New Survey Shows a Third of Americans Never Floss

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A new survey carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that a third of adults in the USA never floss, despite dentists recommending daily flossing.

Researchers analysed data from thousands of Americans collected between 2009 and 2012. Almost 40 percent of people said they flossed occasionally and only 30 percent followed recommendations from dentists and flossed once a day.

Lead research Dr Duong Nguyen said there is a “fundamental lack of education” associated with flossing and this is perhaps why so many people are missing it out of their daily oral hygiene regime.

Flossing is important because it cleans areas of the mouth that are often missed when brushing, for example the cracks between your teeth. Avoiding flossing can increase the risk of plaque and tartar formation. Plaque is a sticky substance created when saliva binds with food debris and bacteria. If plaque is left, it can harden and become tartar. Plaque and tartar are the most potent risks for both gum disease and dental decay.

Dr Nguyen said the findings of the survey highlight the need for improved education about oral hygiene, especially flossing. If people are aware of the benefits of dental floss, they might be more likely to spend a couple of minutes each day flossing their teeth.

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