Whether ‘tis nobler to use a little string to clean between your teeth or not – ay, there’s the rub.

Recently there has been a new study that suggests flossing your teeth, in addition to brushing (and, of course, using your TUNG Brush and Gel), is not a necessary part of your daily oral hygiene routine. The study points to evidence, or dare we say the lack of evidence, that flossing really helps reduce plaque that promotes tooth decay. So, you ask, why does my dentist still tell me to floss?  Because there is also no evidence that proves that flossing is NOT necessary or helpful in maintaining oral health.

It has been proven that proper flossing removes particles of food that get stuck between teeth and don’t come out with brushing. It has also been shown that proper flossing can reduce gum inflammation and redness, at least in the short term. But to prove any long term effect of “to floss or not to floss” would require a difficult and possibly expensive study, with many participants who, if they are on the “to not to floss” control side of the spectrum, could possibly incur long term harmful results from not using the little waxy string.

The American Dental Association continues to recommend flossing as part of the daily regimen of oral care. So, if it isn’t proven that flossing DOESN’T work and it appears that it DOES, why not continue to floss? A spool of floss is very inexpensive, after all, so where is the harm?

If nothing else, the controversy will promote a conversation between you and your dentist that may result in better oral care anyway, so, see, the little waxy string has its benefits no matter how you look at it. And that would appear to be the “nobler” course.