Do you really need dental floss?

Do you really need dental floss? / Health News
Doubt on studies: Dental floss benefits dental health
Regular brushing is the most effective way to prevent tooth problems. For oral hygiene should also include the cleaning of the interdental spaces, such as flossing. In the US, their effectiveness is now being questioned. However, German dentists emphasize the importance of flossing.

Oral hygiene does not just mean brushing your teeth
Nothing prevents tooth decay, gingivitis and toothache as well as regular brushing. According to experts, cleaning is more important in the evening than next morning, as the oral cavity is more susceptible to bacterial colonization at night. But effective oral hygiene means more than just brushing. Once a day you should also clean the interdental spaces correctly, for example with dental floss or interdental brushes. In the US, however, the effectiveness of dental floss is now in doubt. German physicians see it differently.

In addition to the regular brushing, the cleaning of the interdental spaces also belongs to a sufficient oral hygiene. However, the effectiveness of dental floss is now in doubt. (Image: stockyimages /

Use of dental floss has been recommended for decades
For decades, the US Department of Health has recommended flossing in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. But then journalists of the news agency AP checked: Why is this tool still in the hygiene tips, although the scientific benefits of dental floss, despite numerous investigations so far was not clear. Dental floss is no longer recommended in the ministry's current report.

No clear connection proved
There are now studies that come to the conclusion that flossing is not necessary for a healthy dentition. For example, in a comparative study, Cochrane Collaboration scientists found no clear link between the use of dental floss and the reduction of caries and gum problems.

Studies were "of very poor quality"
Their evaluation showed that the use of dental floss reduces plaque and gingivitis to a very small extent, but remains ineffective for caries. According to the authors, the individual studies were therefore "of very poor quality" and their conclusions unreliable. The scientifically clear evidence of the benefits of dental floss remains so far.

Statement Pro floss
The American Dentists Association ADA is concerned about the current reports. She has turned to the public and published a statement Pro floss. In their opinion, results would be misinterpreted, they continue to advise the daily use of dental floss. Cleaning alone is not enough.

Useful oral hygiene aid
German experts also see it that way. In a current position of the Federal Dental Association states: "In everyday practice, it is obvious that dental floss is a useful tool for cleaning the interdental spaces. Because the toothbrush cleans only about 70 percent of the tooth surface. "But caries and periodontal disease in adults also occur in the interdental space, which is why the interdental spaces should be thoroughly cleaned once a day.

According to the experts, flossing "remains the best solution" in narrow spaces to remove debris. According to their own statements, the Federal Dental Association advocates further studies in order to document a "scientific classification of the practical experience". (Ad)