If you've ever felt guilty about how little you floss, this week brought sweet, sweet vindication when the Associated Press dropped the biggest journalism scoop of the decade: Flossing, it turns out, has been way overhyped.
Many people refused to change.
While others celebrated their Independence Day (from floss guilt, that is).
But how did we go so long believing a lie? And why the hell are we only finding out about this now?
It turns out, the story started with a tip from within the dental-industrial complex. Reporter Jeff Donn said it was his son's orthodontist who first tipped him off that there was a big flossing scandal waiting to be exposed.
Donn scoured the medical literature and found that the evidence for daily flossing as a universal recommendation just wasn't there.
Donn has been a journalist for three decades. He has worked on many investigations, including one into U.S. nuclear safety for which he was a Pulitzer finalist. But he says the flossing story has had as big an impact as anything else he's done.
"It ranks right up there," Donn said. "I really couldn't have anticipated this strong of a reaction."
Donn said that in addition to being covered on hundreds of news websites, the flossing story also made the front pages of some 50 newspapers, and he's been receiving a ton of emails from readers.
"There's something that is apparently very intimate and close to people about the issue of flossing and I didn't anticipate it," he said.