Americans Score a D on National Oral Health Quiz

ADA Launches New Website to Help Improve Public's Oral Health

CHICAGO, July 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans need a serious brush up when it comes to their oral health, according to a new survey from the American Dental Association (ADA). The survey results were recently released during the ADA's launch of a robust new website,, dedicated to improving the oral health of all Americans. On average, Americans scored a "D" on a series of true or false questions ranging from how often to brush and what age should a child first visit a dentist to what causes cavities.

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"The results of the survey were quite shocking and really show how important it is for people to become more involved in their own oral health," said William R. Calnon, D.D.S., ADA president and a practicing dentist in Rochester, N.Y.

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, nine out of 10 adults ages 20-64 have had cavities in their permanent teeth, and nearly half of children ages 2-11 years old have had cavities in their baby teeth.

Dr. Calnon said the ADA's new consumer website,, features the dental IQ quiz so people can test their own knowledge and information to get and stay mouth healthy for life.

Some highlights from the national ADA survey conducted in May with a nationally representative sample of nearly 1,500 adults (with a margin of error of + or – 2.6 points) include:

  • 75 percent of respondents don't know what age to take their child to the dentist for the first time when the ADA recommends within six months after the first tooth appears or no later than the child's first birthday
  • 81 percent of respondents mistakenly think that sugar causes cavities when it's really germs in the mouth that feed on sugar and then produce acid which attacks tooth enamel. In time, these acid attacks weaken the enamel to the point where a cavity forms
  • 59 percent of respondents don't realize cavity-causing germs can be passed from person to person is organized by life stages and includes information on the top 10 dental symptoms, A-Z oral health topics, how to find an ADA member dentist, ADA Seal of Acceptance products, videos, tips and activities and a special section to make oral health care fun for children.

SOURCE American Dental Association