UK dentists and hygienists have revealed that people who snack throughout the day are a key group at risk of developing oral health problems.
In a recent survey, 42% of dentists and hygienists across the UK were asked to examine current oral health understanding and behaviour.
They were polled alongside 1,000 consumers by sugarfree gum brand Extra and the majority (84%) believe that awareness of the oral healthcare issues surrounding ‘grazing’ is low.
Snacking, rather than eating three meals a day, prevents the mouth’s pH levels from stabilising and the acid attacks caused by food are more frequent and prolonged.
The survey also identified office workers as the worst culprits for snacking at their desks, with 40% admitting to snacking throughout the day.
People who drink wine or mixed long drinks three or more times a week (51%) and coffee shop regulars (23%) were also high risk categories, suggesting how modern work and lifestyle trends are contributing to poor oral health habits.
The majority (79%) of dental professionals questioned believed that most patients are failing to follow even the simplest oral care recommendations – such as brushing for two minutes twice a day.
Dentists’ concerns are substantiated by the consumer research, which revealed that a fifth of office based employees (21%) regularly miss brushing their teeth in their rush to get to work.
And when they do brush a massive 88% fail to do so for the recommended two minutes.
Louisa Rowntree, Wrigley Oral Healthcare programme manager, said: ‘These research findings demonstrate that consumers simply don’t understand that their teeth come under constant attack and the importance of committing to a daily oral care routine. Dental professionals recognise that sugarfree gum is a vital addition to brushing twice a day especially when consumers are away from home.
‘At Wrigley we continue to significantly invest in Extra, the UK’s number one sugarfree gum brand, with the launch of a new 46-pellet bottle. Its convenient size and shape means that it can be carried around in a handbag, placed in the car or simply placed on a desk in the office, and our aim is always to communicate the benefits of chewing sugarfree gum after eating and drinking.’
The new handy bottle format has also been proven to drive chewing frequency – a study in the US and China revealed that the more gum people carry on them then the more they chew.
The benefits of chewing sugarfree gum are well documented and it is a clinically proven way to look after oral health whilst ‘on the go’.
The science behind chewing is simple – chewing sugarfree gum after eating and drinking stimulates the flow of saliva which washes away food debris, helps neutralise damaging plaque acids and remineralise tooth enamel. The proven benefits of chewing sugarfree gum provide a strong reason to recommend chewing sugarfree gum to patients.
For more information about the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Programme please visit the dedicated site for dental professionals www.wrigleyoralhealthcare.co.uk.