Have I wasted my life teaching people to floss?  Flossing has been in the news lately and many of you have been asking questions.  So, for the first installment of #AskDrDebbie, I will be answering a question from a reader about flossing. The question from our reader: “Is flossing really necessary? New evidence is showing that it may actually be harmful!”

You have probably seen headlines like:

  • “Flossing your teeth can be a waste of time – and do more HARM than good, leading dental expert claims”
  • “Dentists say you need to floss.  Science says you don’t.”
  • “Haven’t flossed lately?  Don’t feel too bad.”

This hogwash makes me laugh!   Floss works effectively for many people but it’s a skill that must be developed. It’s portable and inexpensive.  There are many methods to removing the disease-causing bacteria in your mouth including floss, modified toothpicks, oral irrigators, and little brushes that go between the teeth.  The authors of most of the articles completely missed the point.  

Oklahoma Dental Wellness is committed to whole body health.  Removing the pathogenic bacteria from under the gums is key. It’s called the “oral-systemic connection” – what is happening in your mouth affects your entire body and your ability to LIVE YOUNGER.  I agree that floss is not effective at stopping decay between the teeth but that’s not what it is for.  And, floss doesn’t work in everybody’s hands.  If it doesn’t work for you, you must find something that does work to keep your gums healthy if you want to maintain your health.  

Sweet drinks, candy, and simple sugars cause decay on teeth as well as nourish the harmful bacteria.  Minimizing sugary carbohydrates and frequent brushing is a great way to combat decay on all parts of your teeth, especially between them.  Sugar provides the perfect breeding ground for  the bad bacteria and they can enter the blood from your mouth. I recommend:

  1. Brushing for 2-3 minutes (with a regular toothbrush or a Sonicare toothbrush) after every meal or snack,
  2. Removing bacteria from around the teeth and under the gums with either floss, a toothpick, an oral irrigator or an interdental brush pick, and
  3. Use oral probiotics to crowd out the bad bacteria in your mouth. I have devised an excellent dissolvable oral probiotic that that not only gives you the beneficial strains of bacteria, it also freshens your breath!  Click here for more information on Daily Oral Replenish.

You can’t have a healthy body without a healthy mouth.  And, healthy gums don’t bleed — even when you get your teeth cleaned.  START SOMEWHERE today removing bacteria from your mouth with the method that works for you.  You can do it.  I will help you!

As my START SOMEWHERE RESET continues, it time to work on my core strength.  Sitting doesn’t increase core strength.  I have loved the opportunity to study and get re-educated over the past few years, but my body has suffered.  The first thing that I want to work on is balance and flexibility.  Balance and core strength are key to avoiding accidents for people of all ages.  Here’s where I’m starting today with these three “Start Somewheres”:

  • One-Legged Balance:  With feet together, pick up one foot with knee facing to the side. Hold position with eyes open for 20 seconds and then with eyes closed for 20 seconds.  Switch feet and repeat.
  • Leg Extension:  Bend forward and extend right leg behind with hands out in front, palms up.  Hold for 10 seconds.  Repeat five times.  Change legs and do the same.  Keep both hands straight out in front of you.
  • T-Slide:  This entire exercise is done standing on your tiptoes and is great for building core strength.  With heels together, lift heels and balance on your toes. Palms facing forward, reach your hands out to your side.  Pulse your arms one inch forward and one inch back for 25 reps.  Palms facing backwards, do the same.  It’s harder than it sounds but worth the effort!

Apple Cinnamon Energy Bars (Adapted from Bake. Eat. Repeat.)

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup Dates
  • 1 cup Quick Oats, old fashioned rolled oats are also fine
  • 1 Apple, cored
  • 1/2 cup Pecans
  • 1 tablespoon Flax Meal
  • 1 tablespoon pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon

Here’s the drill:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9 inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving an overhang, and set aside.
  2. Place the dates in a small bowl, pour hot water over the top, and let them soak for 10 minutes while you get out your ingredients.
  3. Drain the dates and add them to the bowl of a food processor.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until everything is finely chopped and mixed well.
  5. Press the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes until it is set.
  6. Allow to cool then lift the bars out of the dish with the parchment overhang. Slice into bars.

*Bars keep well in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or can be frozen for up to 3 months.

What I’m pondering:  “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”  Proverbs 25:11

Is Flossing a Waste of Time?

Is Flossing a Waste of Time?