Medical Benefits of Dental Floss Unproven from the Associated Press
I write as a huge flosser. I keep those pick/flossers in my car and, troche I must confess, click they are everywhere. And in my house. And in my office. Sorry, everyone, I live with/work with/drive with.
I must also confess, there are few things I enjoy more than when conventional wisdom is called into question. Just doing something because someone tells you to has never sat well with me. And in this day and age, when we are constantly being sold something, asking the question, “am I being sold something” or “who benefits” is pretty important. For the last 30 years, how much have we spent on waxy, minty string? Are the good people at Johnson and Johnson scrambling right now?
And I know we have dental professionals in our gym population, but it kind of makes my eye twitch when someone tells you that you are flossing/brushing wrong. If everyone is doing it wrong, are we really doing it wrong? Is it really that hard? Is there any scientific fact or study related to brushing side to side or up and down? And who paid for this study? Are there tooth brushing coaches? Are they getting rich off this?
Generally, teaching people to really take care of their teeth means less trips to the dentist, which means less money for dentists. But thats more money in the pocket of oral hygiene companies (Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Colgate-Palmolive, et al). I don’t know which side I want to take my hard earned dollars less. I guess I’m an anti-dentite.
Michael Lewis, the writer behind Moneyball, The Blind Side and The Big Short and Malcom Gladwell, the author of Blink and Outliers, write about this type of conventional wisdom all the time.
CrossFit has taken on the conventional wisdom battle, fighting a war against “hydration,” which CrossFit claims is really a way for soda companies to make money. CrossFit is also pushing against the medical industry, with the hypothesis that fitness leads to wellness, which keeps you off medications and out of the hospital. CrossFit’s answer to these maladies? Do constantly varied, functional movement at high intensity, eat meat, seeds and nuts, vegetables, some fruit, little starch and no sugar, drink water, be lucky (to avoid genetic problems and accidents) and you will live a healthy life. What you don’t do is spend money on drugs to keep your blood sugar, blood pressure or the litany of other maladies under control.
Who Benefits? Well, CrossFit. Who loses when people get educated? Well, it’s kind of hard to drink a Gatorade when you don’t consume sugar.
I’ll keep flossing, but I’ll also keep asking questions.
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