New Survey Reveals American Brushing Habits

We all know the importance of dental hygiene, but a recent survey by Delta Dental, an insurance provider, shows that many Americans still aren’t brushing their teeth enough.

The Dental Dental Oral Health and Well-Being Survey, released September 23, said that nearly seven out of 10 Americans brush their teeth at least twice a day. This is great news; however, more than 30 percent of Americans still aren’t brushing enough.

The average American brushes their teeth for about one minute and fifty-two seconds, according to the survey. Younger adults (between the ages of 18 and 24) spend an average 16 seconds longer brushing their teeth. “Nearly six of 10 Americans brush their teeth at bedtime and as soon as they wake up in the morning, while 38 percent brush after breakfast. About 17 percent brush after lunch, and 21 percent brush after dinner,” according to the American Dental Association.

Unfortunately, the survey revealed that not all Americans are brushing their teeth as often as they should. In the past year, 23 percent of Americans and almost 37 perfect of young adults have gone two or more days without brushing their teeth. When it comes to flossing, only four out of 10 Americans say they floss daily. Twenty percent never floss at all. Flossing is an important step to ensure food and plaque stays out of your teeth and gums, so skipping could be detrimental to your overall dental hygiene.

Although there are a variety of opinions on the best methods for brushing your teeth, the ADA recommends the following best practices for dental hygiene:

  • Brush your teeth two times a day with a soft-bristled brush.

  • Replace your toothbrush every three or four months. If you wait longer, your worn toothbrush won’t do as good of a job cleaning your teeth.

  • Make sure to use a fluoride toothpaste that is ADA approved.

  • Brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle to the gums.

  • Move the toothbrush back and forth gently in short strokes.

  • Don’t just brush the outer surfaces. The inner surfaces and chewing surfaces of the teeth need attention, too.

  • Don’t forget your tongue. Brushing your tongue will help remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.

  • Floss daily to remove plaque and food particles from your gumline and between the teeth.

  • Visit your dentist regularly (two times a year) for oral exams and professional cleaning.

So, when do you brush? Are you flossing daily? Share with us in the comments.

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