14 Shocking things you need to know about dental health.

We all know that brushing our teeth twice a day and regular visits to our dentists are the key to keeping our teeth healthy. While this is true, there are many other facets about our mouths that may remain a mystery. That’s why the British Dental Health Foundation wanted to share a few of the interesting, and sometimes shocking things, we should know about dental health which we may not.

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, it’s certainly keeping the dentists in business but just what happens to all of those removed teeth? This needs to and can be changed by regular visits to the dentist, but….

A woman brushing her teeth2. 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, or so the idiom goes, this is certainly the case when it comes to teeth. There is just no need for this unnecessary suffering especially when….

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 by far 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. So there really can be no reason that….

4. One in ten 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, these should not be choices that people make, these should be necessities considering….

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

An alarming figure and something that if something is not done will continue. It is also worth noting that an estimated quarter of a million primary school children have developed tooth decay. Some of this can be put down to….

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

Some products which 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 Sprite. But it’s not all bad news….

A kid holding a cup with a toothbrush7. Brits do not actually have the worst teeth globally

Interestingly enough, as renowned the Americans are for criticising the British and slapping us with the horrible mouth-hygiene joke research shows that a whopping 92 per cent of American adults2 show signs of tooth decay compared to 28 per cent in England. Maybe they should review their oral health routine as….

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 really. That is unless you are part of the….

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 founds heights scary and nearly ten times as many people are nervous of visiting their dentist compared to their doctor. But is seems this may depend on what we visit them for with….

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; therefore it is worth knowing….

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. You may see a sign up in your salon offering treatment but be warned this may lead to all kinds of trouble and you are putting yourself at risk. A professional will discuss with you what treatment is appropriate and develop your treatment plan to give you your desired result. A professional will also be able to check for other, more serious, conditions as….

Dental treatment on a patient12. Almost two thousand 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 and it is important to have the necessary knowledge as….

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 your dentist during a thorough mouth examination and if mouth cancer is recognised early, then the chances of a cure are good. So it’s not all bad news especially considering….

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. So men, is it something women know that you don’t or do men just need to cheer up a bit. As the old adage is true, it’s easier to smile than frown.


Oral Health Foundation

The Oral Health Foundation is a charity that works to improve oral health by providing education, advice, and support to millions of people every year, changing lives for the better. Our mission is to support others in achieving a healthier life through better oral health. Our vision is to live in a world where everybody has a healthy mouth and is free of dental disease. Poor oral health can have a harmful and devastating effect on a person’s life – both for their physical health and mental wellbeing. We are determined to help more people achieve good oral health and have a better quality of life. Sadly, oral disease remains common, across the life course. We are taking the challenge to reduce the harm caused by poor oral health and the responsibility to create a healthier future for everybody. We do this because we believe that everybody deserves to have good oral health. To make sure this happens, by 2024, we will:

    • Work towards decreasing the prevalence of oral disease across communities.
    • Increase the number of people accessing our help and information services.
    • Diversify our range of resources to reach more communities.
    • Successfully campaign for policies which help people achieve healthier lives.
    • Generate new and nurture existing income streams that enable us to deliver our charitable objectives.

We are going to achieve success by:

    • Running awareness campaigns like National Smile Month and Mouth Cancer Action Month.
    • Giving anybody who needs it direct support through our Dental Helpline.
    • Influencing policy on subjects like dental access, sugar, and tobacco.
    • Providing consumer advice on oral health care products and working alongside manufacturers to make sure products do what they claim to do.
    • Creating resources and information that communicates positive oral health messages.
    • Working alongside others who share our passion for health and wellbeing.

To find out more about us, visit our website at https://www.dentalhealth.org/

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