Ki­wis ne­glect oral hy­giene

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - CA­TRIN OWEN

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.

KELLY HODEL/FAIR­FAX NZ

Young adults be­tween the ages of 18-24 are the big­gest cul­prits in skip­ping brush­ing their teeth for one day or more.

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