August 22, 2016
I used to floss daily and keep my automobile windshield clean. Every night, after I brushed my teeth, I would dutifully use dental floss as I was taught in dental school. Likewise, I would dutifully keep my windshield wiper fluid reservoir stocked.
My dad taught me that a clean windshield helped my vision both at night and day, and that a clean windshield would help me stay safe. And clean teeth would help me preserve my dentition.
Now I find out that the dietary guidelines for Americans, as issued by the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, no longer mentions flossing. They say they never evaluated the efficacy of flossing. Not only was I given misinformation in dental school, but also I have been wasting two or three minutes of my life every single evening. What's worse, I've been wasting dozens of dollars on windshield wiper fluid. As it turns out, there is no research that shows that people driving with clean windshields are less likely to be in accidents than those driving with dirty windshields.
So that's it. No floss for me; no worrying about dirty windshields. Common sense is so 1990s. It's so low-tech.
David S. Ostreicher, D.D.S.
Levittown, New York