March 2021

Volume 38, Issue 1

Characteristics of teenagers who use dental floss

Authors: Tove I. Wigen Nina J. Wang
doi: 10.1922/CDH_00006Wigen05


Objective: To describe the use of dental floss by teenagers and study associations between flossing and approximal caries experience, oral health behaviours, gender, parental education and national background. Methods: The study included 2156 14-year-old teenagers. Data were collected in conjunction with routine dental examinations. Teenagers answered a questionnaire about frequency of and reasons for flossing, oral health behaviours and family characteristics. Information about approximal enamel (D1-2Sa) and dentine caries experience (D3MFSa) was collected from dental records. Data were cross-tabulated and tested with Chi-Square statistics and ANOVA, and analysed using multivariable logistic regression. The data was baseline data in a longitudinal study exploring effects of dental floss. The study was performed as part of the quality assurance system required by law in the dental services and did not require ethical approval. Results: Half of the teenagers (54%) used dental floss. Among teenagers who flossed, 15% reported doing so daily. Recommendation from dental personnel was the most important reason for using dental floss. Proportionately more girls and teenagers whose parents had high educational achievement reported flossing. Teenagers who flossed more often had more favourable oral health behaviours than other teenagers but more often had approximal enamel caries (D1-2Sa) and approximal dentine caries experience (D3MFSa) than other teenagers (p<0.05). Conclusion: Use of dental floss was not a daily behaviour in most teenagers. Flossing was associated with having approximal caries lesions, indicating that teenagers having signs of approximal caries had been recommended to use dental floss. Keywords: adolescent, caries, oral health behaviour, dental floss, topical fluoride.

£10 single article

Other articles in this issue

Article Pages Access
Acknowledgement of Reviewers 2-2 Download
Editorial: Migrant and refugee Oral Health 3-4 Download
Dental public health in action: foundation dentists’ delivery of an oral health promotion outreach project for people experiencing homelessness in London 5-9 Download
Characteristics of teenagers who use dental floss 10-14 £10 single article
Evaluating the environmental impact of the Welsh national childhood oral health improvement programme, Designed to Smile 15-20 £10 single article
Concurrent heavy use of general and oral health services among Finnish adults 21-25 £10 single article
Cost Benefit Analysis of Two Oral health Improvement Programmes 26-32 £10 single article
Is the Performance of a Periodontal Prediction Model for Identification of Diabetes affected by Participants’ Characteristics? 33-38 £10 single article
Impact of the national program More Smiles for Chile on women’s quality of life 39-43 £10 single article
Neoliberalism and Indigenous oral health inequalities: a global perspective 44-47 £10 single article
Oral Health of African Immigrants: A participatory approach to needs assessment 48-52 £10 single article
Oral health status and risk determinants in adult Syrian refugees in Jordan 53-58 £10 single article
Subjective and objective social status: associations with psychosocial predictors and oral health 59-63 £10 single article
John Roberts Obituary 64-64 £10 single article


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