When it Gets Rough Don’t Forget Your Floss

Don't Forget the Floss During EmergenciesHurricanes, earthquakes, forest fires and tornados, oh my! Natural disasters in the news, like hurricane Maria, are unfortunate reminders that it’s good to be prepared.

In honor of National Preparedness Month now is a good time to revisit your go-to emergency kit and what to put in it. From your dentists point of view, it’s always good to consider your dental hygiene when a natural disaster might hit a town near you. We recommend that you include toothbrushes, toothpaste and especially floss!

Why pack floss? Because floss offers enough swiss army like emergency uses that any MacGyver would envy. Besides providing great benefits for dental hygiene that you’ve probably already heard about, floss also offers many different emergency benefits that you can use in a pinch.

And since floss only weighs about half an ounce, we recommend that you stash both waxed and unwaxed varieties in your emergency to-go pack.

7 Reasons to Include Floss in Your Emergency Kit

Here are seven ways (and there are many more too!) that floss can make your life easier during times of trouble.

  1. Need to stitch a wound? Unwaxed floss and a sterile needle can do the job until you reach an emergency room.
  2. It’s strong enough to mend torn clothes or replace a button. And it comes in its own handy container which helps it from getting tangled up.  Un-waxed floss seems to work the best.
  3. It can help you find a fish, well at least a small or medium sized one. Attach some floss to a sturdy branch and you’ve got an instant fishing pole.  Or cut about 14 strands of the same length, and shape them into a net on the ground, knotting the strands firmly in place about every 3 inches, where the vertical and horizontal strands intersect.
  4. Make a shelter. Use floss to tie sturdy sticks together and attach a tarp for an impromptu tent.
  5. Use it as a fire starter. Wax floss burns quickly and easily. Tip:  tie some kindling together with your floss.
  6. Make a clothesline. Tie some floss to tree branches or posts to hang your clothes out to dry.
  7. It can be used to cut food. If you lose a knife or need another one, your floss can cut through foods like cooked meat, bread, veggies, fish or fruit.

So, when it comes to considering what to put into your emergency kit, dental floss might be one of the single most important components, ounce for ounce – besides duct tape, food and water. And floss also happens to be an effective tool to help you keep your teeth clean, fight off dental disease and prevent bad breath – why add bad breath to the possible trauma of those around you in an emergency situation? And since it’s always good to be prepared…

And since it’s always good to be prepared, there’s no time like the present to always make sure that your teeth and gums are in good shape…before any disasters, both natural or dental, can occur. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a dental exam, please give us a call at (206) 524-1000 to set up a comprehensive dental exam and teeth cleaning.