Thank you, David H. Freedman, for this nice and informative article.
The meta-study found multiple times that people who suffered from gingivitis or/and periodontitis indeed benefited from flossing: in the groups of flossing patients the degree of inflammantions went down compared to the non flossing groups.
But: in the groups of people who didn´t suffer from gingivitis and periodintitis there was no difference if they flossed or not.
In other words:
- the sick gums and periodonts got better with flossing!
- the healthy gums and periodonts stayed healthy as long as the monitoring took place (but we don´t know about the development after the monitoring ended)
For me, the overall-outcome of the meta-analysis —” it doesn´t make a difference if you floss or don´t floss “ — sounds like:
If you floss regularly I won´t be able to sell you crowns, bridges and implants.
From my daily experience in the job as a dentist for 20 years I REALLY recommend you to floss — dental hygiene is the best thing we have in modern dentistry. Ask your hygienist or your dentist to show you how to do it correctly and systematically. And then do it every day. Every evening.
Prevention is king!