Experts are now trying to determine whether the United States federal government has been just “stringing” the general public along with its recommendations of daily Flossing or not. After touting the tooth cleaning method since 1979 in both reports by successive surgeon generals and Dietary Guidelines, the Associated Press has found little evidence that flossing has any real effect in preventing tooth decay after examining data released (at its request) by the Department of Human Services and Agriculture under the Freedom of Information Act.
Upon completion of the study, the Associated Press found only one of 12 randomized controlled trials published in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2011 revealed that flossing did help to reduce small amounts of plaque, thus reducing gingivitis. While minor inflammation of the gums may not be too serious, it can sometimes evolve into full-fledged periodontal disease and Eventual Bone Loss in the jaw). However, the AP reported that its review of 25 similar studies over the past 10-years found that the “evidence for flossing is weak and very unreliable,” even when combined with regular brushing.
While minor inflammation of the gums may not be too serious, it can sometimes evolve into full-fledged periodontal disease and eventual bone loss in the jaw). However, the AP reported that its review of 25 similar studies over the past 10-years found that the “evidence for flossing is weak and very unreliable,” even when combined with regular brushing.
In fact, they noted that for the first time in nearly 40-years the latest issue of the US Dietary Guidelines (printed anew every 5-years) was published sans the recommendation for flossing. While the omission may actually have little impact on public practices, both the American Dental Association and individual dentists continue to insist that flossing is “an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.” It is also doubtful that people who have been diligently flossing for most of their lives will now suddenly abandon it.
Meanwhile, the American Academy of Periodontology issued a tepid defense of its stand on flossing by stating it believed most of the current evidence regarding the effectiveness of flossing “fell short,” due to the fact that “ researchers had not been able to include enough participants or examine gum health over a significant amount of time.” Other individual dentists have also questioned whether some of the failure seen in flossing is because some patients may not be doing it correctly.
Basically, dental practitioners suggest that patients use 18 to 24 inches of dental floss (less for children), and wind the ends of the filament around their index and middle fingers. Next, hold the floss tightly around each tooth in a C shape; and move it back and forth in a push-pull motion and up and down against the side of each tooth. It is also said that flossing is most effective when done just before bedtime, as opposed to brushing your teeth with fluoride-enriched toothpaste at least twice a day (morning and at night).
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