Desk grazing a risk to oral health

A growing trend for eating on the go is impacting on our oral health.

The new breed of grazers is putting their dental health at risk by failing to clean their teeth as frequently as they eat.

A survey reveals that 68% of Brits snack more than six times a day, as they spend longer hours chained to their desks.

A faster-paced work ethic, longer working hours and shorter lunch breaks means 25% of office workers find it more convenient to snack throughout the day than stick to the traditional three meal regime, with 62% admitting to eating on the go at least four times a week.

But the oral health regime is failing to keep up – and 65% of Brits admitting that despite snacking more throughout the day, their teeth cleaning routine hasn’t evolved to keep up.

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, says: When we are grabbing a bite to eat, it is easy to forget that it’s still just as important to clean our teeth as we would after eating a meal.’

Lawyers and bankers are the worst culprits, with 67% eating sporadically throughout the day but buck the national trend by consciously cleaning their teeth after every snack and drink.

For those working in marketing and media, 35% were seemingly unconcerned about keeping their teeth clean throughout the day.

Teachers are also skipping the dental health lessons with 68% admitting that, despite digging into their food up to six times a day, they only clean their teeth in the morning and evening.

It also seems wisdom does not always come with age, with 70% of over 55 year olds stating they are not concerned that their dental routine has deteriorated.

Marketing manager, Adrian Toomey, says: ‘As the snacking culture continues to rapidly grow, and our diets evolve to having smaller meals throughout the day, we need to make sure our oral health care habits are changing to reflect this. Chewing sugarfree gum is a great solution to oral care on the go.’

Dr Carter adds: ‘You can’t always use a toothbrush but chewing sugar free gum after a meal is a suitable alternative, stimulating the production of saliva which helps to neutralize plaque acids that may lead to tooth decay.’

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* Research was conducted by Opinion Matters in January 2011.

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