The American Dental Association has long held the opinion that flossing once daily is important to the every day oral hygiene regimen for those wanting good oral health. This requires mechanical cleaning which requires physical contact… sorry, but mouth wash is not enough.
Many of you have heard lately that daily flossing is not required due to insufficient evidence. There are studies that tracked the efficacy of flossing and concluded that regular flossing (5x weekly) provided a small decrease in the progression of cavities compared to irregular flossing (less than 3x over 6 months). The problem with these types of studies are that cavities progress over years, not weeks or months and unfortunately it is very difficult to track how well or how often patients floss.
Any hygienist can tell how often their patient flosses after a few seconds in the mouth. How could this be possible if flossing had no benefit? It may be anecdotal, but dental professionals know that flossing reduces the risk of cavities and gum disease because we see it every day, even if the research can’t back up what we already know.