12 Oral Health Facts That May Surprise You

12 Oral Health Facts That May Surprise You

In hour of World Oral Health Day, we’ve pulled together some facts you may not be up to date with when it comes to your teeth. From the truth about flossing to the surprising fact about teeth whitening, read on to discover the 12 things you didn’t know about oral health...

1. Fewer Than 50% Of Brits Don’t Brush Their Teeth Twice A Day

The hidden damage from not brushing can eventually lead to plaque build-up, which causes your immune system to attack your gyms. This makes the gums pull away from the teeth, which can lead to tooth loss and prolonged inflammation has even been linked to heart disease and cancer. Brushing just once a day means you’re 33% more likely to develop tooth decay.

2. Spit, Don’t Rinse

You shouldn’t rinse your mouth after you’ve brushed your teeth as it can wash away the fluoride that helps to harden your teeth. If you struggle to not rinse, try using an alcohol-free mouthwash instead.

3. 42% Of Adults Use Just a Toothbrush and Toothpaste For Their Oral Care

However, flossing is also vital for oral health and many dentists agree it’s just as important as brushing in the fight against decay – there really is no other way to get to the 33% surface area of the tooth that brushing can’t reach. Experts advise moving the floss, held in a C-shape, away from the gum in an up-and-down motion.

4. Teeth Whitening Can Be Illegal

Be wary of getting your teeth whitened by a beauty therapist – unless the procedure is carried out by a dentist, it’s illegal. And steer clear of whitening kits you can buy online as many of them contain unsafe levels of hydrogen peroxide, which can cause burns or tooth loss. Teeth whitening is only considered safe – and legal – when carried out by a dentist.

5. 74% of British adults have had a tooth removed

That’s equivalent to more than 60m adults who’ve lost a tooth. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in those aged over 35.

6. An Electric Toothbrush Is A Must

Did you know an electric toothbrush can remove up to 70% more plaque than a manual toothbrush?  If you’re still using a traditional manual toothbrush, it’s time to move on.

7. Nearly A Third Of Adults Only Visit The Dentist When They Have A Problem

While you may not feel you need a check-up, visiting your dentist a couple of times a year is crucial to maintain a healthy mouth – leaving problems untreated could make them more difficult to treat in the future. However, the UK is one of the most likely nations in Europe to visit their dentist for a check-up, ranking second (72%) after only the Netherlands.

8. Brits Don’t Have Bad Teeth

Despite the myth, British adults don’t have the worst teeth. Research shows a whopping 92% of American adults show signs of tooth decay compared to just 28% of Brits. UK private spending on improving teeth is soaring – according to market research group Mintel, it reached nearly £2bn last year, up 27% since 2010.

9. Women Change Their Toothbrush Twice As Often As Men

On average, women change their toothbrush every 92 days while men keep theirs for 185 days. Experts say you should get a new toothbrush – or change your electric toothbrush head – every three months at a minimum.

10. 14% Of Adults Are Too Scared To Visit The Dentist

Visiting the dentist has ranked top in a poll on what makes people nervous – in comparison, just 8% of people are scared of heights.

11. Your Oral Health Is Unique

Each person’s set of teeth is unique, much like your fingerprints. Even identical twins don’t have exactly the same set of teeth and even your tongue print is unique.

12. 50% Of Us Brush Our Tongue When Brushing Our Teeth

And with good reason – brushing your tongue can help to remove unwanted bacteria and freshen breath.

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