Scholars and scientists who study human behavior say that it takes approximately 21 days to introduce a new routine into our lifestyles. Repetition and commitment are two contributing factors to a successful outcome. However, without a perceived value for this new behavior, the idea or task soon becomes just an unimportant memory in our lives.
Sometimes a simple, yet uncomplicated action like flossing your teeth regularly can produce amazing results for your overall health and wellness. We’ve all been told to floss our teeth daily but is this message being received and taken seriously by the general public? I don’t think so.
Is it possible to increase our awareness and thereby enhance the value of flossing? Absolutely, however it will require an assertive effort by the dental profession to develop a new educational campaign that supports the tooth/body connection. “Floss Daily, Live Longer.” will certainly attract people’s interest. Let’s get the word out about how important flossing is for our general health and wellbeing.
Did you know that only 5% – 10% of Americans are regular flossers? According to studies done at Emory University by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, common gum problems such as gingivitis and periodontitis (an inflammation and/or infection of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth) lead to a 23% – 46% higher rate of death.
If that doesn’t get your attention, are you aware that daily flossing adds an average of 6.3 years to a person’s lifespan? That’s right! According to Michael F. Roizen, MD in his book, Real Age, he writes that “flossing your teeth daily can make your arteries younger…studies show that flossing helps keep your immune system young.”
The same bacteria that cause periodontal disease also trigger an immune response, inflammation, that causes the arteries to swell. The swelling of the arterial walls results in a constriction of blood flow that can lead to a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease.
Similar information was presented by Dr. Weston Price, DDS in the early 1930s. His discoveries made comparable observations that bacteria found in the oral cavity did indeed circulate throughout the entire body. Not only could it lead to a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease but it also causes a degenerative condition to persist for all your major organ systems.
In the 1940s, a German scientist named, Reinhardt Voll, MD also made a very profound statement, “80 – 90% of all ailments in the body originate in the oral cavity.” If you can eliminate the presence of unwanted bacteria in the mouth by simply flossing before you brush your teeth, then you’re providing yourself an excellent opportunity to stay healthy and even live longer.
For all of you “non-flossers”, I want to make a personal challenge to each and every one of you. Find a pack of floss, or go buy some floss or even send me an e-mail and I’ll send you some floss for free. Carefully floss around all your teeth (takes 2 minutes or less) making sure that you’re getting the floss below the gumline and then visually examine your gums in the mirror after you’re finished.
Most likely you’ll see your gums bleeding or feel blood in your mouth. If so, read the following information very carefully. If your gums are bleeding:
- There is an inflammatory response taking place in your mouth with harmful bacteria entering the bloodstream.
- Your immune system is being stressed.
- The health of major organ systems are being compromised, such as the heart, kidneys, lungs, stomach, liver, gall bladder, adrenals, spleen, large and small intestines, etc. Everything gets exposed from this bacteria originating in the mouth.
Get the picture? Do yourself a favor and floss daily. Try it for 21 days and you’ll not only see the difference but you’ll also develop a new habit that will remain with you for the rest of your life. Living longer has a lot more to do with your own behavior than luck or good genes. No more excuses, just do it.