This is Why kids should floss daily for good brain health

Apart from preventing bad breath, reducing the risk of cavities, removing plaque, preventing gum disease, regular flossing of the teeth helps enhance our cognitive health.

Studies have not only found a possible link between poor oral health and heart diseases, but research suggest that poor dental health may lead to declining cognitive abilities too.

While brushing your teeth is extremely crucial, flossing atleast once a day can lead to good brain health not just in adults, but in kids too.


People with more tooth loss had 1.48 times higher risk of cognitive impairment and 1.28 times higher risk of dementia than the others. And with each additional missing tooth, the risk of cognitive impairment grows, the study showed. Moreover, adults with tooth loss were more likely to have cognitive decline if they did not have dentures.

“Given the staggering number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia each year, and the opportunity to improve oral health across the lifespan, it’s important to gain a deeper understanding of the connection between poor oral health and cognitive decline,” said Bei Wu, a professor in global health at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and the senior study author, in a statement.

How does poor dental health affect brain cells?

“The bacteria that cause gingivitis (irritation, redness and swelling) also may be connected to Alzheimer’s disease. This species of bacteria, called Porphyromonas gingivalis, can move from the mouth to the brain. Once in the brain, the bacteria release enzymes called gingipains that can destroy nerve cells, which in turn can lead to memory loss and compromised cognitive health,” Sageer Azaz, HOD, Dental, Paras Hospitals, Gurugram told IANS.

According to a survey by the American Dental Association (ADA), only 16 per cent of adults floss their teeth. This percentage is much worse in the Indian context. Most people are not aware of the importance of oral hygiene and flossing.

“Most people in India are not aware that our teeth have five sides. Moreover, with brushing, we can only cover three sides. If the teeth are not flossed properly, then the food particles and bacteria may remain trapped between our teeth. It’s a simple step that not only helps in preventing bad breath but also avoiding cavities and gum disease,” explains Mohendar Narula, Founder and Chairman, MyDentalPlan Healthcare.

While brushing teeth after each meal may not be convenient, flossing after a meal is easy and can be done anywhere.

This goes for children as well.

“Besides being a good oral hygiene practice, flossing can also help one maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, as flossing after eating will make you less tempted to snack,” said Shuchin Bajaj, Founder Director, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals.

How parents can encourage children to maintain dental health?

First of all, it is extremely important to be great role models. If you do not engage in brushing or flossing, your child will follow your steps and refrain from doing the same.

While brushing is extremely important for kids and is something they’re used to by now, if they’re not comfortable flossing, do not force them.

However, you can always introduce them to fun ways to floss. It’s important that you do it with them, so they have company and also can spend time with you. Setting up reward system can do the trick. Whether it’s brushing or flossing, if you appreciate their effort everytime, they’ll be willing to continue.

Whenever, you go out to buy your dental care accessories, take your child with you. Let them have their pick.

Source: Fakazanews

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