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Could your dental habits use a spring-cleaning?

:DentalPlans' Annual SmileIndex Survey Reveals The Biggest Dental Health Misconceptions

Plantation, FL 33324  (April 06, 2015)

Could your oral care routine use a little spring-cleaning? If you have some questions about what might be best when it comes to keeping your mouth healthy and smiling, you're not alone. According to the national :DentalPlans' Annual SmileIndex™ Survey*,  many misconceptions exist about what is and what is not healthy for our teeth and gums.

"Keeping good dental habits is one of the easiest ways to maintain a healthy mouth and smile," says Bill Chase, vice president of marketing for :DentalPlans, a leading provider of dental savings plans. "But if you don't understand how to care for your teeth and gums, you may be doing more harm than good."

Dental misconceptions are one of the reasons why :DentalPlans is committed to bringing trustworthy healthcare information to the public, from our new :DentalPlans' Dental Information Center to our annual :DP SmileIndex survey.

The survey gives consumers the following insight into their oral habits, their perceptions and misperceptions of dental care, and what they should be doing and not doing.

  • Brush Away: Most Americans report (nearly 60 percent) that they brush two times per day, mostly in the morning and at night. It's easy to do the math: 40 percent of Americans are not brushing the minimum 2x a day.
    Those who do brush their teeth in between their normal times do so after something gets stuck in their teeth (71 percent), before a date (46 percent), before giving a presentation or speech (23 percent), and after drinking coffee (21 percent).
  • Mind the Time:  The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes, two times a day. Just over 50 percent of national respondents report brushing one to two minutes, according to the :DP SmileIndex.
  • Keeping Clean In-Between:  The :DP SmileIndex found that almost one-third of national respondents (33 percent) admit to not flossing at all, while 47 percent report that they floss at least once daily.
  • Reuse or Replace When it comes to replacing or reusing our toothbrushes, most respondents replace their toothbrush either every couple of months or every three to four months (71 percent) or when the bristles become frayed (16 percent), which is right in line with what the ADA recommends.
  • Rate the Space: So where should you store your toothbrush? The :DP SmileIndex reports that 13 percent of respondents store theirs in a plastic sleeve. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), storing a toothbrush in a covered, humid environment is more conducive to bacterial growth. A better choice is to rinse thoroughly after brushing with tap water and air-dry in an upright position.
  • Choose the Location:  Nineteen percent of respondents store their toothbrush in a cup on the countertop of the bathroom sink, but this could still present a problem.  The TV show Mythbusters reports that every time you flush a toilet, it releases "an aerosol spray of tiny tainted water droplets. So if, like many people, you leave your toothbrush in the vicinity of a toilet it can leave your brush regularly bathed in bits of fecal matter."
  • Keep Your Place:  If you are storing more than one brush together, even in a cup, keep them from touching due to the threat of cross-contamination. Thirteen percent of respondents reported storing their toothbrush with others.
  • What You Put in Your Mouth Matters: While most respondents know that soda (82 percent) and coffee (76 percent) are not good for your teeth, only 50 percent realize juice, wine (44 percent), and sports drinks (40 percent) are equally unfriendly to oral health. And while apples (65 percent) and vegetables (64 percent) hit the top slots for healthy snacks, some respondents realized cheese (24 percent) and nuts (29 percent) are healthy alternatives as well.

About :DentalPlans
:DentalPlans, founded in 1999, is a leading dental and health savings marketplace in the U.S., helping more than a million people to affordably access quality healthcare services. Our mission is to empower consumers with the tools, information, and services that they need to live happier, healthier lives.

We provide comprehensive resource centers aimed at helping people to maintain/regain optimal health, and successfully navigate the maze of healthcare payment options (including Obamacare and Medicaid.) Our independent research – the :DP SmileMeter™ and :DP SmileIndex™ – delivers a unique look into the consumer healthcare market.

We offer user-friendly access to a wide selection of traditional dental insurance and 40+dental savings plans, along with innovative healthcare offerings including telemedicine, medical advocacy, and online counseling services. Our online plan comparison and savings calculator tools help consumers to make smart choices about essential healthcare services, and our :DP AtYourService™ customer support team leaves no question unanswered. For more information, visit us at www.dentalplans.com.

*A national study was conducted for :DentalPlans between Jan. 1 and Jan. 7, 2015 by Infosurv Research. A total of 1,200 national respondents were surveyed, yielding data with a margin of error of +/- 2.83%.

An independent study of its members was conducted for :DentalPlans between Jan. 21 and Feb. 4, 2015 by Infosurv Research. A total of 9,410 national customers were surveyed, yielding data with a margin of error of +/- .99%.

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