Kiwis neglect oral hygiene
Three out of five Kiwis admit to skipping brushing their teeth, and young adults are the worse culprits, a new study shows.
The research, released by Colgate as part of Oral Health Month, found 75 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds admitted to skipping brushing their teeth for one day or more, and almost 10 per cent admitted to skipping for over a week.
Five hundred New Zealanders aged 18-plus took part in the online survey, which was conducted in May.
Colgate scientific affairs manager Dr Susan Cartwright said it was concerning young people were neglecting their oral health care, as brushing habits were formed young.
The worst time to skip brushing teeth was before bed, she said.
‘‘During the night, you produce less saliva which makes your mouth a haven for bacteria.’’
Oral health educator Deepa Hughes said there was no reason for someone not to brush their teeth for up to a week.
Hughes said young people might assume the effects are avoidable and nothing would happen if they didn’t brush their teeth for a week.
According to the New Zealand Health Survey 2015/2016, 262,000 adult teeth were removed due to tooth decay, an abscess, infection or gum disease. All can be side effects of not brushing.
Young adults between the ages of 18-24 are the biggest culprits in skipping brushing their teeth for one day or more.