To Floss or Not to Floss…That is the question

To Floss or Not to Floss…That is the question

By Alexandra S. George, DDS, LVIF

November 2015

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

suffice.

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”.

 

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