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Dental Authorities Say Flossing Hasn’t Been Really Proven To Work

Dental Authorities Say Flossing Hasn’t Been Really Proven To Work

If you’re like most people, you probably remember going to the dentist and getting a lesson about brushing your teeth, flossing, avoiding pops, and other sugary foods. All this was meant to keep your teeth healthy and to avoid problems like cavities, or even more serious conditions like gum disease. While brushing and a healthy diet are still considered to be important, a recent investigation by the Associated Press has called into question on just why flossing has been so heavily promoted.

The investigation in context

The American Dental Association (ADA) began recommending flossing for dental health since 1979 — and has every five years since, while writing its Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Governments worldwide, public organizations, like Britain’s National Health Service, individual dentists, and manufactures of dental products, have also all heavily promoted flossing as a good health practice.

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What the Associated Press (AP) found

Of course dentists and businesses who promote dental products, can do so with any kind of product that they like. However, when a government organization does this, they make sure to only recommend the practices that have been scientifically proven to have significant health benefits. This is where the AP investigation comes into play.

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Under the Freedom of Information Act, the AP wrote to the American Dental Association, the British Dental Association, and other organizations, to find out more about the scientific basis for the promotion of flossing. What the ADA came up with was — well, not much proof that this dental hygiene practice has any benefits at all.

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In response to this, the Associated Press launched an investigation of its own, to find out more about the actual scientific basis for the promotion of flossing. To do this, they looked at 25 separate studies on dental hygiene that were published in the last 10 years. What it found was that the scientific backing for this recommended practice was:

  • weak
  • poorly correlated
  • generated from low quality studies or
  • carrying a moderate to large potential for bias

In short, there is no good scientific evidence to show that flossing will bring any health benefits.

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Brian Wu

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Last Updated on June 13, 2019

5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With

5 Fixes For Common Sleep Issues All Couples Deal With

Sleeping next to your partner can be a satisfying experience and is typically seen as the mark of a stable, healthy home life. However, many more people struggle to share a bed with their partner than typically let on. Sleeping beside someone can decrease your sleep quality which negatively affects your life. Maybe you are light sleepers and you wake each other up throughout the night. Maybe one has a loud snoring habit that’s keeping the other awake. Maybe one is always crawling into bed in the early hours of the morning while the other likes to go to bed at 10 p.m.

You don’t have to feel ashamed of finding it difficult to sleep with your partner and you also don’t have to give up entirely on it. Common problems can be addressed with simple solutions such as an additional pillow. Here are five fixes for common sleep issues that couples deal with.

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1. Use a bigger mattress to sleep through movement

It can be difficult to sleep through your partner’s tossing and turning all night, particularly if they have to get in and out of bed. Waking up multiple times in one night can leave you frustrated and exhausted. The solution may be a switch to a bigger mattress or a mattress that minimizes movement.

Look for a mattress that allows enough space so that your partner can move around without impacting you or consider a mattress made for two sleepers like the Sleep Number bed.[1] This bed allows each person to choose their own firmness level. It also minimizes any disturbances their partner might feel. A foam mattress like the kind featured in advertisements where someone jumps on a bed with an unspilled glass of wine will help minimize the impact of your partner’s movements.[2]

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2. Communicate about scheduling conflicts

If one of you is a night owl and the other an early riser, bedtime can become a source of conflict. It’s hard for a light sleeper to be jostled by their partner coming to bed four hours after them. Talk to your partner about negotiating some compromises. If you’re finding it difficult to agree on a bedtime, negotiate with your partner. Don’t come to bed before or after a certain time, giving the early bird a chance to fully fall asleep before the other comes in. Consider giving the night owl an eye mask to allow them to stay in bed while their partner gets up to start the day.

3. Don’t bring your technology to bed

If one partner likes bringing devices to bed and the other partner doesn’t, there’s very little compromise to be found. Science is pretty unanimous on the fact that screens can cause harm to a healthy sleeper. Both partners should agree on a time to keep technology out of the bedroom or turn screens off. This will prevent both partners from having their sleep interrupted and can help you power down after a long day.

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4. White noise and changing positions can silence snoring

A snoring partner can be one of the most difficult things to sleep through. Snoring tends to be position-specific so many doctors recommend switching positions to stop the snoring. Rather than sleeping on your back doctors recommend turning onto your side. Changing positions can cut down on noise and breathing difficulties for any snorer. Using a white noise fan, or sound machine can also help soften the impact of loud snoring and keep both partners undisturbed.

5. Use two blankets if one’s a blanket hog

If you’ve got a blanket hog in your bed don’t fight it, get another blanket. This solution fixes any issues between two partners and their comforter. There’s no rule that you have to sleep under the same blanket. Separate covers can also cut down on tossing and turning making it a multi-useful adaptation.

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Rather than giving up entirely on sharing a bed with your partner, try one of these techniques to improve your sleeping habits. Sleeping in separate beds can be a normal part of a healthy home life, but compromise can go a long way toward creating harmony in a shared bed.

Featured photo credit: Becca Tapert via unsplash.com

Reference

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