The New York Times has recently published an article discussing if flossing is still relevant by today's standards. The article leans towards the argument that flossing is not needed on a daily basis which is not what we preach here at South Hill Pediatric Dentistry!
Studies done exclusively in children have shown that daily flossing does result in a 40-50% reduction in incidence of cavities between teeth. In order for flossing to be effective, however, it must be done daily. In addition to removing pesky food particles, it does help to condition the gums, and has been shown to lower the risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease. Extensive medical research has proved the link between oral bacteria, heart health and diabetes. Enacting a flossing routine at a young age helps to ensure that as a person gets older, their risk of heart disease stays low. From a practical and common sense standpoint, flossing removes plaque and food that otherwise may sit there, trapped between teeth. Regardless of the risk it poses to the tooth surfaces themselves, or the gum tissue, do we want to imagine rotting food nestled safely between our teeth? We still strongly recommend flossing daily, not only for the benefit of the teeth, but those who floss tend to have better overall oral health.
The New York Times Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/03/health/flossing-teeth-cavities.html