You don't need to floss. Really?

Brushing Alone is Not Enough

After asking the US federal government to produce evidence for its recommendation to use string floss, the Associated Press (AP) received a letter from the government acknowledging the effectiveness of flossing had never been researched, as required.

The AP did its own checking and found the evidence for flossing "weak, very unreliable", of "very low" quality, and carries "a moderate to large potential for bias."

When the US federal government issued its latest dietary guidelines this year, the flossing recommendation had been removed.

View our Website

What does this mean for dental professionals?

It does NOT say that interdental cleaning is no longer important. We know that it is imperative that people clean between their teeth to remove plaque and prevent the proliferation and maturation of the biofilm. What it DOES say is that string floss may not be the best way to accomplish this goal due to a lack of scientific data demonstrating efficacy. It is not that complicated if we stop and think for a minute. If your patients are flossing and getting results then great. However, if they cannot master the technique or do not like to floss then look for something that is easy to use and proven effective for interdental cleaning.

Overall, the message has not changed, we still need to help our patients obtain optimal oral hygiene. However, how to do that should be based on research.

Link to additional resources

There is an easier and more effective solution - Water Flossing!

If you are looking for evidence, look no further. The Waterpik Water Flosser is clinically proven to remove plaque and reduce gingival inflammation, and also more effective than string floss. Research shows that compared to string floss the Water Flosser is up to:

  • 29% more effective for removing plaque
  • 52% more effective for reducing gingivitis
  • 93% more effective for reducing gingival bleeding
  • 2x more effective for reducing bleeding around implants
  • 3x more effective for removing plaque round braces
     

To read the studies click here