Weekends are for kicking back and relaxing. But it seems that some Britons may be taking the notion a step too far, with a new survey finding that one in five people don’t brush their teeth on Saturdays and Sundays.
A study of 2,000 adults by GlaxoSmithKline found that 19 per cent allowed their oral health habits to decline at weekends, with one in four blaming hangovers. More than a quarter said they only brush their teeth at the weekend if they have to leave the house, with nearly 40 per cent of “weekend non-brushers” saying they just “couldn’t be bothered”.
Meanwhile, more than one in five also claimed that they couldn’t remember the last time they changed their toothbrush, while six per cent admitted that they have used fizzy drinks or alcohol to rinse out their mouth after brushing.
In response to the survey findings, Dr Nik Pandya said that not brushing at the weekend can be detrimental for teeth.
“Brushing ultimately keeps our teeth and mouths healthy by helping to stop the build up of plaque and bacteria. Tooth brushing also stimulates the gums helping to prevent gum disease,” he said.
“It’s concerning to hear that some people are going all weekend without brushing their teeth as during this time plaque and food can start to accumulate on the surface of the tooth and along the gum line. If left untreated this can lead to tooth decay, gingivitis and even gum disease.”
Also of concern was the finding that some 27 per cent of respondents said they only brushed for a minute or less – half the recommended time.
Dr Pandya says that if people don’t brush their teeth for at least two minutes each time, it is likely that you aren’t cleaning your teeth thoroughly enough.
“Whether you are using an electric or manual toothbrush, it doesn’t matter. It’s the technique that is important. Put some fluoride toothpaste on your toothbrush, hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and start brushing along the gum line and down to the surface of the tooth,” he advises. “Brush all surfaces of the tooth – front and back and don’t brush too hard as this can actually brush the enamel away. Lastly, don’t forget to brush your tongue, as there are a whole host of bacteria that live there.”
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