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I feel so healthy when I eat my typical high fiber diet. Fiber is especially good for maintaining a healthy gut bacteria population, and the nutrients in whole foods is the best prevention available. However . . .

I did notice that fibers got caught in my teeth – the hulls from rye flakes,  seeds from blackberries, bits of sesame seeds and pistachios. I asked my dental hygienist how to get rid of that stuff – brushing and flossing twice a day wasn’t doing it.

She recommended a water pic, and I bought one the same day. I’m amazed at how much flushes out with the water pic, even when I’ve already brushed and flossed. It seems like the most debris come from cooked whole grain breakfast cereals (or my homemade granola), raw fruits and vegetables, and nuts.

Before getting the water pic it never occurred to me that the high fiber diet that was so good for the rest of my body was not so healthy in my mouth. Bits of food lodged in the teeth can feed bacteria and increase inflammation. Inflammation starting in the gums can spread to other areas of the body, increasing risk of various chronic diseases.

My hygienist told me that using the water pic does not replace flossing; it is an additional step in oral care. I’m just surprised that I’ve never heard anything about this before – the way the water pic cleans the mouth in ways that brushing and flossing can’t. So that is why I’m passing it on.

To your health!

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