Flossing your teeth can help you lose weight
If you're like me, you get a little speech from your dentist at your semiannual checkups about how you should floss more often. And I know that there are a lot of you who are like me, because only about 49 percent of Americans floss every day, and 10 percent never floss at all. It's good for your teeth! Obviously! But it's also good for your overall health—and can even help you lose weight.
According to Mark Burhenne, D.D.S., not flossing can lead to gingivitis (which 70 to 80 percent of people in the U.S. apparently have)—irritation and inflammation of the gums. In animal studies, researchers discovered a possible link between this inflammation and weight gain. Animals with gum disease were more likely to be obese; when the infection was treated, they lost weight.
Burhenne says that inflammation causes stress in your body, which messes with your metabolism. And when fat cells become inflamed, they may not control insulin as well as they normally do, causing glucose to be stored as fat instead of used for energy. And the cells may also leak fatty acids, which can cause conditions like hypertension and high cholesterol.
"Since it’s the kind of inflammation we have direct control over, taking care of your teeth means overall good health....You may find that it makes you stronger in the gym, faster on the track, and, yes, you may be a little leaner," Burhenne says.