Quiz: Do You Know Your Floss?
by Staff
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?

  • cotton thread
  • nylon and other synthetic fibers
  • silk thread

What was the first commercially produced floss made from?

  • flax
  • silk
  • cotton

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.
  • Brushing can remove built up tartar.
  • Flossing can remove built up tartar.