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The vast majority of Americans believe that good dental health is very important, but they also admit they could take better care of their teeth, according to the results of a new poll.
A survey conducted by the American Dental Association in conjunction with Crest and Oral-B reveals that eight out of 10 respondents believe good dental care of the mouth, teeth and gums is "absolutely needed."
However, only one out of three acknowledged that they do an "excellent" job at caring for their teeth.
"This survey helps dentists understand opinions their patients may not be sharing, opinions that provide an opportunity to address perception versus reality when it comes to oral health," commented Dr Ada Cooper, consumer advisor for the ADA.
The data also reveals that many people are not aware of the seriousness of gum disease. One-third of respondents said that they think it is normal to bleed slightly while brushing their teeth.
Meanwhile, many others were unaware that poor dental health has been linked with cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes.
In 2009, the ADA will celebrate 150 years of existence. It currently has more than 156,000 members.
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