SINGAPORE : A whopping 85 per cent of Singaporeans aged 20 and above have suffered from gum disease, says a Nielsen survey.
The survey involved some 300 Singaporeans aged between 16 and 55.
The survey showed
that 65 per cent of Singaporeans do not visit the dentist at least twice
a year. And 43 per cent only seek checkups when they experience dental
Meanwhile, 66 per cent of those surveyed said they will not date someone with bad breath.
Eighteen per cent of people do not brush their teeth twice daily on a regular basis.
In addition, 31 per cent do not replace their toothbrushes every three months.
It is thus no surprise that gum disease is so common in Singapore.
But even so, many are reluctant to seek help.
Associate Professor Patrick Tseng, chief dental officer at the Singapore Health Ministry, said; "A lot of people have to be aware that the visits to the dentist need not be painful or uncomfortable anymore. They do not have to fear the dentist. I think they have to understand that the dentists are there to help them."
Some 500 species of bacteria sit in a person's mouth as they go about daily. Thus, dentists hope people will brush their teeth more often.
Dr Helena Lee, dental specialist at Specialist Dental Group, said: "The most basic message we want to send out actually is brushing teeth twice a day with a correct toothbrush, with the correct technique.
"Flossing is also an important part of it, as well as making a visit to your dentist at least twice a year, that means once in six months, because regular checkups actually pick up problems before they get worse."
To educate people on good oral hygiene, Singapore's Health Promotion Board is supporting a series of roadshows across the island in places like Tampines, Ang Mo Kio and Raffles Place.
The public can get free dental screenings at the roadshows, which will last till May 8.