Oral Hygiene Home Care Practices in America

Published 02/22/2023

Results from CareQuest Institute’s nationally representative survey on oral health show that brushing and flossing frequency are correlated with other oral hygiene habits such as consuming sugary beverages and using tobacco. Key findings include: 

  • Most adults are brushing once per day or more (94%) and flossing half as often (44%). Older adults, aged 60+, were more likely to report brushing and flossing at least once a day compared to younger adults. 
  • More than half of males (59.3%) responded that they did not know some foods could have an impact on their teeth, compared with about two-fifths of females (39.7%).
  • Adults who use tobacco daily also report consuming sugary drinks and soda three to four times more than those who do not use tobacco. 
  • Those with Medicaid dental benefits were three times more likely to report consuming more than one sugary drink per day compared to those with other insurance types. 

The survey results reinforce that oral health care education for patients cannot be one-size-fits-all. Oral hygiene practices and other lifestyle behaviors, such as food and beverage consumption and tobacco use, are important to consider when identifying oral health risks for individuals. Identifying these risks creates an opportunity to provide person-centered care, which can lead to better oral health outcomes and help reduce oral health inequities.  

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