The survey, which was released in line with National Smile Month (May 16 – June 16) and commissioned by its campaign sponsors Wrigley’s Orbit Complete, Oral–B, and Listerine surveyed more than 1,000 members of the public from ten regions throughout Ireland and the UK.
It found that Dubliners admitted to flossing more than anyone else in the UK, with positive responses five times higher than London, Edinburgh and Belfast.
Toothpicks are also more popular in Dublin than anywhere else in the British Isles, with scores on average three times higher.
Chief Executive of the International Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter said: “Although Dublin came top of the charts for flossers, the survey has flagged up that only five percent of them floss. This figure, along with the dramatically lower scores of the UK, needs to rapidly improve Flossing or using an interdental brush is a vital part of a good oral health routine, removing food particles from between the teeth and plaque from against gumline. It should be done once–a–day before brushing.
“It is very important to be gentle, even when using proper dental floss, as jerking or snapping the floss into the gums can damage the gum tissue.”
“The best things to remove food from between the teeth with are the interdental brushes or wood sticks, shaped particularly for this purpose.
Although, it is vital to remember that cocktail sticks, which three percent of the population of Dublin use to pick their teeth, are not an adequate replacement as they are much too hard and sharp and should really be avoided.
The survey also found that exactly twice as many women floss in Dublin than men while almost twice as many men use toothpicks than women.
The Foundation prides itself on giving out quality oral health information to the public so if you’re worried about the state of your smile and want to know just how to improve it you can contact the National Dental Helpline on 00 44 0845 063 1188.
The annual survey aims to investigate the dental habits and practices of those living in the UK, in order to address the levels of awareness and misconceptions there are about oral health.
Further findings from the study will be released throughout National Smile Month on the Foundation’s website at www.dentalhealth.org.
The Foundation’s three key messages throughout this year’s National Smile Month campaign of ‘Teeth 4 Life’ are to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes using fluoride toothpaste, cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks and visit your dentist regularly as often as they recommend provide a firm base for a lifetime of good oral health.
For further information and regional stats of the survey results please contact the Foundation’s Press Office on 01788 539792 or by emailing [email protected]
Members of the public can contact the Dental Helpline for free and impartial expert advice on 00 44 0845 063 1188, Monday to Friday, or by emailing [email protected]
The Foundation’s shop can be accessed at www.dentalhealth.org.uk/shop/browse.php. For educational resources or campaign products contact our sales team on 00 44 01788 539 793.
The Foundation’s website can be found at www.dentalhealth.org.
National Smile Month 2010 takes places from May 16 – June 16. More information can be found at www.smilemonth.org.
The International Dental Health Foundation is an independent charity dedicated to improving the public’s oral health practice. It raises awareness of key issues such as mouth cancer through its annual Mouth Cancer Action Month campaign, and in alliance with its global arm, the International Dental Health Foundation, it runs the educational National Smile Month campaign.