Flossing is the most skipped routine, eating healthy – the most common health resolution 

At the end of last year, we explored the oral health status and habits of 376 people in the dedicated survey “Oral Health Summary 2019” on DentaVox. 

Respondents report rather good oral health, hygiene and lifestyle habits with the last marking improvement in 50% of the cases. But what are the actual numbers behind these self-reported good results? 

Nearly half of survey participants (48%) define flossing as the routine practice they most often skip. The largest part of respondents changed their toothbrush only two times, while the expert recommendation is a new toothbrush (head) to be used every three months. On the positive side, 70% of respondents visited a dentist at least once and 40% of them went to two check-ups in 2019. 

Not surprisingly, “I will eat healthy” is the most popular new year’s resolution, followed by the self-promise of doing sports regularly. 

See the infographic and the analysis below it to find out: 

oral health annual survey

Download Infographic (.pdf) 


How did people evaluate their overall oral health status?

By their own estimations, 35% of respondents enjoyed good oral health throughout the last year. The majority of them define their oral health, oral hygiene, and lifestyle habits as average, good or excellent. Nearly one-third, though, report poor or fair status. 

Compared to the year before, half of the respondents claim their habits improved in 2019. As users of DentaVox generally report higher awareness of oral health topics just due to using the survey website, these results might be in correlation with their regular user activity.


What preventive measures did they practice?

🏠 At home: Almost half of the respondents brushed their teeth for 2 to 5 minutes, which is exactly within the recommended time frame. Brushing for less than this is proven ineffective while brushing more than 5 minutes might harm the enamel

Flossing was the most often skipped routine practice, compared to brushing and using mouthwash. None of the other practices, though, can help people successfully clean the space between teeth. 

The largest group of respondents changed their toothbrush (head) only two times in 2019. The recommended number of changes is four, i.e. every three months, and there are a few simple reasons why. Worn bristles don’t clean properly and can damage gums. Moreover, a toothbrush or a head which is used for more than three months certainly “stores” too many germs. 

🏥 At the dentist: We notice a good awareness level on the importance of regular dental visits. 72% of survey participants visited a dentist at least once last year. Two check-ups per year were ticked-out of the oral health list by 40% of them and almost the same percentage went for one tooth cleaning procedure. 


Did they treat their existing dental problems and how soon? 

The vast majority of survey participants (70%) visited a dentist mostly for planned and not for emergency treatments. Nearly half of them went to a dental office 2-14 days after detecting an issue. 

Both findings indicate conscious handling of dental issues. However, one-third of respondents visited a dentist for a treatment only once which leads us to the thought that probably not all dental problems have been solved last year. 


What are the highlights of dentist-patient relationships?

Diving into the depths of dentist-patient relationships, we should note that 80% of survey participants remained loyal to their regular dentist. 

Even long-term relations, though, don’t seem to result in online reviews, as 75% didn’t write one for the entire year of 2019. If asked to rate their dentist, 53% of respondents would give them a 5-star rating. This fact alone inevitably confirms the many untapped opportunities that dentists miss when they don’t ask patients for online feedback often enough  (here are five ideas on how to change this). Reviews not only boost dentists’ online presence but also give valuable insights on the matters that could be improved on the way to excellent patient service. 


What are the top 5 new year’s resolutions? 

We cannot publish annual highlights without taking a sneak-peek into the next year’s resolutions, can we? Not surprisingly, “I will eat healthy” is the most popular new year’s resolution, followed by the self-promise of doing sports regularly. Going for routine dental check-ups and treating all dental problems come next while reducing stress levels seems to be the least common intention for 2020. 


Curious to see more oral health statistics for 2019?



Stats source: DentaVox, Oral Health Summary 2019
Base: 376 respondents (global sample)
Period: 29/12/2019 – 17/02/2020