Although having white teeth can be a confidence-booster, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't pay a visit to the dentist. A recent survey held by Bupa UK has highlighted the importance we place on dental appearance over health, with half of respondents admitting they believe that pearly whites are a sign of good hygiene – despite a growing rate of adults suffering from teeth-related problems.
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However, with nearly a third of adults suffering from tooth decay and two-thirds having visible plaque, it's not just the colour of your teeth that indicates whether you should be heading to the dentist or not.
"It’s crucial not to think that having beautifully formed or white teeth automatically means that you have healthy teeth," advises BUPA dental expert Lance Knight. "Conversely, not having bright, white, teeth doesn’t necessarily mean your teeth are unhealthy.
"Good dental hygiene is vital, and we mustn’t forget to clean and brush every part of our teeth and gums, irrespective of what they look like on the outside."
But the survey made it clear that many people look to the colour of their teeth when considering their oral hygiene. 48 per cent of those asked revealed that for teeth to be considered healthy they needed to be straight, while 40 per cent added that having 'nicely shaped' teeth was a true indicator of well-kept gums.
Meanwhile, only 50 per cent confessed that having healthy teeth is even an important consideration, rather than the visible state of gnashers.
"Of course most people want their teeth to look good but appearance isn’t everything when it comes to having a healthy set of teeth," added Lance. "It’s vital that people thoroughly brush and clean all their teeth and gums, and not just the front teeth, to prevent issues such as tooth decay or gum disease, which many people across the UK still suffer from."
For more information head to bupa.co.uk/dental