Two new sets of research collectively reveal that less than half all adults have a proper oral healthcare routine – and that more people need dental treatment.
Just 31% of people use mouthwash and only 22% bother to floss, according to the Adult Dental Health Survey.
Meanwhile, the latest NHS Dental Statistics for England show that 29.5 million patients saw NHS dentists in the two years ended December 2011 – 1.3 million more than the baseline figure of the April 2006 dental contract.
Taken together, the two reports highlight a worrying trend with regard to tooth decay and gum disease.
‘Sadly, it is quite obvious from the Adult Dental Health Survey that many people are simply not taking care of their teeth properly,’ said a spokesperson for Eludril and Elgydium toothpaste.
‘Unfortunately that lack of care is resulting in more people having to visit the dentist for treatment.
‘Many people will be suffering from tooth decay and some will also have gum disease symptoms which – if left untreated – can also have serious consequences for the body’s overall health.’
Also, the problem may be more serious than the data initially suggests. The NHS Dental Statistics cover only high street dentists and vocational dental practitioners – they exclude treatments carried out privately or in hospitals.
There may be significant numbers of people who have lost their NHS dentists and not had proper checkups or treatment since April 2006 when the new contract was introduced, warns the British Dental Health Foundation.
The oral health experts at Eludril and Elgydium believe that this is particularly worrying given how badly many people care for their teeth.
Experts at Eludril and Elgydium point to the findings in the Adult Dental Health Survey: two in three adults have visible plaque – a prelude to the signs of gum disease – and one in three children start school with obvious dental decay.