Writer: Aditi Bang
Tooth decay ranks as the second most common infectious disease, affecting around half of the global population. One in four adults has experienced cavities, and more than half of teens in the US have had cavities (“5 Amazingly Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Cavities | University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Dentistry”). Dentists repeatedly advice their patients to floss their teeth. However, many are guilty of flossing irregularly. Approximately, one-third Americans never floss! (Sternberg). The oral health of the one-third Americans who never floss and many more who floss irregularly must be deteteriating, creating damaging long-term effects.
Floss is already effective which ranges in many types to fit individual needs. However, a floss specifically designed with preventative substances would help everyone who does or does not floss. My proposed solution is having a specific floss contained with fluoride, one of the leading preventative cavity substances.
Tooth enamel and saliva are enriched with calcium and phosphate. Cavity-causing bacteria feed on carbohydrates from food such as candy, sweets, crackers, etc which hinders the calcium and phosphate filled in the tooth enamel. Saliva tries to replace whatever it can with adding calcium and phosphate. Here is when fluoride tremendously makes a difference. Fluoride is a chemical ion of the element fluorine. Teeth use the fluoride from sources such as toothpaste or water and build up with the calcium and phosphate to prevent cavities. It is much more stronger and decay-resistant (“How Fluoride Fights Cavities - American Dental Association”). Some toothpaste contain fluoride which helps people fight against cavities. However, a floss containing fluoride would have a greater advantage. The floss would go in between the bridges of teeth directly touching the tooth enamel, providing direct protection. This would greatly help irregular flossers and more importantly the oral health of everyone.
It would be simple to create too. Regular floss, containing nylon strings, could have bits of fluoride ingrained in the strings or a fluoride coating. There could even be a variety of floss with different amounts of fluoride depending on different factors such as age, type of floss preference, and dentist recommendations. Flossing already has countless pros. The most important one being that it removes plaque in places where toothpaste can not. This fluoride filled floss will be a more effective defense against tooth decay by putting fluoride in tiny areas of teeth.
Even though, there are many types of toothpastes and water filled with fluoride, my proposed solution will advance oral health. The fluoride will reach into those tiny gaps where plaque is trapped. Flossing is already effective to reach those areas, but the fluoride will bring a greater protection to future cavity decay. This could help billions of people globally and revolutionalize oral health!
The author does a fantastic job of explaining her solution by providing logic so that her audience can understand her proposed solution. Even though her idea is simple, she describes the importance of her invention. Her introduction highlights the stressing nature of this issue which shows the urgency behind tooth decay. She provides many statistics to provide background information and evidence to strengthen her point.
Furthermore, she introduces the process of how fluoride is already an effective defense to back up her proposed solution of fluoride filled floss. She describes how the floss will be created and highlighting the various varieties depending on different factors. She also acknowledges that there are products that contain fluoride to help with cavity prevention, but she illustrates how her solution will target areas that the other products can not. To improve, she could have provided better transitions for clarity in the writing. Overall, the writer does an amazing job of explaining her idea and captivating the audience’s attention to this prevalent issue.
“5 Amazingly Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Cavities | University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Dentistry.” College of Dentistry, dentistry.uic.edu/patients/cavity-prevention-tips. Accessed 17 Nov. 2020.
“How Fluoride Fights Cavities - American Dental Association.” Mouth Healthy, www.mouthhealthy.org/en/fluoride-superhero. Accessed 17 Nov. 2020.
Sternberg, Steven. “How Many Americans Floss Their Teeth?” How Many Americans Floss Their Teeth?, 2 May 2016, www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-05-02/how-many-americans-floss-their-teeth#:%7E:text=The%20first%20nationally%20representative%20analysis,Lead%20author%20Duong%20T.