Is flossing your teeth a waste of time?

Government letter says there is little benefit, but dentists continue to recommend practice

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Flossing has always been recommended as an essential part of oral health, but a recent letter from the federal government acknowledged that there is little proof flossing actually helps.

Still, Springfield dentist Dr. David Peck told 22News he tells his patients to floss daily to prevent gingivitis.

Since 1979, the federal government had been recommending that you floss, but flossing has been removed from their latest health guidelines. The government said that the effectiveness of flossing has never been researched.

Peck, however, says that flossing does prevent gum disease.

“And when they get decay in between the teeth, that is from a lack of flossing. Your toothbrush bristles can’t remove the food that is tightly between two teeth that are touching,” Peck said.

An Associated Press study revealed that flossing failed to show benefit in removing plaque. Peck acknowledged that flossing does not remove plaque, but said it is vital to remove objects from in between the teeth.

He told 22News that he will continue to encourage regular flossing among his patients.

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