On September 8, in the midst of the Denver Broncos home opener, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers gave Mile High Stadium fans and TV crews an unexpected eyeful…of the quarterback flossing his teeth on the sidelines. When asked by surprised reporters why he was flossing mid-game, an embarrassed Newton simply said, “I was eating an orange that got stuck in my teeth.” And surely his dentist rejoiced. Flossing is one of the most frequently omitted personal dental hygiene activities and also the one patients are most likely to lie about. Stefania Caracioni is a dentist serving the Topeka, Kans. area.
No doubt reporters for the Denver CBS Sports affiliate were insinuating that Newton’s pause to floss his teeth indicated a break from concentration on the game that enabled the Broncos to beat the Panthers 21-20. But seriously? Is flossing a greater distraction than feeling strings of orange rind caught between the player’s teeth? Many factors led the Panthers to lose the game, but flossing probably wasn’t one of them.
On the heels of last month’s controversy over headlines that misleadingly proclaimed the FDA does not endorse flossing as beneficial for overall health, the NFL player’s simple act that he probably didn’t expect to be televised proves that famous faces are not racing to ditch their flossing routine. The American Dental Association continues to defend its position that flossing twice daily is still a valuable practice that helps prevent the formation of plaque bacteria between teeth where brushing may not reach.
Dentists and endodontists alike agree that flossing helps prevent the development of plaque, which is referred to by researchers as part of the “oral biofilm” that gets dispersed into the blood stream when the gums are inflamed. Bacteria from the oral biofilm that finds its way into the bloodstream has been linked with numerous kinds of chronic inflammatory conditions ranging from diabetes and hypertension to heart attack and stroke. Maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine that includes brushing and flossing twice daily and professional cleaning every six months has been clinically proven to reduce the activity of chronic diseases.
To book your semi-annual cleaning, contact Enchanted Smiles at 785-783-0741.