Do you floss?

As I recall some studies found it to be the leading factor correlating with heart disease (after accounting for other factors), although the research wasn’t as extensive as that for things like smoking, genetics, blood pressure, etc.

I have a family history of heart disease, and so this caught my attention; I think I saw it go by in Science News?

“Back in the old days” if you lived past the first year or so (and didn’t succumb to infant mortality), life expectancy was considerably longer than 35; routinely 50/60+ if IIRC. Not as good as today, but not so much worse either – definitely long enough for most people in agricultural societies to have dental health problems during their life.

The whole “in days of yore most people didn’t live past 35” thing is simply not true.

I like Glide flossers. You can squeeze them to tighten the floss to get between closely packed teeth, and then let them slacken for better flossing. They’re a bit more expensive than others, but also last for several uses, and do a better job (at least for me).

Seriously dudes, get a water flosser. They’re the same/better than string floss and even the smallest gaps are covered.

Tooth decay is also going up because people tend to drink more bottled water, which isn’t fluoridated. Pre fluoridation people had a lot of decay, and then post it went down a lot. It’s going back up again.

My dentist suggested these, which seem a step above a toothpick and much better than floss.

Exactly! I think this is it:

I don’t know how common it really was, but in Ireland even in the 60s and 70s, young people (20 to 30) would have all their teeth pulled at once.

C’mon, people lived for millions of years without knowing that little microscopic organisms were living all around us, and that only lead to what? Plagues? Pfft.

I used to wear braces, so I have one of those permanent metal braces on the back of my bottom teeth. Originally, the orthodontist gave me those blue flex wires that you used to pull the floss through, but the teeth are too crammed to let that thing through now. I’ve also treid Sulca brushes, but that don’t seem to do much either (alothugh they’re decent for normal flossing if you don’t like floss). Anyone else have this problem?

Tromik, have you tried the Glide floss mentioned above? I had braces too, and as a result my teeth are too tight for regular floss. Glide is very thin and much more resistant to breaking than regular floss, in my experience.

Won’t work, unfortunatately. I still have the wire, meaning I can’t get the floss between my teeth from above. I basically have to attack from the front.

You can get much worse things than cavities from not taking good care of your teeth…

shrug It’s easy to be cavalier about medical problems before they develop. Either you do a little extra daily preventive maintenance now; or you pay the price somewhere down the line. Are you as indifferent when it comes to, say, carpal tunnel?

I used to floss & brush once a day, but recently my dentist told me that wasn’t frequent enough: she was concerned I was developing periodontitis. So now I floss & brush at least twice a day.

In general, there are a lot of things we’re told to do in life, for our health or for other reasons. Some of these are valid, some aren’t (some is just over-paranoia, IMO).

The problem is sorting out which things go in each group.

No, but I sure could use a toothpick right now.

I don’t quite floss daily, but do it about 4x a week or so, with the old fashioned string floss (the thin and waxy coated kind). I don’t find flossing to be that unpleasant at all and it doesn’t take long to do.

I have a metal thing on the back of my bottom teeth as well, but I don’t have an answer for you. I only recently started flossing on the regular. It’s certainly a pain in the ass to get between those teeth, and I’m still not even sure that I’m getting all the junk out. I plan to ask my dentist about it next time, I guess that’s the best advice I’ve got.

I’ve got the same thing. It’s a permanent retainer, I believe they call it a bridge, or something like that. Here’s how you floss those teeth: SuperFloss.

First, go get a cleaning. Your hygienist will yell at you because it’s going to take a long time to clean the teeth where the metal-thingie is. Then, get some SuperFloss from your dentist as samples, and go to the pharmacy to get some more. It really works. It’s solid, almost, at the tips, allowing you to poke through (and yes, it’s going to hurt at first because your unflossed gums will be puffy), and then you feed it in until it gets to the floss part.

It’s an added annoyance, but that’s the price we have to pay for straighter teeth.

On a semi-related topic, is it known which is better for brushing, regular tooth brushes or the electronic units?

Electric brushes, far and away. Unless you’re a robotic master brusher you won’t get the same cleansing effect.

Yep, and if you’re prone to brushing too hard (which I am, damn my huge arm muscles!) then electric brushes help solve that problem, too.