16 Jun

Over 20% of adults believe brushing is more important than daily exercise

A new survey has suggested that over 20% of UK adults believe that brushing their teeth is more important than daily exercise. 

The poll revealed that 21% of adults view teeth cleaning as more important than exercising daily, with 68% suggesting that they would not go a day without brushing. Over 40% of participants said that cleaning the teeth was also more important than washing and having breakfast. 

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, said that the results could be influenced by childhood habits, as many of us grow up learning to include brushing our teeth as part of our morning and evening routines. Children who develop good oral hygiene habits at a young age are more likely to brush regularly in adulthood. 

Dr Carter added that he was delighted to see cleaning the teeth at the top of the list of important daily tasks, as oral hygiene helps to reduce the risk of gum disease, dental infections and cavities as well as boosting general health. 

Previous surveys conducted by the Oral Health Foundation found that 97% of adults in the UK brushed their teeth once a day. The most recent study carried out by the charity for National Smile Month 2021 indicated that just over 10% of participants said the pandemic had a negative impact on their oral health, compared to 43% of people who said their mental health had been affected and 42% who admitted the crisis had impacted their weight. 

The latest statistics from the British Dental Association (BDA) estimate that 30 million dental appointments have been missed across England. While routine services are suspended, dentists are stressing the importance of taking good care of the teeth and gums by maintaining a good oral hygiene routine, which includes twice-daily brushing and flossing or using interdental brushes. Cleaning the tongue can also help to lower the risk of decay and bad breath. Dental experts also recommend avoiding snacking between meals and moderating the intake of sugary and acidic foods and drinks.