Smile: Women Have Better Dental Habits

From the WebMD Archives

May 14, 2004 -- Brush up on your oral hygiene, guys. A new survey shows that women take better care of their teeth than men. They brush teeth more frequently. They even have a dentist.

The nationwide survey, from the American Dental Association, is based on telephone interviews with 1,014 adults conducted in December 2003.

Researchers found:

  • 25% of those surveyed brush their teeth after every meal, reflecting a steady increase. In 2001, that number was 15%; in 2000, it was 18%; and in 1997, it was 12%.
  • One in five -- 19% -- brush their teeth once a day (almost the same percentage as previous years).

  • 53% brush their teeth twice a day -- a drop. In 2001, it was 60%, in 2000, it was 63%, and in 1996, it was 64%.

  • Women were more likely than men to brush teeth after every meal: 29% of women vs. 21% of men.

  • Men were more likely to brush just once a day: 25% of men vs. 13% of women.

  • Women were more likely to have a dentist than men: 89% of women vs. 75% of men.

  • As for daily dental floss use, 51% use it, up slightly from 48% in 1997.

Dentists advocate a daily routine: Brush teeth twice a day and floss once (to remove trapped food particles and plaque). Also, get regular dental checkups and tooth cleanings to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

WebMD Health News Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on May 14, 2004


SOURCE: American Dental Association.

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