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New Report Questions Efficacy Of Flossing

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- Most dentists tell patients that flossing is essential to prevent gum disease but now a new report is questioning that.

For decades, flossing has been considered critical in preventing gum disease and cavities but new research from the Associated Press finds little proof that flossing works.

"We came to the conclusion that if you use your toothbrush with floss, it's not more effective than tooth brushing alone," said Periodontist Fridus Van Der Weijden.

An AP review of 25 studies over the past decade shows the evidence for flossing is weak and unreliable.

"We found very little support for the removal of dental plaque," said Weijden

The American Dental Association (ADA) has been promoting using floss for more than a hundred years, and still maintains using floss once a day is an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.

Dr. Wayne Aldredge is president of a leading dental group and urges his patients to floss to help avoid gum disease.

"It is amazing sometimes when you put it in between your teeth and you pull it back out and you see what's on there," said Dr. Aldredge.

He also reminds his patients not to floss in a sawing motion but to move up and down on the sides of the teeth instead.

The ADA said flossing removes debris between teeth that can lead to cavities or gum disease.

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