Patients not always honest, survey finds

Are your patients being completely honest with you? In a recent survey, 41% of respondents said they tell their dentist they brush for the recommended two minutes even if it isn't true or they're unsure.

The public opinion survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, polled 1,001 adults ages 18 years and older between May 1 and May 4, 2008.

Some of the survey's other findings:

  • 64% of the people surveyed considered their oral health a top health priority.
  • However, 82% did not know how infectious bacteria cause cavities and dental decay.
  • 59% of the respondents said they brush their teeth for two minutes on weekdays, while only 23% admitted they brushed for the recommended time on the weekends.
  • 70% said they replaced their manual toothbrush or power toothbrush head once every three months or more often.
  • 49% said their dental professional asked about overall health at their last dental appointment. However, when asked if their primary care physician enquired about their oral health, only 23% said yes.

The survey was sponsored by Oral Health America and Philips Sonicare and is part of the U.S. National Smile Month, from May 18 to June 17, which aims to raise awareness of good oral health habits.

"The survey results make it clear that Americans know the benefits of dental care, but lack a greater understanding of the disease processes that can cause tooth decay," said Robert Klaus, president and CEO of Oral Health America in a press release. "By empowering people with information about good oral care habits, we can help prevent painful and costly dental problems and potentially impact overall health."

Page 1 of 40
Next Page