Thursday, July 26, 2012

Americans Scored Below Average on American Dental Association Dental IQ Survey

Recently, a survey by the American Dental Association confirmed that average Americans scored below average and were graded with a D in dental health. The survey, in a series of quiz questions answered by 1,500 adults, revealed that Americans have serious misconceptions about basic oral health, including how often to brush or when they should start taking children to the dentist.

The ADA released the survey results with the launch of their new fun, interactive site, which was created to provide dental health information and engage the public in their dental health.

The survey results shocked many. “The results of the survey were quite shocking and really show how important it is for people to become more involved in their own oral health,” said William R. Calnon, D.D.S., ADA president and a practicing dentist in Rochester, N.Y.

The site provides a lot of information, such as: nutrition, healthier habits and dental care from tips from pregnancy and babies, to teens, adulthood and all ages. The idea of the is to get families involved – kids adopting habits from parents is just as true in dentistry, if parents practice good oral hygiene, kids will pay attention and do the same.

Survey Results and Common Misconceptions According to May Survey

•Survey Result: 90 percent of respondents believe they should brush after every meal.

ADA Recommendation: Brush only twice a day.

•Survery Result: 65 percent of respondents believe they should replace their toothbrush twice a year. ADA Recommendation: Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles become frayed.

• Survey Result: 75 percent of respondents did not know what age to take their child to the dentist for the first time. ADA Recommendation: A child’s first trip to the dentist should be within six months after the first tooth appears or before the child’s first birthday.

• Survey Result: 81 percent of respondents think that sugar causes cavities. The Truth: Cavities are caused by germs in the mouth that feed on sugar and then produce acid which attacks tooth enamel. In time, the acid attacks weaken the enamel to the point where a cavity forms.

• Survey Result: 59 percent of respondents don’t realize cavity-causing germs can be passed from person to person. ADA Reality Check: Yes, they can. Parents and caregivers can pass bacteria that cause cavities to their children by pre-chewing food, sharing utensils or licking a pacifier to clean it.

• Survey Result: 53 percent of respondents think you should floss twice a week. ADA Recommendation: Floss once a day. Tooth brushing doesn’t clean between the teeth so germs can grow there and cause tooth decay and gum disease.

Visit http://www.mouthhealthy.org, to check out this new resource for family and friends.