Almost one third of adults in the UK have never visited a dental hygienist, new research from Tepe has shown.
The main reason given (49%) was that patients feel visiting the dentist regularly was enough to look after their teeth.
Around a third (36%) said that visiting the dental hygienist was just too expensive, that’s despite only 14% of respondents rating their oral hygiene as excellent.
‘These results show that although people feel that their smile is very important to their image, a large proportion of UK adults are prioritising beauty treatments above oral care,’ Elaine Tilling, head of clinical education at Tepe UK, said.
‘Although beauty treatments, such as manicures, haircuts and spray tans offer a “quick fix”, regular visits to the dental hygienist can help ensure a long-term healthy smile.
‘Many people don’t realise that standard brushing alone only cleans 60% of the tooth’s surface.
‘The dental hygienist can recommend quick and easy tips, to clean all the surfaces of the teeth.’
Of those that go to the hygienist, less than a quarter (24%) visit twice a year.
Men are less likely to visit the hygienist than women, with 34% of men never having visited the dental hygienist compared with 28% of women.
People in the south west of England and the East Midlands are also less likely to visit the hygienist, with 37% of the respondents from these areas never having visited.