Wellness Wednesday: Flossing

CVMS Teeth. Photos by Kara Wilkinson
CVMS Teeth. Photos by Kara Wilkinson

Eating your vegetables, working out 30 minutes a day, looking both ways before you cross the street- all of these can extend your life.  According to Stockholm Dental Clinic, another thing that can make you live longer is flossing. That’s right, flossing.

Why? Flossing prevents plaque growth and heart disease. Dentists believe that if you take care of your teeth and floss, you can prevent many infections. When plaque builds up in your mouth, bacteria can enter your arteries and cause them to narrow, making it difficult for the arteries to do their job.

If you don’t floss regularly bacteria will begin to form between your teeth. This will cause your teeth to rot and decay, as well as ruin the supporting bone under your teeth. Then the structure of your jaw will collapse. Also, if you floss, you’ll look better as you age.

You may believe that brushing alone is enough, but CBS News insists that flossing is necessary.  Scientists have learned that each tooth has five surfaces. When you brush, you are only cleaning two out of the five.  Cleaning less than half of your teeth can result in them becoming breeding ground for bacteria.

So next time you’re skipping that few extra minutes and thoroughness it takes to remove excess bacteria by flossing, reconsider. Studies show that flossing can extend your life by about 6.4 years. Keep your body healthy, starting with your mouth.