Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Flossing For Your Memory

My brother, Eli, used to bring floss with him wherever he went. After meals, he would whip out the magical cleaning string, and work it in between his teethies. This would absolutely gross me out to the extreme. Public flossing was always a social taboo that I felt should stay in place (that and clipping one's nails). This was until I read about new research that suggests flossing, and brushing are linked directly to ones memory and cognitive functions. The study gave 2,300 men and women, over the age of 60, simple arithmetic and memory tasks. A consistent finding in those who scored lowest on the tests? Exposure to "gum-disease-causing bacteria"...Wow. Those who had this bacteria had scored in the same realm as those with early signs of Alzheimer's.

So how is gum disease connected to human cognition? The research explains, our body responds to this "pathogen as inflammation, which stiffens blood vessels and raises the risk of heart attack, stroke, and memory problems."
The key point to take from these findings? Take care of your teeth!! Your mouth is the window to you heart ... to your body...to your mind. Going to the dentist, brushing your teeth, and flossing, are just as important as taking one's needed medication and vitamins. Preventative measures do what they say... prevent.

I guess my brother had it right after all with his flossing craze. We should all floss more consistently...but I would still prefer keeping this hygienic ritual in the privacy of our own bathrooms. Hopefully, you agree.

Information found in GoodHouskeeping, May 2010 issue

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