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Canadian dental group says flossing good, despite lack of proof

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Dr. Gavert recommends this article that reviews the on-going discussion about the value of flossing in the prevention of cavities and mouth disease.


(Excerpted From: Sheryl Ubelacker, The Canadian Press, Published Tuesday, August 2, 2016 5:54PM EDT)

There may be sparse evidence in the medical literature that flossing helps prevent cavities and gum disease, but the Canadian Dental Association says that, for dentists, the proof is in a patient's mouth.

The Associated Press looked at the most rigorous research over the past decade and found the evidence of flossing having benefit was "weak, very unreliable," and the studies were of "very low" quality. "The majority of available studies fail to demonstrate that flossing is generally effective in plaque removal," a 2015 review said.

But Dr. Larry Levin, president-elect of the Canadian Dental Association (CDA), maintains that patients who follow a daily routine of flossing, brushing and using other plaque-removing devices have better overall oral health than those who don't.

"What general dentists like myself are aware of is what they see in their patients' mouths on a day-in, day-out basis," Levin said Tuesday from Hamilton, where he practises.

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