Fourteen facts you need to know about oral health

shutterstock_236562559The British Dental Health Foundation has released a few interesting facts about oral health in Britain.

Below are 14 facts the BDHF has put together to make people more aware of their oral health.

1. 74% of all British adults have had a tooth removed

That works out to more than 60 million adults who have lost a tooth.

This can be changed with regular visits to the dentist.

2. 27% of people only visit their dentist when they have a problem

More than half of us have admitted that we wished we had care for our teeth better and prevention is almost always better than cure, this is certainly the case when it comes to teeth. 

3. Only half of Brits are happy with their smile

A survey from the British Dental Health Foundation found that discoloured or crooked teeth are the biggest reasons people are unhappy with their smiles.

What’s more a third of people identified a good smile as the most important attribute when it comes to attractiveness.

4. One in 10 would cut oral care products from their shopping list for financial reasons

Keeping your smile maintained is relatively cheap with a tube of fluoride toothpaste costing as little as £1 and a toothbrush can be even cheaper.

5. A third of children are starting school with visible signs of tooth decay

If something is not done, this figure will continue.

It is also worth noting that an estimated quarter of a million primary school children have developed tooth decay.

6. ‘Healthy’ alternatives not always being what they appear

Some products that market themselves as healthy can in fact be as damaging to our teeth as sugar filled soft drinks.

Some fruit juices currently on the market, while being a good option for getting your five fruit and veg, have been shown to contain more sugar than the same size can of some fizzy drinks.

7. Brits do not have the worst teeth globally

Research shows that a whopping 92% of American adults show signs of tooth decay compared to 28% in England.

8. Two thirds of people think an employer would overlook them for a promotion if they have poor oral health

When keeping your mouth healthy to get ahead at work means taking two minutes twice a day to brush your teeth, it is not much when you consider it really.

Four minutes or a prolonged period of tooth problems, dental work and pain and being overlooked at work, the choice is pretty simple.

9. 14% of people are frightened to visit the dentist

Visiting the dentist ranked top in a poll on what make people nervous, this was more popular than people who found heights scary and nearly 10 times as many people are nervous of visiting their dentist compared to their doctor.

10. The UK tooth whitening market worth an estimated £40 million

Taking its lead from the US, the UK tooth whitening industry has soared in recent years and more and more people desire the ‘perfect smile’.

The effects of these procedures can be very effective but in the wrong hands are potentially harmful.

11. Only qualified professionals are allowed to carry out tooth whitening, by law!

It is illegal for anyone other than a regulated dental professional to perform tooth whitening.

A professional will discuss what treatment is appropriate and develop a treatment plan to give a desired result.

A professional will also be able to check for other, more serious, conditions.

12. Almost 2,000 people a year will die from mouth cancer

Cases of mouth cancer have increased by a third in the last decade yet awareness remains relatively low.

Anyone can be affected by mouth cancer and although they are more common in people over 40 and men, research has shown that mouth cancer is becoming more common in younger patients and in women.

Mouth Cancer Action Month is in November.

13. Many of these deaths can be prevented if the cancer is caught early

Mouth cancer appears in many different forms and affects all parts of the mouth.

It can appear as a painless mouth ulcer that does not heal normally or a white or red patch in the mouth.

Mouth cancer can often be spotted in its early stages by dentists during a thorough mouth examination and if mouth cancer is recognised early, then the chances of a cure are good.

14. Women smile more than men

In general women do actually smile more than men with studies showing this starts from when they are babies.

As the old adage is true, it’s easier to smile than frown.

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