On World Oral Health Day, FDI World Dental Federation released the results from a survey carried out in 12 countries, conducted by YouGov on behalf of FDI. The survey exposed a significant gap between what people believe to be good oral health practices, versus what they actually do. Eight of the countries reported that 50 percent or more of the people surveyed think it is important to brush your teeth straight after every main meal. Brazil, Mexico, Egypt and Poland were the worst offenders of this incorrect oral health practice (84%, 81%, 62% and 60% respectively). FDI recommends waiting at least 30 minutes after eating to brush your teeth to avoid weakening tooth enamel.
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The majority of countries surveyed incorrectly believe that rinsing the mouth out with water after brushing is important; Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, India and Canada were found to practice this myth the most (77%, 75%, 73%, 67% and 67% respectively). It is actually recommended not to rinse with water straight after brushing to allow maximum exposure to fluoride, which will optimize the preventative effects.
Nearly half the population surveyed in India, South Africa, Brazil and Poland (52%, 49%, 48% and 42% respectively), felt that drinking fruit juice rather than fizzy drinks was important for good oral health. Fruit juice however, can also be high in sugar which can cause tooth decay. FDI recommends keeping consumption of sugary drinks to a minimum as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Dr Edoardo Cavalle, WOHD Task Team Chair, stated “Understanding good oral health practices and adopting them early in life, will help to maintain optimal oral health into old age and ensure you live a long life free from physical pain and often emotional suffering caused by oral disease.”