Global: Who's forgetting to floss?
February 1st, 2022, Christien Pheby

Global: Who's forgetting to floss?

The American Dental Association (ADA), the UK National Health Service (NHS), the Australian Dental Association and a host of other bodies all say you should floss every day. But let us now be honest: how many of us actually mind the gap?

Because judging from YouGov Profiles data, the answer – at least in the 12 markets we’ve surveyed – is “less of us than oral health authorities would like”. Consumers are more likely to agree that they “always forget to floss” in each of these markets than disagree.

The most likely to forget are the French (52% agree vs. 21% disagree), British (52% vs 29%), and Irish (51% vs. 22%) public. Lest you think this is a pan-European trend, Germans are somewhat more fastidious about it: while two in five (43%) say they forget to floss all the time, nearly as many say they don’t (41%).

In the US, there’s a comparable divide – 45% say they regularly neglect flossing, while 43% say otherwise – and across the border it’s a similar story: 45% of Mexicans agree that they frequently forget, next to 30% who say they don’t.

Over in APAC, the East and Southeast Asian consumers in our study are generally more reliable flossers: Hong Kongers (38% agree, 32% disagree), Singaporeans (39% agree, 26% disagree). Australians (46% vs. 29%) and Indonesians (49% vs. 23%) are somewhat less fastidious about it.

Digging into one of the markets where running thread between your teeth is a flosst art, Britons are significantly more likely to use mouthwash at least once weekly (48%) compared to dental floss or tape – which is used regularly by just a quarter of the population (26%). That said, some do use alternatives such as interdental brushes (15%), toothpicks (13%), and water flossers (4%).


YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.

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