Day 17 – Floss Your Teeth

This is Day 17 of Live a Healthier Life in 21 Days Challenge.

Flossing is one of those things that you don’t miss if you have never done it and don’t have the habit of doing it, but you don’t want to miss it once you have established the habit of doing it.

I started flossing  a few years ago after listening to my dentist telling me again and again at every teeth cleaning visit that I should floss and after hearing a coworker telling me that he couldn’t stand not flossing every night.

Now I floss every night after brushing. It has really helped improve the health of my teeth.

I used to have really bad gum disease. Growing up in China I never visited a dentist, at least I don’t remember I ever did. In China we only went to the hospital when we had a health problem. There was no preventive care. Gum disease was not considered a big problem. I remember whenever I brushed my teeth, my gum always bleed.

I had my first teeth cleaning in Germany when I was a student there in my early twenties. My gum disease was so bad, the dentist had to do deep cleaning for my teeth in several separate sessions. From then on, my gum disease was gradually cured.

After coming to the United States, I have been keeping up with the regular preventive and maintenance care of my teeth. I have my teeth cleaned twice a year as my insurance permits. Now my teeth are healthy, without gum disease and any cavities.

My dentist once made the comment: “I wish everyone has such nice teeth as you have.”

Keeping my teeth healthy is not only good for my overall health, it also saves money.

Today I took my daughter to the dentist to have one filling done. Just one filling cost me $144 out of my pocket. That’s after the insurance copay (60% coverage) and with $50 deductible. It was quite a surprise. The price was over $40 more than I expected because it had just been changed after January 1, 2011. I wish my salary would increase that fast.

So I advise everyone to take good care of your teeth by brushing and flossing every day for better health and saving money.

The following is from the 21DHL Forum.


Day 17 – Floss Your Teeth

[Image: floss.jpg]

Do any of you floss your teeth? I do – but I didn’t used to do this in the past. According to a 2008 survey, only 49% of Americans floss daily, and 10% never floss.That’s unfortunate because flossing is even more important than brushing in preventing gum disease and tooth loss. When I was younger I thought flossing is an unnecessary step in dental care. It was when I got braces (when I was in my early 20s) that I was more conscious about dental hygiene – and I realized that flossing is a very important step in properly cleaning your teeth.

From WebMD:

Quote:“There is no instant gratification with flossing — that’s the problem,” says Alla Wheeler, RDH, MPA, associate professor of the Dental Hygiene Program at the New York University School of Dentistry. “Patients don’t think it does anything.”

But flossing does about 40% of the work required to remove sticky bacteria, or plaque, from your teeth. Plaque generates acid, which can cause cavities, irritate the gums, and lead to gum disease. “Each tooth has five surfaces. If you don’t floss, you are leaving at least two of the surfaces unclean,”Wheeler explains. “Floss is the only thing that can really get into that space between the teeth and remove bacteria.”

If you experience bleeding during flossing, that’s an even clearer sign that you need to floss. The bleeding occurs because plaque has already built up in the area and would have continued to corrode your gums if you didn’t floss right there and then!

Today, let’s practice our best dental hygiene. Brush your teeth before you sleep/after you wake up. Rinse your mouth/brush your teeth in between your meals. For those of you who already floss, continue doing so! For those of you who don’t floss your teeth normally, let’s try flossing today!

Here’s a short 1:54 minute Youtube video on how to floss your teeth properly.