The Dentist Magazine.

Nearly one third of Britons have never been to the dental hygienist

Published: 26/03/2018

New research from TePe UK reveals that nearly one third of Britons have never been to the dental hygienist, despite their key role in the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease.

What’s more, this study reveals that one third (36 per cent) of people in the UK feel going to the dental hygienist is too expensive. However, on average we are willing to spend more than £200 a year on beauty and grooming treatments, including spray tans, haircuts, manicures, pedicures and waxing. Almost half (49 per cent) of those surveyed admitted that they don’t go to the hygienist because they feel that going to the dentist regularly is sufficient.

Strangely, the vast majority (90 per cent) of Brits feel that their smile is important to their overall image, and a similar proportion rate a smile as important or very important in finding others attractive,  yet only 14 per cent of us rate our oral hygiene as excellent. Additionally, more than a quarter (27 per cent) of people said they have received negative comments regarding the cleanliness of their teeth or the standard of their oral hygiene. 

TePe’s study also revealed a level of confusion in the public’s attitude towards dental hygiene appointments. Almost one third of respondents (29 per cent) said that they didn’t feel they understood the benefits of the dental hygienist. Of those that do go to the dental hygienist, less than a quarter (24 per cent) go more than once a year.

The study also received a number of demographic and regional differences in hygienist attendance and spending habits. As might be expected, men are less likely than women to go to the dental hygienist; just over a third (34 per cent) of men have never been to the dental hygienist, compared with slightly over a quarter of women (28 per cent). Regionally, people in the South West and East Midlands of England are the least likely to have been to the dental hygienist, with over a third (37 per cent) of people from these regions never having been. In the capital, Londoners are willing to spend approximately £23 per month of beauty treatments – close to £300 a year – but more than half (51 per cent) say they wouldn’t go to the dental hygienist because they feel it is too expensive.

TePe, which offers a wide range of functional oral hygiene products, is a leading interdental brush company, and also surveyed whether Britons brush between their teeth. The survey found that nearly half (48 per cent) of all people have never used an interdental brush, with this figure rising to over half (51 per cent) when looking just at men.

This research was conducted by TePe and One Poll in March 2018 and surveyed 2,000 adults in the UK.