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Americans are more concerned with germs on their hands than in mouths, survey shows
Updated: 6/5/2011 8:59:56 PM

Some people may consider brushing their teeth as much as they wash their hands Some so-called "germophobes" carry anti-bacterial hand sanitizers nearly everywhere they go. While many Americans are concerned with keeping their hands clean, fewer worry about the germs that reside in their mouths, according to a recent survey conducted by the makers of Listerine Antiseptic and Reach brand.

The poll's results showed that while 80 percent of participants were concerned with the germs on their hands, only 66 percent indicated that they were apprehensive about those in their mouths.

Although 95 percent of surveytakers said they think people need to do more than just brush their teeth to sustain good oral health, only one out of every three responded that they flossed or used mouth rinse regularly.

"One mouth can have more germs than there are people on earth and emerging science suggests that some of these germs may be linked with chronic diseases," said dentist John E. Dodes.

This may be one reason why many people develop serious dental problems later in life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 27 percent of Americans over the age of 65 experience complete tooth loss.

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