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In a study that involved approximately 1,100 twins, researchers have found a regular flossing routine can increase the dental health of people when combined with daily dental care.
The New York University College of Dentistry found flossing can significantly reduce the risk of developing periodontal disease and cavity-causing bacteria, thus increasing one's dental health.
Researchers examined 51 "well-matched twin pairs" up to 21 years old living in disadvantaged neighborhoods in Montes Claros, Brazil for two weeks. The area was chosen because of its inadequate water fluoridation and limited access to dental care.
During that time, one group of twins flossed regularly, while the other did not. At the end, the group that did not floss was found to have an "overabundant" amount of periodontal pathogens and decay-causing bacteria.
"[B]leeding scores were reduced by 38 percent over the two-week study period in the flossing group of twins," said the researchers.
Twins were used in the study because they have similar dietary habits and health practices and are considered "excellent subjects for dental health research in people of the same age from similar environments" who may not have access to dental insurance.
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