ADA: Don’t forget–flossing is important!
Despite what you might miss in the latest guidelines from the federal government or read from the Associated Press, flossing, along with regular brushing and professional cleanings, are still integral parts of maintaining your oral health. An inquiry directed at the American Dental Association News prompted a response after the latest federal dietary guidelines omitted flossing from their guidelines after including it in previous years and the AP used this omission as the subject of a story questioning the benefits of flossing.
The ADA pressed the government agency why flossing was left out of this edition, yet was included in past editions. Their response was as follows:
“[Flossing is] an important oral hygiene practice” and said that the guidelines’ omission did not imply otherwise. Although flossing — along with using fluoridated water and brushing teeth — was mentioned in previous editions of the guidelines (both 2005 and 2010), the statement said “it was most likely identified as a supporting recommendation along with brushing teeth, with the primary emphasis being on the nutrition-based recommendation to reduce added sugars.”
Flossing and brushing have never been a mainstay of these dietary guidelines, which primarily focus on evidence-based nutrition recommendations, not general health and hygiene. The ADA released this statement of recommendations for optimal oral health to clarify,”brushing for two minutes, twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cleaning between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner and regular dental visits advised by your dentist.”
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (8/18/2016) keatssycamore (Flickr)