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Dental care in the United Kingdom - Statistics & Facts

Dental care in the United Kingdom is routinely provided by the National Health Service, however, due to the large waiting lists and rising costs, more individuals are willing to pay for private care. Household spending on dental services has more than doubled in the past 10 years, with the consumer price index continuing to rise. Many individuals in the UK are deterred from visiting the dentist due to the cost of treatment and a worry that the dentist will find something else wrong with them. A fear of the dentist, or dental anxiety, is the most common reason preventing individuals, young and old, from visiting their dentist.

Young people in the UK are generally satisfied with the appearance of their teeth, with the majority rating their dental health as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. It is recommended that individuals should brush their teeth at least twice a day and for at least two minutes each time, which the majority of individuals claim to do. Dentists in the UK recommend individuals to use dental floss to clean between their teeth, but studies suggest individuals are less likely to heed this information due to the length of time it takes to floss, it’s painful or because they can’t do it properly.

The benefits of good oral hygiene greatly outweigh the number of excuses. Cleaning between teeth can help avoid gum disease and tooth decay and oral health issues can be an indicator of an underlying health problem. Generally, individuals throughout the UK visit the dentist on a regular basis (recommended every six months), with most children visiting a dentist for the first time before they reach two years old.

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