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Americans need to brush up on oral knowledge

Jun 29, 2012

The American Dental Association recently performed a check-up on America’s oral health knowledge and believe that many of us need to brush up on some dental facts.

According to an American Dental Association (ADA) national survey of almost 1,500 adults conducted in May, nine in ten adults between the ages of 20-64 have had cavities in their permanent teeth, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Half of children between the ages of 2-11 have suffered cavities in their baby teeth.

ADA president William R. Calnon, D.D.S and a practicing New York dentist, called the results of the survey “quite shocking.” With a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 points, survey results showed:

  1. 90% believe they should brush after every meal but the ADA recommends brushing twice daily.

  2. 81% believe that cavities are caused by sugar. However, it is not the actual sugar that causes cavities, but germs in the mouth that feed on sugar and produce acid that attacks the teeth enamel.

  3. 75% have no idea at what age they should take a child to the dentist for the first time. According to ADA recommendations, a child's first dentist visit should be within six months after the first tooth appears or before the child's first birthday.

  4. 65% of people think their toothbrush should be replaced twice a year, when it should be replaced every three months.

  5. 59% of people are unaware that germs that can cause cavities can be passed from person to person

In an effort to improve awareness of dental issues the ADA launched a new consumer website June 25, Mouthhealthy.org.  The site contains answers to commonly asked dental questions, tips and information on dental issues for all age groups and helpful information on a wide range of oral health topics.

The site also contains a section designed to appeal to children with videos, useful tips and entertaining quizzes.

Sources: Medical News Today, American Dental Association, Mouth Healthy


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