Bupa has revealed that more than half of Brits believe that the quality of a person’s teeth has a major impact on a person’s career or romantic life, yet only half of UK residents visit the dentist regularly.
Bupa’s research found that three in five people (63 per cent) believe having bad teeth can prevent someone from finding a partner while over half (52%) believe having nice teeth can help someone get a better job. Almost half (46%) of respondents believe having nice teeth can help a person to make more friends.
However, only half of the people polled (53 per cent) attend a regular dental examination and one in seven (14 per cent) has not used any dental services in the last four years, with four per cent having never visited the dentist at all.
Despite the trend for American-style perfectly straight, sparkling white teeth, a British smile was voted the most popular in the poll, with Kate Middleton’s natural smile trouncing the competition and being voted the nation’s favourite.
Not only does the nation think that having a nice smile is important, it seems that many people would do an awful lot to get one, with one in seven (14 per cent) saying that they would give up having sex for a whole year if it meant they could get perfect teeth. Similarly, one in five (22%) would forgo booze for a year if they could have a spectacular smile
Brian Franks, Clinical Director, Dentistry, Bupa Health and Wellbeing said: “Being happy with your teeth can have a big impact on your confidence and this can affect your work and relationships. So it’s surprising that so many people don’t go for regular dental examinations. Even people who are currently happy with their teeth should pay attention to their dental health, as problems can happen at any time and get worse if not treated. For example, gum disease is very common, affecting more than half of adults. If left untreated for a long time it can lead to tooth loss. But the good news is that in its early stage it is completely reversible so it’s vital to visit your dentist regularly so they can spot any potential problems early and help prevent them getting worse.”
More than one in three people said that the expense is the main reason for not visiting the dentist regularly. Although three in ten people have landed themselves in debt or had to make sacrifices in order to cover unexpected dental bills, only one in ten people have dental insurance or a dental cash plan.