File this health headline under best news ever! According to the Associated Press, flossing – which let’s be honest, we probably only remember to do the day before our six-month checkup at the dentist – might not actually be that important when it comes to preventing gum disease and cavities.
According to the news organization, which launched an investigation into flossing, there’s little scientific proof that it actually works. They did some serious digging, too. Reporters requested information from the U.S. departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture and even filed Freedom of Information Requests (that gives them access to typically top-secret info). AP staff also researched studies from the past decade and found little evidence.
Naturally, we had to ask Canadian dentists how they feel about the news. As expected, we were told not to toss our flossing habits in the garbage just yet. “Flossing is an effective preventative measure to remove plaque, the main cause of gum disease," the Canadian Dental Association told us in a statement.
As for that lack of evidence? "[That] is a reflection of the difficulty of conducting the necessary studies, not of the value of flossing for the maintenance of good oral health," says the CDA.
For the CDA's advice on how to floss properly, click here.