We all know the importance of a great smile and good oral health; from greater self-confidence to better luck in careers and relationships, a healthy smile can transform your appearance, as well as improving the health of not only your mouth but your body too.
So, as sponsors of National Smile Month, Oral B have delved into the oral hygiene habits of Irish adults to uncover the good, the bad and the downright ugly!
Getting up in the mornings is a task in itself but sticking to basic hygiene rules before you leave the house is evidently a challenge to many; A quarter (24%) of Irish adults skip brushing their teeth on a weekly basis! Despite this, the majority of Irish adults (75%) would be wary of bad breath if they’d forgotten brush their teeth and over two-fifths (22%) of us would be reluctant to smile.
Brushing in the morning and last thing at night is important for reasons beyond fresh breath, so what are the implications of skipping a brushing session? Oral-B Smile Director, Dr. Uchenna Okoye, explains:
“One morning without brushing might not cause a cavity, but the acid collected on the tooth surface may be enough to break down your enamel. Breakfast time often means acidic foods such as oranges, grapefruit and fruit juices which can soften the enamel on your teeth. Brushing before breakfast is ideal but if you forget, wait an hour afterwards to give your saliva a chance to neutralise the acid. Brushing your teeth straight after a meal can wear away the enamel which is softened by the acid.”
Perhaps even more shocking than the number of us willing to forgo brushing our teeth is the revelation that 1 in 3 of us have shared a toothbrush! Despite believing that an electric toothbrush provides a better clean (67%) and removes plaque better than a manual brush (63%) only a quarter of Irish adults use an electric toothbrush. Regardless of this, there is also good news: the advocacy for electric toothbrushes is evident with 40% of Irish adults planning to switch their children to an electric toothbrush once they’re old enough.
Research also shows that, in the search for a perfect smile, 10% of Irish adults have had their teeth professionally whitened; 22% have tried whitening products at home. Julia Roberts was named as the best female celebrity smile, with 30% of Irish adults believing she has the perfect smile. Our own Amy Huberman came in close second scooping 21% of the vote. George Clooney tops the poll for the best male celebrity smile with 38% admitting they go weak at the knees when he flashes those pearly whites!