Retirement: Time to Floss
I’m sure no one intends to put off their flossing until retirement, but that is the way it works out for some people. Flossing is an afterthought for most people–just not enough time. Though it’s not completely true, that is a common excuse.
I am always amazed by the improved gums after retirement. A lot of factors can be credited for the improvement: less stress, more time, better diet. A recently retired patient told me that now he flosses after every meal, because now he usually eats at home, where he can brush and floss.
Another plus is regular dental cleaning appointments. Work and kids can get in the way, but having your teeth cleaned regularly makes a big difference in periodontal health and prevention of periodontal disease. If periodontal pockets are monitored and treated early they heal better and faster.
And while stress does play a role in periodontal disease, it usually only magnifies the problems associated with plaque build-up. Periodontal problems cannot be blamed entirely on stress. Proper brushing and flossing and regular check-ups are most important. And, healthy gums means one less worry and less stress.
I also sometimes blame medications and systemic problems for chronic periodontal problems. While this may be a factor for a small number of patients, it is worth noting that most retired patients are on the same medications they have always taken. It all ties together. More than one study has linked healthy gums and teeth to improved overall health.
In the meantime, you can save yourself a lot of time, trouble and money if you make flossing a habit before you retire.