Don’t gloss over floss

Don’t gloss over floss

September 15, 2021 By The Connect

Dental care expert Dr Mohendar Narula says spare a-minute-a-day and keep the gums, mind and memory healthy.

NEW DELHI Sep 15 (The CONNECT) – Only 16 percent of the adults floss their teeth, as per the survey by the American Dental Association (ADA). This percentage is much worse in the Indian context. Most people are not aware of the importance of oral hygiene and flossing.

According to a new study carried by NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, there is another compelling reason for people to make flossing a part of their daily routine. The report highlights how flossing may even help against cognitive decline. It goes on to note that adults with more tooth loss had 1.48 times higher risk of cognitive impairment and 1.28 times higher risk of dementia than the others. This was the case even when other factors were controlled.

It is not just the loss of teeth that puts them at higher risk but not getting a denture to replace them is another important factor as per this survey. It notes that adults who experienced tooth loss were more likely to have cognitive decline if they did not have dentures.

“In India, the overall awareness regarding oral health is very limited. Majority of the population is not even aware of what flossing is and how it can prevent the build-up of plaque which results in oral diseases such as gingivitis and dental carries,” explains Dr Mohendar Narula, Founder and Chairman, MyDentalPlan Healthcare Pvt. Ltd

For good oral hygiene dentists from all across the world have been recommending flossing teeth at least once a day. Most people in India are not aware that our teeth have five sides. Moreover, with brushing, we can only cover three sides. If the teeth are not flossed properly, then the food particles and bacteria may remain trapped between our teeth. It’s a simple step that not only helps in preventing bad breath but also avoiding cavities and gum disease.

Dr Narula says, “When we floss, we reduce the inflammation and potential infection in our mouth, keeping the infection from spreading to our brain cells. Healthy gums lead to avoiding the loss of brain cells and even memory loss. It only takes a minute a day and can help in keeping the gums, mind and memory healthy.”

In the light of all these, it is imperative to spread more awareness regarding maintaining oral hygiene and inculcating flossing as a part of the daily routine. It is not just important to make flossing a part of the daily routine but also understand the right way to do so.

Most people tend to floss up and down as it feels like the most intuitive way to get rid of gunk between the teeth. However, as per the experts, this is not a fool proof way to get depositions out from your teeth. Flossing up and down only removes some of the stuff between your teeth, but it neglects the sides of your teeth and the area below the gumline where plaque can accumulate. 

It has also been found that many people who suffer from sensitive or bleeding gums are tempted to avoid flossing for fear of making their bleeding gums worse. However, as per experts, flossing can help in improving the health of their gums and thereby helping to prevent them from bleeding.

Considering all the benefits that flossing has to offer, it is important to understand the right way to floss teeth and to make it a part of the daily routine, doctors say.