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New Survey Uncovers Dirty Little Secrets About America's Oral Care Habits

STAMFORD, Conn., Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Your toothbrush may be the ultimate plaque fighting tool, but it also harbors millions of bacteria. A new survey from Philips Sonicare and GfK Roper reveals that more than half (54 percent) of Americans would re-use their toothbrush after it fell on the bathroom floor, despite voting the bathroom as the room with the most bacteria in the house (57 percent). In addition, nine percent of men admitted to reusing their toothbrush after it fell into the toilet!

These dirty little secrets are not the only thing your toothbrush is hiding, according to the same survey, which shows that half of Americans would share their toothbrush with others, including a family member, spouse/partner or friend. What's more, one out of 20 males (five percent) would share it with a co-worker if needed!

"Patients who visit my practice are making an investment in their oral health, and there is no better way to protect that investment than good home care," said Dr. Bill Dorfman, the featured aesthetic dentist on ABC's show, "Extreme Makeover." "Good home care extends beyond just the toothbrush you use; it's also about how you safeguard your toothbrush from bacteria."

Now Americans can clean up their toothbrush hygiene. Philips Sonicare, the number-one power toothbrush brand recommended by dental professionals, is expanding its product portfolio to include a UV Sanitizer that kills up to 99 percent of certain bacteria on the brush head. Specially engineered UV Clean technology sanitizes power toothbrush heads in just 10 minutes, safeguarding against bacteria. The stand-alone unit works with Philips Sonicare brush heads as well as with other premium power toothbrush brands.

Along with its new, stand-alone UV Sanitizer, Philips Sonicare is also introducing FlexCare, its most advanced toothbrush ever and the only power toothbrush to come with an integrated UV Sanitizer charger base. FlexCare is clinically proven to remove more plaque than any other premium power toothbrush and features personalized care settings so users can select the brushing program that is best for them.

To expose the oral care secrets Americans are keeping, Philips Sonicare is bringing tooth brushing to the streets in major cities across the U.S., including San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas and Philadelphia. Fully functioning sinks will be popping up on busy streets throughout the cities where brushers will be demonstrating the proper use and benefits of the new Philips Sonicare FlexCare toothbrush.

Additional Insights from National Philips Sonicare Survey:

Communal Toothbrush?

-- Does the thought of sharing your toothbrush with another person make

you queasy?

-- Not so for more than four in 10 (44 percent) of Americans who

stated they would lend their toothbrush to their spouse, and eight

percent would share it with a friend!

Forget Rinsing

-- Hot water is not always the solution, especially when it comes to

sanitizing one's toothbrush. Research has suggested that even after

being rinsed visibly clean, toothbrushes can remain contaminated with

potentially harmful bacteria.(1)

-- 65 percent of those surveyed believe rinsing their toothbrush with

hot water will do the trick and kill the bacteria on their


Doctor Knows Best

-- Despite what the professionals ordered, Americans appear to be

speeding through their daily brushing regimen.

-- 32 percent of men and women admit to brushing their teeth less then

the full two minutes recommended by dental professionals, though 92

percent believe that the overall health of one's teeth, gums and

mouth could have an effect on overall physical health.

The Philips Sonicare brand is a leader in oral health care with more than 15 million users worldwide. It is the number-one power toothbrush brand recommended by U.S. dental professionals.

About Royal Philips Electronics

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG) (AEX: PHI) is a global leader in healthcare, lifestyle and technology, delivering products, services and solutions through the brand promise of "sense and simplicity." Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs approximately 124,300 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of EUR 27 billion in 2006, the company is a market leader in medical diagnostic imaging and patient monitoring systems, energy efficient lighting solutions, personal care and home appliances, as well as consumer electronics. News from Philips is located at

About the Data

The national consumer survey, conducted by GfK Roper polled a total of 1,006 adults ages 18 years and older in the United States. The random-sample survey was conducted via telephone from September 14-16, 2007.

(1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: Accessed September 20, 2007.

SOURCE Philips Sonicare
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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