The UK’s Public Health England is now reviewing the findings, and may well add its voice to the advice. The British Dental Association has already said that flossing is ineffective and a waste of time. Its scientific adviser, Prof Damien Walmsley, says: “Small inter-dental brushes are preferable for cleaning the area in between the teeth, where there is space to do so. Floss is of little value unless the spaces between your teeth are too tight for the inter-dental brushes to fit without hurting or causing harm. It’s important to tell people to do the basics. Flossing is not part of the basics.”
The new announcement came about after journalists at the AP news agency asked America’s health agencies for evidence that flossing did any good. Eventually, the agencies admitted that flossing had never been properly researched, and the recommendation to floss was quietly removed from the latest health advice.