Flossing plays a major role in maintaining your oral health. It helps you get the pesky little food particles stuck between your teeth out, prevents the buildup of plaque, the formation of tartar and, in turn, also protects you against tooth decay and gum problems.

However, it may not be as good for your dental health as you have been conditioned to believe. Several previous researches have revealed a negative impact of flossing – it can increase the markers of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. Now a new study stamps on this finding.

As per a study carried out by researchers at the Public Health Institute, Berkeley, CA and the Silent Spring Institute, flossing does increase PFAs. These chemicals have been shown to be linked to kidney and testicular cancers. They are also associated to cholesterol and thyroid disorders.

Unfortunately, we come into contact with these substances regularly as they are found on food packaging. This new research, which has been published in Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology journal, was basically done to study the link between common human behaviors and PFAs. For this, a group of 178 middle-aged women was made to participate.

These participants had been recruited for other previous studies relating to child health and development. For this particular study, they were questioned regarding how they thought exposure to PFAs had altered their behavior in 2015 and 2016. Their blood samples were also collected from 2010 to 2013.

Several conclusions were reached, a surprising one being how flossing can increase levels of PFAs. For further confirmation, 18 flosses were studied with fluorine being present. It was found that a good quality floss may reduce one’s risk of rising levels of PFAs. Therefore, it is best to stick with high-quality, reliable floss brands and save oneself from the negative effects of high levels of PFAs.