healthy teethThe results of a survey by Nielsen, commissioned by Oral B, were released on April 7, 2011. The survey indicated some interesting results about the dental awareness and preferences of Singaporeans. Here are some highlights:

  • While 93% of Singaporeans interviewed were concerned about oral problems, a significant number of them had very little understanding about the root causes of decay and gum disease, i.e. 77% did not think that plaque was the main cause of tooth decay and 66% did not think that plaque was the main cause of gingivitis (a type of gum disease).
  • From the people surveyed, a staggering 79% suffered from sensitive teeth, bleeding/swollen gums, tooth decay, bad breath, periodontitis and gingivitis.

The findings of the survey show that there has been only a slight improvement from the results of the 2003 survey by the Singapore Health Promotion Board indicating that 85% of Singaporeans suffered from gum disease.

Did you know that Singapore is one of the countries with the lowest DMFT (decayed, missing, filled teeth) index of 12 year old children? A Children’s Oral Health Survey in 2003 indicated that more than 50% of 6 year olds did not have decay in their baby teeth while 71% of 12 year olds had no decay in their permanent teeth.

The question is – what happened between childhood and adulthood to cause the level of gum disease and other dental problems to be so pervasive?

There are probably multiple reasons for this – having the easy accessibility of the School Dental Service in primary school and lower secondary school makes it more likely that children will have basic dental care needs met. As they grow older and become adults, other priorities may take over, from exams, careers, etc, and there may be more items tugging for their wallet. Anxiety about going to the dentist can also make people more reluctant to make a trip to the clinic for their regular check-up.

What are your thoughts on why so many Singaporeans have dental problems? What are some of the ways to address this issue?

For those of you who would like to access free dental screenings courtesy of Oral B, the Singapore Dental Association , Health Promotion Board and Nanyang Polytechnic, visit the Healthier Teeth, Healthier Singapore Roadshow, click this link for more information.

The Roadshow will be at the following two locations in the next 2 weeks:

  • Giant Tampines, Level 2 from April 25-May 1; and
  • Jurong Point Shopping Centre Atrium Level 1 from May 2-8.

You can also view the Specialist Dental Group Facebook Page for photos of the Roadshow launch and media interviews.

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