British adults don’t have time to brush their teeth twice a day, a survey from the Oral Health Foundation shows.
One in five (22%) regularly miss brushing their teeth in the morning because they are running late.
And one in four (25%) skip brushing their teeth at night because they get home too late.
‘It would be easy to suggest these findings represent the demands of 21st century life,’ chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, said.
‘But there really is no defence for overlooking your health.
‘The health of your teeth plays an extremely important role in your overall wellbeing.
‘Additionally, your teeth help you to chew and digest food.
‘A healthy smile can be a great asset; and because of this, it makes sense to give your teeth the best care possible.’
Running out of toothpaste (12%), watching television (7%) and pre-occupied by a mobile (7%) were the other top excuses.
The poll also shows men are less likely to brush their teeth than women.
Men are more than twice as likely to blame partners for distracting them, and more likely to blame work commitments.
‘The first key to improving your oral health is to visit the dentist,’ Dr Ben Atkins, dentist and trustee of the Oral Health Foundation, said.
‘By doing this regularly, you can give your mouth a clean bill of health, as well as help prevent wider issues such as heart disease and diabetes.
‘The second habit we would like everybody to adopt is brushing your teeth with an electric toothbrush.
‘The final habit is following a healthy diet.’
Brushing teeth ‘essential everyday activity’
Only 73% of people brush their teeth twice a day or more and 33% claim they never floss.
That’s according to the latest Simplyhealth Consumer Oral Health Survey launched recently at an event in London.
Women care for their oral health more than men, with 77% of women brushing twice a day, compared with 69% of men.
‘With busy lifestyles, it’s tempting to skip brushing or flossing, or delay visits to the dentist,’ Dr Catherine Rutland, head of professional support services at Simplyhealth Professionals, said.
‘A good oral health routine is an essential everyday activity that helps to protect against tooth decay and gum disease.
‘Moreover, studies are increasingly finding links between oral health and common conditions.
‘So further education for dental patients in this area is certainly needed.
‘It’s important for everyone to start thinking about how their oral health might impact on their general wellbeing.
‘This is especially significant if you’ve been diagnosed with a serious health condition, or if you’re at high risk of developing one.’