This "lack of evidence for the efficacy of dental floss for plaque removal

This "lack of evidence for the efficacy of dental floss for plaque removal or reducing gingivitis" will be reflected in guidelines about to be issued worldwide by the European Federation of Periodontology to all oral health professionals.

While many practitioners and hygienists will feel they have long been aware that interproximal brushing is more effective than flossing in cleaning between teeth and around the gums, the confirmation that comes from thorough systematic and meta reviews of available evidence will amount to information of an 'official' nature.

Nevertheless, the flossing "myth", as Prevention Workshop working group chairman Iain Chapple calls it in this video, will not easily be dispelled. For years to come, no one should be surprised to find the media still urging the public in both serious and lighthearted tones to "keep on flossing".

Watch our interview with Prof. Chapple for an expert view of what is a complex issue. Hear him call for professionals to heed the Workshop's findings and "do what we are expecting our patients to do, change our behaviour". Professionals will have to "get over the fact that that's what the evidence tells us and start recommending inter-dental brushes instead of floss."

Click this link if you wish to read how the flossing issue is formally addressed in the full XI European Workshop in Periodontology paper published by the Journal of Clinical Periodontology on "Primary prevention of periodontitis: managing gingivitis".