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New National Public Opinion Survey Reveals Important Findings

The Public Speaks Up on Oral Health Care: An ADA and Crest/Oral-B Survey Unveiled at the American Dental Association Annual Session

Contact Information:

Telephone: 312-440-2806
E-mail: mediarelations@ada.org (Journalists) or Contact ADA (All Others)

OCTOBER 16, 2008 (SAN ANTONIO, TX)—The American Dental Association (ADA®), in collaboration with Crest® and Oral-B®, today revealed findings from a national public opinion survey on oral health care.

Here is a sneak peek at the key learnings:

  1. While eight of 10 Americans say taking care of one's mouth, teeth and gums is "absolutely needed," only one-third of them say they do an "excellent" job taking care of them.
  2. One parent in four says his or her kids do only a "fair" or "poor" job taking care of their own mouth, teeth and gums.
  3. Americans deem the smile the most important physical attribute but do not realize a beautiful smile is not always a healthy smile and can mask underlying oral health problems. More than one in three Americans say:
    • They think a little bleeding from brushing is normal (33%), yet it's not. It could be a sign of gum disease or something even worse.
    • They are unaware that periodontal disease needs to be treated and cannot be left alone (33%).
    • They don't know that poor oral health has been associated with serious health conditions such as stroke, heart disease and diabetes (37%).

"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," said Ada Cooper, D.D.S., Consumer Advisor for the ADA and a practicing dentist in NY.

"These findings further strengthen our dedication to helping all Americans achieve good oral health through the products and education we offer," said Leslie Winston, D.D.S., Ph.D., director of Professional and Scientific Relations, Procter and Gamble Oral Care Research Center. "We are happy to provide a united front with the ADA to help combat these societal issues."

This survey presents the findings of a nationally representative survey of 1,000 Americans ages 18 and older who live in the continental United States. The national survey of Americans focused on the following areas:

  • The public's perceptions of their oral health care, with a special focus on African Americans, Hispanics and lower-income Americans
  • Americans' knowledge of effective and essential oral health care habits
  • Oral health habits among the nation's youth
  • The psychological benefits of a healthy smile.

About the American Dental Association

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 157,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit www.ada.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA’s consumer website www.MouthHealthy.org.

About Crest

As a trusted leader in oral health, Crest helps consumers maintain healthy, beautiful smiles for life. Crest is committed to building on its history of developing innovative oral care products that meet the needs of consumers around the world. Since 1955 when Crest introduced the first fluoride toothpaste proven effective, it is estimated that Crest has helped prevent more than half a billion cavities in the United States alone. Crest also was the first toothpaste to secure the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Today Crest offers a family of products including toothpastes, toothbrushes, mouthrinses, floss and whitening treatments. Please visit www.Crest.com for more product information, dental hygiene tips, special offers, promotions and more.

About Oral-B

Oral-B is the worldwide leader in the over $5 billion brushing market. Part of the Procter & Gamble Company, the brand includes manual and power toothbrushes for children and adults, oral irrigators and interdental products, such as dental floss. Oral-B manual toothbrushes are used by more dentists than any other brand in the U.S. and many international markets.