When last did you floss your teeth? If you don’t floss regularly, you’re not cleaning a large portion of your teeth…

Many of us brush our teeth twice a day, as recommended by most dentists, but few people follow the recommendation to floss at least once a day.

In fact, according to a recent oral health snapshot survey* conducted by Philips Oral Health, only 21% of respondents floss their teeth daily.

While 11% floss twice a day, 25% floss once per week and 43% indicated that they do not floss at all. Over half of those surveyed indicated that they use dental-floss to floss (58%), while others use other methods, such as air flossing (3%) and those who don’t floss, believe that mouthwash does the trick (39%).

However, 40% of your teeth’s surface is in between your teeth, which means if flossing – along with brushing your teeth – isn’t part of your daily routine, you’re actually not cleaning a large portion of your teeth. This gives bacteria the chance to build up between your teeth, causing plaque, bad breath, cavities and even infection.

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Flossing facts

  1. Flossing helps prevent gum disease (gingivitis). When left untreated, gingivitis can spread below the gum line and cause severe gum disease characterised by severe inflammation and eventual tooth and bone loss.
  2. Don’t be alarmed if you see a little blood when you floss. This could be due to inflamed gums caused by a plaque build-up that has to be cleaned. Should this continue for a couple of days, visit your dentist as soon as possible.
  3. An alternative to manual flossing is air flossing which makes cleaning between your teeth as easy as pushing a button. Air flossing has proven to remove up to 99% more plaque between teeth than brushing with a manual toothbrush alone. When used in addition to brushing, air flossing removes significantly more interproximal plaque and results in significantly greater reductions of gingivitis after two weeks and four weeks of use, compared to manual brushing alone.
  4. Flossing does not only prevent infections, but it also plays a role in strengthening your immune system. When bacteria build up in your mouth without any care, it can travel to other parts of your body, causing further problems.

Oral hygiene is not only about having fresh breath and a bright smile – it’s also directly linked to your health. So next time you’re in the bathroom brushing your teeth don’t pass up the opportunity to floss!

* Philips Oral conducted this survey with lifestyle publications, where over 580 respondents participated in the oral health snapshot survey.

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.