We’re all encouraged by health professionals to make regular visits to the dentist. If people go to see a cosmetic dentist in Harley Street, the chances are they will be an adult, but does this mean they take better care of their teeth than kids? The Oral Health Foundation has collected lots of information and interesting facts.
Visiting the dentist
Around 60% of kids visit the dentist each year and the figure is about the same for the adults with 61% of adults in England saying they make regular visits to the dentist. Interestingly, in Wales and Scotland the statistics are higher at 69%. Clearly there is room for improvement, but note that in 1978 it was just 39% and 44% for adults in Wales and England respectively.
Whose teeth are in the best state?
While a third of children just starting at school have some tooth decay 31% of adults also have tooth decay, so no winners there. Improvements have been made over the last 30 years or so. Back in 1973 less than 1 in 10 children aged 12 had no visible signs of dental decay compared to two in three children today. If you look at the adult population, over four fifths have at least one filling. The Office of National Statistics shows that 14% of 8 year olds have signs of decay in their teeth and 1 in 100 have already lost a tooth from decay.
Who cleans their teeth the most?
Research by Aquafresh in 2015 showed that brushing teeth is a cause of regular arguments between kids and their parents and many parents admit they know their kids lie about brushing their teeth. As a result some parents dread dentist visits as they feel embarrassed about their child’s teeth and feel judged it the child has to have a filling. Meanwhile, 1 in 4 adults are prepared to admit they don’t brush their teeth twice a day and 1 in 10 say they forget to brush their teeth. This is a concern as brushing only once a day increases the chance of developing tooth decay by 33%.
The result? Both adults and kids could do better!