Dental Tribune UK & Ireland

Almost half of Brits do not visit or take their children to the dentist

By Dental Tribune International
July 21, 2014

LONDON – A recently published report about the UK dental consumer market has shown that only 52 per cent of the UK population visited the dentist within the two-year period studied. Since this number has not changed significantly since 2011, the investigators suggested that dental health care brands in particular are missing out on opportunities to encourage people to visit the dentist. In addition, brands could help raise consumer awareness about the importance of using dental products beyond a toothbrush and toothpaste, they said.

The report states that only 53 per cent of British parents with children under the age of 12 take their children to the dentist every six months. In addition, 7 per cent of parents believe that primary teeth do not need too much attention because they will fall out anyway. Overall, 25 per cent think that it is necessary to have their baby’s teeth checked by a dental professional as soon as they develop even though this is highly recommended by dentists.

Although there was a significant increase in oral care products aimed at babies and children up to age 12 in the period between 2011 and 2013, the report indicates a distinct lack of awareness about the oral health care of children and the products that are already available for this age group. For instance, in 2013, BabySonic, the first electronic toothbrush designed for babies, from birth to 3 years , was launched by the Brush-Baby company. Within the same year, Boots launched a manual toothbrush designed for babies, and

Wilkinson introduced a toothpaste designed for the same demographic.
“This suggests that brands could do more to encourage parents to take these products up. Offering family packs of oral healthcare products could be one way; whereby packs contain products for parents as well as children. Such packs could include mouthwash for children as well as toothpaste, with information on the importance of good oral healthcare from an early age,” the investigators stated.

Overall, the oral health care market in the UK has seen considerable growth in the past two years. According to the report, it has grown by 4 per cent annually, primarily driven by increasing sales of mouthwash, dental accessories and denture products. The investigators expect the market to grow by about 22 per cent in the next five years to reach an estimated value of £1.23 billion in 2018.

The dental cosmetic industry also experienced significant growth in the period between 2009 and 2013, reaching £1.8 billion. According to the report, 30 per cent of British citizens use whitening toothpaste every day and 55 per cent have used whitening toothpaste in the past three months. The majority of people who use such tooth-whitening products are single men between 16 and 24 years old.

The report is based on data obtained through a survey of 2,000 Internet users aged 16 and over. It was conducted by Mintel, a global provider of market research in February this year.

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