The American Dental Association (ADA) released news last month that Americans scored an average “D” on a series of questions regarding oral health.
The score results were taken from ADA’s new website, MouthHealthy.org. “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 MouthHealthy.org website was created to provide dental health information to the public in an interactive fun way.
The website covers oral health topics from pregnancy, babies and kids, to all ages of life. The website reviews the healthy habits, concerns, facts, and nutrition of oral health for each phase of life.
The website has a “Test Your Dental I.Q.” feature that gives a number of questions to assess knowledge on basic dental health facts.
The ADA press release on June 25 indicated that a survey was conducted in May with a nationally representative sample of approximately 1,500 adults (with a margin of error of +/– 2.6 points).
The survey had the following sample questions and results:
• How many times should you brush your teeth? Ninety percent answered they should brush after every meal. The ADA recommends twice a day.
• How often should you replace your toothbrush? Sixty-five percent responded they should replace their toothbrush twice a year. The ADA recommends every three months.
• What age should you take your child to the dentist for the first time? Seventy-five percent did not know the correct time. The ADA recommends within six months after the first tooth appears or no later than the child’s first birthday.
• Does sugar cause cavities? Eighty-one percent of respondents answered incorrectly. The correct cause of decay is bacteria that feed on sugar. The increased bacteria produce acid which weaken and destroy the tooth structure.
• Can cavity causing germs be passed from person to person? Fifty-nine percent incorrectly answered no.
“MouthHealthy.org a valuable resource for individuals and families to take care of their oral health,” said Dr. Calnon.
To challenge yourself, visit the website and take the test to see how well you score on your dental I.Q. test.
• Dr. Rashmi (Rush) Bhatnagar, DMD, MPH, can be contacted at (480) 598-5900 or visit www.BellaVistaDentalCare.com.