Snapshot of Oral Care in the UAE revealed at International Dental Conference

February 6, 2014 12:48 pm

The full findings of a survey conducted to determine the oral hygiene habits of UAE residents released, reveals that many residents in the Emirates are not following an optimal oral care routine. The survey-commissioned by Wrigley’s Extra Oral Healthcare Program (EOHP)-found over half of residents don’t brush their teeth twice daily, as recommended by dental professionals.1 In fact, 28 percent of those surveyed only brush their teeth once in the morning, and more than 1 in 10 residents have no set brushing routine.1 As good oral hygiene can help prevent an array of health conditions that are prevalent in the Emirates, such as tooth decay and gum disease, experts are encouraging UAE residents to adopt a complete preventive oral care routine.2, 3

As a result of the survey findings, which highlight the need for improved oral care in the Emirates, and to further showcase their dedication to improving oral care throughout the region, the EOHP is taking part in the UAE International Dental Conference & Arab Dental Exhibition (AEEDC), held in Dubai this week. At the conference, the EOHP is encouraging dental professionals in attendance to pledge they will educate their patients on how to improve their oral healthcare habits through improved preventative oral healthcare. Brushing, flossing and regular dental check-ups are the cornerstone of a recommend oral care routine but there is another easy-to-adopt step people can take to improve their oral care routine-chewing sugar-free gum. Scientific evidence shows chewing sugar-free gum after eating and drinking has significant oral health benefits; it stimulates saliva which in turn washes away food debris, and ultimately leads to healthier teeth and gums.4

Dr. Raghad Hashim, Associate Professor and Head of the Growth and Development Department at Ajman University’s College of Dentistry, said: “Looking at the recent survey findings, we can see that there is a need for many UAE residents to improve their oral hygiene habits. It’s important that all individuals-including children with adult supervision-take a few minutes each day to brush, floss and chew sugar-free gum after meals and snacks, as research has shown us that having a healthy mouth strongly correlates to having a healthy body. Twice yearly dental check-ups are also important, as your dentist or hygienist can detect oral conditions at the early stages of development.”

Further showing the need for improved oral care in the UAE, the survey revealed:

· almost half of residents only visit their dentist for oral healthcare when in pain

· over 20 percent only visit their dentist once each year, despite the professional recommendation to visit your dentist at least twice a year

· only 1 in 10 residents regularly chew sugar-free gum after eating or drinking

Wrigley’s global initiative, the EOHP, which has recently been rolled out in the UAE, supports and partners with dentists and hygienists around the world to help them improve their patients’ oral healthcare routine. To achieve optimal oral health, the EOHP and Dr. Hashim recommend:

· Brushing your teeth twice a day in the morning and evening to eliminate germs and plaque

· Flossing daily to help remove trapped food particles from between your teeth

· Visiting your dentist twice each year for cleanings and oral check-ups, which are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums

· Chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes following meals or snacks to increase saliva production