On August 2, 2016, the NY Times featured an article “Feeling Guilty About Not Flossing? Maybe There’s No Need.” For decades, the federal government and dentists have strongly urged us to floss daily to promote good oral health. But now, the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services no longer endorse the practice of flossing due to a lack of scientific evidence supporting medical benefits.
Non-flossers are rejoicing!
Dentists are outraged!
Those of us who floss regularly are in disbelief!
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO GOOD, OLD-FASHIONED, COMMON SENSE?
If food is caught between your teeth, do you sincerely think it’s a good idea to keep it there?
If your cleanings cause your gums to bleed and regular flossing results in less pain and no bleeding, do you need scientific evidence to prove that flossing is a good practice for you?
The article states: "A review of six trials found that when professionals flossed the teeth of children on school days for almost two years, they saw a 40 percent reduction in the risk of cavities."
While it may not be a large or long enough study to satisfy the government, isn’t this reason enough to encourage our kids to floss and to floss ourselves? It seems like basic hygiene.
DAILY HABITS AND ROUTINES HAVE MANY BENEFITS
If you have participated in my corporate training programs, you know that I like to share how I tested the theory that it takes "21 days to create a new habit."
My father, grandfather, and brother were/are all dentists but I was never taught to floss as a kid (the cobbler's children have no shoes?)
I began flossing eight years ago to see if I could create a new habit in 21 days. I have done it consistently every since. My gums are healthier, I have needed less dental work, and my cleanings are no longer painful.
Sometimes, a habit can become a ‘keystone’ habit that encourages other good behavior.
Flossing may encourage you to take more care brushing your teeth. Maybe the two habits combined will do a better job of dislodging food caught between teeth and reduce plaque that may result in tooth decay or gum disease.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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