The majority of people know they should floss but still forget or choose to ignore their dentist’s advice. It’s become almost a cliché. The awkward conversation with your dentist over whether or not you have been flossing as much as he says you should. An investigation by the Associated Press says otherwise.
In August of 2016, The AP requested the evidence of flossing’s health benefits from the departments of Health and Human Services. What they found was evidence that flossing’s actual benefits appear to be minimal. The studies mostly test the health benefits of brushing your teeth versus brushing your teeth with the addition of flossing. The AP reports that the benefits of flossing are “very low.”
John McCrone is a senior history major at UNF. He was not surprised by the report.
“I think all those studies are hyped up. It’s a lot like the cleaning supply commercials or the toilet paper commercials. If the company selling you the product is conducting the research, you have a problem. I never trust those things. ”
McCrone said he flosses a few times a week and this study won’t affect his usual habits.
“I floss once a week sometimes. I don’t know, I’m not a dentist,” says Maame-Mensima Horne, a graduate student at UNF.
“It’s more about the feeling. When I floss I feel cleaner and my gums feel stronger. I’m not going to change how I usually act. This study is somewhat enlightening but it really isn’t a huge deal. I don’t think flossing is that big of a deal to begin with, now I have facts to back that up,” said Horne.
Other students were not as casual to the report’s revelations.
“It’s a lot of BS. I really thought after all the hassle of flossing and all the money that industry makes there might have been some legitimacy to it,” says Leo Paley, a Junior English Major at UNF.
“It just sucks to find out that another organization is making money off lies.”
The AP reports that the National Institutes of Health’s Tim Iafolla still suggests that people continue to floss.
“It’s low risk, low cost,” he said. “We know there’s a possibility that it works, so we feel comfortable telling people to go ahead and do it.”