A 2016 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that nearly one-third of all Americans, including 32.4 percent of people over 30, do not floss their teeth. The team at Northfield Dental Group has reviewed the study, and would like to provide some basic flossing guidance.
More about The CDC’s Study
The author of the study is Dr. Duong Nguyen, an Intelligence Officer at the CDC. He advocates that flossing be part of a patient’s overall health program and that it be discussed with their primary care physician. “I think it’s one of those things people don’t know enough about,” said Dr. Nguyen. When asked why so many people do not floss, Dr. Nguyen suggested it might be related to basic education. “We don’t tell them why (to floss.) That could be one of the barriers,” he said.
The findings from the study note that some demographic and ethnic groups lag behind others, with the following highlights:
- Males (39 percent) who never floss outnumber females (27 percent)
- People over 75 years old who never floss (45 percent) outnumber 30-34 year-olds (31 percent)
- Non-Hispanic African Americans (40 percent) and Hispanics (38 percent) who never floss outnumber Non-Hispanic whites (30 percent)
- Lower income groups (49 percent) who never floss significantly outnumber higher income groups (28 percent)
Daily flossing, ideally twice per day, is essential to dental health. Flossing removes food particles between the teeth that can cause plaque. Plaque can turn to a sticky substance called tartar that cannot be removed at home with a toothbrush or floss. Plaque formed in the mouth has also been linked to other health complications, including heart-related problems.
Flossing is also essential for preventing the two basic types of inflammatory gum diseases: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis produces red, painful and tender gums, while periodontitis produces pockets of pus that some studies have connected with heart disease.
Dr. Nguyen concludes by saying that patients “need to improve (their) health practices.” Our West Orange dentists can help you to offset the effects of neglecting to floss. Please call the Northfield Dental Group team at (973) 736-0111, and let us help guide you to adopt a flossing and dental health routine that is right for you.