Category: Author: BurbaBuzz
When your dentist asks if you floss, do you tell the truth?
A recent national study released in June 2015 reveals that over one quarter of adult patients lie about the frequency with which they floss their teeth or if they even floss at all.
It’s uncertain whether people avoid flossing because they don’t enjoy the process of threading string through their teeth to remove bits of food debris lingering around and waiting to stir up the acid that may eventually eat into the tooth’s enamel, or because flossing is uncomfortable at times and may cause the gums to bleed. Either way, the numbers are staggering and so are the number of people who would rather do a variety of other unpleasant activities such as wash a sink full of dirty dishes, sit in traffic, or scrub a dirty toilet bowl.
In addition to the preference for unpleasant household chores over flossing one’s teeth, another study done by the American Dental Association revealed that approximately 40% of people floss every day and a full 20% of people surveyed do not floss at all.
So what exactly are the 60% of people who do not floss daily on a regular basis risking by making this choice? Dental experts have found that flossing is key to removing the sticky coating of bacteria that is in plaque that slowly accumulates on the enamel. Eventually this build up can lead to gum inflammation and potentially infection. The long term risks of this build up is that in can result in tooth loss or possibly bone loss. Additionally there have been many studies linking gum disease with increased risk of heart problems and complications with diabetes. Finally there is the element of flossing that removes the potentially odor causing food particles and helps the mouth stay fresh.
Another important element in this flossing overview is that not only must people do it daily, it must be done with the proper form. Many people think they simply need to thread the floss between the teeth and pull it back and forth. Unfortunately this method will not provide the desired results of scraping any existing plaque from the tooth’s surface. The proper flossing form is illustrated on the ADA website and provides excellent images to walk a person through the specific motions.
Since nearly 50% of people interviewed in yet another study said that a smile is the first thing they notice when meeting someone, it is important to provide the excellent care required to keep your smile at its best. The choice is yours to make and the results are yours to live with for the rest of your life. The best thing you can do is commit to a life rich with a regular oral hygiene practice including flossing daily, brushing two times daily, and getting regular check ups with your dentist. A very important part of that list is being honest with your dentist when you are there and not lying about how much you floss.