The following article first appeared in Chinese in the April 8, 2011 issue of the Lianhe Zaobao newspaper. For the benefit of those who missed the article, or who cannot access the publication in Chinese, we have summarized the content of the article below.
According to a recent survey, local Singaporeans have gum problems. The 2011 Oral-B Nielsen survey tackled the issue of Singaporeans’ oral health situation, by surveying 312 people across Singapore. The results indicated that 20% of respondents between the age of 16-55 years old were suffering from sensitive teeth, bleeding gums and other dental issues.
Although it is generally recommended to go for dental check-up once in every six months, more than half of Singaporeans surveyed (65%) did not visit the dentist twice a year. The survey also indicated that 43% only visited the dentist when they had dental issues.
Dr Helena Lee, a periodontist at Specialist Dental Group recommended regular dental visits. According to Dr Lee, the fear of pain might be the biggest contributing factor to why people are not going for regular dental check-ups. Another possible reason could be the state of denial, thinking that since the problem already exists, it might be too late for a check-up.
According to Dr Lee, “The majority of the people think that as long as there is no pain, it is okay not to visit the dentist. We have to change this mind-set, because dental issues such as gum disease, are usually painless and occurs over a period of time. Regular check-ups with your dentist will help to detect any of these underlying problems early.”
Additionally, while about 85% of Singaporean adults above 20 years of age have had gum problems, few understand that plaque is the main contributing factor to gum disease.
Regular brushing and flossing between the teeth every day is very important, because plaque and food residue can cause bad breath, cavities, gum disease and other oral health issues. Thus daily oral care combined with the type of toothbrush and the right brushing method is the most effective and easy method to maintain daily oral care maintenance.
Oral health issues not only affect our overall health being, but can also impact your daily life, career and relationships. About 55% of the professionals interviewed in the survey including senior management, executives and businessmen indicated that they would have a negative impression of colleagues with bad breath. Also, 66% of those being interviewed said that they will not go out on a date with someone who had bad breath.