BETHESDA, MD – Influenced by close analysis of guidelines published by the American Dental Association (ADA), new guidelines from the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) now recommends flossing your rectum at least once a day to maintain good anorectal hygiene.
“Anorectal disease and colorectal decay are possible consequences of not flossing daily, even if you are diligent with your digital rectal exams and screening colonoscopies,” stated President of the ACG Dr. Irving Pike, MD, FACG. “Floss helps remove debris, the root of plaque buildup between the cheeks.”
Pike says the key to good flossing technique is “straddling the floss as if you’ve fallen crotch first on a tightrope, and rapidly digging that floss in there with a good, thorough, assertive back and forth motion, but not so rough as to irritate the vagina or scrotum.”
The ACG estimates that only 30% of all Americans floss their rectums, which prompted them to release these guidelines. According to the ACG guidelines, good rectal health involves brushing your rectum for at least two minutes twice daily, flossing your rectum at least once daily, and having your rectum professionally cleaned by a gastroenterologist yearly. Pike stresses that these are minimum recommendations.
“Flossing is essential, absolutely,” explained Gomerblog gastroenterologist Dr. Aaron Tire-Tracks, who agrees with Pike. “The more you can floss the better. If I wrote the guidelines, I’d recommend flossing before and after each bowel movement honestly, but I understand this isn’t practical in the real world. In that case, flossing once a day is better than nothing at all. But I’ll tell you what I do and it does take prioritizing: I floss my anus when I wake up, before I go to bed, and every hour in between.”
The ACG recommends not reusing floss unless absolutely necessary.