Chairside Connection: The connection between flossing compliance and oral-systemic health

July 12, 2023
Dr. Mark Hyman says learn where your patients are in their oral care and never make them feel guilty. Instead, become partners so they understand the importance of home care, including flossing.

How often do you think your patients floss, despite them telling you they floss “religiously”? Philips KOL Dr. Mark Hyman believes flossing compliance among patients is less than 5%. This often contributes to failure of our dental work.

What can dentists do to preserve their work and make their patients healthier? Patients tend to blame their dentists when dental work doesn’t last. But if communicated to properly and given the proper tools, patients often find that their home care improves and the work their dentist has done lasts longer.

How do we explain the importance of interdental cleaning? In some cases, we can explore family health history and discuss how proper oral care, including flossing, could spare someone from having a heart attack like their father and grandfather, for example. 

Explain to a pregnant mother that she’ll have less risk of preterm birth or low birth weight if she performs proper oral care. The examples of oral-systemic health are endless. But meeting patients where they are will go very far in encouraging them to perform proper oral care, including flossing. But never make them feel guilty.

Watch what else Dr. Hyman and I discuss here.

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