How Do We Measure Up?

Dentists spend much of their working hours talking to patients about proper care of their teeth and have studied the ill effects of poor home care.  So how do dentists measure up?  Do they follow their own advice?  The results of a recent study of the oral care habits of pediatric dentists was a big surprise to me.

Turns out that the dentists surveyed do not always follow their own advice.  Although most of the dentists (55%) brush twice a day and 33% brush still more – 7% brush only once a day.  Forty-eight percent of the dentists consume sugar products once or twice a day between meals and 14% consume them more than twice a day.  A large majority (92%) do use fluoride toothpaste.  But 13% floss only occasionally and 21% floss only 2-3 times a week.  A quarter of the dentists do their own check-ups.  (How is that possible and can this be an adequate dental exam?)  Twenty-seven percent last had a dental exam 1 to 2 years ago and 5% had an exam even less frequently.  In their favor, the overwhelming majority of  dentists (90%) have never smoked and another 3% have stopped the habit.

So a significant number of surveyed dentists are remiss in their own oral health care.  And you may ask, where do I stand?  I see too much dental decay and gum disease not to follow recommendations and then some.

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