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I just wanted to make a comment regarding the current worldwide discussion regarding flossing and its effectiveness which is currently being questioned in many media outlets.

The scientific paper which initiated the discussion is actually a very good systematic review of the evidence and the conclusions are accurate. Shock! Gasp! What do I tell my patients?

The problem is in the type of research the paper is drawing its conclusions from. In our profession, we have been led down a road of quantitative scientifc based research and developed a type of 'snobbery' towards this approach believing that any other evidence isn't worth considering.
The answers to the flossing question could be found in qualitative (behavioral) research of which there is little, due to lack of funding as there is little money to be made from this type of research and more importantly action research.

At OHU all our graduates produce an action research project which is first person based research and asks questions based around why certain aspects of treatment are unsuccessful.

Each day over the next 2 weeks we will post an action research paper written by one of our graduates on the subject of flossing, behavioral change and alternatives to flossing. Keep any eye out for these as they make interesting reading. We are very proud of the work undertaken by our graduates and realise they are adding to the pool of dental hygiene research of which, judging by current media reporting, there is obviously a huge need. 

Tim Ives 

Here's a link to our action research library where theses papers will be published. Please share with your colleagues:…/action-research-library