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Does Flossing Really Help?

The Case For and Against Flossing

You may have noticed that some health-related questions aren’t as settled as we might have hoped. Red wine is a case in point. You might remember hearing that one glass every day would do you a world of good. More recently, however, some experts have asserted that drinking any alcohol at all is bad for you.

Now it appears that flossing has fallen prey to this same sort of uncertainty.

Does flossing really help?

The Associated Press (AP) Article on Flossing

Not so long ago, the AP published an article with the title “Medical Benefits of Dental Floss Unproven.” Well researched, the article took a look at 100 years of research on flossing and came to the conclusion suggested by its title.

If you floss only grudgingly, this may strike you as a kind of reprieve. Before you shout, “I knew it,” however, and throw your dental floss in the trash, you might want to consider that scientific methodology is always evolving. Scientific studies were far less rigorous 100 years ago. Even research from relatively recently were not as well designed and controlled as required by the standards of today. The implication of this is that much of the research that figured in the AP article may be invalid.

Flossing, Common Sense, and Clinical Experience

Still, if we concede that the research on flossing has not yet produced a definitive conclusion as to its value, we’re left with two things to guide us. One is common sense. The other is the clinical experience of dentists.

Common sense tell us that a toothbrush will have trouble reaching into the narrow spaces between teeth and removing all the plaque. We need a different tool, and that tool is dental floss.

As it happens, the clinical experience of dentist agrees with the suggestion of common sense. As they meet with their patients, dentists see that on average, those who floss have better oral health than those who don’t. Thus, they have no qualms about extolling the benefits of flossing.

We at Comfort Care Family Dental hope you’ve found this article interesting and useful. For guidance on dental hygiene or dental care, we invite you to contact us.

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