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Chicago residents reveal their dental habits
Updated: 2/24/2011 5:00:13 PM

The CDC recommends separating multiple toothbrushes that are stored in the same device Most Chicago inhabitants practice similar dental care habits and share views about the importance of a healthy-looking smile, according to a recent survey conducted by the Chicago Dental Society.

The poll found that more than 40 percent of respondents believed that a person's teeth and smile are the two attributes they focus on when meeting a new person, and more than half reported that they had used products to whiten their teeth.

However, more than half of survey participants said that they had skipped dental appointments due to financial strain.

Of the 400 individuals who filled out the questionnaire, 15 percent said they had shared a toothbrush with another person.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that sharing toothbrushes can be detrimental to one's health because they can harbor leftover body fluids, which can cause infection.

To help ensure that a toothbrush does not become a breeding ground for bacteria, the CDC recommends rinsing the device after use to remove any remaining toothpaste and debris. Also, allow the brush to air dry and store it in an upright position. If more than one person stores their toothbrush in the same holder, the tools should not touch, the CDC adds.

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