A new ADA survey shows that Americans’ average score was ‘D’ based on their answers to true and false questions like about how often teeth should be cleaned, what causes cavities and the age of a child’s first dentist visit. According to the president of the ADA, William R. Calnon, "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."
The survey of almost 1500 adults showed that:
· 90% of people believe they should clean their teeth after every meal -- the ADA recommends cleaning twice a day
· 81% of people 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, wearing it down so that cavities form
· 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
· 65% of people think their toothbrush should be replaced twice a year, when it should be replaced every three months
· 59% of people are unaware that germs that can cause cavities can be passed from person to person
The ADA launched a new consumer website. www.MouthHealthy.org on June 25 to provide information on prevention, care and treatments to improve and maintain dental care in addition to the dental IQ test so that visitors to the site can test their own knowledge. I always encourage patients to reach out to us with specific questions about their oral health, but I enthusiastically recommend www.mouthhealthy.org as a great place to review any general dental issues that concern you and check your Dental IQ!