10 things you may not know about teeth

Like most people, there’s a good chance you know some of the main facts about keeping your teeth and gums healthy.

For instance, you may realise it’s important to brush your teeth twice a day and visit your dentist as often as they recommend. But according to the British Dental Health Foundation, there are lots of other interesting facts and figures about teeth that you may not know about, including the following:

  1. Women smile more than men
    In general, women smile more than men, with studies suggesting this starts from when they are babies.
  1. Contrary to popular opinion, Brits don’t have the worst teeth
    Interestingly enough, as renowned as Americans are for criticising the British for their lack of dental hygiene, research carried out by the US-based National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research shows that a whopping 92 percent of American adults show signs of tooth decay.
  1. 14 percent of people are frightened to visit the dentist
    Visiting the dentist ranked top in a poll on what makes people nervous – it was more popular than people who founds heights scary, with nearly 10 times as many people claiming to be nervous about visiting their dentist compared to their doctor.
  1. Almost three quarters of all British adults have had a tooth removed
    This works out as more than 60 million adults in this country who have lost a tooth. But if everyone visited their dentist on a regular basis, this figure could be much lower.
  1. More than a quarter of people only visit their dentist when they have a problem
    At the same time, more than half of people admit they wish they’d cared for their teeth better. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure – this is certainly the case when it comes to teeth.
  1. Only half of Brits are happy with their smile
    A British Dental Health Foundation survey suggests that discoloured or crooked teeth are by far the biggest reasons people are unhappy with their smiles. What’s more, a third of people believe a good smile is the most important attribute when it comes to attractiveness.
  1. One in 10 people would cut oral care products for financial reasons
    Yet keeping your smile maintained is relatively cheap, with a tube of fluoride toothpaste costing as little as £1 and a toothbrush can be even cheaper.
  1. A third of children start school with visible signs of tooth decay
    According to the British Dental Health Foundation, this is an alarming figure and if something isn’t done about it, the trend will continue. It’s also worth noting that an estimated quarter of a million primary school children have developed tooth decay.
  1. Almost two thousand people a year will die from mouth cancer
    In this country, cases of mouth cancer have increased by a third in the last decade, yet awareness of the disease remains relatively low. Anyone can be affected by mouth cancer. And although it’s more common in people over 40 and men, research suggests mouth cancer is becoming more common in younger patients and in women.
  1. Many mouth cancer deaths can be prevented if it’s caught early
    Mouth cancer appears in many different forms and affects all parts of the mouth. It can appear as a painless mouth ulcer that does not heal normally or a white or red patch in the mouth. Mouth cancer can often be spotted in its early stages by your dentist during a thorough mouth examination and if mouth cancer is recognised early, then the chances of a cure are good.


You can buy everything you need to keep your teeth and gums healthy at your local pharmacy, including brushes, toothpaste, floss and mouthwash. Find your nearest Careway pharmacy by using our Pharmacy Finder.