Posted December 28, 2016
It’s been a busy day, and you’re longing for sleep, but you still need to brush and floss your teeth. Since it’s late, you decide to only brush your teeth, reasoning that flossing can wait until tomorrow, or the next day, right?
Flossing is fundamental
The American Dental Association reports that it’s necessary to brush and floss your teeth each day to maintain good dental health. Brushing helps clean tooth surfaces and flossing dislodges food particles caught between teeth and along the gum line. If not removed, food particles and mouth bacteria can work together to cause tooth decay and gum disease.
- Studies show that people with dental insurance tend to use their benefits, especially for preventive checkups and professional cleanings. Learn four reasons why it’s important to invest in dental coverage.
Fibbing about flossing
Interestingly, a 2015 American Academy of Periodontology survey of 2,021 adults in the United States discovered that 27 percent admitted to lying to their dentist about how often they floss their teeth. In fact, 36 percent said they would rather wash dishes, clean the toilet or wait in a checkout line than floss their teeth. However, dentists aren’t fooled. The healthiness of their patients’ teeth and gums indicates how often they brush and floss.
Flossing by the numbers
U.S. News and World Report recently shared research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how many Americans floss their teeth. As identified in National Health and Nutrition Examination survey data, they discovered some surprising results:
- Flossing frequency – 30 percent reported flossing daily, 37 percent indicated doing so several times a week and 32 percent admitted to never flossing.
- Older vs. younger – 45 percent of adults 75 and older reported never flossing, compared to 31 percent of younger adults ages 30 to 44.
- Men vs. women – 39 percent of males said they’ve never flossed compared to 27 percent of females.
- Income differences – 49 percent of lower income people reported not flossing compared to 28 percent of those with higher incomes.
Learn how regular dental exams can impact your health by watching this video.