Dental disaster! 1 in 10 Americans skip brushing before going to bed

NEW YORK — Plenty of people like a midnight snack, but a new survey finds few people feel the need to brush all that food out of their teeth afterwards!

A poll on bedtime habits, commissioned by Wake Up Sleepy Head, finds eating is becoming a popular way of preventing waking up in the middle of the night. It’s even sparked a viral TikTok video advocating for a midnight snack to prevent restless nights in bed.

However, that same survey found one in 10 Americans don’t brush their teeth before going to sleep! Another one in 10 Americans only brush at night twice to four times a week. Meanwhile, nearly two in three (63%) say they do brush every night before going to sleep.

Are dentist offices still empty?

Speaking of teeth, a separate survey, commissioned by Byte, finds one in three Americans are long overdue for a dental checkup. In fact, a third of Americans have not seen their dentist since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic — that’s more than two years!

When you consider that dental experts recommend people of all ages go for a checkup every six to 12 months, that’s almost five missed dentist appointments.

While fears of virus transmission in the dentist’s chair may still be keeping some people away, the poll finds 59 percent say the cost of treatment is their biggest barrier now. One in three are also paying out of pocket because they have no dental insurance.

Overall, 61 percent of Americans admit they intentionally delay their appointments to see the dentist. That may be because two in five people say they get dental anxiety. Seven in 10 say they simply don’t like going to the dentist and 52 percent claim they’ve had a bad experience at the dentist in the past.

Dentists in Las Vegas might be struggling for business

The Byte survey also looked at the biggest procrastinators across the United States and found that people in Las Vegas put off going to the dentist more than anyone else. Miami, Atlanta, Arlington, and Minneapolis round out the top five cities with the most dental procrastinators.

Interestingly, New York may be “the city that never sleeps” because everyone is constantly at the dentist! New York City came in last on the list of 50 cities with the most dental procrastinators. Los Angeles (49th), Chicago (48th), Philadelphia (47th), and San Diego (46th) had the fewest number of Americans who put off a trip to have their teeth cleaned and examined.