If a survey is to be believed, Indians don’t take oral health as seriously as they should. The study revealed that while almost 35 per cent of Indians suffer from tooth sensitivity, only 20 per cent actually take any remedial action for it. A miniscule four per cent make a trip to the dentist to specifically discuss dental problems while the rest simply avoid certain foods and drinks or eating from the side that is sensitive. However, an overwhelming 97 per cent of the respondents admitted that good oral health is critical for overall well-being. Some of the most common dental problems ailing Indians include tooth sensitivity, staining of teeth and cavities.
Says Smriti Nair, MDS, “Young people often come to me and say they want white shining teeth. But our lifestyle these days tends to take away shine from the teeth. High consumption of wine, aerated drinks and citrus foods removes the enamel, leading to loss of natural whiteness. Loss of enamel also leads to other oral care problems like sensitivity.”
Daily habits affect dental health
It is important to watch out for easy warning signs. Even a dull ache in the tooth that lingers on should be checked out. If you notice your gums bleeding, don’t hesitate to visit your dentist. Daily habits such as drinking too much tea/coffee or smoking can also have a detrimental effect on your teeth.
“People often tend to ignore what stress can do to oral health. It affects oral health as much as it affects our body. People under stress tend to make lifestyle changes like smoking, consuming too much alcohol, bingeing on sugary foods or even grind their teeth unknowingly, which can lead to serious oral health problems,” adds Dr Mona Kakar, MDS.
Cosmetic Dentist Dr Sagar Shah says, “While 60 to 65 per cent of the population has dental caries, an estimated 60 to 80 per cent has periodontal diseases. A high rate of these dental diseases is seen in rural India where there is lack of proper medical attention or education. Fast food and junk food rich in carbohydrates like sugars and starchy food lead to dental cavities. Increased consumption of these refined sugars affects oral health in a negative way especially in the younger generation.”Lack of awareness a serious issue
Studies also say that nearly half of the Indian population does not use a toothbrush and toothpaste. “Only 51 per cent of people in another survey brushed their teeth with toothpaste and toothbrush, 28 per cent brushed their teeth twice a day and nearly 34 per cent believed that brushing once a day was more than enough. Moreover, 65 per cent of respondents had no clue that eating habits could cause dental problems. For the most part, Indians only approach a dentist when faced with a crisis. Only a handful of people across the country take oral healthcare seriously,” ends Dr Shah.
Reasons for lack of good dental habits
Inadequate use of fluoride products
Lack of information and awareness about oral health hygiene
High cost of treatments
Non-availability of sufficient dental care experts
Dental routine you must follow
Brush twice a day every morning and night
Floss your teeth at least once a day
Don’t forget to rinse your mouth after meals
Clean your tongue daily