If you've been a flosser your entire life, we have some bad news for you.

Finally, some good news for lazy people. It turns out that dental flossing is a big old waste of time. Oh yes, you read that right, friends.

All those years of being told flossing helps to prevent cavities and gum disease? Turns out it’s not actually based on any real, hard scientific evidence to back those claims up.

The discovery was made by the Associated Press, when last year they asked the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture to see evidence backing up the pro-flossing that has been promoted in the national surgeon general’s reports since 1979.

Legally,  guidelines must be based on scientific evidence, but after promoting the dental habit for almost 40 years the government was unable to provide Associated Press with anything.

is flossing good for you

Good teeth is achievable without flossing. Source: iStock.

Following Associated Press's request, however, flossing was abruptly removed from the 2016 dietary guidelines, with the government eventually admitting that flossing had not been adequately researched.


It was also discovered that the general consensus coming from independent studies is that flossing is a “weak, very unreliable,” practice that wields “very low” results.

Of the evidence that is being used by pro-flossers like the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Periodontology, Associated Press found it to be highly flawed, with one test using just 25 people and measuring success after one single session of flossing.

While it's unclear how flossing went promoted for so long with so little supporting evidence, many are pointing fingers to the highly lucrative dental industry itself.

Set to bring in revenue of approximate $1 billion USD next year alone, the US dental industry has commissioned a number of highly selective and skewed studies into flossing, all of which unsurprisingly showed positive outcomes.

Proctor & Gamble, the parent company of Crest toothpaste, are on the record claiming flossing fights plaque and gingivitis and pointed to an independent two-week study that proved as such. The study was later discredited and cited as being irrelevant.

Johnson & Johnson also claimed flossing helps in the removal of plaque, but when faced with Associated Press' collection of contradicting studies, they refused to comment.

All we can say is, RIP dental floss.