National Dental Health Report: Generation White
Tuesday 6th September 2016, posted in News Archive
The results from a recent dental survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of Oasis Dental Care has shockingly revealed that people between the ages of 25-34 seem to care more about the appearance of their teeth, rather than how healthy they actually are!
The survey was conducted among 2,133 UK adults and discovered that one fifth of 25-43 year olds had whitened their teeth at home themselves. As well as this, nearly one quarter of the same age group has admitted to treating toothache with painkillers or a toothache kit at home until the pain subsides. When asked why they treated themselves at home, one third said it was because they thought it would be cheaper.
So it would seem that 25-34 year olds or ‘Generation White’ are prepared to whiten their teeth, but when it comes to looking after their teeth properly by seeing a dental professional, they’re hesitant.
A common misconception
Oasis Dentist and Head of Clinical Services, Eddie Coyle, had some words to say on this “Having whiter teeth doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have great oral hygiene. In fact, it’s a common misconception that in your 20s and 30s you’re in the prime of health, and won’t suffer as many oral problems as those older than you. However, this is the time when you need to really invest in your oral hygiene - focusing beyond just how your teeth look. If people are resorting to taking painkillers until pain goes away or aren’t going to the dentist until it’s a real emergency, there could well be an underlying problem with the health of their gums or teeth that could have been addressed sooner by their dentist through having a regular check-up.”
Eddie continued: “Whilst whitening your teeth can be a great way to improve your smile, it’s important to remember that these products lighten the teeth using a bleaching agent, and there can be some risks involved when doing it at home. We always recommend that people consult with their dentist before starting any whitening treatments to check that their teeth and gums are healthy and it’s safe to proceed with a treatment. If someone starts treatment without addressing underlying problems such as gum disease, this can lead to further complications and additional treatments being required. A trip to the dentist doesn’t have to be expensive; there are many options these days – for example, Oasis Dental Care use a simplified pricing structure where patients can easily find our prices in our practices and also on our website avoiding any confusion about what they will be charged, whether they’re an NHS or private patient.”
Why put it off?
All of this begs the question why are 25-43 year olds putting off their oral health? Could it be down to the convenience of getting an appointment at a time that suits them? It would seem so. Only 32% of 25-34 year olds thought they could get an appointment quickly and conveniently.
Commenting on this Eddie said: “This figure is quite telling as it suggests that the busy lives of this age group and pressures of modern life are preventing them from getting the appointment they need, whereas older generations have much more flexibility. We believe that the dental industry needs to wake up to the fact that these days people have very demanding lives and need extend their opening hours to cater for everyone so that they can get the treatment they need, quickly, efficiently and at a convenient time to them. This is something that we’re doing already with extended opening hours across our 300 practices, but we would love to see the rest of the industry follow suit.”
Whilst 58% of 25-34 year olds said that they had visited the dentist in the last year, just over one quarter (27%) admitted to not visiting the dentist for the last three years or more, with 5% of these saying that they hadn’t been for ten years.
Health is Wealth
Eddie added: “No matter what their age, we recommend that patients visit their dentist at least every six months to two years to ensure that they’re on top of their oral hygiene, and it’s surprising that over a quarter of this age group haven’t visited the dentist for three years or more. If problems are caught early it can make a big difference for the long-term, and can help keep costs to a minimum. It’s important to remember that it’s not just about how your smile looks, but also how healthy your teeth and gums actually are.”
It’s not rocket science! No matter what age you are, regular check-ups with your Oasis dentist are key to maintaining excellent oral health. At Oasis Dental Care we’re on a mission to bring quality and affordable dentistry to everyone in the UK. Find your local Oasis Dental Care clinic today and let us help you on the road to exceptional oral health.