Patients are lying about flossing habits to their dentist


A new survey has shown 27% of patients lie to their dentist about flossing habits

More than a quarter of patients admit to lying about flossing habits to their dentists, according to a new survey.

The survey showed that 27% of patients lie to dentists, saying they floss every day, whilst a study earlier in the year from the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF) found that one in three Brits have never flossed.

‘A lot of us might well have dental floss in our bathroom cabinets and only dust it off before a date or trip to the dentist,’ Dr Nigel Carter OBE said.

‘We have simply not been taught the importance of cleaning between our teeth regularly.

‘Education is important and we need to be clear about the benefits regular interdental cleaning can have.

‘Alongside dentist visits and brushing twice a day the message of proper cleaning technique needs to be driven home to everyone.’


The survey also shows that 14% of people find cleaning the toilet more appealing than flossing every day.

Although brushing our teeth has become a regular habit for most people, flossing between teeth isn’t seen as important by Brits, however brushing alone only cleans around three of the five surfaces of your teeth.

Cleaning between our teeth is a critical part of good oral hygiene as it helps to prevent gum disease and in recent years gum disease has been linked with general health conditions such as diabetes, strokes, cardiovascular disease, poor pregnancy outcomes and even dementia.

‘The first sign of gum disease is blood on your toothbrush,’ said Dr Carter.

‘Your gums may also bleed when you are eating, leaving a bad taste in your mouth.

‘The good news is that gum disease can be treated and even reversed with the correct care.

‘If people are being dishonest about flossing their teeth then we can only start to imagine what other aspects of their oral health regime they are being dishonest about, people need to know that honesty, when it comes to our mouth, is always the best policy.’

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