But very few will make oral health their priority despite its importance to all-round good health and success.
An estimated 30 million adults in the UK will be considering making a New Year Resolution for 2012 with many putting improved health as their number one priority. However, despite being fundamental to general well-being very few people consider improving oral health.
Giving up smoking, drinking less, losing weight, taking more exercise and reducing stress are some of the most popular ‘health’ resolutions and all regularly feature in the ‘Top Ten’ resolutions each year.
However, according to the British Dental Health Foundation, people who make a resolution to adopt a good oral health routine in 2012 will benefit from more than just improved oral health. Adopting good oral health can contribute to avoiding potentially serious health conditions such as diabetes, strokes and heart disease.
Dr Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said: “It is very surprising that so few people make improved oral health a New Year Resolution. Our research shows that only one in two people are happy with their teeth, with tooth loss and stained or yellow teeth of concern to many.
“The smile is also important to many other facets of life. Having the confidence to smile shapes our image and is hugely important to relationships. When it comes to attraction, surveys have shown that a smile is even more important than the face, eyes, dress sense, body shape, hair and height.”
More than half of adults in the UK suffer from tooth decay2, and around 19 in 20 people will suffer from gum disease at some point in their lives.
Both conditions can lead to serious dental problems despite being preventable. However, it is the wider medical conditions that can result from poor oral health that people should be aware of.
Dr Carter continued: “There is an increasing body of clinical evidence of the systemic links between poor oral health and some of the biggest causes of serious poor health and death in the UK. Gum disease may contribute to the furring of the arteries which can cause heart disease. People with gum disease are nearly twice as likely to develop diabetes. Even pregnant women who have gum disease may be seven times more likely to have a baby that is premature and with a low birth weight.
“A simple New Year Resolution of adopting a great oral health routine on 1 January 2012 can help prevent many of these issues – from bad breath to serious heart disease. To help, there are a number of things we advise.
“Brushing for two minutes twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste first thing in the morning and last thing at night, cutting down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks, and visiting your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend. Additionally, cleaning in between your teeth using interdental brushes or floss will help to form a great routine.”
2.For further information go to our Caring For Your Teeth ‘Tell Me About’ leaflet.