ONE in five Brits admit they only brush their teeth once a day – and more than a quarter never floss.
A survey of 2,000 adults found three in 10 let their oral maintenance slide during Britain’s various periods of lockdown – but three quarters of these are confident they’ll be back to normal soon.
And 36 per cent said a lack of routine meant they forgot to brush as regularly as they should.
A further 28 per cent blamed it on having other health-related issues on their mind, so their oral health was not a priority.
Nearly a quarter have not visited a dentist in the last year – and one in 20 don’t normally change their toothbrush more often than every six months.
It also emerged that 22 per cent have even gone for more than three days without brushing at all.
Dr Alex George, who is working with Colgate Total for its #HappyHabits campaign, said: “Your mouth is a gateway to your overall health.
"Issues such as gum problems have been linked with health issues including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and even dementia, which is why it’s so important to include looking after your mouth as part of a wider health routine.”
The study also found almost three in 10 respondents (28 per cent) were unaware that oral conditions can lead to wider health complications.
But after learning this, a quarter of these adults polled via OnePoll admit they would stop seeing oral maintenance as a ‘chore’ and more an important step in their overall healthcare routine.
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On average, Brits claim to brush their teeth for 93 seconds each time – but a fifth don’t make it as long as a minute.
The findings come after research of 45 dentists by Colgate Total as part of its Dentist Advisory Network also found 82 per cent claimed their patients’ oral health decreased during the pandemic.
And all dentists surveyed reported that they had seen an increase in common oral health issues across the board including toothache, tooth abscess, sensitivity, severe plaque build-up, gum disease and tooth decay.
London-based dentist Dr Monik Vasant said: “The social factors surrounding the pandemic such as lockdown and homeworking have led to a decline in many people’s oral health.
“People don’t realise that not brushing your teeth twice a day, even just for two weeks, can result in a build-up in plaque that can have a lasting impact and we’re seeing this play out with the increase of patients presenting with gum disease and tooth decay.
“To get back on track with your oral health we’re encouraging people to simply brush twice a day for 2 minutes, change your brush or brush head every three months and clean in between your teeth.
"Also, use a fluoride toothpaste with antibacterial ingredients that looks after the whole mouth, not just the teeth.”
“A healthy body starts with a healthy mouth and growing understanding about this is essential to encourage a return to better oral hygiene routines.
"Good oral health begins at home, not in the dentist’s chair.”
Watch Dr Alex George chat to Dr Monik Vasant here.
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