Formation of flossing habit using a floss-holding device

J Dent Hyg. 1990 Mar;64(3):140-3.


The population for this survey consisted of participants from a previous flossing study that employed crossover design in which subjects alternately used a floss-holding device or hand-held floss during consecutive two-month periods. Although both flossing techniques were equally successful in removing interproximal plaque and reducing gingivitis, at the end of the study 70% of the subjects preferred the floss holder over finger flossing. The purpose of this follow-up survey was to determine, six months after completion of the flossing study, the number of former participants who were still flossing regularly and the flossing method they were using. The results from 32 respondents demonstrated that 50% of the previous nonflossers were still flossing regularly (i.e., two or more times per week) and of these new regular flossers, 85% were using the floss-holding device while the remaining 15% preferred flossing by hand. The regular floss-holder users reported flossing slightly more often than the hand-flossers. Overall, the survey demonstrated that the floss-holding device was significantly more effective in helping patients establish a long-term, regular flossing habit.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dental Devices, Home Care*
  • Dental Plaque / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oral Hygiene / instrumentation*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Surveys and Questionnaires