ! Please continue flossing!

The report was based on weak data with a lack of strong evidence. And we think it’s impossible to run a thoroughly controlled study on flossing benefits, since flossing isn’t easily monitored. It’s a preventative health measure done in the privacy of home, over many years.

The common sense reality is that flossing helps dislodge debris (bacteria) between your teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach. And this bacteria could eventually, we believe, lead to gum disease if not removed. Another thing: flossing only takes a few minutes. Also, the American Dental Association (ADA) still maintains that “interdental cleaners such as floss are an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.”