Here at thedailyfloss.com we’re in disbelief at the lack of love for our namesake in the latest recommendations for daily health as prescribed in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
A report from NPR.org yesterday allowed experts on both sides of the discussion to weigh in on the fact that flossing is not mentioned in said guidelines, which are presented every five years by the U.S. departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture.
Even one expert who cites the evidence in support of flossing as “fairly weak” notes the challenge of tracking its long-term benefits to oral health.
According to NPR.org:
“In large epidemiological studies, the evidence for flossing turns out to be fairly weak,” says Tim Iafolla, a dentist with the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.
Iafolla wasn’t involved in drafting the dietary guidelines, but he’s well aware of some of the problems with flossing research. Still, he points out, tracking the long-term benefits of flossing isn’t cheap or easy.
“The condition we’re trying to prevent, which is gum disease, is something that takes years to develop, and most of the studies only last for a few weeks or months,” he says. “So the evidence that we gather from these studies is fairly indirect. We can look at bleeding gums, we can look at inflammation, but we have to extrapolate from that evidence to gum disease.”
With new connection of mouth health to overall health discovered every day, do you really want to give yourself a pass on floss?
Of course you don’t.
One periodontist with the American Academy of Periodontology shares observations from her 32 years of practice in the NPR.org interview, including the proof that “flossing does help get rid of films of bacteria that gunk up the space between teeth, causing infections and, potentially, contributing to bigger health problems.”
After all, isn’t it human nature to question authority? Why stop now.
The new guidelines don’t stress flossing. Since when did you listen to guidelines? (According to the story, a survey by the academy found that almost 15 percent of adults would rather clean a toilet than floss their teeth.)
Trust your gut, people.
Deep down, flossing makes you feel better — just like the endorphin rush after a workout, the sigh of relief after filing taxes, the satisfied feeling after cleaning your house.
What are you waiting for? Get flossing.
Read the full report at: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/08/02/488378699/does-flossing-help-or-not-the-evidence-is-mixed-at-best?utm_source=npr_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20160802&utm_campaign=npr_email_a_friend&utm_term=storyshare