We’ve been told to regularly floss but is it really a good idea? Not unless your floss’ brand is a trustworthy one. A new study shows how flossing can be bad for health as it can increase the levels of PFAs in the body. These are harmful substances are linked to a number of health problems. Let’s dive in and learn more about what this new research says.
What Does This New Research Reveal?
A new research by the Silent Spring Institute and the Public Health Institute, Berkeley, CA shows that flossing is not as good for oral health as once believed. Previous studies have also come to this conclusion but with little evidence. This new study has been published in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology.
The research was initially carried out with the interest to study the effect that per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) had on human behavior. For this, 178 middle-aged females, who were also a part of the Child Health and Development studies previously, were employed.
Their blood samples were collected between 2010 to 2013 and 11 different kinds of PFAs were analyzed. Next, these women were asked questions regarding their exposure to these PFAs between the years 2015 and 2016. They were also questioned about which behaviors of theirs they thought could be associated to these chemicals.
This research led to many conclusions, one of the them being that dental flossing made PFA levels rise. To further confirm this, 18 varying flosses were checked in the presence of fluorine. However, this research also showed that different floss brands had different impacts on the markers of these chemicals. Using more reliable brands, could help one decrease the risk of increased levels of PFAs.
How Is One Exposed To PFAs?
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances come into contact with the human body through food containers and packaging. They are found on the packets of frozen foods as well as take-outs. Since these chemicals do not get broken down in the body, they can cause certain health problems.
Research shows that PFAs are linked to testicular and kidney cancer as well as thyroid disorders and cholesterol. Flossing is done to prevent plaque and tartar buildup. Unfortunately, it also increases the levels of these chemicals.
Flossing has always been considered to be almost as important as brushing your teeth as it keeps plaque from building up and, in turn, prevents oral health problems such as gum diseases and tooth decay. Now a new research confirms that flossing comes with a con – it can increase PFA levels which can harm one’s health.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should stop flossing. By going for a reliable brand of floss, you can keep this demerit at bay. Moreover, if you’d still rather avoid flossing, know that there are several natural ways to remove plaque and keep tartar from forming.