American public gets a ‘D’ on basic oral and dental health quiz

Is sugar-free gum really good for your teeth? If I lay an aspirin next to my painful tooth, will it lessen the pain? When should my child see the dentist for the first time?

Turns out these questions have stumped the majority of the nation.  In a national online study by the American Dental Association of 1500 citizens, the average score was 60% – that’s a D average.

The questions that proved most difficult included:

  • When children can and should brush their own teeth (only 6% correct)
  • Whether or not it is important to brush after every meal (10% correct)
  • What age a child should visit dentist for the first time (25 % correct)

This lack of understanding is more troubling given the research that has linked poor oral health to poor health overall. 20+ years of research has firmly established that cardiovascular disease and gum disease are associated with poor gum health and other health issues such as diabetes and pregnancy complications are also being studied for their relationship.

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