Not kidding! Flossing regularly is an indicator of longevity. Of course it’s not a guarantee. It’s just that people who are knowledgeable about the benefits of flossing and who are motivated to get/keep their mouth in great shape floss — and are more likely to take care of their health in other ways.
Plus, flossing has been found to prevent heart disease.
Face it, flossing isn’t very much fun. About the most I’ve been able to get out of it is (1) being mindful about doing it daily and seeing improvements in gum health (no tenderness and bleeding is the goal), and (2) going to the dental hygienist and her barely needing to do any scraping. In fact, last time I went, I got to skip a scaling procedure, which would have been unpleasant. It also saved me $60.
Here are some links about the link between flossing and longevity:
- Floss Daily for a Longer Life Expectancy
- 11 Health Habits that Will Help You Live to 100 (one expert recommends flossing twice a day)
- Church, Chocolate, Sex, and 3 Other Keys to Living Longer
Now if you are wondering what kind of floss is best, well, it’s personal preference. If it helps you actually do it instead of avoid it, that works.
Floss can be tape, it can be fluffy, wiry, stretchy, treated with herbs or flavors, even colored. Cost and environmental friendliness vary too. Floss can shred and break, and it can be so hard to work between tight teeth that it “snaps” against the gum, which may already be tender and bleeding. That can certainly make you want to avoid doing it.
If you’re not satisfied with your current floss, this article rates 12 flosses and recommends two.
I plan to try the top two brand listed, although not until I use up my Sunstar G-U-M ButlerWeave® mint waxed floss, which wasn’t included in the test. It’s woven, unbreakable, shred-resistant, slightly tape-y, textured (which scours the plaque off my teeth), and takes tea tree oil, which I apply manually before flossing. It also got 4.5 to 5 stars on Amazon.com for various formulations.