Eight in 10 dentists believe women look after their teeth better than men, according to a new poll.
A study of 100 dentists and 4,064 members of the public also found that one in 10 (8%) people never visit the dentist.
One in five (19%) of all the people surveyed admitted they did not have a dentist, with 12% of these saying it was because they could not access one on the NHS.
A total of 43% felt a visit to the dentist was too expensive while 28% said being scared was a factor.
The survey was carried out by Orbit Complete in association with the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF).
Among dentists questioned, 95% agreed that women were more likely to visit the dentist regularly while one in five (19%) people only go if it is an emergency.
Almost half (47%) of people surveyed had spent money on cosmetic dentistry, including white fillings, with the average spend being £302. Among Londoners, this figure was 52%.
Nigel Carter, chief executive of the BDHF, said: ‘Since the last dental census of this size took place nearly a decade ago, consumers are recognising that dental health is important, however it is still too low down on the health agenda, and in particular there is a level of ignorance about how oral health can be linked to overall health.’