To Floss or Not to Floss…That is the question
By Alexandra S. George, DDS, LVIF
This blog was inspired by my lovely husband. One night I was brushing and flossing my teeth and my husband asked me to floss his teeth! My
response (in a tamed-down version) was “No Dear, you are capable of flossing
your own teeth”. I figured he is an educated and somewhat intelligent man
who has the manual dexterity to floss. Last I checked, he was not
stricken with a hand-crippling disease.
So, I took this past week to conduct my own somewhat scientific survey. I
asked my patients who were more than happy to participate, “Why, oh why
don’t you floss?” The most common answers were:
- “It’s inconvenient.” Really? If you’re a woman, a lot of things we do are
inconvenient. For instance, putting on make-up, getting our hair colored, and how about shaving and waxing?
- “My mom doesn’t buy floss for me.” Shame on you mothers out there that
deprive your kids of healthy gums and refuse to buy them floss. Hint, it’s in the toothpaste aisle.
- “I can’t fit my hand in my mouth.” Ok, let’s get one thing straight…your
hand does not need to fit in your mouth, only your fingers do. If you should
have sausages for fingers, then you can buy those floss-n-picks. They will
And lastly, most common reason not to floss was (drum role please…)
- “It takes too much time!” If that is the case, then your life needs to slow
down. Take time to smell the roses and floss your teeth.
There are plenty of studies that have proven that flossing increases
your over all health. Bacteria in your mouth (you know it’s there when
you look at someone’s smile and you see red gums and fuzzy stuff that
looks like your tooth is wearing a sweater) can enter your blood
stream through your mouth. The mouth is the gateway to the rest of the
body. Bacteria in the mouth can lead to increased risk of heart attack, stoke, and diabetes, not to mention loss of your teeth.
So, always remember, “floss only the teeth you want to keep”.