ADA still encourages daily flossing, despite Op-Ed

ADA still encourages daily flossing, despite Op-Ed
Posted on 11/30/2016

Flossing
ADA, Federal Agencies, Dentists Still Encourage Flossing.

In an op-ed in the New York Times (11/25, Holmes, Subscription Publication), Jamie Holmes, a fellow at New America, states that “would-be defenders of science” are criticizing expertise lately, as seen in the Associated Press report questioning the benefits of dental flossing due to the lack of strong evidence. Although the Department of Health and Human services, the American Dental Association, and others have “reaffirmed the importance of interdental cleaning,” Holmes states that many people now “mistakenly think that ‘science’ doesn’t support flossing.” According to Holmes, “misconceptions about the relation between scientific research, evidence and expertise” explain the confusion. Holmes adds that while some feel “only randomized controlled trials provide real knowledge,” in the case of flossing, “dentists know from a range of evidence, including clinical experience, that interdental cleaning is critical to oral health and that flossing, properly done, works.”
WebMD (11/22, Pagán) discussed the benefits of flossing, stating “many dentists and periodontists say the reason they recommend flossing isn’t because of research,” rather “it’s because of what they see in their patients.”
The ADA released a statement on the benefits of using interdental cleaners, and a Science in the News article titled “The Medical Benefit of Daily Flossing Called Into Question” discusses evidence about the impact of flossing on oral health. MouthHealthy.org also provides resources for patients on flossing, including the correct flossing technique.