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How Important Is Flossing?


The first floss patent was issued in 1874. Since then, dentists and dental supplies manufacturers have promoted its benefits. However, there is a recent controversy around the importance of flossing.
Brushing your teeth is effective at removing debris, food particles, and buildup on the tooth's surfaces, with the bristles also capable of eliminating odor-causing bacteria on the surface of your tooth. However, the traditional toothbrush has a mechanical shortcoming - it can't get in between your teeth. Here's where flossing comes into play.

Flossing uses a sort of silk, allowing it to slide in and out of the spaces between teeth easily. Flossing scrapes these crevices, dislodging food particles that can rot and lead to tartar build-up and eventual tooth decay.

•    A 2006 study has compared effects of just brushing versus brushing and flossing. People who flossed and brushed had fewer bleeding gum areas. It helps to strengthen your gums, even in those with sensitive gums.

•    Evidence points that overall periodontal health can help mitigate heart disease.
An article in “The Guardian” of August 2016 stated: “Recent major review concluded that the majority of available studies fail to demonstrate that flossing is generally effective in plaque removal.”
“Procter & Gamble, which markets several brands of the product and claims that its floss fights plaque and gingivitis, pointed to a two-week study, which was discounted as irrelevant in the 2011 research review. Johnson & Johnson spokesman Marc Boston said floss helps remove plaque. When the AP (Associated Press)   sent him a list of contradicting studies, he declined to comment.

AP (Associated Press) looked at the most rigorous research of the past decade. Twenty-five studies in leading journals found evidence for flossing is “weak, very unreliable”, of “very low” quality, and carries “a moderate to large potential for bias” Just the beginning of the controversy! Stay tune!


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