ADA Calls Concern About Dental Floss Safety “Unwarranted”

The American Dental Association (ADA) has responded to recent media coverage of a study that had raised concerns about the safety of dental floss. Pointing out that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has placed no restrictions on the use of dental floss, the ADA says it finds “no cause for concern based on current evidence.”

The study, published in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, found higher levels of perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS) in women using one brand of dental floss. However, the ADA Science Institute notes a key shortcoming in the testing of study participants’ blood samples: “The study measured fluorine as a marker of PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), though the women in the study who reported using a particular brand of floss were found to have elevated levels of PFHxS. PTFE is often used in food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic applications. The fact that the researchers were able to find the PTFE marker in several brands of floss does not mean that it is the source of the PFHxS in the women.”

MLMIC encourages all insureds to stay up-to-date on the subject. At this time, the ADA finds the data “insufficient to support the conclusions presented in this research and associated media coverage,” and its oral hygiene guidelines continue to include the recommendation that patients “clean between their teeth daily with floss or other interdental cleaner.”

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