Over two thirds of Brits effectively stop cleaning their teeth for the rest of the year from today, as data shows that only 31% of us regularly floss.
That’s because according to oral care brand DenTek, toothbrushing alone only cleans around 60% of your teeth meaning that Brits who don’t floss are essentially only cleaning their teeth up until August 7th, which marks 60% of the year.
Even more worryingly, just under a third of Brits admit to only brushing their teeth once a day and only 68% of us are actually brushing for the recommended two minutes – meaning that the equivalent date Brits stop cleaning their teeth could be even earlier in the year!
And the last 18 months have likely only made things worse, with a number of dental experts reporting to DenTek that they’ve seen a big change in their patient’s dental hygiene as people struggle to stay motivated with their oral care routine due to the pandemic.
As part of their ‘Dental Industry In 2020’ report, DenTek asked a number of professionals what the one key piece of advice they would pass on to their patients during the pandemic would be and the majority of them stressed the importance of looking after your gums and regular flossing.
Dr Mihir Shah, principal dentist at Battersea Park Dental emphasised that up to 77% of tooth decay starts between the teeth. He explains that many of us are neglecting the tooth surfaces that are more susceptible and those who don’t floss are at a much higher risk of tooth decay or even irreversible gum disease.
As Jennifer Hudson, Senior Brand Managerfrom DenTek explains, a proper brushing and flossing routine is essential for good oral health and preventing everything from tooth loss to mouth cancer.
Jennifer says: “It’s worrying that such a high percentage of people admit to never flossing their teeth, you wouldn’t just clean60% of your body with soap in the shower or apply only 60% of your make up in the morning.The health of your teeth can play an extremely important role in your overall wellbeing, and a healthy smile is often one of the first things people will notice about you, so it really pays to invest in the health of your teeth with a proper oral care routine
“That means brushing twice a day for roughly two minutes and flossing at least once a day, as well as cleaning your tongue, which is a part many of us forget but can make a massive difference to our oral health. In fact, 90% of bad breath comes from poor tongue hygiene. And with a backlog of over 17 million dentist appointments and NHS waiting times as long as up to 2-3 years, there has never been a better time to start taking better care of your teeth.”
Best Practice for Pearly Whites
Brush twice a day but especially before bed! Many Brits admit to only brushing their teeth in the morning despite the NHS specifically recommending brushing before bed.
This is because failing to brush your teeth in the evening gives bacteria all night to feast on sugars from food and mouth acids while the body’s natural daytime saliva defences are down.
The NHS also recommends that you should brush your teeth for around two minutes using gentle, circular motions to remove plaque. Proper technique for brushing is important as some evidence suggests that improper brushing techniques can be almost as bad as not brushing at all!
Other tips for brushing include opting for a fluoride-based toothpaste as this helps to build a protective barrier for your teeth against bacteria. And to remember to clean your tongue every time you brush.
Lastly you should aim to floss at least once a day using either dental floss, floss picks or interdental brushes –DenTek even have a handy guide on how to floss including tips on how to use either a floss pick or interdental brushes for those that find regular floss uncomfortable.