According to a survey from the American Dental Association and Crest and Oral B, the smile outranks eyes, hair and the body when it comes to the most attractive physical feature. Yet men and women differ when it comes to taking care of their teeth and gums.
The survey of 1,000 Americans ages 18 and older found 86 percent of women brush their teeth twice or more a day, yet only 66 percent of men do so.
The survey also found that women say they change their toothbrush or power toothbrush head every 3-4 months on average, yet men hang on to theirs an average of 5 months. Only half of those surveyed (49 percent) say they floss their teeth once a day or more often. And 1 out of 3 people surveyed think a little blood in the sink after brushing their teeth is normal, yet it's not-it could signal gum disease or another health problem.
Oral health is an important part of overall health. Regular dental check-ups are important not only to diagnose and treat gum disease and tooth decay, but also because some diseases or medical conditions, such as oral cancer, have symptoms that can appear in the mouth.
"We need to constantly get the word out how important it is to stay on top of your oral health," says Dr Ada Cooper, an ADA consumer advisor and practicing dentist in New York City.
"Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, eating a balanced diet, and visiting your dentist regularly can help keep your smile healthy," the expert added.