People neglect to brush 5x/week, survey finds

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Your alarm sounds, you wake up, you brush and floss (or vice versa), and go about the rest of your day. Roughly this order of events may seem like a given in your daily routine, but apparently that’s not the case for many forgetful Americans.

According to a recent survey of 2,000 Americans, US adults forget to brush their teeth five times per week, with similar lapses in flossing and mouthwash usage. The study was conducted in February 2024 by market research firm OnePoll on behalf of Listerine, and the findings don’t stop there.

Despite being a touch absentminded, 92% of American adults say they recognize the impact one’s oral health has on their overall health. In fact, oral health is so important to them that just over half say they’d even be willing to discuss poor oral care habits with those close to them if necessary. Further, 32% of respondents say they’re willing to take a look inside a loved one’s mouth and 14% would lend their very toothbrush. It seems that when it comes to oral hygiene, Americans are a selfless bunch!

89% of survey respondents say they feel more confident when they’re taking good care of their oral health. Most (75%) believe there are “correct” ways to maintain one’s oral health, such as going to the dentist for routine check-ups, brushing more than once a day, and swishing with mouthwash.

Though most understand how to achieve and maintain good oral health, following through can be another story. Unfortunately, 25% of US adults surveyed admit they’re currently embarrassed by some aspect of their oral health. When asked about dental woes experienced in the past year, 34% reported dealing with sensitive teeth, 28% had fought plaque build-up, and 24% were suffering from bleeding gums. A whopping 21% said they endure some sort of oral sensitivity every other week. 

On a more optimistic note, 93% of those surveyed say they understand the severity of bleeding gums and 76% had actively sought-out products to address their oral health needs. Chief motivators to get out and shop products included preventing halitosis, cavities, and gum disease. 

Overall, this survey tells us that even though few Americans are perfect when it comes to oral hygiene, they are well educated and care not only about their own oral health, but the oral health of those they love. Once that concern is established, most are willing to take action to improve and maintain their health.

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