Yvonne S. Hanley D.D.S | Mark K. Murphy D.D.S

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NIH: Differences Between Those Who Floss And Those Who Don’t

In its November newsletter, the National Institutes Of Health (11/1) states that although news stories have questioned the benefits of dental flossing due to lacking research, dentists have “seen the teeth and gums of people who floss regularly and those who haven’t,” and “the differences can be striking.” The article notes that “red or swollen gums that bleed easily” can indicate “flossing and better dental habits are needed.” A dental health expert at NIH says, “Cleaning all sides of your teeth, including between your teeth where the toothbrush can’t reach, is a good thing.” While strong evidence showing the benefits of flossing “may be somewhat lacking,” the article observes that “there’s little evidence for any harm or side effects from flossing, and it’s low cost.” The article encourages people to talk to their dentist to address any questions or concerns about their teeth or gums and to learn the proper flossing technique.  The ADA has released a statement on the benefits of using interdental cleaners, and a Science in the News article titled "The Medical Benefit of Daily Flossing Called Into Question" discussed evidence about the impact of flossing on oral health.
        MouthHealthy.org also provides resources for patients on flossing, including correct flossing technique.

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