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Dental Care Habits of Americans Revealed in Honor of World Oral Health Day

New study uncovers patient preferences when it comes to care, communication and billing from dental care providers

Published on March 22, 2020

Weave, the complete business toolbox for service-based businesses and one of the fastest-growing companies in tech, on March 20, 2020, announced new research detailing the dental habits and preferences of Americans to help bring attention to World Oral Health Day.

Weave commissioned an independent study of over 1,100 people to learn more about their dental care hygiene habits and their preferences for interacting with their dental care providers. The data shows that most patients prefer more “modern” dental practices–those who send both appointment reminders and payment requests via text messages. The study also reveals several darker data points illustrating the poor oral health habits of some respondents, based on laziness or forgetfulness, when it comes to good oral hygiene.

“Being a dentist is tough, not just because caring for teeth is a complex profession, but because most patients don’t like going to the dentist. Many people are fearful of dental visits because their poor oral hygiene habits almost always end in painful treatments,” said Jeff Lyman, Chief Product Officer at Weave. “Weave helps dental care providers create a less stressful experience for patients by simply making things easier. From automated appointment reminders to a receptionist knowing which patient is calling before they answer the phone and having their chart in front of them during the call, to accepting payments via text–Weave helps provide a customized experience for patients that alleviates some of the stress of dental care.”

Some key data points from the study include:

  • 41% of patients would forget to schedule a cleaning if they didn’t receive a reminder from their dentist.
  • More patients like to be reminded about dental appointments by text than by phone call or email.
  • 86% of patients say they will pay attention to a text from their dentist.
  • More people say bad breath is a dating dealbreaker than being broke.
  • Nearly 60% of people who avoid going to the dentist regret it.
  • 41% of patients would prefer to pay their dental bill via text but only 12% say their dentist accepts text payments.
  • Nearly 70% of patients would gladly leave an online review if their dentist sent them a link to do so.
  • 74% of respondents want someone else to tell them if they have bad breath but 77% definitely aren’t comfortable telling someone else they have bad breath.
  • 30% of people have had their day ruined because they walked around with something stuck in their teeth without knowing.
  • 23% of patients want more laughing gas but are embarrassed to ask.
  • 50% of people avoid smiling because they don’t like their teeth.
  • 53% of patients have gone over 3 years without getting their teeth checked.
  • Top moments ruined by food stuck in teeth include job interviews, first dates, work presentations, having sex, family photos, wedding photos, and speaking in public.

To learn more about Weave’s complete business toolbox, including solutions for dental care providers, please visit

Staff Writer