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Flossing: A worthwhile resolution

People across the country have been making new resolutions. And a lot of those resolutions have to do with health. People want to lose weight. They want to work out more frequently. They want to go on a diet. Yes. A lot of people are making resolutions about what to put in their mouths — or what not to put in them. A new resolution to cut fried foods or cake out of your diet might be tricky.

Allow us to propose a simple resolution about something you should put in your mouth a lot more often than you probably do: floss.

According to a survey commissioned by the American Dental Association, only 50% of adults floss their teeth daily. (We’d be surprised if the actual number is that high.) About 30% of American adults floss less than once-a-day and nearly 20% admit that they never floss.

Most of us have room for improvement here. The ADA recommends flossing daily. A thorough daily flossing only takes a minute or two and can make a huge difference for your teeth and gums.

Some people think that because they don’t get food stuck between their teeth, they don’t need to floss. While floss is probably the best way to get those annoying popcorn kernels out from between your teeth, that’s not all it’s good for. In fact, that’s not even its primary purpose. Floss is much more important for removing the bacterial plaque that causes cavities than for any other purpose.

People who floss regularly (daily is best) have much healthier teeth than people who do not. Flossing prevents tooth decay, gum diseases such as gingivitis, and toothaches.

It’s definitely worth the minute or two it takes to floss every day (and you’ll bet faster with practice). So make a goal to floss every day. And then follow through. You’ll be glad you did.