These days there is a lot of emphasis on wellbeing and balance since being healthy and fit have suddenly become a symbol of social status, however there is one area that is sure to be always dismissed – oral health.
The vast majority of the population in Britain is well educated and is usually also very proud to show off their pearly whites. Unfortunately that does not necessarily translate into actually internalizing and taking constructive steps in their personal daily lives to achieve or maintain a good standard of oral health. The truth is that there is inconsistency between the theoretic knowledge and good oral health practices.
By the way, a global survey performed on behalf of the FDI World Dental Federation, allocated the UK the 3rd place in terms of awareness about what good oral health really involves.
According to the Centre for Dentistry only 1 in 10 UK adults has excellent oral health and part of the problem is fear! Never mind the bulldog spirit… a study completed by the Centre for Dentistry exposed that 34% of Brits fear the dentist, and that does not even include the kids expense or the final bill!
As for the British Dental Association, it revealed that although 82% of British people admit that visiting a dentist at least once a year is a good habit to follow, just a mere 66% really do.
In addition, while 78% know they must cut down on sugar consumption only 53% of Brits say they actually avoid sugar! Consequently 1/3 suffer from tooth decay due to sugar consumption. Roughly 64% of Brits confess to brushing for 2 minutes twice a day and only 64% of Brits see a dentist every year.
However for some, the check-up costs for the dentist are simply prohibitive! If certain demographics meet the welfare benefits system criteria, then it is quite easy and free to get oral health treatments.
On the opposite end, if one works part or full-time then the costs can weigh substantially. That is why UK residents often prefer to make the most of budget flights and invest their time, money and efforts in flying abroad as health tourists!
Bearing in mind that brushing and flossing are vital to good oral health, in the UK roughly 27% of British adults admit they don’t brush their teeth twice a day…shocking stuff!
On a gender basis, 77% of women brush at least twice a day while only 69% of men tend to do so. Furthermore, according to the Consumer Oral Health Survey, 33% of British adults admit never flossing at all!
The fact remains that both flossing and brushing are essential for daily oral health care as preventative measures for gum disease and tooth decay.
People’s diet habits has been improving dramatically in the last decades but ironically only 41% of Brits will seek advice on poor oral health. As depressing as it may seem, these results do not surprise me at all.
In fact they only confirm my long time held suspicions. You see, in all the years that I spent as an office worker in the public, private and charity sectors surrounded by small and big team members from all sort of backgrounds, I was made to feel like I was the only staff member who actually bothered to brush the teeth after having a meal.
The sight of me in the toilets caring for my pearly whites always made others feel puzzled, uncomfortable, shocked and worse, guilty. Others even laughed at me for doing so saying that I was just wasting my time. Thankfully I never allowed that brazen and proud display of ignorance to affect my personal hygiene habits.
As for the kids in the UK, 58.7% of them visited the dentist. The bad news is that 15,000 children had tooth extractions last year, with nearly 13,000 involving tooth decay! Ouch!!!
In conclusion, if after reading this long post and learning about the real facts you still decide to ignore your oral health, you will only be committing self-harm.