80% of UAE residents have 'bad' teeth

A new survey on the oral hygiene habits of UAE residents has found that almost half of those surveyed only visit their dentist for oral healthcare when in pain and over 20 per cent only visit their dentist once each year.

Following the results of the survey, leading dental experts in the Emirates are advising that regular dental visits, along with a complete oral healthcare routine, are vital steps that UAE residents should follow to help prevent oral care conditions.

Dr. Ramesh Sabhlok, a leading orthodontist and former Dubai Health Authority consultant, says it is recommended that all individuals visit their dentist a minimum of twice a year. The recent survey, commissioned by Wrigley's Extra Oral Healthcare Programme, found that only one in five people follow this professional recommendation.

"Regular dental visits are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. During examinations, we check for tooth decay, evaluate the health of gums, and even examine the mouth for any indications of oral cancer, diabetes or vitamin deficiencies. This is especially important given the majority of dental problems are not painful in their early stages," commented Dr. Sabhlok.

Tooth decay and other common oral conditions are largely preventable through good oral hygiene habits.

Dr. Sabhlok continued, "Tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic health condition in the UAE, affecting more than 80 per cent of the population.

"Good oral health involves more than just brushing, and prevention is better than cure. It's important to develop an oral health care routine with dentists and then follow it daily.

"Although conditions such as tooth decay may seem minor at first, they can lead to other major dental problems such as gum disease."

Research also shows that saliva can help prevent tooth decay by washing away food debris that feed bacteria in your mouth.

While experts agree that brushing and flossing, along with regular dental visits, are the cornerstone of preventative oral healthcare, there are other simple measures people can take to improve their oral heath.

There is strong evidence to support the attributes of chewing sugar-free gum in helping to prevent tooth decay after you eat or drink because it stimulates saliva production, and when used as part of a greater oral hygiene regimen, can have benefits for your oral health.

Dr. Sabhlok, concluded, "In between dental visits, it is imperative that people take the necessary steps each day to keep their teeth and gums clean and healthy.

All individuals, including children with adult supervision, should be brushing their teeth at least twice daily, flossing on a daily basis and using an oral rinse to eliminate additional germs that may be present in the mouth."

(Home page image courtesy Shutterstock)

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