MOST Saudis rather endure tooth-pain than visit a dentist, the latest survey by Oral-B and Crest which gauges habits, lifestyle, and general state of oral health across the Kingdom showed.
The report revealed that forty three percent of respondents in the Kingdom cite cost as the biggest barrier preventing regular dental visits. According to the study, 56 percent of Saudis said that they would only visit a dentist for an emergency.
Almost half of the respondents from Saudi Arabia have revealed that they suffer from some form of pain when it comes to their teeth, with 59 percent of Saudis reporting up to 4 cavities. Key dental issues cited by Saudis were bad breath, sensitivity and bleeding gums.
Commenting on these findings, Dr. Essa Nabeel Al-Essa, Managing Director of Asnan Tower, the biggest dental center in the Middle East, said “people often think all dental treatments are expensive, which is not true. For example, a cavity filling is a small procedure and thus cheaper. But if a cavity is left untreated it can lead to a root canal, which is a more complicated and costs more. The best way to save money is to have regular dental check-ups, and treat problems before they develop into serious conditions.”
In response to the findings, Oral-B and Crest has decided to amplify it’s commitment towards the region of free dental check-up campaign, Healthy Mouth, Healthy Life across key cities in UAE and Saudi Arabia for a second year.
The free dental check-ups go live across hypermarkets in the Kingdom this September.
“These findings indicate that cost is the main reason people shy away from regular dental visits. In keeping with Oral-B and Crest’s mission to elevate the region’s oral-health, we have decided to further extend our free dental check-up campaign for another year, this time with a focus on offering the check-ups at more convenient locations such as in hypermarkets. This way people don’t have to go out of their way for check-ups, we bring the service to them, for free”, said Mohammed Ali Faruqi, Brand Manager, Oral Care, Arabian Peninsula.
Moreover, the report revealed that most Saudis consume fizzy drinks and sugary foods on a daily basis. Results on hygiene practices indicate that majority surveyed brushed their teeth only once for one minute or less, not the recommended 2 minutes twice a day.
“Consumption of fizzy drinks and sugars on a daily basis becomes a concern when coupled with sub-par oral hygiene practises. Given the high incidence of cavities’ and bleeding gums, KSA population risk aggravated problems such as tooth loss and gum disease in the future, if they neglect their oral-health today”, Dr Essa warned.
The survey report calls on the community to get educated on the state of their personal oral health and that of their families.
“We need to start changing our attitude towards oral-health. Oral-health is not separate from overall health; in fact, oral health is often associated with other conditions, including stroke, heart disease and diabetes. We must maintain a healthy mouth to enjoy overall health and well-being”, Dr Esssa noted. – SG