Oral Health Tops List of Wellness Concerns

Dentistry Today


Americans really are concerned about their oral health. According to a study of 2,000 Americans conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Pronamel, 83% of respondents rated oral health their number one priority, followed by mental health (78%), exercise (74%), and diet (71%). 

Teeth also topped the list of appearance worries at 67%, followed by hair (62%), weight (57%), skin (53%), and clothing (41%). When it comes to their teeth, 65% called cleanliness their top priority, followed by tooth health (63%), how their breath smells (47%), cavity protection (47%), and whiteness (39%).

While the data shows that Americans are taking the time to focus significantly on their oral health, simultaneously, they ranked tooth appearance their number one source of embarrassment (45%), followed by weight (41%) and hair (30%). 

The study found that a worry over an overall unhealthy tooth appearance, including yellowing teeth, was one of the most likely factors causing people to be less than impressed with their smile. 

The researchers called this surprising since Americans are much more likely to be proactive with their oral health than other areas. For example, more people brush their teeth twice a day (64%) than stretch before or after a workout (49%), apply sunscreen (34%), or meditate (30%). 

Noting the disconnect between the respondents’ embarrassment about their teeth and their attention to oral hygiene, the researchers said that almost 40% of those surveyed don’t know that one of the most important parts of oral health is repairing and maintaining enamel. 

“Teeth can sometimes be an overlooked part of our self-care regimen. Many times, just daily brushing and regular dentist visits feel like enough. However, eating healthy foods such as green juices, grapefruits, and other acidic foods can do a number on a tooth’s enamel,” said Chris Concerto, senior brand manager at Pronamel. 

Everyday acidic foods and drinks like wine, green juices, citrus, salad dressings, and more cause erosion of tooth enamel over time and lead to yellowing of the teeth, something only half of those surveyed recognized.

“Instead of cutting out these delicious and sometimes necessary foods to prevent further enamel damage, simply taking steps like switching your toothpaste can help repair and protect your enamel without upending your life,” said Concerto.

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