Office workers most at risk of poor oral health
THAME, UK: Almost half of the dentists who responded to a recent survey believe that people who eat many small meals and snacks are more likely to develop dental health issues than those who eat three complete meals a day. In addition, most dental professionals believe that many patients fail to adhere to daily basic oral hygiene.
The survey was conducted online among 175 dentists and dental hygienists, as well as 1,000 UK adults aged 16 and over, in November and December last year. It found that people who snack throughout the day are at particular risk because snacking prevents the mouth’s pH levels from stabilising and the teeth are exposed to acids from foods more often in the day.
Overall, the survey suggested that modern work and lifestyle trends harm oral health significantly. According to the investigators, office workers are the group most at risk. About 40 per cent reported that they tend to snack rather than have a proper meal. In addition, the survey found that coffee drinkers (23 per cent) and people who consume wine or long drinks at least three times a week (51 per cent) constitute at-risk groups.
Moreover, almost 80 per cent of the dental professionals surveyed believe that most patients do not follow general oral hygiene principles, such as brushing twice a day. More than 20 per cent of office-based employees stated that they skip brushing their teeth regularly, as they rush to get to work. When they do brush, 88 per cent fail to do so for the recommended two minutes, the dentists said.
The survey was commissioned by the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Programme, an initiative of chewing gum manufacturer Wrigley aimed at improving patients’ regular oral health-care routine.