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Dr. Edwards' Blog

       Would You Rather... Scrub a Toilet or Floss Your Teeth?
New survey shows how much Americans hate to floss

If you saw my blog earlier this week, you know it was about preventing gum disease and how daily flossing can make a huge difference, but many people don't like to do it.

Today we find out just how much some patients really don't like to do it.  A Harris Poll conducted for the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) shows 27% of U.S. adults admit the lie to their dentists about how often they use dental floss.  

The online survey involved 2,021 adults and shows:

  • 36% would rather perform an unpleasant activity like scrubbing the toilet  than floss
  • 18% would prefer to wash a sink full of dirty dishes
  • 14% would rather wait in a long checkout line
  • 10% would choose to wait in gridlocked traffic for an hour
  • 10% would want to do their taxes instead of floss

"There's clearly more work to be done when it comes to educating Americans about the importance of oral hygiene," said Joan Otomo-Corgel, DDS, MPH, AAP president.  "There are more than 500 bacterial species that can be found in plaque, and brushing alone does not remove the bacteria that live below the gum line."

If you're one of those people who'd rather scrub a toilet than floss your teeth, talk to your dentist or dental hygienist.  They can show you the proper way to floss, so it doesn't have to be such a chore.  Daily flossing, twice daily brushings and regular hygiene cleanings will help you keep your teeth for a lifetime.

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