How Honest are You about Flossing?

by | Jun 28, 2015 | Good Habits!

A Dreaded Chore

Flossing. More than one in four Americans lie to their dentist about doing it. One in three say they would much rather file their taxes every day instead. According to a Harris Polls survey, some people even reported that they would rather listen to a small child crying on the plane. Can flossing your teeth really be so bad? Results of the survey, which polled over 2,000 people across major cities in the country, show that the top three unenjoyable activities Americans would rather do than floss their teeth were washing a full sink of dishes, scrubbing a dirty toilet, and simply waiting in a long line.

While we are pleased to hear that only 27% of patients are lying about flossing every day, it doesn’t mean those who are honest about it are flossing. Only two of five patients are flossing regularly. And trust us, a good dentist can tell if you are lying.

Still Worth the Effort

Flossing helps remove plaque that builds up under the gums and between teeth. Brushing alone can not reach into these tiny areas. Without flossing, this plaque can harden into tartar. This creates a safe space between your teeth and gums where bacteria can flourish. Before too long, this can develop into gum (periodontal) disease leading to decay and tooth loss.

About half of Americans have some form of periodontal disease and it’s completely preventable! With proper oral hygiene, a patient shouldn’t need to worry about cavities or tooth loss.  It’s normal for those that don’t often floss for their gums to bleed while flossing. Bleeding is a sign of Gingivitis infection and while common, should still be brought to the attention of your dentist. Pain is not normal. Don’t be shy to ask us in person how to floss the right way. Your teeth will thank you for your honesty.


Dr. Merle Saldivar

Dr. Saldivar received a B.S. at Penn State University and a D.D.S. at University of Maryland. With over 10 years of experience, Dr. Saldivar is certified in the United States Dental Institue (Orthodontic Program) as well as Invisalign certified. She is fluent in Spanish, Tagalog-Filipino, and volunteers her services for Give Kids a Smile, a program that is part of the American Dental Association.
Dr. Merle Saldivar

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