Advertisement

Confessing to our dentists that -- once again -- we failed to floss is something of a national pastime. But if you've ever felt like a moral disaster for failing to slide string through your teeth, here's news to make you flash those pearly whites: Flossing may be overrated.

Turns out, there's really no hard science that proves the effectiveness of flossing. That's not to say flossing isn't beneficial, just unproven. In fact, the recommendation to floss was removed without fanfare from the most recent federal dietary guidelines, where since 1979 it had hung out alongside recommendations to eat your veggies and limit saturated fats. Why? According to TIME, "The guidelines must be based on scientific evidence, under the law." And the evidence just isn't there yet.

As reported in TIME and CBS News, "In a letter to the AP, the government acknowledged the effectiveness of flossing had never been researched, as required."

This is news we can use, seeing as it comes out at the height of summer, when corn on the cob is creating awkward you-got-a-little-something-in-your-teeth-related social havoc all across America. Yes, barbecued ribs and corn on the cob are arguably America's most floss-friendly meal. Which, honestly, is why we'll still break out the floss. Even if its unproven (as yet) in preventing gum disease and cavities, it's still good for plucking those unwanted and unsightly bits from the chompers.

Now for some ribs and corn!

2437688 Slow-Cooker Barbecue Ribs Photo by Allrecipes Magazine
Photo by Allrecipes Magazine
Jamie's Sweet and Easy Corn on the Cob
Jamie's Sweet and Easy Corn on the Cob | Photo by Rae