People only brushing their teeth once a week, using household items like forks, shoelaces and drill bits to pick the teeth, toothbrush sharing and using old brushes were just some of the habits uncovered by the National Smile Month Survey 2007.
The survey, commissioned by the British Dental Health Foundation in association found a worrying trend of people making little effort to look after their teeth – and leaving themselves at risk of a wide variety of oral and general health problems.
Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the Foundation commented: “The number of people who don’t even brush once-a-day is eight times that of last year, while the number of people who can’t remember when they last changed their toothbrush is up by a similar amount.
“When you put that alongside the fact that people are using anything from drill bits and hammers to fish bones and toe nails to pick their teeth, then you can see that there is still a long way to go in improving oral healthcare in this country.
“Good oral healthcare is needed to prevent a wide range of conditions and, in particular, tooth decay and gum disease - which has been linked to heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, strokes and low birth weight babies.
Dental Survey Statistics 2007 versus 2006:
• 12% brush ‘a few times a week’ or ‘never’ – compared to 1.5% last year
• Only 30% say they brush for two minutes – compared to 47% last year
• 17% ‘can’t remember’ when they last changed their brush – opposed to only 2% last year
• 60% of people would share their brush with their partner, child, friend or favorite celebrity
Top 10 strange things people floss with:
1. Drill bit
6. Fish bones
9. Safety pin
10. Toe nails