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“The dental world was left reeling last week after the federal government declared flossing –  touted for decades as a bedrock of oral health care – isn’t scientifically proven to fight plaque.

The news came to light after the Associated Press invoked the Freedom of Information Act to demand scientific evidence of flossing’s benefits. Government officials revealed that 25 studies on flossing produced “weak” and “unreliable” results. Although since 1979, flossing has been recommended under the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, it’s now off the list. Not so for the American Dental Association, and the American Academy of Periodontology, which continue to recommend flossing.

Most dentists still swear by it, like Andrew Sullivan, chair of the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine’s Department of Periodontics. Sullivan treats many patients who suffer from periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease that deteriorates bone, resulting in pain and tooth loss. He explained to Rutgers Today why tossing the floss is a bad idea.”

Read more here.