Is flossing your teeth a waste of time?

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HOUSTON —  Are you ready for a kick in the teeth? All that flossing you do may be a waste of time.

All our lives, we’ve been told, flossing prevents cavities and gum disease.  The Federal Government has recommended flossing since 1979, but now it has dropped it from health guidelines.

"I think they're freakin' crazy," Dr. Terri Alani, a Houston dentist said.

Alani is also known as the Texas Tooth Lady.

“It’s not just flossing to get rid of the food that gets stuck between your teeth, which is really gross if you think about it, but also we floss to get rid of any inflammation," she said.  "Flossing is something that is also necessary besides brushing to get rid of all the bacteria in your mouth. It also helps with the inflammation in your body, helps prevent heart disease, also with diabetes.”

Tigist Mathis didn't floss much when she was younger.

“I wish someone had stressed that to me," Mathis said. "Not only do you need to brush your teeth, you absolutely need to floss. I would’ve been doing that and I would not be at the dentist today, spending all the money that I have to spend to fix those teeth."

The problem is, the government has never done the research to back that up.

So the question remains: should we floss or not floss?

“I’m going to listen to my doctor because they’re the ones that look at your teeth and have the best opinion" Kenny Statton said.

So you don’t have to floss all of your teeth, just floss the teeth you want to keep.