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Oral Health is a Priority in Perception, not Practice

  • Published: 2010-12-06 : Author: Philips Sonicare
  • Synopsis: Americans place a high value on the importance of oral health yet there is room for improvement when it comes to practicing proper oral hygiene at home.

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National Survey Finds Oral Health is a Priority in Perception, not Practice - Philips Sonicare uncovers that a great smile makes the best first impression; power toothbrush users are more compliant.

Americans place a high value on the importance of oral health, yet there is room for improvement when it comes to practicing proper oral hygiene at home, according to a nationwide survey of 1,008 adults released today by Philips Sonicare, the #1 recommended power toothbrush by U.S. dental professionals. The findings suggest that consumers have good intentions toward taking care of their oral health, but need more education and motivation to follow through with standards of care.

Americans value their own personal hygiene and make no exception when it comes to others. When meeting someone new, a person's smile was cited as the number-one characteristic that attracts positive attention (47 percent). Aspects of oral hygiene such as bad breath (89 percent) and yellow teeth (79 percent) took the lead for major first date turn-offs, outranking other physical traits like acne (52 percent) and baldness (21 percent).

Ninety-seven percent of respondents agree that oral hygiene is as important as or more important than physical health when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle and the overwhelming majority claim that they follow dental professional guidelines around brushing twice a day (90 percent). However less than half brush their teeth for the dental professional recommended two minutes, which may help to explain why 80 percent of Americans suffer from some form of gum disease, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Oral Care Love Affair: passion for brushing = better compliance

The highest level of oral care compliance was found in power toothbrush users who show strong preference for their brush. Seventy-seven percent of power users said that they really like or love their brush (compared to 45 percent of manual users) citing better perceived plaque removal, freshness of their breath, and reduced number of cavities - they are even 20 percent more compliant with their dental professionals' recommendations for flossing.

"Educating patients on how to best care for their oral health is an important part of my job as a dental professional and that includes daily tooth brushing," says Dr Richard Nagelberg, DDS, PC. "Once a patient leaves my office, it's up to them to put the techniques into practice. These findings demonstrate that using a toothbrush that you really love, such as a Sonicare, helps make brushing easier and can improve compliance, leading to better results."

Nearly three-quarters of power users say their toothbrush gives them superior oral health to a manual toothbrush and they would never go back. In contrast, 85 percent of manual users would be willing to make the switch to a power toothbrush, especially if they received a recommendation from a dental professional or received it as a gift.

About Sonicare -Philips Sonicare toothbrushes are designed to provide a simple, effective way to maintain good oral health for a lifetime. Backed by more than 175 clinical studies, Sonicare is the #1 recommended power toothbrush by dental professionals in the U.S. Inspired by the sonic technology used in dental offices, it is proven to remove more plaque than a manual toothbrush and the advanced FlexCare+ improves gum health in just two weeks.

For more information on Philips Sonicare, please visit, and to see what other consumers are saying about their Sonicare, visit

Survey Methodology -The survey Oral Care Love Affair: Americans Open up About Their Oral Health was conducted via telephone during October 2010 by the Opinion Research Corporation among a nationally representative sample of 1,008 Americans ages 18 years and older. The margin of error for the base sample is +/- 3.1% at the 95 percent confidence level.

About Royal Philips Electronics -Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people's lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of "sense and simplicity". Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs more than 118,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of EUR 23 billion in 2009, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at

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