You know you should floss at least once a day to keep your smile healthy. But how much do you really know about this simple, effective tool? Take this quiz to test your flossing knowledge and know-how.
How much floss is produced each year?
3 million feet (914,400 meters)
3 million yards (2,743,200 meters)
3 million miles (4,828,032 kilometers)
What is floss made from?
nylon and other synthetic fibers
What was the first commercially produced floss made from?
Who first used floss?
Medieval traders learned about it during travels to the Far East.
An American dentist developed it in the early 1800s.
Native Americans spun floss from yucca plant fibers.
Are there alternatives to floss?
Good brushing technique can do what flossing does.
Dental picks and intradental brushes can provide some of flossing's benefits.
Mouthwash can clean between teeth and gums just like floss.
Can good dental care save you money?
No: The cost of dental checkups is equal to what you'd spend on emergency dental care.
Flossing and brushing every day can eliminate the need for dental checkups.
Yes: Between reduced dental care costs and the prevention of systemic disease, dental care can save you significant amounts of money.
What does it mean when a box of floss is labeled "ADA-approved"?
The ADA has tested the floss and confirmed that it meets its effectiveness and safety standards.
The ADA produced the floss.
The ADA is a trade organization made up of product manufacturers; it does not test products.
How much floss should you use in one session?
a piece equal in length to your forearm
one 2-foot (61-centimeter) piece per jaw
one 18-inch (46-centimeter) piece
How often should you floss?
once a day
twice a day
after every meal
Can you reuse floss?
Yes, if you rinse it in mouthwash between uses.
No: Floss frays and collects bacteria after one use.
Yes: If you wipe the floss after use and set it in a dry place, you can use it multiple times.
What are the symptoms of gingivitis?
inflammation and pustules forming around the teeth
inflammation, bleeding and pain in the gums
inflammation and bleeding of the gums
What causes plaque buildup?
Plaque buildup occurs when bacteria feed on food remnants on the teeth and gums.
Plaque is made up of collected food remnants in the mouth.
Plaque buildup is a genetic problem that only occurs in some people's mouths.
What can happen if gingivitis is left untreated?
Gingivitis can lead to severe gum disease and tooth loss if left untreated.
Gingivitis can be uncomfortable, but it's more of an annoyance than a real health problem.
Gingivitis is a temporary problem that will clear up on its own over time.
Are certain people at higher risk for oral disease?
People of Asian and African descent have lower risks for oral disease.
People of South American and Native American descent have lower risks for oral disease.
Genetic issues and lack of access to dental care are the primary risk factors in oral disease.
Can pregnancy affect oral health?
Hormonal changes in a pregnant woman's body can affect her oral health.
Pregnant women do not have higher or lower risks for tooth or gum disease.
Men, not women, have higher risks for tooth and gum disease.
What genetic factors play a role in oral health?
Genetics have nothing to do with oral health.
A genetic predisposition to fair skin can indicate sensitivity to tooth problems.
Genetic predisposition to soft tooth enamel and crooked teeth can affect oral health.
Can gum disease affect diabetes?
There is no connection between diabetes and oral health.
People with poor oral health have a higher risk of developing diabetes.
People with poor oral health have a lower-than-average risk of developing diabetes.
Is oral disease linked to heart disease?
Several studies have suggested a link between oral disease and heart disease.
There is no connection between oral disease and heart disease.
Oral disease is linked to nervous system disorders, not heart disease.
What is tartar?
Tartar is the leftover food that gets stuck between teeth.
Tartar is an accretion of bone around the base of unhealthy teeth.
Tartar is an accretion of hardened plaque that forms around the teeth and gums.
How is tartar removed?
The dentist can remove tartar with a metal scraping tool called a scaler.