Sunday, January 27, 2008


It's time I talked about one of my passions that doesn't have to do with politics, the stock market, or sports.

It relates to the importance of dental hygeine. Fact is, humans only get one replacement set of teeth after our baby teeth fall out (elephants on the other hand get six and crocodiles get 40 sets over their lifetime). So, taking care of teeth is a priority. One of the best things to do for the health of your teeth is to floss.

I love to floss. It makes a tremendous difference for the health of your gums and teeth. I've always maintained that if I was stranded on a desert island and only had the choice between floss or a toothbrush, I would choose floss. Food particulate matter gets stuck between teeth and causes gum disease and bad breath. A toothbrush only goes over the surface of the teeth, but does nothing to get in between the teeth. You need to get into the nooks and cranies.

There is scientific evidence to support this notion:

Fifty-one sets of twins between the ages of 12 and 21 years of age were examined for gingival bleeding and halitosis. Each set of twins was then divided into two groups. One group of twins manually brushed their teeth and tongue twice a day for two weeks. The second group of twins was given the same instructions in addition to using dental floss twice a day. After two weeks, the twins were examined again for gingival bleeding and halitosis.

Researchers found that tongue and tooth brushing in combination with dental flossing significantly decreased gingival bleeding by 38 percent after a two-week oral hygiene program. Halitosis, or bad breath, was also reduced. In the group that did not floss as part of their daily routine, gingival bleeding sites increased by almost four percent.

My favorite floss is Johnson and Johnson Mint Woven Floss. Second favorite is J& J Mint Waxed Floss. Least favorite is Glide brands of floss. Why? I feel the Mint Woven Floss by J & J has the best scrubbing action. It really scrapes between the teeth. Glide on the other hand just slips in and out and is not performing effective scrubbing.

I also recommend an electric toothbrush. There have been many studies that have compared manual vs. electric toothbrushes. The verdict? A Cochrane review of 29 high-quality trials in over 2000 people found that many old-fashioned toothbrushes are just as good as electric ones at reducing plaque and gum disease. The only electric toothbrushes better than manual toothbrushes at reducing both plaque and gum disease were rotational oscillation brushes, where the head of the toothbrush rotates first one way and then another. These toothbrushes reduced the amount of plaque by 11% and gingivitis by 6% in three-month trials. Other electric toothbrushes, such as ultrasonic toothbrushes, which vibrate at ultrasonic frequencies, were no better than manual toothbrushes. Bottom line, get yourself an Oral-B toothbrush. You teeth will thank you for it!


Jeanette said...

Okay Coca, it is truly time for an intervention. Will and I have been talking about this for a few weeks, but now it is truly time. Blogging about FLOSS at 1:33am? That really is a red flag pointing out how much this is spiraling out of control. I figure it is better to do something now before it is too late--flashback to summer 2005 enter Coca stage right coming into biostats class with a wrinkiled, untucked shirt, messy hair and get this, unflossed and unbrushed teeth. What was this a result of, one might ask? His complete and total obsession with Fantasy Baseball. I am here to make an intervention before it is too late. AND, this is coming from a girl who has had to have her teeth replaced not once in her lifetime, but twice (if only I was a croc). And, this wasn't from not flossing but rather the dangers of bacterial meningitis and record high fevers at 4 months old! Mind you, I floss like a fiend now. When you pay over 10Gs for teeth, you are forced to take care of those suckers.
PS, I like Glide. I find it scrubs just fine. J&J mint floss shreds between my incisors.

Jeanette said...

this post was only a joke. are you mad?