Flossing is an essential for good oral health say leading dental associations

15 August 2016

Recent media reports, spearheaded by Associated Press, have suggested that flossing, long held up as an integral part of basic oral hygiene, is not as effective as its reputation suggests.

In response to the resultant media flurry, which also followed news that the US government has ceased to recommend the use of flossing and the British National Health System is considering following suit, the ADA, the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Periodontists and the Australian Society of Periodontology, have issued a joint statement strongly arguing in favour of flossing's integral role in maintaining good oral health.

"The Australian Dental Association, Australian and New Zealand Academy of Periodontists and the Australian Society of Periodontology strongly recommends interdental cleaning such as flossing as an essential part of good oral health. Flossing disrupts and removes plaque and food in between teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach. Tooth decay and gum disease can develop when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth and along the gum line.

"The limited amount of scientific evidence surrounding flossing is not a reflection of its clinical effectiveness. Patients should continue to include interdental cleaning as a part of their daily oral hygiene routine, along with brushing twice a day and regular dental visits. It is important to understand that the efficacy of oral hygiene practices is moderated by diet, use of fluoride and genetic factors."

To find out more about the importance of flossing and the best techniques to use, please consult Flossing in Your Dental Health.