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Why Do I Need To Floss?

Posted by Dr. Paul Grussenmeyer on

Your overall health starts in your mouth.  That's a long time quote of mine.  That includes getting nutrients digested and into your system, plus disease prevention.

A major part of disease prevention involves constant cleansing around your teeth and tongue surfaces.  Tongue surface?  Yes, the same gum disease organisms which grow around your teeth also grow on the fuzzy filiform papillae on the top of your tongue.  Constant cleansing?  That means thoroughly cleaning at least in the morning, after eating breakfast, and before bed at night at a minimum.  Right after you have everything perfectly clean, the germs start resettling back onto your tooth surfaces again.  So, you have to keep at it, forever!

Brushing can clean about 60% of your tooth surface, the top, inside, and outside surfaces.  The 2 surfaces facing the front and rear of your mouth are only cleansable via dental floss.  Unless you only want to do a partial job, you need to perform your dental flossing every time that you brush.  Flossing doesn't mean flicking the floss in and out through the contacts.  Those contacts do get cleaned when you saw through them with the floss, but once you get through the contact, stay in there.  Wrap (curve) the floss around one of the teeth and scrape that surface clean.  Think of it like scraping a rope up and down a pole.  Then lift the floss over the tip of your gum papillae and do the same thing on the tooth next to it.

What happens if you don't floss?

Lack of proper care can lead to tooth decay, but much more importantly, periodontal (gum) disease.  Germs can enter your body via the open blood vessels (evident with bleeding gums) and have been found in arthritic joints (when previously only found in the mouth).  The real health disaster occurs from the systemic inflammation resulting from the gum disease process.  It has been linked to causing plaques in arteries ( yes, arterial plaques are caused by inflammation, not cholesterol...SAY NO TO POISONOUS ANTI-CHOLESTEROL DRUGS), heart disease, stroke, low birth weight babies, premature childbirth, kidney disease, lung disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and ulcers, as well as arthritis.  Download my book, The Superlongevity Rx, from Amazon for more in-depth information on how this all works.

Once you form the good habit of flossing routinely, you just have to work on your technique.  Making it part of your everyday routine is the hard part.  The rewards of doing so are extremely large.