Flossing May Not Be as Important as We’ve Been Told

No need to feel so guilty the next time your dentist sneers, “someone hasn’t been flossing,” as he or she whips out the Floss of Truth and wedges it deep into your gums. Yes, the dentist always knows when you’re lying about your flossing routine. It’s a gift. But it turns out that daily flossing may not be so important after all. On the latest American Dietary Guidelines, there is actually no mention of flossing. Careless oversight? Not so. 

It seems that there is no scientific evidence to prove the benefits of religious flossing. That’s right, your entire dental life has been a ruse! A recent review of 12 trials instigated by the Associated Press found “very unreliable” evidence that flossing reduces the development of plaque after three months. Actually, there is little proof that flossing offers any benefits in plaque reduction or oral disease reduction. Additionally, most of the trials and studies supporting flossing were conducted by highly biased floss manufacturers. While many dentists will still recommend regular flossing as a part of your dental care routine, daily flossing may not be as big of a deal as we thought.

Be aware, flossing may still reduce gingivitis, so it may not be wise to abandon flossing altogether until more research is conducted. Flossing once in a while doesn’t do any real harm after all. But do we need to obsess over flossing every single day? As long as you give your teeth a deep, solid floss semi-regularly, it seems that you can still reap the benefits of flossing without the guilt of missing a night or two.

Looking for some additional ways to naturally care for your teeth? Try these beneficial habits:

Oil pulling

My dentist actually recommended that I start oil pulling, so it’s worth a try for those of you who remain skeptical. Swishing a tablespoon of naturally antibiotic coconut oil in your mouth for about 20 minutes in the morning does wonders to clean and whiten teeth, destroy bad breath and jumpstart your morning with a routine in mindfulness. It may seem gross at first, but your teeth will feel so clean once you’re done!

Essential oils

Certain essential oils have proven to be highly efficient in promoting dental health. For instance, clove oil is approved by the American Dental Association as a natural anesthetic. It is highly antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant. Other essential oils that are beneficial for the teeth are peppermint, eucalyptus, cinnamon, tea tree, neem, lemon and rosemary. Try making your own toothpaste using coconut oil, baking soda and a blend of essential oils, or perhaps even a mouth wash.

Vitamin D

Believe it or not, this ‘sunshine vitamin’ can hugely influence the health of your teeth. Adequate intake of vitamin D has been shown to reduce tooth decay and the onset of periodontal disease while also acting as a potent anti-inflammatory agent in the body. If you live in the northern hemisphere or simply don’t get outside very often, make sure you get lots of vitamin D in your diet.

Watching your diet is also essential for dental health. Limiting sugar and refined carbohydrates can significantly limit plaque development, while avoiding carbonated drinks limits unnecessary tooth decay. Flossing may not be as dire of a practice as we’ve been led to believe, but a strong dental hygiene routine is still so important.

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244 comments

Frances G
Frances G2 months ago

thanks very much

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Paula A
Paula A2 months ago

Thanks

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Greta L
Greta L2 months ago

thank you

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Lesa D
Lesa D2 months ago

thank you Jordyn...

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Leopold M
Leopold Marek2 months ago

Thank you :-)

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Karen Martinez
Karen M2 months ago

But my teeth feel so clean right after flossing! Will continue.

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Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson2 months ago

I will stick with flossing. I tried the oil thing and it made me gag and spit up so I could not continue it.

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heather g
heather g3 months ago

I continue flossing, thanks

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Ann B
Ann B3 months ago

I wonder about this ???? when food has been stuck there for days???? i will ask the dentist but he is not the best one i had..that one retired and i was ever so sad..better than the NEW ones ---that kill lions

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Ann B
Ann B3 months ago

please flag past member they are a spammer and have been reported..check your friends --- list they may be in there and IMPOSSIBLE to get out

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