Better Education Needed For Oral Hygiene
There is a link between low literacy levels and poor oral health care, according to the British Dental Health Foundation.
The UK dental health charity claimed that the correlation between low literacy levels and dental problems was particularly prominent among adults. Britons can do more to improve their oral health.
The foundation quoted two recent studies that were linked to potential dental problems – dental anxiety and the likelihood for skipping dental appointments – showing that people with lower literacy were more likely to ignore good oral care practices.
In one of the studies, 187 parents had their level of dental health literacy monitored. Researchers found that respondents’ anxiety in relation to dental health was also reflected in their children’s oral health.
Meanwhile, the second study revealed that adults who read little information on dental health were also more inclined to miss dental appointments.
The results from both studies are concerning, particularly with regard to recently published data from the Department for Business and Innovation, stating that 15% of UK adults have a lower literacy level than that of children leaving primary school.
According to Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, people with low literacy levels may be experiencing difficulties in understanding medical jargon, and suggested that raising literacy levels could have a positive effect on these people’s attitude towards their oral health and that of their children.
Dental health has emerged as a major global problem, as a large-scale international study by the University of London’s Queen Mary dental college revealed that billions of people suffer from problems with their teeth and gums.
Longer life expectancy has to lead to poor oral health Researchers took three years to complete the study and found that almost four billion people or more than half of the global population had poor oral health.