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Bridging the Oral Care Knowledge Gap Among Hispanics

Posted on April 4, 2014

MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--U.S. Hispanics’ knowledge about oral health has improved somewhat since 2011 according to a re-fielded national survey led by the Hispanic Dental Association Foundation (HDAF) and sponsored by Procter & Gamble (P&G) brand Crest®. However, barriers to accessing dental care and awareness about key oral health issues continue to be among the challenges Hispanics are facing in America. These new findings from the re-fielded “Hispanics Open up about Oral Health Care” survey were presented today at the influential event, Hispanicize.

“This survey was originally issued in 2011 and we felt it was time to get a pulse check on our efforts, so, we re-issued five questions from our survey in partnership with Crest, to re-examine the barriers, misperceptions and attitudes U.S. Hispanics have about their oral health,” said Sarita Arteaga, DMD, MAGD and President of the HDAF. “The challenges U.S. Hispanics still face includes, achieving good oral health, having misperceptions about their personal oral health, and gaining access to oral health care.”

Improvements in U.S. Hispanic oral health

The survey found some improvements amongst U.S. Hispanics in their general oral health knowledge. Specifically:

-Only 21% of U.S. Hispanics currently are misinformed whether cavities will go away on their own if you brush regularly, which is a 30% decline since the 2011 survey1 (when 30% held this view)

-53% of U.S. Hispanics are misinformed if brushing is more important than flossing, an improvement from 68% in 20111

Barriers to better oral health still faced by U.S. Hispanics

When rating their personal oral health, and when responding to questions about specific oral health issues, the gaps between U.S. Hispanics and the General population still exist. Specifically:

-U.S. Hispanics still remain less likely to rate their overall oral health as “excellent” or “good”: 65% vs. 72% of the General population1

-One of the key barriers to better oral health for U.S. Hispanics still remains a lack of dental insurance: 48% vs. 39% among the General population1

-51% of U.S. Hispanics surveyed correctly understand that gingivitis will not go away on its own with brushing – still less than 67% recorded among the General population1

“Crest’s partnership with the HDAF continues to focus on identifying the oral health misperceptions among Hispanics in the U.S. in order to eventually provide solutions,” said R. Iván Lugo, DMD, MBA and P&G North America and Puerto Rico Region Manager for Professional and Scientific Relations Global Professional Oral Health Division. “As we continue to turn awareness into action, taking a quick pulse check on the state of Hispanic oral health helps to keep our plans moving in the right direction.”

In an effort to educate U.S. Hispanics about their oral health and meet their collective objectives, the HDAF and Crest have initiated several community and professional programs over the past several years including: roundtables with leaders in the dental industry, sessions on Capitol Hill with members of Congress and interactive consumer-facing events at cultural fairs in Hispanic-dominant regions. As an outcome of the re-issued survey, the HDAF and Crest have collaborated on infographics to demonstrate the knowledge gaps in an easy-to-digest way. These images will be shared in consulates in highly populated Hispanic areas to help bring additional awareness to understanding the importance of one’s oral health.

For more information on Crest’s latest products and offerings, please follow @CrestLatino. For more information on the survey, please visit www.HDASSOC.com.