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Hard Economic Times Affect Patients, Dentists - and the Tooth Fairy
Date:2/25/2009

Topline Findings from a Survey of More Than 300 Dentists

30,000+ Dentists Converge in Chicago February 27-March 1

CHICAGO, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In preparation for the Chicago Dental Society's 144th annual Midwinter Meeting, which will draw more than 30,000 dental professionals to Chicago this February, society members were asked about oral care tips, current trends, their personal dental habits, and more. More than 300 of the society's member dentists responded to the fall 2008 survey.

As we countdown to CDS's annual Midwinter Meeting, one of the largest displays of dental products in North America, here are the topline findings from the survey:

Does the Tooth Fairy account for inflation? More than half of dentists surveyed feel $1 is a fair amount for the tooth fairy to pay for a child's tooth -- and the same percentage of dentists felt the same way in 2003. However more than 16 percent suggested a bump in pay to $2, and a little more than 17 percent feel the tooth fairy should pony up $5 per tooth!

Dentists brush up and often. More than 30 percent of dentists surveyed brush more than three times a day. And half of dentists brush the recommended twice a day.

Floss friendly. More than 60 percent of dentists floss once a day. Only 11 percent of dentists surveyed floss more than twice a day and 22 percent floss less than daily.

Forecast for ABC-7's Tracy Butler: sunny skies and bright smiles. Of local Chicago TV weather personalities, ABC-7's Tracy Butler won "best smile" with nearly 35 percent of votes from surveyed dentists. FOX-32 Amy Freeze's smile came in second, with 28 percent of votes.

Dentists slowly warming up to the online world. 11 percent of dentists surveyed said they occasionally scan "review" websites such as Yelp.com and Angie's List to find out what patients say about their practice.

Hard times push patients to halt dental care. With the recent economic crisis pinching wallets, more than 60 percent of dentists surveyed report that their patients are putting off cosmetic procedures. More than half say their patients are putting off needed dental work. Visits for preventative dental care are also on the decline according to more than 40 percent of dentists.

Julia Roberts is still on the A-List. When patients are asked what they want their smile to look like, a majority of dentists report that Julia Roberts leads the pack for most requested celebrity smile. Men seek Brad Pitt's smile the most -- in 2006 Tom Cruise had that starring role. Other frequently requested famous smiles include Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, Tom Cruise and President Barack Obama.

Friend your dentist? Twenty percent of dentists surveyed used online networking sites, with Facebook as their top choice (15%). Other popular sites were LinkedIn (7%) and MySpace (4%).

Data was collected for the Chicago Dental Society's 144th annual Midwinter Meeting, which begins at McCormick Place in Chicago on February 26, 2009. The exhibit floor opens on February 27.


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SOURCE Chicago Dental Society
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