Study: This morning ritual is linked to cancer and decreased fertility

New research suggests that this daily chore can lead to decreased fertility, kidney and testicular cancer, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, low birth weight and effects on the immune system.

Does your dentist tell you to floss every time you visit? Well now, you can have a rebuttal at the ready.

Flossing is one of those daily chores that’s just gross. Very few people enjoy removing the gunk from between their teeth. The visual is cringe-worthy, and life would be much better if it was something we didn’t have to do at all.

And now, this:  New research suggests that flossing is more than just nasty. It can lead to decreased fertility, kidney and testicular cancer, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, low birth weight and effects on the immune system, all because you’re following your dentist’s orders.

Why, you may ask?

Oral-B Glide dental floss — likely that green-colored tube you picked up when you decided to try adulting — is one of the products that “contribute to elevated levels in the body of toxic PFAS chemicals,” according to a press release from the Silent Spring Institute. PFAS can often be found in waterproof clothing or stain-proof carpeting — it’s a substance that’s water- and grease-repellent.

According to a study of  178 middle-aged women, published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, flossing with Oral-B Glide is associated with higher levels of the PFAS called PFHxS in your blood. Researchers went a step further to test 18 different flosses for fluorine, a PFAS marker. All three Glide products that were tested came back positive for fluorine, as did some of the competitor flosses.

“The safety of the people who use our products is our top priority,” a representative for Oral-B Glide’s manufacturer told Elite Daily. “We have confirmed none of the substances in the report are used in our dental floss. Our dental floss undergoes thorough safety testing and we stand behind the safety of all our products.”

Whether you believe the scientists or the big corporation, sadly it doesn’t matter — you do still have to floss. Illness-inducing substances aren’t always a cop-out. All you have to do is find a brand that doesn’t have harmful chemicals in it, and you should be good to go. Just remember: your dentist will be so proud.

Alexandra Villarreal|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at avillarreal@theladders.com.