Welcome to The Times in Plain English   Click to listen highlighted text! Welcome to The Times in Plain English

At Long Last, the Truth About Flossing Your Teeth

August 5, 2016
Plain English Version

floss

Most dentists belong to the American Dental Association (ADA). It is a respected group. Since 1908, the ADA has recommended that people floss their teeth. Since 1979, the federal government has recommended flossing.

The Associated Press recently decided that it wanted to know if there was a good reason for flossing. It looked at hundreds of past studies. This is what it learned. The studies were not well done. They did not show that people in the studies had fewer cavities or less gum disease. They did not show that flossing improved dental health.

Without good studies, there is no way to show that flossing helps. Flossing can even do damage. For example, flossing can irritate sore gums. Flossing does remove food from between teeth. This makes people feel better. Removing food does not seem to improve dental health.

So why does the ADA still recommend flossing? It says, “Flossing is an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.”

The federal government is careful with its recommendations. It must have solid proof that it is saying the right thing. There is no solid proof that flossing helps. The government no longer recommends it.

Selling floss is a big business. Big companies like Johnson & Johnson partner with the ADA. They get an ADA seal of approval. It gives consumers a sense of trust in the value of the product.

The ADA and the industry still stand behind the value of flossing. They realize that there is no real evidence that it works. They agree that the studies are weak.

The last word goes to a dental expert. “It is low risk, low cost. We know there is a possibility that it works. We feel comfortable telling people to go ahead and do it.”

Source: The New York Times August 2, 2016

Print Friendly
Share

In Brief

How Does Exercise Fight Depression?

Experts say even mild stress can lead to depression. 

Scientists also say that exercise is a cushion against depression. Working out makes...

Teen Lungs Healthier When Air Pollution Drops

Most of the time when people resist the idea that climate matters, it is because doing something about it would cost money.

Advocates say a...

Slow Down on that Heartburn Drug

A new study adds to the findings that taking heartburn drugs creates risks.

The study says that some drugs can lead to a heart...

New Ways to Think About Treating ADHD

New studies show many people with ADHD are drawn to new and exciting experiences. They can be very impatient and restless with routine activities.

This...

Archives

Dictionary
  • dictionary
  • English Dictionary

Double click on any word on the page or type a word:

Powered by DictionaryBox.com
Click to listen highlighted text!