Are You Honest About How Often You Floss?


How can a healthy oral hygiene step that takes less than five minutes to do every day be so dreadful that many Americans would rather do an unpleasant task instead?

This is the way many Americans feel about flossing. But apparently many of those Americans know they should floss regularly, because they aren’t truthful with their dentist about how often they floss.

A national study conducted online in March for the American Academy of Periodontology and released in July found that 27 percent of American adults admitted that they lie to their dentist about how often they floss. About 36 percent of those involved in the study said they would rather do something unpleasant like clean toilets rather than floss.

Here’s the bottom line: you need to floss. Nothing does more to help remove the 500+ bacterial species found in plaque than that thin string pulled tightly between your two fingers and inserted between each of your teeth. Brushing doesn’t get beneath your gumline the way flossing does.

Half of Americans aged 30 or older have periodontitis, the more advanced form of periodontal disease, according to the AAP. This equals approximately 64.7 million Americans. Numerous studies have linked periodontal disease to chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and even cancer.

The leading cause of periodontal disease is poor oral hygiene, but other risk factors play a role in the disease’s development and progression, including smoking, age and genetics.

5 Easy Ways to Boost Oral Health

In addition to flossing, here are some easy things you can incorporate into your oral care routine to improve the health of your teeth and gums:

  • Daily oil pulling with organic coconut oil
  • Electric toothbrushes are twice as effective as their manual counterparts
  • Whole food diets produce far less plaque than diets high in refined sugars and processed foods
  • Daily systemic and oral probiotics can help prevent bacterial buildup
  • Routine professional periodontal visits

Periodontal disease is mostly preventable and treatable, but it isn’t curable once you have been diagnosed with it.

“Once you’ve been diagnosed with periodontal disease, the best we can do is get it under control and manage it,” says Collegeville periodontist Dr. David DiGiallorenzo. “But we have some highly effective management tools at our disposal.”

Our office offers LANAP, which is a no-cut, no-suture, virtually pain-free method of removing bacteria and diseased gum tissue. We follow up that treatment with occlusal therapy, enzymes suppression, antibacterial therapy and nutritional therapy.

Please call our office if you would like to learn more about how to restore your oral health.

Meet Dr. D

Dr. David DiGiallorenzo received his training at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Periodontics and Periodontal Prosthesis in the early 1990s. His training included prosthodontics, orthodontics, periodontics, and advanced oral reconstructive techniques, including oral implantology.

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