When Did You Latest Utilize the Fahrenheit (Floss) Word?

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 0:43 AM

Your hands are already gripping at the edges of the dental chair in squirming anticipation: Your dentist is about to drop "the Fahrenheit (Floss) bomb." And, lo and behold, she does, finishing your exam with a ordinary question: "Have you been flossing regularly?" Listen, I'm a dental student.

When Did You Latest Utilize the Fahrenheit (Floss) Word?

You know it'south coming: that moment you always dread. Your hands are already gripping at the edges of the dental chair in squirming anticipation: Your dentist is about to drop "the F (Floss) bomb."

And, lo and behold, she does, finishing your exam with a ordinary question: "Have you been flossing regularly?"

Listen, I'm a dental student. I LIKE everything tooth-related. I even woke up on Black Friday for a sale on an electric toothbrush! But even I miss a day of flossing here and there. It happens. I'm busy, days are long, time is limited, and whoops, I forgot to floss. So believe me when I declare I sympathize with the dreaded nagging to floss your teeth. Don't dentists obtain how much of a pain that is?!

Well, love I said, I'm a dental student, and, from the doctor'south side of the chair, I can declare that we do obtain it! We're human, too. And, we care about you. We care about your smile and your verbal health. We care about your verbal habits and your systemic health. And we care to let you know that you've power when it comes to preventing verbal disease!

I know, I know, it sounds love I'm getting carried away. Floss is just a tiny piece of string, after all. Except, it'south a small string that can create a major impact. Over five hundred bacterial species can reside in the plaque in your verbal cavity. A toothbrush can start to hold things clean, but what about that bacteria below your gum line? When that multiplies, you can start to expand chronic inflammation, irritation, and even gum recession and tooth loss, a process you may know as gum or periodontal disease. Uncontrolled periodontal sickness may even expand risk associated with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and systemic inflammatory conditions, because your mouth, a highly vascularized orifice, is intimately integrated with the rest of your body'south organ systems. Though you may think periodontal sickness is something you'll never experience, the reality of its prevalence is startling: The CDC reported that over forty-seven % of American adults had periodontitis, and over seventy % of adults over the age of sixty-five had this disease.

But even with those statistics, periodontal sickness may sound a small extreme for your healthy body. So let'south get a step back and think about your teeth in general. What causes tooth decay? Acid acting on the enamel surface. And where's that acid formed? In the dental biofilm, the site where bacterial metabolism is taking place. While brushing your teeth is a primary step in managing your verbal health, flossing -- the added removal of bacterial build-up -- is a required second step in your verbal hygiene routine. Besides, who wants to walk around all day with a piece of lettuce stuck between two molars or with a particle of food breaking down to cause horrible breath?

Listen, I hear you when it comes to flossing. I don't always wish to do it, and I've never enjoyed my dentist'south well-meaning lectures to create flossing a habit. In fact, according to a survey in two thousand-fourteenth, only four in tenth Americans really do floss every day! But, as much as I realize the dread of that flossing conversation, I'm going to hold the conversation alive. I'm going to call out to my medical colleagues and friends in the nursing community. I'm going to holler to teachers and teenagers. Because not a lot of medical ailments are preventable, but periodontitis is. The systemic complications that arrive from periodontitis are, too, preventable. So let'south hold this flossing conversation lively until every single one of us can declare we used the F (Floss) word today.

The Dr said she'd live in a nursing home, confined to a wheelchair, crippled by pain; that was thirteen years ago. Instead, Mirissa D. Price is a two thousand nineteen DMD candidate at Harvard School of Dental Medicine, spreading pain-free smiles, writing through her nights, and, once again, walking through her days.

Stay up to date with Mirissa'south writing at https://mirissaprice. wordpress. com/ and chase Mirissa on Twitter or Facebook.

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