A new study has revealed that regular flossing can reduce the levels of harmful bacteria in the mouth and lower a person's risk of needing dental treatment.
Dentists usually recommend that people make flossing part of their oral health regime; however many people fail to recognise the value of flossing.
Researchers at New York University have now shown that flossing does reduce the levels of gum disease-causing bacteria in the mouth.
They studied 51 sets of twins, asking one of each set of twins to add flossing to their daily dental routine for two weeks.
The researchers found that those twins who flossed every day had significantly lower levels of bacteria in their mouths, showing that the simple procedure can have a beneficial impact on dental health.
The findings are published in the Journal of Periodontology and Dr Susan Karabin, president of the American Academy of Periodontology, commented: "Patients tend to think that flossing can't possibly make that much of a difference.
"But this study demonstrates that the addition of flossing to your dental hygiene routine can significantly reduce the amount of periodontal disease causing bacteria, even after just two weeks."
Independent advice on private healthcare