1 June 2018 

British adults are spending almost £200 a year looking after their smile by purchasing oral health care products, according to the results of a nationwide survey.

An investigation by the Oral Health Foundation, looking at the spending power of more than 2,000 people from across the United Kingdom, finds Brits are spending an average of £16.34 on products such as toothpaste, mouthwash, interdental brushes and sugar free chewing gum each month.1

As the number of people visiting a dentist continues to rise, and with treatments such as tooth whitening becoming more popular, the charity says the population is now placing a much greater emphasis on good oral health.  

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, believes more people now recognise the importance of a healthy mouth and its links with overall wellbeing.

Dr Carter says: “The health of your mouth is a really useful indicator for determining the state your overall health and wellbeing. A healthy mouth often translates to a healthy body and this message is being adopted by greater numbers of a population which is becoming significantly more health-conscious.

“Taking better care of your mouth at home through a daily oral hygiene routine, reducing sugar consumption, and visiting the dentist for check-ups or treatments, is all having a positive impact transforming Britain’s oral health.

“Heart disease, strokes, diabetes, premature births and respiratory disease are just some of the problems that can be caused or made worse by poor oral health, so by investing more time and money into the health of your mouth you are demonstrating a very clear ambition to improve the quality of your life."  

Further findings from the study shows those in London are likely to spend the most on oral health products, with residents spending an average of £25.53 every month – more than 50% above the national average. Those living in Oxford (£23.72), York (£19.83) and Liverpool (£18.03) are also top spenders when it comes to oral health.

Residents who spend the least amount of money per month on oral health products are in Sheffield (£7.46), Leeds (£7.81) and Belfast (£8.53).

More results from the poll show men spend an average of £18.87 per month, around a third more than women (£13.81) while purchasing power peaks for those aged between 25 and 34, then declines steadily into a person’s elderly years.

“It is important to remember that how much you spend on your oral health does not necessarily equate to how healthy your mouth is,” adds Dr Carter.

“While premium brands might undergo a more extensive research process, offer extra protection, or provide multiple benefits, lower-priced oral health products such as supermarket brands, can also be highly effective.

“The most important part of any good oral health routine is not about how much money you spend, but whether you are using products correctly and at the right time.”

For a healthy mouth, the Oral Health Foundation advises that you should brush your teeth last thing at night and at one other time during the day with a fluoride toothpaste.

During National Smile Month, the charity is also keen to highlight the importance of cutting down on how much sugary foods and drinks you have and how often you have them, as well as encouraging regular dental visits. 

Health experts also advise cleaning between your teeth with an interdental brush once a day while chewing sugar free gum can also be helpful to neutralise plaque acid build-up throughout the day.

National Smile Month is being supported by some of the nation’s best known oral health brands, including Oral-B, Wrigley, Philips, Regenerate Enamel Science, Polo® Sugar Free and Curaprox.