Flossing survey reveals all
 

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Flossing survey reveals all

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Flossing survey reveals all

 

Flossing survey reveals all

A new survey has revealed that people in the UK are risking their oral health through flossing with dangerous implements.

The National Dental Survey, carried out by the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF) in association with HealthSure, found that people use any household items close to hand to remove food stuck between the teeth.

More than 60% of people questioned admitted to using makeshift items to remove food between teeth. The survey showed the worse implements being used are – screwdrivers, earrings, forks, needles, keys and paper clips.

A further 23% of people who get food stuck in their teeth, choose to leave it there – increasing the risk of gum disease and bad breath.

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the BDHF, said: ‘Clearly people really need to be educated on the importance of flossing. It’s a vital part of a good oral health routine, removing food from between the teeth and plaque from the gum line. It should be done once a day before brushing.

‘However it is very important to be gentle, even when using proper dental floss, as jerking or snapping the floss into the gums can damage the gum tissue,’ he advised.

‘The best thing to use to dislodge food from between the teeth is interdental wood sticks, as these are shaped specifically for this purpose. Cocktail sticks are not and should really be avoided.’

He added: ‘The idea of someone picking their teeth with a screwdriver may sound amusing but it is actually a big worry that so many people are happy to use whatever is close to hand to remove food from between their teeth. A screwdriver is hardly the most flexible of items and I don’t think people realise the damage this can do to gums!’

Richard Sear, managing director of HealthSure, a national healthcare cash plan provider, said: ‘We’re shocked that the survey has revealed that many people are still not aware of how to take basic care of their teeth.’

‘Flossing is a key part of a good oral health routine along with brushing twice-a-day with a fluoride toothpaste and cutting down on the frequency of sugary foods and drinks.’

The survey was conducted in the run-up to National Smile Month, 14 May to 13 June. This year’s National Smile Month campaign is using the theme ‘Feed Your Smile’ to remind people of the importance of eating a healthy, balanced diet and maintaining a good oral health routine.

 Posted on : Wed 7th - Jun - 2006

 

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