Where have you flossed other than your bathroom? If you’re like nearly 40 percent of Americans, the answer is… in a car.
How about on a date? Seven percent admitted to flossing on a date. Another six percent said on an airplane, and then there was the five percent who said in a work meeting.
While experts agree that even some flossing – no matter where – beats none at all, the survey by Atomik Research for the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) illustrates a bit of a dichotomy: Only seven percent of Americans name flossing as most important to their personal care routines when it comes to perfecting their smiles, revealing that adults can be better educated about healthy smiles and gums.
“Healthy gums are the foundation of a great smile,” said Steven R. Daniel, DDS, president of the AAP and a practicing periodontist in Murfreesboro, Tenn. “Taking care of your gums means more than just flossing when there’s popcorn stuck in your teeth or when you’re killing time in traffic. It also requires integrating diligent at-home care into your personal care routine and regular visits to a periodontist to ensure your mouth is healthy and free of periodontal disease.”
So when it comes to our personal care routines, how much of a priority do we place on flossing?
Among those surveyed who said they do floss, only 23 percent rated it the single most important part of their personal care routine, as opposed to:
* Brushing their hair (48 percent)
* Applying moisturizer (38 percent)
* Shaving (32 percent)
* Cleaning their ears (25 percent)
The good news is periodontal disease is preventable and actually reversible by rethinking your oral health regimen. Follow the advice of periodontists – dentistry’s experts in the treatment and prevention of periodontal disease – by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and having an annual comprehensive periodontal evaluation. Taking these steps will soon give you that strong smile we all crave.