Last month a CDC representative analysis determined that only 30 percent of survey respondents, 30 years of age or older floss their teeth every day. This same report also states that over 37 percent of survey respondents floss less than daily, and 32 percent said they never floss at all. According to US News and World Report, lead author Duong T. Nguyen, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC, stated that no one had every looked at Americans’ flossing habits and the number of people who actually floss daily through rigorous, scientific data. The researchers, under Nguyen’s lead, examined National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data taken from 2009 to 2012 of 9,056 adults and then averaged the answers according to age, sex, income and poverty level.
However, in the past, other surveys about flossing and oral care come up with similar numbers. So the small percentage of people who do floss daily should be no surprise. In October of 2014, the ADA reported the findings from a national oral care survey stating that only 4 out of every ten Americans flossed once a day, while 20 percent never flossed at all. Other oral care habits revealed in the ADA report; 23 percent of Americans have gone 2 or more days without brushing.
In 2015, The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), with the assistance of Harris Poll, conducted an online survey and revealed that 27 percent of US adults admitted that they lied to their dentist about how often they flossed their teeth. However, flossing every day and twice-daily brushing are critical in preventing gum or periodontal disease. Not flossing or brushing for extended periods can lead to irritation, inflammation and swelling along the gum line where oral bacteria become trapped. Without daily oral care and bi-annual dental exams, the gum inflammation can lead to plaque buildup and gum recession, setting the stage for tooth loss. Recent research has found an association between periodontal disease and many chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimers, giving all of us more reasons to maintain healthy dental care habits.
And never underestimate what someone will do to avoid flossing. It seems that 18 percent of survey respondents would rather wash dishes, clean a toilet (14 percent), wait in a long checkout line (14 percent) or do their taxes (9 percent) before flossing.
But it’s not all negative. The data from the AAP survey shows that love and the opposite sex is as good a reason as any to maintain a healthy smile. Of the 2,021 respondents more than one-third say that a smile is the first thing they notice in a potential date or upon first introductions. Geographically, Boston (44%) Atlanta (45%) and Los Angeles (45%) residents are more likely to notice a beautiful, healthy smile and clean breathe than those living in Chicago (32%) or Houston (30%).
Also three in five survey respondents said their partner’s oral health, clean breathe, etc. has an impact on their intimacy and brushing and flossing is a great way to keep those flames burning.
Our dentists can advise you on the best dental care, as well as which types of dental products can be the most effective for you.