As far as scandals go, it's a biggie. After all, how many of us grew up believing that brushing and flossing every day was the secret to healthy teeth and good dental hygiene?
Now it seems that century-old advice isn't even built on solid research. Strangely, there is little research backing up the medical benefits of flossing.
Yet since the '70s the American Dental Association has included flossing in its guidelines, which legally must be supported by scientific evidence.
When pressed last year, the federal government removed flossing from the guidelines, admitting its efficacy had never been researched.
So it seems all this time we've been sold a lie. An expensive lie, of the white string variety.
Flossing research was at best found wanting, "weak, very unreliable," of "very low" quality, with "a moderate to large potential for bias."
The studies show that flossing isn't effective at removing plaque, and only results in a "slight reduction in gum inflammation" that can eventually lead to gum disease.
President of the American Academy of Periodontology, Dr. Wayne Aldredge, admitted existing studies were limited and flawed, yet that's not to say flossing doesn't work. He claimed long-term studies are needed to prove whether flossing can in fact ward off gum disease, which develops over time.
"It's like building a house and not painting two sides of it," said Dr. Aldredge. "Ultimately those two sides are going to rot away quicker."
In many cases, the industry itself has funded the research, some of which is only conducted over a two-week period.
Then there's the fact that many people floss incorrectly.
All of the above doesn't prove that flossing is a totally pointless exercise. What it does prove is that consumers have been lied to all this time, and sold a product with no sound proof that it works.
So until science tells me otherwise, I'm gonna hedge my bets and keep flossing. Because corn on the cob.
A UK mom has gone for a TMI approach to sex after kids.
Mel Watts, aka The Modern Mumma, posted a Facebook selfie with her husband immediately following a "quickie" session. Her intent was to show the harried reality of post-babies sex life - namely, that you don't often get time to get intimate and even when you do, your libido may have done such a nosedive that you'd really rather be doing something else like sleeping. We get it. Oh boy, do we ever.
"With one child at the neighbours and a baby asleep in the cot it seemed like a perfect opportunity."
With that bit of TMI, Watts went on to describe how she finally caved to her man's needs, after being dry humped and listening a relentless routine of sausage jokes.
Her honestly is refreshing. However, many readers felt that rather than being enlightened, her revelation comes across as humiliating and demeaning. She describes feeling guilty and "obligated" when it comes to sex with her husband.
A lack of libido after having kids is perfectly normal and nothing to feel guilty about. But the way Watts talks about having sex, it's as if she's doing her husband a huge favour (one that gets "rewarded" later) and quite frankly that doesn't sit right:
"Knowing it was only going to take a few minutes and I'll have a day of any food I want to eat, listen to any music I want and an early night. Sounds delightful right?!"
I wonder how this must make her husband feel, reading that she is just getting down with him to get it over with.
"Now I sit here in my pjs eating a block of chocolate watching a movie knowing I can go to bed without feeling bad..... Totally worth it. Sometimes it's worth just going with it. Silver lining he's happy for the next few days and I'm going to bed without d*ck jabbed in my back."
Mamas, have all the quickies you want - or not - but please can we do one thing and stop treating sex like it's a huge favour or a painful chore?