It's a question you hear every six months at your semi-annual dental exam: have you been flossing?

If your answer is no (or you fib yes), you might reconsider how you treat your pearly whites.


Our Verify team is digging into a claim that flossing increases your life span.


To verify this story, we talked to Greensboro dentist Michelle Mottinger and looked at research from award-winning author and renowned internist Michael Roizen.


Dr. Roizen's book Real Age concludes flossing your teeth every day keeps your blood flowing in your gums. Good blood flow keeps your immune system healthy, so you can fight off bacterial infections. Plus, good oral hygiene prevents tooth loss. You need to eat, right?

Dr. Mottinger said not flossing causes plaque in your gums, which can cause heart attack, stroke and possibly dementia. She said you need to floss well every night prior to brushing.


In conclusion, we can verify it's true -- flossing can increase your life span. By how much? That depends on your overall health and family history, but you might as well make sure flossing is part of your daily routine. 'Say cheese!'


Help our journalists VERIFY the news. Do you know someone else we should interview for this story? Did we miss anything in our reporting? Is there another story you'd like us to VERIFY? Click here.