To floss or not to floss

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Prof Damian Walmsley, scientific adviser to the British Dental Association, has responded to an investigation by Associated Press (AP) in the US that says there is insufficient proof that flossing is beneficial to oral health. The US Department for Health and Human Services and Agriculture admitted in a letter that the benefits of flossing had never been properly researched. This would seem to echo APs research, which concluded that only a small number of people have been surveyed, with evidence for flossing ‘very low quality’ with, ‘a moderate to large potential for bias’.

Yesterday, the American Dental Association (ADA) said, contrary to the  AP report, “Cleaning between teeth removes plaque that can lead to cavities or gum disease from the areas where a toothbrush can’t reach.
“Interdental cleaning is proven to help remove debris between teeth that can contribute to plaque build-up.”

Prof Walmsley says: “The difficulty is trying…

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