Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Is flossing related to a longer life span?

            Over the past decade there has been some discussion on how oral health relates to your overall health. Before this, many people just assumed that oral health was independent of total health. Even more recently there has been media coverage related to a father who lost his life due to a dental infection. So what do we really know about how dental health affects your life span?
            Business Insider recently had an article discussing how flossing is related to longevity. They were not suggesting that flossing directly results in living longer. However, they suggest that if you are willing to take the time each day to floss your teeth and maintain good oral health, then you are more likely to do a lot of other things to take care of yourself. This could include eating well, exercising regularly, and maintaining regular visits to your doctor or dentist. They are not claiming flossing is the cause of longer life span, but is correlative.
            Every time you visit the dentist you are encouraged to floss your teeth. Everyone is, but typically few listen. We often hear the question, “Do I really need to floss my teeth?” We respond ‘yes’ and explain our reasoning behind it. But still, very few people make it part of their daily routine. However, if you are someone that is willing to adopt the recommendations of your health care professionals, then you are setting yourself up for success. The recommendations of doctors and dentist carry a lot of fact and reason. They typically know more than the average person about that particular subject. So listen to their suggestions, because it could prolong your life.
            There are many variables that can affect your life span, but taking the time each day to do some little things for yourself can make a big difference. Flossing has shown to be a good example of that. So embrace flossing, keep your mouth healthy, and see where else it can help you in life!

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Lee T. Brown, DDS

Brown and Kupper, DDS 

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