As Philips Sonicare celebrates three decades of oral healthcare innovation, new research has shone a light on the state of the nation’s contradictory attitudes when it comes to looking after our oral healthcare. New findings reveal that although Brits put their pearly whites (48%) ahead of nutrition (37%), skincare (31%) and even air pollution (25%), in terms of the healthcare concerns that are the most important to them, it seems that many are ‘all talk and no walk’ when it comes to putting this into action.

Although they claim oral healthcare is a top priority, Brits are shunning easy day-to-day practices and are instead going to extremes to avoid looking after their oral healthcare. More than half (55%) are consciously choosing to brush their teeth for less than two minutes in the morning and evening. When questioned why they’re not doing this well-known hygiene standard, 1 in 5 believe it is unnecessary to brush for the NHS approved 2 minutes, twice a day (22%), or say they get bored (20%), whilst 1 in 10 (13%) admit to being simply too lazy to do it properly.

When faced with a concern, many would rather do anything other than face the music. A quarter would rather take out the bins (26%) or clean the toilet (24%) than book a dentist appointment for an oral concern. Whilst nearly 1 in 5 (19%) would give up chocolate, and 15% would even rather smile with their mouth closed for a week to avoid making the call – this is despite almost half of Brits claiming to put their oral healthcare as a top priority.

Rather than looking to their local dentist or health practitioner, many are turning to their screens for answers, with 1 in 10 (9%) admitting to first going to social media sites such as TikTok to answer their health questions. With such importance being placed on social media for health advice, it is no surprise that many are falling for seemingly ‘trustworthy’ viral oral healthcare hacks, which are often based on unfounded health guidance. This is even more notable for the younger generations, with 45% of 18–34-year-olds heading to social media, versus only 9% of over 45s.

To help combat some of these misconceptions, Philips has teamed up with Award Winning UK Dentist Dr Rhona Eskander to myth-bust some popular trends that have gone viral on social and share her own recommendations on how to keep your teeth and mouth in tip-top shape.

Dr Rhona notes in a new piece of video content some of the top unfounded oral healthcare hacks she’s come across on social media, from coconut pulling curing gum disease, to lemon juice whitening your teeth. In fact, the research found that 8 in 10 (81%) didn’t believe it was true that ‘you should not brush your teeth after breakfast‘, but Dr Rhona confirms that this is in fact true, as she explains that brushing before breakfast is key as it helps protect the teeth from possible acid response which comes from breakfast foods. Brushing after breakfast means that the acids from food soften the enamel on your teeth and can cause it to be brush away.

Meanwhile only a third (31%) of respondents correctly understood that brushing for too long can be bad for your teeth, as Dr Rhona explains this is because brushing for too long means you can actually scrub the gums away which leads to abrasion and can contribute to gum recession. Another misconception is that over half (54%) don’t believe electric toothbrushes are better than manual brushes at removing plaque, which is not the case as electric toothbrushes such as the  Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Prestige 9900 can be up to 20 times more effective at removing plaque.

There are a whole host of hacks, advice and myths that have exploded on social media over the last few years – from coconut pulling curing gum disease (not true!), to lemon juice whitening your teeth (also not true!),  I’ve seen it all! But this highly spread, unfounded advice can make it very confusing for people to know how best to look after their oral health at home. My biggest advice is to keep it simple. Getting guidance from trusted healthcare practitioners and using innovative at home products, such as those from the Philips Sonicare range, can go a long way in putting the control back in your hands.”

Award-Winning UK Dentist, Dr Rhona Eskander

And whilst it seems the nation may need to brush up on their knowledge and put it into practice, we clearly value the importance of our smiles. 40% of Brits admit they would give up alcohol for 1 month in exchange for the ‘perfect’ healthy smile, whilst 1 in 3 (33%) would give up Netflix and 13% would even give up their partner for a year. Over a quarter (26%) of 18–34-year-olds would also give up a steady income for 6 months, versus only 10% of over 45s.


For more information on the Philips DiamondClean Prestige 9900 please visit: https://www.philips.co.uk/c-e/pe/electric-toothbrushes/sonicare/prestige-9900.html# 

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