1 in 3 Americans Never Floss

by Williams, Daily & Frazier on Nov 4, 2022 6:30:00 AM

If you're like most Americans, you probably don't floss as often as you should. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 3 Americans never floss!

  • 32.4% of adults reported no flossing
  • 37.3% reported less than daily flossing
  • 30.3% reported daily flossing in the past week

That's a lot of people who are missing out on the benefits of flossing—including reducing your risk of gum disease and cavities. So if you've been slacking on your flossing habits, you're not alone.

Why aren't more people flossing?

There are a number of reasons why people may neglect to floss regularly. Some people may not see the need for it, while others find it to be a time-consuming task. Others may simply not know how to properly floss their teeth.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Duong Nguyen believes lack of education may be a reason why some people do not floss.

“I think it’s one of those things people don’t know enough about,” said Dr. Nguyen. “We don’t tell them why [to floss].”

Why you should floss daily

Flossing may not be the most fun part of your oral care routine, but it's definitely important. Daily flossing helps remove plaque—a sticky film of bacteria—from your teeth and gums. Plaque can lead to gum disease and tooth decay if it's not removed. In addition to removal of plaque, flossing also helps to stimulate the gums, which can help keep them healthy.

How to floss

If you're not sure how to properly floss your teeth, the American Dental Association (ADA) has a great step-by-step guide that can help.

  1. Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty. 
  2. Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers. 
  3. Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. Never snap the floss into the gums.  
  4. When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth. 
  5. Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions. Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Don’t forget the back side of your last tooth. 
  6. Once you’re finished, throw the floss away. A used piece of floss won’t be as effective and could leave bacteria behind in your mouth. 

Haven't flossed in a long time?

If you haven't flossed in a long time, not only is it time to start flossing - but it's time to schedule an appointment with the dentist. A dentist can help you remove any tartar or plaque that has built up on your teeth over time and can do a reset on your oral care.

Williams, Daily and Frazier Dental in Raleigh can help. Patients love coming to see us (check out all of our 5 star reviews) not just because we're nice, but because we are very good at what we do.

We'd love to help you get back on track. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Williams, Daily & Frazier Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist in Raleigh, NC with a dedicated team of dentists, assistants, hygienists and administrators who are enthusiastic in their commitment to their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes.
Contact Williams, Daily & Frazier at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.

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