Flossing, toothbrushing plummet during pandemic

By DrBicuspid.com staff writers

February 8, 2021 -- More than 1 in 5 people said they're flossing and brushing their teeth less often during the COVID-19 pandemic in a new survey from the American Association of Endodontists (AAE).

The pandemic has forced everyone into new routines, and some oral hygiene habits may not have stuck, the AAE found. Survey participants reported brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist less often.

Of the survey participants, 1 in 4 said they waited until later in the morning to brush their teeth, and 21% said they didn't brush their teeth at all. Another 26% of participants said they forgot to brush at night.

In addition, 24% of participants said they're flossing less frequently, and a total of 23% aren't flossing at all. Furthermore, more than half of participants said the pandemic caused them to delay general dental checkups.

Other survey findings included the following:

  • 31% of participants snacked more on sweets.
  • 28% didn't schedule or forgot to schedule a dental appointment.
  • 43% of millennial participants said working or attending classes from home led to disruption in their dental hygiene habits.

The good news is that most participants said they would make a dental appointment for tooth pain that wouldn't go away. Another 80% said it's better to save a tooth with a root canal than get that tooth extracted.

AAE infographic showing oral hygiene habits during the pandemic
Oral hygiene habits during the pandemic. Image courtesy of the AAE.

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