Here’s our latest pick of the most interesting and useful health and wellness stories from across the Internet.
Are You Lying To Your Dentist?
A new survey has found that 27 percent of us tell our dentists that we floss daily, even though we don’t. Dentists expect us to fib about flossing though, and say that that 27% figure is almost certainly too low. The tipoff: unhealthy, inflamed gums.
People who were surveyed said that the hated flossing so much that they’d rather wash a sink full of dirty dishes (18 percent), clean the toilet (14 percent), or be stuck in a traffic jam (14 percent).
The AARP’s blog post on the Flossing study helpfully outlines the reasons to floss.
“Dental experts insist that flossing helps remove the sticky coating of bacteria in plaque that can build up on teeth, which can lead to gum inflammation and infection. If left untreated, this can eventually result in tooth and even bone loss. The inflammation may also be linked to increased risk of heart problems and diabetes complications. And let’s not forget that flossing can help prevent bad breath by dislodging that moldering food stuck in your choppers.”
Need to know how to floss properly? See our helpful guide and video here.
If you totally hate to floss, talk to your dentist. Not all agree that flossing is essential, and even those who do want you to floss may settle for proper brushing followed by a rinse. Some studies have found that this process, done right, can be almost as effective as flossing.
Brush Your Scales
Researchers from the Netherlands and the U.K. have found what may be the earliest known set of teeth, in the fossilized remains of a 410-million-year-old fish.
Parts of the now-extinct fish, a Romundina stellina, had been residing for over forty years in a storage box in the Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet, (Natural History museum) in Stockholm. After examining one of the artifacts, researchers determined they were looking at the roof of a mouth which was covered in a slew of small but complex teeth.
After taking and reviewing thousands of 3D X-rays of the fish’s mouth it was apparent that the teeth grew in concentric circles around a central “pioneer” tooth – essentially mimicking the structure of primitive scales.
The teeth were composed of the same basic stuff as our human teeth — enamel covering a core of dentine. This finding, say the researchers, provides strong evidence that our teeth evolved from scales.
A few fish still swimming in today’s waters have teeth that are amazingly “human.” One was caught last weekend in New Jersey lake by a fisherman, who described his catch to local news as “different.”
He’d caught a pacu—a freshwater Amazonian fish related to piranhas. Atlas Obsscura helpfully informs us that since 1970, the US Geological Survey has documented a total of 114 sightings of Pacu, usually in the southern states, most commonly in Florida (21), Texas (13) and Georgia (6).
Atlas Obscura further notes: “These fish have been found in “canals, ponds, lakes, rivers, creeks, gullies, brackish tributaries, bayous, reservoirs, and, once, in a gravel pit.” But before they were found out on their own in the world, every single one of them most likely lived in an aquarium. Pacu can survive in relatively chilly water, but even in Texas, the water gets too chilly for them to overwinter. Really, the only way for them to end up in American waterways is via a pet store: they grow fast, and it seems that many a fish owner has bought a pacu only to find that a large fish with human teeth was not a creature they could handle.”
Pacu aren’t the only fish with interesting/eerie teeth. Brooklyn’s Sheepshead Bay was named for the sheepshead fish, who has a whole mouthful of human-looking teeth arranged in multiple rows. The sheepshead used them to chomp on shellfish.
Juice Cleanses Could Be Bad For Your Teeth
An article in Food World states that :dentists have begun seeing a surge in cases of decrease in tooth enamel caused by juice cleanses.
Fruit juices tend to be acidy, and when consumed in large quantities can cause loss of tooth enamel over time. Additionally, the natural sugars found in fruit juice feed oral bacteria, which can lead to decay, gum inflammation, and bad breath.
“Many do not realize by drinking fruit juice they are essentially rubbing sugar over the inside of their mouths,” said Dr Uchenna Okoye, of London Smiling dental practice, as quoted in the article.
If you want to juice cleanse, use a straw to limit your mouth’s exposure to the sugars and acids. And don’t brush immediately after drinking, when your tooth enamel may be weakened by the acid. Rinse instead, gently, with water.
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