The ADA News (8/2, Manchir) reports that the American Dental Association has released a statement on the benefits of using interdental cleaners after the AP questioned the oral health benefits of flossing. “To maintain good oral health, the American Dental Association recommends brushing for two minutes, twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cleaning between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner and regular dental visits advised by your dentist,” the ADA said in the statement, adding that interdental cleaners, including floss, are an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.
Business Insider (8/2, Brodwin) states that the AP report comes in sharp contrast to recommendations from basically every major dental hygiene organization, including the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Periodontology. The article adds that experts say flossing helps prevent plaque from hardening into tartar, which can contribute to receding gums and gum disease.
The New York Times (8/2, Louis, Subscription Publication) reports that there is evidence that flossing does reduce bloody gums and gum inflammation known as gingivitis. For example, a review of six trials found that when professionals flossed the teeth of children on school days for almost two years, they saw a 40 percent reduction in the risk of cavities.
New York Magazine (8/2) adds, “This very intense investigation doesn’t mean flossing isn’t beneficial,” noting that a dentist for the National Institutes of Health encourages people to continue to floss, stating that “it’s low risk, low cost.”
MouthHealthy.org provides resources for patients on flossing, including the correct flossing technique, and also provides information on plaque.