The AP report also looked at 25 studies that evaluated the benefits of flossing and brushing compared to just brushing alone. The evidence in favor of flossing ranged from “weak, very unreliable" to “very low.”
The AP even suggested that corporations who produce flossing products have “paid for most studies and sometimes designed and conducted the research.”
Speaking about the studies that are used to justify flossing, Dr Marcelo W. B. Araujo, vice president of the ADA's Science Institute and former executive for Johnson & Johnson, told AP: "The funding can come from companies – no problem at all. The design [of the study] can start from the company."
Nevertheless, although the evidence is conflicting, many leading dentists still say that flossing is not totally pointless. ADA released a statement in response to the report, which maintained that “interdental cleaners such as floss are an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.”
Speaking to AP, National Institutes of Health dentist Tim Iafolla took the philosophy that flossing will not harm your teeth, however it might help then.
“It's low risk, low cost," he said. "We know there's a possibility that it works, so we feel comfortable telling people to go ahead and do it."