You are no different than most Americans when it comes to flossing. It just isn’t as easy as brushing your teeth. Only 25% floss regularly even though people who floss report having better oral health than everyone else.
Why Don’t We Floss?
There are two reasons we don’t floss regularly.
- We Hate Flossing
- We Forget
Are you among the 1/3 of Americans who profess their hate for flossing?
A study by the American Academy of Periodontology showed that 36% of Americans would rather do an unpleasant activity than floss their teeth. Flossing is so hated that people said they would rather clean the toilet or sit in traffic than floss.
Leaving Flossing Out of the Routine
Hating it isn’t the only reason we don’t floss. Like many other things in our busy lives, we get distracted or tired and don’t floss one night before bed. Before you know it, you’ve dropped the routine altogether…or at least until you get the reminder that your next cleaning appointment is coming up soon.
Deep Down, We Know We Should Floss
Floss haters made a big deal about the government dropping the flossing recommendation a while back due to lack of scientific proof that it makes a difference. But if you don’t floss, you are cleaning only about 60 percent of the surface of your teeth! That is a recipe for dirty teeth and gum disease. And you know deep down you should be flossing. Otherwise why would so many people lie to the dentist about how regularly they floss?
We’re Flossing in the Wrong Room
According to an article in the March 1, 1993 edition of New York Magazine, ad agency Leo Burnett has studied flossing and found that most people floss in the bathroom. That may be the problem. If we don’t automatically reach for the floss after brushing, then the bathroom isn’t going to work at all.
One Simple Trick to Help You Floss More
Floss while you watch TV. That’s it. It works wonders for our patients. Just put your floss next to your remote or on an end table next to your favorite chair. About 80% of us have a daily TV watching habit of over 2 hours. That’s plenty of time to pick up the floss and work away at your teeth while watching your favorite shows. You’ll find you don’t really need a mirror and the TV will distract you from the unpleasant feelings that make us hate flossing so much.