Daily Challenge Tuesday Oct. 05, 2010
Brush your teeth for 2 minutes, then floss them.
How to do it
Keep track of the clock as you brush your teeth today. Then, take the extra step to floss them by gently gliding the floss in between each of your teeth. For extra incentive, try flavored floss like frosting-flavored cupcake, crispy fried bacon-, waffle- or coffee-flavored floss.
Why it matters
Flossing reduces the amount of dental plaque (bacteria and food residues) that hides in the little spaces between our teeth where a toothbrush can't reach. If not brushed and flossed away, the acids in plaque eventually eat into your teeth's outer layer and cause decay. Eventually, plaque hardens into tartar, which inflames the gums (gingivitis) and, if left untreated, can lead to gum disease (periodontal disease),and possibly other serious health issues. Plus, brushing and flossing helps control bad breath.
Even prehistoric man apparently understood the importance of flossing to good oral health: Archaeologists have found floss-like material in the teeth of many prehistoric skeletons.