Philips launches the Sonicare AirFloss Challenge after finding that 71% of people in the UK have an issue with flossing

June 6, 2012

London, England – A recent study by Philips - in order to get a deeper understanding of the state of the nation’s oral health habits - shows that a worrying three quarters of the UK population are risking gum disease by not flossing regularly (i.e. once a day). Over half (55%) of those surveyed admitted that despite being told they need to floss regularly by their dentist, they stop flossing after a week.


The primary reasons why people give up on flossing and can’t incorporate it into a daily routine seem to stem from the fact that 71% reported that they have an issue with flossing. A third of the population say that it’s the hassle of flossing that puts an end to any good intentions and a fifth said that it was because flossing causes them pain. Why there is such a low adherence to flossing is particularly intriguing since half of those surveyed stated that they do consider it to be an essential part of their oral (and overall) health routine, suggesting that people realise the importance of it.


As a result Philips is launching the Sonicare AirFloss Challenge on its SonicareUK Twitter handle to give people the chance to try a new way of flossing that promises to be quick, easy, hassle free and fun.

The reason why flossing is so important is because forty percent of tooth surfaces are in the interproximal area (between each tooth). Food debris gets caught in these areas and can lead to bacteria build-up, bad breath and infection. Next to brushing, cleaning these interproximal areas is the most important thing a person can do to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Research has shown that infected gums can have an effect on a person’s overall health and well-being, for example poor gum health can lead to heart disease. , ,

The new Philips Sonicare AirFloss is a revolutionary interdental flossing device that uses breakthrough microburst technology to remove plaque from between teeth and improve gum health.  Sonicare AirFloss is designed to make flossing easier and more effective and removes up to 99% more plaque in-between teeth than brushing with a manual toothbrush alone . During Philips consumer testing, 86% of users found Sonicare AirFloss easier to use than traditional floss. It was also proven during testing that 96% of patients who flossed inconsistently continued to use the Sonicare AirFloss at least four times a week. 78% of patients also reported that Sonicare AirFloss is gentler on gums than regular floss.


“We understand the struggle that many consumers face finding time to regularly clean between their teeth,’’ says Jodie Bridge, Sr Marketing Manager, Philips Oral Healthcare. “Sonicare AirFloss was developed to improve oral health with an easy-to-use device that consumers will love to use daily.”


Consumers should follow SonicareUK on Twitter in order to enter the competition to win a chance of taking the Sonicare AirFloss challenge and getting an AirFloss to keep.


Philips Sonicare is the #1 recommended sonic toothbrush brand by dental professionals worldwide and is backed by more than 175 clinical trials. The Philips Sonicare goal is to create and develop meaningful, easy-to-use oral health innovations that are designed to help people achieve and maintain oral health throughout a lifetime.


[1] Periodontal disease as a risk factor for heart disease. Loesche WJ. Compendium,1993;25:976-982, 985-976.

[1] Type 2 diabetes and oral health: a comparison between diabetic and non-diabetic subjects. Sandberg GE, Sundberg HE, Fjellstrom CA, et al. Diabetes Res Clin Pract, 2000; 50(1):27-34.

[1] Relationship of Clinical Depression to Periodontal Treatment Outcome. Elter JR, White BA, et al. J Periodontol, 2002;73:441-449.

[1] An Ease of Use Study to Evaluate Philips Sonicare Airfloss, String Floss and the Waterpik Waterflosser (IHUT). S. Krell, A. Kaler, J. Wei.

For further information

Please contact:

Kate Murrell – EmanatePR


T: 020 7611 3670


Deneice Harwin – Philips


T: 01483 298 517


About Royal Philips Electronics

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of “sense and simplicity.” Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs approximately 122,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries worldwide. With sales of EUR 22.6 billion in 2011, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at