Millennials brush up better than most: under-35s are spending on average £750 a year on dentistry
Millennials outstrip other generations when it comes to splashing out on their smiles.
Data collected by the Oral Health Foundation shows adults under-35 are spending a staggering £750 a year on dental treatment – more than three times the national average.
Young adults are investing around four times more in oral health treatment than their parents and nearly eight times that of their grandparents.
The statistics have been collected as part of National Smile Month – a campaign which aims to raise awareness about the importance of having good oral health.
The Oral Health Foundation says the gulf in spending highlights the growing popularity of cosmetic dentistry and how the smile is now linked to beauty as much as it is to health.
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, says: 'We would all expect to invest a little money in our oral health when visiting the dentist, whether it is for a regular check-up, scale and polish or minor treatment.
'Younger adults generally experience fewer oral health problems than their older peers. Common conditions like tooth decay, tooth loss and receding gums are associated with age and result in more expensive treatments. This means the more a young person spends on their oral health, the more likely it is that the work is purely cosmetic and not treating a clinical problem.'
Further findings from the charity’s research show more than half (53%) of under 35s have had cosmetic dental treatment in the UK, compared to less than one-in-ten (9%) over 35.
Tooth whitening is the most popular cosmetic treatment, coming top of the list of treatments in the UK.
More than four-in-ten (42%) under 35s have had a tooth whitening treatment. Almost half (48%) young adults plan to have their teeth whitened within the next year.
Dr Carter adds: 'Caring for our teeth and gums has always been about maintaining good health but the aesthetics of a smile are becoming increasingly important. How our smile looks might not only have an impact on our mental wellbeing, but it can shape our confidence and social happiness too.'
As part of National Smile Month, Philips Sonicare are working alongside the Oral Health Foundation to share the message #Habits4Life and encourage everybody that a white smile must also be a healthy one.
Jenny Payne, Professional Relations Manager at Philips Sonicare and registered dental hygienist/therapist says: 'Cosmetic dentistry can help us achieve a more aesthetically-pleasing smile, but it is key that we continue to invest in our oral health in other ways.
'First and foremost, the mouth must be healthy, and this can be done largely at home. Brushing twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste, daily interdental cleaning and daily mouthwash is all that is needed. By spending five minutes a day caring for our mouth we can make sure it remains fit, healthy and clear of disease.
'These are just a few simple habits we can adopt so that our smile is given care it deserves.'
Author: Julie Bissett