Oral hygiene is no joke. Nobodyânot a single personâlikes a mouth full of not-so-pretty teeth or terrible breath. And who wants some hellacious halitosis to get in the way of their wedded bliss or their social life?!
I try to take care of my teeth to the best of my ability. Aside from bad breath and discoloration, not taking care of your teeth can lead to gingivitis, gum disease, tooth loss, and a host of other problems.
And while Iâm not sure how much I believe it, there is some evidence suggesting that gum disease is linked with chronic conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, and heart disease (although I do think these conditions are a result of diet).
Flossing Your Teeth Every Dayâ¦Is There a Point?
Since about 1908, the main tenets of oral hygiene have been brushing and flossing. But new research is saying that flossing ainât all itâs cracked up to be. In fact, the latest version of the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans doesnât include flossing as a component of oral health…and a new study is saying there is no evidence it has any real benefit at all.
Itâs actually surprising because lots of debris and plaque can get lodged between your teethâand anyone whoâs ever looked at a piece of floss after getting up in the nooks and crannies knows itâs doing somethingâbut when done as an accompaniment to brushing, flossing has no real oral health benefits.
Oral Health: What You Need to Focus on
So all of you who donât floss twice a dayâor twice a yearâcan let out a sigh of relief, because failing to floss likely isnât doing you any harm. But this means you do have more time to make sure you do some adequate brushing.
You should brush your teeth at least twice per day for at least two minutes. Make sure you hit the back and front of each tooth, and that youâre extra conscious of the teeth at the back of your mouth. Remember that just because you canât see them, doesnât mean they donât exist! And be gentle, too; your teeth will appreciate it.
Using floss or a toothpick may still be worthwhile if you can feel some larger pieces of food lodged between the teeth, and if youâre in the habit of flossing regularly, it surely wonât hurt. So you donât need to quit flossing if itâs part of your daily habit and youâre happy doing it.
Keeping on top of your oral hygiene is important to your overall health, so be sure to take care of your teeth. Just donât stress if youâre not flossing regularly.
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Sources for Todayâs Article
âNo strong proof that flossing your teeth has medical benefit,â CBC News web site, August 2, 2016; http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/dental-floss-1.3703798.
âDietary Guidelines for Americans, 2016-2020,â USDA web site; https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/resources/2015-2020_Dietary_Guidelines.pdf, last accessed August 2, 2016.
Salzer, S., âEfficacy of inter-dental mechanical plaque control in managing gingivitisâa meta-review,âJournal of Clinical Periodontology, March 31, 2015; DOI:Â 10.1111/jcpe.12363.