New research reveals changes in dental care regimes due to COVID-19

Oral-B, the number one dentist recommended brand worldwide, has today released new research findings all about Irish people’s current dental care habits and regime in the wake of COVID-19. Almost half of those surveyed (45%) claim they have avoided visiting the dentist since the beginning of the pandemic with those aged between 18-24-years-old significantly more likely to have avoided the trip (57%).

When asked the reasons for avoiding the dentist over the last eight months, 44% of people said it was to reduce their contacts while almost a third of people (28%) said they wouldn’t feel safe being that close to someone.

Commenting on the findings, Dr. Niall Vallely of 3 Dental said; “Our health is in more focus than ever at the moment and dental health is a key part of that. Prevention is always better than cure, so it is worrying to see that 22% of people are only visiting the dentist in an emergency. Having your teeth checked by a dentist every six months will significantly reduce the chances of bigger problems occurring down the line. Also concerning is that 19% of respondents say their teeth feel healthy so they don't think they need to attend the dentist, catching a problem before there are symptoms will mean a much easier solution. All dentists are taking their role in preventing the spread of COVID-19 very seriously. With the guidance provided by the HPSC and HSE we are able to treat patients with the highest cross infection control measures keeping them and our staff as safe as possible.

However, COVID-19 has also encouraged some people to make changes to their dental care regime, with almost one in five claiming to have made some element of change. Interestingly, those aged between 18-24-years-old (45%) are considerably more likely to have done so. Amongst those who have made a change as a result of the pandemic, over 80% said they made a positive change to their regime including brushing their teeth for longer (46%), making sure they are brushing their teeth properly (24%) and using an electric toothbrush (21%).

Dr. Niall Vallely added; “Many people have taken the opportunity to make positive lifestyle changes during the COVID-19 pandemic and it is great to see that so many people have improved their oral hygiene regime. I recommend all my patients use an electric toothbrush, so it is heartening to see this was one of the changes many were embracing. I can usually tell who is using an electric toothbrush from the quality of their oral hygiene and my patients tell me they can feel the difference when they make the switch.”

When it comes to the use of electric toothbrushes in Ireland, 37% of survey respondents said they currently use an electric toothbrush. Just over half (51%) of those who have never used an electric toothbrush before said it is because they feel their manual toothbrush “does the job”. Oral-B electric toothbrushes remove up to 100% more plaque, giving you healthier gums versus a manual toothbrush.

Survey participants were also asked what they felt the most important part of their dental care regime was, with 55% of saying it was their toothbrush. Respondents aged 65+ feeling particularly strong about this (63%). The remaining respondents said toothpaste (33%) or the use of dental floss (13%). While the toothpaste you use is important, the tool you use with it should also be considered. The Oral-B electric toothbrushes have round brush heads which are a similar shape to what dentist’s use, giving you that dentist clean feeling at home.

Adam Parker, Oral-B Brand Director UK & Ireland, commented; “Electric toothbrushes should be the first step of your dental care regime in order to achieve your own personal dental care goals, whether that be brushing for the recommended time, getting a whiter smile, or just getting that Dentist clean feeling at home. We know that the three biggest issues for Irish people when it comes to their teeth are insufficient plaque removal, overbrushing leading to gum recession, and inadequate brushing time. Our electric toothbrush range was developed with these key areas in mind. Using an Oral-B electric toothbrush removes up to 100% more plaque, giving you healthier gums versus a manual toothbrush, avoiding overbrushing through built-in sensors, and proportionate brushing time through built-in quadrant timers.

52% of respondents believe that an electric toothbrush would result in a better overall clean than a manual toothbrush. Oral-B have electric toothbrushes for every price point and life-stage, with everyone from kids to adults to those that want the most advanced technology with the latest Oral-B iO, or the simpler Vitality range starting from just €24.99 (down from €49.99).

The Oral-B electric toothbrush range is now half price in Dunnes Stores and Boots from now until Christmas. For more information on the range, see www.oralb.co.uk.

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