View original articleThe following article first appeared in Chinese in the May 17, 2012 issue of the Shin Min 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.

Locals are not smiling because they have a bad set of teeth.

In conjunction with the “Brush More, Smile More Singapore” campaign, Oral-B and research company, TNS conducted a nationwide survey to find out the oral care habits among Singaporeans.

The survey revealed that 88% of respondents agreed that Singaporeans should smile more. Smiling is not only beneficial during a social setting but also for professional career progression.

Unfortunately, only 21% of Singaporeans have very positive ratings of their dental health. The majority of Singaporeans feel that if they have good set of teeth, not only will they feel more confident but will also smile more as well.

Dr Neo Tee Khin from Specialist Dental Group says that some of the biggest worries that Singaporeans have when it comes to oral health are the colour of their teeth, bad breath and tooth decay.

“A lot of people lack the correct mind-set on oral care, thinking that if they have plaque, they can clean it by brushing hard with their toothbrush. However, this is a wrong mindset,” says Dr Neo.

He says that brushing requires the right pressure and in fact, brushing too hard may destroy the tooth structure, damaging the teeth and causing them to turn yellow.

Dr Neo discloses that gum health is more often overlooked than tooth health, and Singaporeans’ awareness towards gum health is very limited and this is worrying.

“Oral health problems can directly or indirectly affect one’s overall health. For example, it can increase the possibilities of having diabetes, high blood pressure or heart problems.”

Once plaque starts to build up around the teeth, and if it is not cleared properly, it might spread to the gums, causing periodontal disease that is often seen in many Singaporeans.

It is understood that, in recent years, dental problems among students have also significantly increased. This is due to stress from studies and snacking habits.

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