Some lessons are more painful to learn than others. After several return visits to the dentist this last month, I finally asked my dentist how I could avoid so many trips to come see him. Some answers I knew and hung my head in dental shame but some surprised me.
“I wish I could quantify how a minute a day flossing would help people save a lot of money in dental care,” says Dr. Dan Thomas of Springford Family Dental. He reminded me that the cost of dental floss is significantly less than the amount people spend annually on the repercussions of allowing food to sit in between their teeth and rot the enamel. Chewy candy is especially harmful since it sticks to the teeth in hard to reach places.
Leaving food between the teeth by not flossing can also cause periodontal (or gum) disease and gingivitis, not to mention bad breath. Periodontitis has even been linked to rheumatoid arthritis in studies (according to Jerry A. Molitor, MD, PhD, an associate professor in the division of rheumatology and autoimmune disease at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis).
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