49 percent Indians do not use toothbrush: Survey

ToothbrushNew Delhi, April 12 : Indians have "low level of awareness about the importance of oral health and hygiene" and nearly half of them do not use toothbrush and toothpaste, a survey said Monday.

This was revealed by the Consumer Usage and Attitudes Survey conducted across the four geographic zones in India.

The study conducted by research firm IMRB said only 51 percent of the people brush their teeth with a toothpaste and a toothbrush.

"Only 28 percent of the respondents brush their teeth twice a day and 34 percent believe that the current frequency of brushing once a day is sufficient," the survey said.

Similarly, it found that 56 percent of the respondents feel there are no serious consequences of not changing the toothbrush. Moreover, 65 percent of the respondents feel that improper eating habits do not cause dental problems.

"Two out of three consumers have never visited a dentist."

Ashok Dhoble, honorary secretary general of the Indian Dental Association said: "Oral health is very important and critical for one's overall health. Yet it is often neglected until a toothache makes it unbearable."

"For most, oral care is about finding a cure for their toothache, little realizing that a few simple daily routines can prevent painful cavities and enable people of all ages to enjoy healthier lives," he said.

"Children, right from the age of three should be made aware of basics like the importance of brushing teeth twice a day, cleaning teeth and gums properly and other oral care information. Starting early will make oral hygiene not a practice but a habit," he added.

Following the five basic oral care habits like brushing the teeth twice a day, visiting the dentist every six months, replacing the toothbrush every three months, eating foods that have vitamins and minerals and use of trusted dental aids can go a long way in having better oral health and leading a healthy life, the study said.

The study also said that only 47 percent of total treatments received are by dentists. The rest prefer to rely on advice from chemists, general practitioners or self-treatment using home remedies.(IANS)