Fed. government guidelines: Flossing might not actually work - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Fed. government guidelines: Flossing might not actually work

(Source: Jasmine Dell/ KFVS) (Source: Jasmine Dell/ KFVS)
(Source: Jasmine Dell/ KFVS) (Source: Jasmine Dell/ KFVS)
(KFVS) -

Cape Girardeau resident Jennifer Wren said there's one thing that she’s reminded every time she goes to the dentist.

“To floss, and to make sure to floss every day, every morning and night,” Wren said.

According to the Associated Press, there is barely any proof that flossing actually works.

The American Dental Association said cleaning between your teeth with floss is imperative, but the AP said the federal government recently put out its guidelines which said recommending to floss was removed. 

The AP said the guidelines have to be scientifically proven, and the government said in a letter to the AP that the success of flossing was never researched.

“They go over this in school religiously, brushing, flossing, is what we’re taught," Dental Hygienist Tracey Cooley said. “I’ve been in this business for 8 years, and I have seen evidence, after evidence of this helping people.”

Wren said she thinks the dentist is looking out for her best interest and the report wasn't surprising.

“It didn’t surprise me because things change a lot to be honest," Wren said. "I don’t floss like I should, I floss, just not every morning and night, it’s like every couple of days.”

They also looked at 25 studies from the past decade, and what it found was that the evidence for flossing is "weak" and "unreliable."

Cape Girardeau resident Raf Camp said sometimes the effort outweighs the benefit and his flossing.

“Time consuming I got to dig it out find it, so I’m on the go, but it don’t really take that long I don’t know why I don’t do it,” he said.

Camp said he likes the report.

"If I can stop flossing, hallelujah," he said.

Camp said he has a routine when comes to flossing his teeth.

“Religiously a week before I go to the dentist, and then I try to keep up with it afterwards a little bit, and a little in between," he said.

Camp said he could always do better when it comes to flossing more.

“I know it’s getting stuff from in between my teeth, but I don’t think I do it enough,” he said.

Cooley said if your gums start to bleed or are irritated it's better to start flossing. But overall, you should continue your usual hygiene practices.

“Wait for the research to come in and there’s been a lot of years that we’ve been flossing and encouraging flossing and seeing results from that," Cooley said. "So I don’t want this one study to make people stop flossing and cause more problems for patients then they should have.” 

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