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11 Household Uses for Dental Floss

Posted on July 16, 2012 | in Dental Products | by

Does Floss Fight Cancer Too?

According to a recent Men’s Health article (April 2012), New York University researchers found that people with precancerous gastric lesions were nearly three times as likely to report that they flossed infrequently as people who didn’t have lesions.

So does not flossing lead to stomach cancer?

Nobody is saying that, but study author Yu Chen, Ph.D., M.P.H., explains that if you don’t maintain good oral hygiene, bacteria may build up in our mouths and eventually migrate to our stomachs where they can trigger cancer-causing inflammation.

To a non-medical professional, this small bit of research seems like another indicator of the oral systemic connection, and more proof positive how our oral health is directly related to our overall health.

The MH article goes on to mention an unrelated German study that examined how we can remember to squeeze in the recommended daily amount of flossing for those of us that tend to be forgetful in flossing. The study found that jotting down a plan of when, where, and how we’ll floss each day, will makes us more likely to actually do it.

Leave it up to Men’s Health to equate flossing to dieting!

Whatever floats our flossing boat…here are a few creative uses for dental floss, see if you can come up with a few to add to the list, and then post them in the comments.

Dental Floss outside the Mouth

The average container of dental floss contains about 55 yards of 3# tensile strength tooth twine, and literally millions of feet of floss are sold each year. Judging from the state of our oral health here in America, a lot of that floss remains on the medicine cabinet shelves or pulls double duty as cavity creep killer and a DIY MacGyver fix-all.

– Check out how dental floss can be used to:
– Hang picture frames
– Make a DIY clothesline (doubled up threads)Cut cakes, cheeses, hard-boiled eggs
– Sub for sewing material
– Create DIY fishing tackle
– Remove rings from swollen fingers
– Start a fire – the waxed variety holds flame well
– Take the place of broken shoelaces in a bind
– Seal pipe connections – like Teflon tape
– Remove stubborn cookies from baking tray
– Separate photos that are stuck together without ruining pictures

Thanks to Reader’s Digest and This Old House for sharing some creative uses for dental floss.

With floss now being served in cupcake and even bacon flavors, is there really any reason to ignore one of the most overlooked but important oral health habits?

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+Chris Barnard is Managing Editor of, a patient-centric Social Dental Network blog dedicated to enabling the digital dental health conversation - and the eradication of the cavity creeps.
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