Perception and reality of oral health as it relates to one’s global health are as misaligned as teeth in Great Britain. The American Dental Association, in collaboration with Crest and Oral-B conducted a national public opinion survey of 1,000 Americans age 18 and older on oral health care.
Here are some of their findings:
- While eight of 10 Americans say taking care of one’s mouth, teeth and gums is “absolutely needed,” only one-third of them say they do an “excellent” job taking care of them.
- One parent in four says his or her kids do only a “fair” or “poor” job taking care of their own mouth, teeth and gums.
- Americans deem the smile the most important physical attribute but do not realize a beautiful smile is not always a healthy smile and can mask underlying oral health problems. More than one in three Americans say:
- They think a little bleeding from brushing is normal (33%), yet it’s not. It could be a sign of gum disease or something even worse.
- They are unaware that periodontal disease needs to be treated and cannot be left alone (33%).
- They don’t know that poor oral health has been associated with serious health conditions such as stroke, heart disease and diabetes (37%).
It’s apparent and disappointing that Americans in these segments of the population need continued oral health education beyond high school. One of the difficulties dentists face is a failure of our education system to bridge the gap where parental responsibility lacks in teaching children the value and relationship of oral health to their global health.
If we can answer any of your questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328
 Apparently with emphasis on African Americans, Hispanics and low-income Americans.
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