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A String around Your Finger: Do We Really Need to Floss?

Course Number: 550

European Federation of Periodontology Statement on Flossing

In 2014, the EFP held its 11th European Workshop and reviewed data on flossing’s therapeutic value in patients with periodontal and peri-implant diseases. The findings from this conference stated that for healthy individuals flossing was effective as an adjunct to toothbrushing in preventing the development of gingivitis.6,7 They further concluded that while a role continues to exist for floss in the dental patient’s home care armamentarium, stronger evidence existed to support the use of interdental brushes in patients with periodontitis and gingivitis for the removal of plaque and the reduction of interdental gingival inflammation.6,7 It is also interesting to note that this group also found that the standard 2 minutes of toothbrushing may be inadequate in individuals with periodontitis and those patients may require longer and more targeted forms of many oral hygiene methods.6,7