Randomized controlled trials vs. experts

Flossing and the Art of Scientific Investigation

It’s bad enough that expertise is under attack these days from populist political movements that dismiss specialist opinion as just another establishment ruse. But lately expertise is being criticized from another direction, too — from would-be defenders of science. Consider the recent controversy over flossing. In August, a widely read Associated Press report suggested that, contrary to the advice of dentists everywhere, flossing didn’t necessarily foster good oral health. The report looked at 25 studies that had generally compared toothbrushing and flossing with toothbrushing alone and concluded that the evidence for the benefits of flossing was weak. ….[READ]

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