One of my favorite scenes from the movie "Grease" is when Jan sings along with Bucky Beaver in the toothpaste commercial at the Pink Ladies' slumber party. “Brusha ... Brusha ... Brusha. Get the New Ipana — it's dandy for your teeth!”
Ipana was the name of a popular toothpaste product manufactured by the Bristol-Myers Company. I would have to say, brilliant product placement by the company because I always made sure whether at home or at a slumber party that I always brushed my teeth.
As I got older, I understood even more the importance of not only brushing but flossing as well.
Michelle McDonnell, registered dental hygienist agrees. “Flossing breaks up the bacteria, or plaque, from below the gum line where the toothbrush can't reach. Flossing removes food from in between your teeth. Flossing helps prevent cavities and gum disease.” McDonnell recommends to her patients that they floss twice a day.
There are many reasons to floss. McDonnell explained how flossing can prevent gum disease. “Flossing breaks up the bacteria growing on the roots of your teeth. This bacteria causes infection and inflammation.”
She said that gum disease is usually painless until it's too late. Some things McDonnell says to look for are gums that are swollen, bleeding and/or sensitive. Other symptoms could include bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth.
Speaking of bad breath, McDonnell said that flossing also helps prevent halitosis while it also keeps calculus and stain from building up on your teeth.
Another severe complication of not flossing is gingivitis, McDonnell said. “Gingivitis can progress into periodontitis which effects the bone that supports your teeth. Overtime the bone pulls away from the teeth causing the teeth to become loose.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Studies also suggest that oral bacteria and the inflammation associated with periodontitis — a severe form of gum disease — might play a role in some diseases.”
According to Perio.org, periodontal disease could be linked to heart disease. “Scientists believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the association.”