Why Should People Floss?

Daily flossing is an essential element of proper dental hygiene. It removes plaque, which can turn into tartar and cause gingivitis and gum disease. Regular cleanings by a dentist or hygienist help reduce tartar build-up. Studies have also shown that flossing even prevents strokes and heart attacks. Treat your teeth to flossing each day to improve your health and smile.

Significance

People should floss their teeth at least once a day to remove food particles and plaque that a toothbrush doesn’t reach. Plaque is a sticky layer of material which contains bacteria, causes tooth decay, and can also cause inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), which can then lead to periodontal disease.

Plaque can start forming as soon as four hours after brushing. When plaque is not removed, it eventually hardens and turns into tartar. Tartar can only be removed by a dentist or hygienist.

Warning

More dangerous bacteria can start building up in the tartar and producing toxins. The toxins irritate a person’s gums, an inflammation called gingivitis. Gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, where the toxins invade the bones supporting the teeth. This can lead to bone loss and loose teeth, and even to teeth falling out.

Considerations

Studies have also indicated that flossing helps to prevent strokes and heart attacks. Periodontitis and even gingivitis are strong risk factors for cardiovascular disease, because of the stress of continuous inflammation in the body. In one study of stroke patients, severe periodontitis was shown to significantly increase the chances of a stroke occurring.

The American Academy of Periodontology states that people with periodontitis are almost twice as likely to have heart disease.

Prevention/Solution

Flossing has cosmetic benefits as well. It stops ugly tartar build-up, and also prevents bad breath. It’s easy to prove how flossing stops bad breath by doing some flossing and smelling the debris that is removed.

Types

Many styles of floss are available – waxed and unwaxed, wide and regular, and there are flavored kinds such as mint and cinnamon. They all work about the same. The one consideration might be to use a wide floss if you have wider spaces between your teeth, but the most important thing is to choose a product and use it daily.

Water-piks are not as effective as floss, because they do not remove plaque.

Function

Floss should be gently rubbed up and down between teeth, and into the spaces between the gums and teeth. The American Dental Association recommends flossing for two or three minutes, and states that even people who floss daily typically do not spend enough time at it.

Rachel Frederickson talks ‘Biggest Loser’ weight loss: ‘Absolutely healthy’

Controversy swirled almost the moment that “Biggest Loser” season 15 contestant Rachel Frederickson stepped on the stage of the finale on Feb. 4. Had the 24-year-old lost too much weight? Nearly a month after her win, she addressed the backlash about her 155-pound loss today with Savannah Guthrie of the “Today” show.

“I felt amazing on the stage, I felt like I shined in my dress, and I got off the stage and Twitter was all abuzz,” she said Wednesday morning in New York. “There was just so much chatter about it.”

She said she was surprised at the social media reaction.

“My journey was my own and I loved it, I lived it, so I felt really proud of what I did,” Frederickson said.

When Guthrie asked whether she thought she had dropped down to an unhealthy weight, Frederickson disagreed.

“It was absolutely healthy weight loss. I dieted, I exercised and did it healthy the whole way,” she said. “I appreciate all the concern and I can see where it comes from. And there is the ‘movie magic’ – it’s over 7 months, it’s almost a year of my life losing the weight. So I was very unhealthy at 260 pounds and now, post finale, I’m the healthiest, most alive I’ve ever felt.”

This week, “Today” is focusing on body image with its “Love Your Selfie” week, and Guthrie asked Frederickson what lessons she learned from her mom about her body image growing up as a competitive swimmer.

“She has taught me to be independent, to love myself and to be me,” she said.

In maintenance mode now and visibly less gaunt looking than on finale night, Guthrie asked Frederickson whether she worries about backsliding.

“That thought always comes up but I think that what I’ve learned is that I have an inner strength. I have a voice and I can trust myself. I didn’t trust myself. I was critical and I judged myself,” she said. “You’re with you the rest of your life so you’d better accept you and love yourself.”