Contrary to popular belief, flossing is not just a way to dislodge food caught between your teeth. Regular flossing reduces cavities, gum disease and bad breath by helping to remove plaque, a bacterial film that forms along the gum line. More than 500 kinds of bacteria thrive in your mouth, and they can start to build up in only 24 hours.
Regular flossing helps to prevent gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums that causes them to bleed, swell, and turn red or reddish-purple. Untreated gingivitis can develop into periodontitis, a condition that causes your gums to pull away from your teeth. Bacteria move underneath the gum line and attack the tissues and bone surrounding the teeth, leading to painful gums and tooth loss.
Recent research suggests that flossing can also help prevent heart disease, since bacteria under the gum line have easy passage to the bloodstream, where they can cause inflammation of blood vessels and encourage heart disease to develop. People with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from heart disease and coronary artery disease.
Studies have shown that people with acute coronary syndrome have twice the amount of oral bacteria as people without heart disease. While the mechanisms that link periodontal infection with coronary disease are still unclear, this data highlights the importance of routine periodontal examinations and at-home dental care.
According to a report in a recent issue of Stroke, dental infections like gum diseases and frequent or chronic bronchitis can double the risk of having a stroke. Studies have shown a link between bronchitis and gum disease with heart disease, leading to the belief that germs like Chlamydia pneumoniae may play a role in vascular diseases. Though the study does not establish a cause-and-effect relationship between the infections and stroke, researchers believe that better control of infection and improved dental care may have contributed to a recent decline of stroke.
Research also shows that periodontal disease can be spread through saliva. Common contact of saliva from kissing may place your loved ones at risk for contracting periodontal disease.
Flossing your teeth may also contribute to a longer life. A study by Emory University with the CDC found that people who floss their teeth live 6.4 years longer than those who do not. The reasons given were the elimination of bacteria and decreased stress on the immune system.
What is considered an effective home dental program? You should spend at least 10 minutes brushing and flossing your teeth. Brush your teeth and tongue at least twice a day, once in the morning and once before bedtime, and use a mouthwash approved by the American Dental Association to help protect against bacteria and plaque. Make flossing a part of your daily dental routine. Start by flossing three times a week. After a month, increase to four times a week. In another month add another day and continue until you are flossing every day. There are many flosses on the market, and flossing devices that hold the floss in place are easy to use and easy to pack for travel.
See your dentist every six months for thorough examinations and cleaning. Inform your dentist of any discomfort you have noticed with your teeth or mouth. Consult a dentist immediately if you suffer from swollen or bleeding gums, continuous tooth pain or excessive bad breath.
A little bit of time and care — at home and on the road — can help you maintain your smile and avoid serious infection. A balanced diet, along with regular visits to your dentist, can further guarantee your general health. For more information, visit www.cdc.gov or www.ada.org.
How to Floss
• Take 18 inches of floss and wind it around a middle finger of each hand, leaving a few inches taut between them.
• Hold floss between thumbs and forefingers.
• Gently guide floss between your teeth.
• Curve floss into a “C” shape against one tooth.
• Gently slide it into the space between gum and tooth.
• Floss with 8–10 vertical strokes along side of the tooth.
• Floss all teeth, including behind back molars.
• Floss at least once a day, especially before bed.
• Floss either before or after brushing.
• After flossing, rinse with water or mouthwash.
• You may experience bleeding at first. This is normal and will lessen.
Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.
Last month, the St. Regis Venice opened with the largest waterfrontage in Venice and a location within five former Venetian palaces dating back to the 1600s. The property debuted following a two-year full renovation of the former Grand Hotel Brittania, originally opened in 1895.
Thessaloniki is the second-largest city of Greece and the most important center of the area. Built near the sea, elegant and refined, the Greek “Lady of the North” is a modern, vivacious city that welcomes visitors eager to learn about its history and culture, and at the same time have fun, relax, go shopping or simply explore the cityscape by the sea.
IT IS IN THE NATURE OF THINGS we love to want to trace them to their beginnings. It is also in the nature of things we love to enjoy sharing them with others. Put the two together, add a ship, and that is what wine enthusiasts can expect on a wine cruise. Sail along historic rivers, disembark to visit wineries, walk the vineyards, taste the wines and later, on the ship, enjoy dinner with other wine lovers while sipping wines highlighting your meal. A wine-rich day ends with a peaceful night’s sleep as the ship sails on to tomorrow’s vinous treat.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
TIME IS NOT ON THE SIDE of taxpayers who failed to report their Bitcoin and other virtual currency transactions to the IRS. The IRS recently announced it is sending letters to virtual currency owners who have not reported transactions on income tax returns. By the end of August, more than 10,000 taxpayers received these letters.