Most Singaporeans don't floss teeth: Survey

SINGAPORE - While the majority of Singaporeans said they are aware that oral health contributes to overall health, only 36 per cent make it a habit to floss.

These were the findings of a survey conducted by health and well-being company Royal Philips. The survey was to find out Singaporeans' attitudes towards oral health habits, along with general health habits.

Forty per cent acknowledged that gum disease can cause diabetes, 34 per cent acknowledged the link to cardiovascular disease and 39 per cent said that it can cause respiratory infections. More than 80 per cent said that oral health is important for overall health.

Yet despite this, Singaporeans ranked flossing as the last in the list of things they would do if they had 60 seconds to improve their health. Eating a piece of fruit topped the list at 50 per cent, closely followed by a one-minute exercise.

The survey also found that 40 per cent of Singaporeans find not flossing as repulsive as clipping nails in public, and that their greatest peeve when dining out with others is speaking to someone with bad breath. However, they still ranked flossing as the least irritating of all bad oral hygiene habits they see in their partners or family members.

Interestingly, 87 per cent of respondents agreed that they would be motivated to make flossing a habit if they could floss in 60 seconds.