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Roughly 81 percent of women and 66 percent of men between the ages of 18 to 65 years believe a smile is very important to a person’s appearance, according to the American Dental Association/Oral B Lifetime of Healthy Oral Care Survey. About 47 percent of women and 27 percent of men said a smile was what they noticed first about other people. Nearly all respondents (99 percent) felt healthy teeth and gums were important. The main reasons cited by women were general health, appearance and prevention of tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss. For men, the main reasons were easier eating and appearance.

“We have been preaching this message to our patients for years, so it is very gratifying to know that patients have heard the message,” says Astrid Schroetter, D.D.S., a general dentist who practices in Chicago’s Loop. “Even if they don’t practice good oral care, and we know some of our patients do not, they know they should if they want to maintain healthy teeth and gums.”

Other results of the poll include the following:

  • Women 65 years and younger brush teeth an average of 2.29 times per day; men 65 years and younger brush an average of 1.87 times daily.
  • Roughly 48 percent of women 65 years and younger report cleaning between teeth with floss or interdental cleaners four or more times a week, while 33 percent of men perform the same task.
  • Respondents who brush twice a day were more likely to visit the dentist annually than those who brushed less than twice a day.
  • Almost 68 percent of women were the most likely to have all their natural teeth. Among those women with missing teeth, dental disease was cited as the reason by 78 percent.
  • Almost 61 percent of men reported having all of their natural teeth. About 48 percent of men who have a lost tooth or teeth reported accidents as the cause.
  • About 71 percent of women and 53 percent of men reported their oral health to be better than their parents teeth were at their age.

“This poll shows that Americans ‘get it’ when the topic is oral care,” concludes Dr. Schroetter. “There is some room for improvement but this poll demonstrates that Americans comprehend what they need to do to maintain good oral health. Good oral health is so important to good overall health. It’s great to see that message getting through.”

The Chicago Dental Society recommends that patients brush and floss daily, eat a balanced diet, get dental exams regularly and purchase new toothbrushes every three months in order to maintain good oral hygiene.

At Massie Dental, we are always here to help you obtain your perfect smile. Contact us today for a consultation.

For more information about the survey mentioned in this blog, please visit