Better brush up guys, she's checking out your... oral health?

Majority of women say good oral health is one of the sexiest qualities, many may end relationship over issue

OAK BROOK, Illinois - June 1, 2016 - What happens in the bedroom may have a lot to do with what happens in the bathroom. A Delta Dental survey finds that three-quarters of the nation's women consider good oral health to be one of the sexiest qualities in a partner. If it's not up to par, their partner can count on fewer kisses and possibly even the end of the relationship.

Oral health matters more to women than men, the survey details:


  • 74% of women consider good oral health one of the sexiest qualities vs. 68% of men. (page 170)
  • 70% of women say they won't kiss someone they believe has poor oral health vs. 65% of men. (page 172)
  • With poor hygiene topping the list of reasons women say they'll break up with someone (women, 67% vs. men, 60%), 27% of women say they'll break up with someone who doesn't brush their teeth twice a day vs. 22% of men. (page 174)
  • Both sexes are near-equally as attracted to someone who smiles often: men, 73% vs. women, 72%. (page 186)
  • While hygiene is more important to women, a beautiful smile matters more to men, 72%, than women, 68%.(page 188)
  • Men want to make the time: 25% of men who say they have untreated oral health issues report they don't have the time to get to the dentist to have the issues addressed. (page 150)
  • Additionally, 40% of women say they'll end a relationship with someone who uses their toothbrush versus only 20% of men. In comparison, that's the same percentage of women who would break up someone for looking through their phone without permission.

"Good oral health and a great smile can make a difference in relationships and in people's overall lives," said Jennifer Elliott, vice president of marketing for Delta Dental Plans Association. "That's why Delta Dental encourages regular oral health care for better health and overall well-being."

Age matters when it comes to good oral health being one of the sexiest qualities, younger Baby Boomers (77%) and younger Gen Xers (74%) see near eye to eye on the matter.

Regionally, Northeasterners take oral health the most seriously when it comes to kissing: 72% won't kiss someone if they suspect poor oral health followed by the South (69%), the West (68%), and the Midwest (64%).

"Maintaining good oral health really comes down to the basics: brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss, and see your dentist regularly," advises Bill Kohn, DDS, Delta Dental Plans Association's vice president of dental science and policy. "Compared to finding a romantic connection, preventive oral health care is simple and painless."

About the Survey: The Adult Oral Health Survey was conducted between December 16, 2015 and January 14, 2016 among a nationally representative sample of 1,025 Americans 18+. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percent.