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Too busy to brush your teeth?

Tuesday, 25 May 2010 12:00

A recent survey found that one in three adults in the UK do not brush their teeth for a full two minutes per day.

The survey conducted for National Smile Month by the British Dental Health Foundation found that 34 percent adults were being distracted whilst brushing their teeth, with a few key factors.

Children were found to be one of the biggest distractions, followed closely by mobile phones.

However, running late and rushing to get ready were the largest factors, with over one in four of those surveyed cutting short the time spent cleaning their teeth in order to get out of the house quicker in the morning.

The survey found that women were more likely to be distracted from brushing their teeth than men; while people aged over 60 were the age group most likely to brush their teeth for a full two minutes.

The Foundation highlights the importance of brushing your teeth for a full two minutes twice a day, with fluoride toothpaste to keep your mouth clean and healthy.

Chief Executive of the Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter said: "Your dentist can remove any build-up of plaque and tartar on your teeth, but everyday care is vital and is down to the individual.

"Your toothbrush is one of the best weapons against gum disease."

Although 66 percent of those surveyed feel they do brush their teeth for a full two minutes, the Foundation emphasises this is not nearly enough people.

A thin, sticky film of bacteria, called plaque, constantly forms on the teeth.

When plaque comes into contact with sugary foods it produces acid which attacks the tooth enamel causing a cavity or hole.

Brushing is important as it removes plaque and food debris from around the teeth.

Dr Carter said: "Gum disease is the largest cause of tooth loss in adults, and poor oral health is being linked to more and more serious illnesses such as strokes and diabetes, but it is a preventable condition, and a good oral health routine at home is key to preventing it.

"Many studies over the years have shown that the average time we brush our teeth for is only around 45 seconds, less than half of that necessary to do a good job, yet our study shows people think they are doing considerably better than this."

The National Dental Helpline (0845 063 1188) offers free and confidential advice, and is staffed by qualified dental nurses and educational advisors.

The Helpline deals with many queries concerning good oral health-care and information about gum disease, and is available Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

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