LONDON — One in five people admit they skip brushing their teeth at least once per week, a new survey reveals. The major oral health study, covering all topics from brushing to oral hygiene knowledge, also reveals that 41 percent brush their teeth for less than a minute each day.
While 18 percent admit to spending less time tending to their gnashers because they’re running late for work, another 37 percent confess they often miss cleaning their teeth before bedtime.
Additionally, one in four people say they would be embarrassed by the state of their mouths if they went for a check-up, with 12 percent going to the dentist less than once a year. More than one in 10 (13%) have lied to others about how frequently they floss, and nine percent have fibbed about how often they visit the dentist.
“There’s a lot going on in your mouth that you don’t think about,” a spokesperson from Sensodyne, which commissioned the research to highlight the importance of looking after gums as well as sensitive teeth, in a statement.
“Aside from whether you have sensitive teeth or not, considering the health of your gums is vitally important, including reaching difficult areas in between your teeth and along the gum line,” the spokesperson continues. “Often, out of sight can be out of mind, but in the case of your oral health, it’s critical to keep it at the forefront of your thoughts.”
Of those who dodge the dentist, nearly two in five (39%) admit they simply don’t like visiting them, while 31 percent are not currently registered with a dental professional’s office in their area. Around one in six (16%) have put off going to the dentist because they worry about what they might find out.
Meanwhile, 11 percent just don’t want to get any work done, such as fillings or something even more invasive, according to the OnePoll survey.
It also emerged that 11 percent rarely or never consider the health of their gums, and as many as 60 percent simply presume that by brushing their teeth, they are naturally also looking after their gum health. As a result, one in four say they have never been a fan of their own smile, and 21 percent tend to avoid showing their teeth when smiling in photos.
Exactly half of those surveyed believe they do a “decent” job in keeping their mouths healthy but admit there’s room for improvement. Also, 24 percent admit they should probably know more about oral hygiene, and 15 percent don’t know much about their gums.
“Healthy teeth and gums are something millions of people tend to take for granted,” the spokesperson for Sensodyne says. “That’s why it’s so important to keep on top of our oral care routine. By correctly brushing our teeth twice-daily we can help our teeth and gums stay healthy.”
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South West News Service writer Steve Richmond contributed to this report.