Meyer Orthodontics in Brookings Blog

From Dr. David Meyer: Should You Stop Flossing Your Teeth?

Certainly, by now, you’ve heard all the commotion about flossing. If you haven’t, here’s the gist: the recommendation for Americans to floss has been removed from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Does this mean you should stop flossing your teeth immediately?

The short answer to this question is no, you should not stop flossing.

So why the change to the recommendation from, as issued by the U.S. departments of Health? Has new research proven flossing to be ineffective? No, not quite. It just turns out no studies that meet today’s strict scientific standards have been conducted, leaving the government unable to make a recommendation one way or other.

Here’s what our own Dr. David Meyer has to say. He’s a board certified Orthodontist with 40 years of experience.

Dr. David Meyer Board Certified Orthodontist in Brookings SDThere is no doubt in my mind, from my clinical experience, that regular flossing still contributes to good dental health.

True, the studies on flossing benefits were done years ago so when we go back and analyze them today, the data looks small and not well researched. It’s no wonder, they did not have the benefit of our current technology to almost over analyze the data with powerful statistical computers. Yes, of course we need some new or updated studies to substantiate the benefits of flossing. This does not take away from the benefits I and other dental professionals have observed in our careers.

I see this quite often in orthodontic research. Classic articles in orthodontic research that I read during my training were so compelling they altered the direction of my specialty. Today they look a little outdated with weaker supporting data than they could have with todays research potential. These topics should be researched further. Old science is often kind of amusing! 

Just keep on flossing as regular as you can. It’s a minimal investment of time and costs very little. It will not hurt anything, but will make your mouth feel cleaner and more fresh, help give you a great smile and very likely improve your oral health. It’s good dental health insurance!

So, there you have it. In the absence of an official government recommendation, take the advice of  professional healthcare providers. No one has more experience with the long term effects flossing (or not flossing) has on your teeth. Keep on flossing.

If you’re looking for advice about whether you need braces or how you can improve your smile, come visit Dr. David Meyer in Brookings or Madison, SD. Call us today at 605-692-7511 for a free consultation.