The Flossing Argument Continues Within the Dental Community


    The dental world has been turned upside down and both professionals and regular people have different opinions.

    Flossing, an oral health practice that’s been preached for decades, has apparently been debunked by a reporter from the Associated Press.

    Jeff Donn, an AP reporter for over 30 years, broke the story this summer and subsequently removed the flossing requirement in the federal dietary guidelines after its 25 year presence there.

    “There are other dentists who have just bought into that they are taught in dental school and never really did any of their own research,” said Donn. “They were true believers and believe that the evidence is there when the evidence in studies would suggest that it’s not there.”

    According to WRVO, Donn challenged the federal Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture to provide concrete evidence that backs up the benefits of flossing. After they couldn’t produce anything, they removed the flossing recommendation in their guidelines.

    “They dropped the recommendation for dental floss and the very next day wrote me a letter in reply to my Freedom of Information request saying, ‘Sorry. There is no scientific back up. We never researched the issue,” said Donn.

    People have always struggled to take care of their teeth, as one in four adults don’t brush their teeth at least twice a day, but flossing has always been encouraged by everyone from dentists, parents, and teachers, to National Football League Most Valuable Players.

    A Delaware dentist believes that this report could be damaging to people’s teeth, because he believes flossing is very important.

    According to Delaware Online, there is little research studying the benefit of flossing, because it’s hard to discern in the study whether participants are actually flossing the way they should be or not.

    “Some people don’t floss properly so they are not as effective in removing food and bacteria within their teeth,” said Dr. Gordon Honig, an orthodontist and member of the Delaware State Dental Society.

    Honig confidently encourages his patients to continue to floss and floss on a regular basis.

    “It’s like building a house and not painting two sides of it,” Honig added. “Ultimately, those two sides are going to row away quicker.”

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