According to Mintel’s latest report on Oral Care, value sales growth in the UK oral care market has gradually slowed in recent years, with sales rising just 1.6% in 2015 to reach £1.06 billion. Within the sector, sales of mouthwash declined by 1% betwen 2014-15 falling to £190 million. Meanwhile, dental accessories enjoyed strong growth over the same year period, with sales rising 6.1% to reach £123 million with the sector benefiting from an ageing population.

2013_Mintel_hi-resToday, manual toothbrushes are the most commonly used oral care equipment, with 70% of adults having used one in the last 12 months, compared to 44% who use powered toothbrushes. However, increased launch activity and lowering price points have helped to drive usage in recent years, with the proportion of adults using powered units rising from 41% to 44% in the past 12 months alone. By contrast, manual toothbrush usage declined from 72% to 70% over the same 12 months.

The majority of people replace their manual toothbrush head (62%) and electric toothbrush head (52%) every two or three months, aligning with advice from dentists and oral care brands. However, a significant minority are somewhat apathetic when it comes to replacing their oral care equipment, with one in 10 users of electric toothbrushes (10%) and manual toothbrushes (8%) replacing the head just once a year.

And although dentists continue to preach the importance of regular flossing, the proportion of adults using dental floss or flossers fell between 2015 (43%) and 2016 (40%).

Just 34% of men have used some form of dental floss in the last three months, falling behind women at 46%.

Tea, coffee, cola and fruit juice may be amongst the nation’s favourite drinks, but when it comes to Brits’ oral care, it appears they are public enemy number one.

Almost half (46%) of all adults believe that many of the most popular non-alcoholic drinks, including tea, coffee, cola and fruit juice, have a negative impact on the appearance of their teeth.

Additionally, one quarter (24%) believe that foods such as potatoes, blueberries, cherries and sweets impact their smile, rising to more than one third (35%) of 16-24s.

Away from the kitchen, 46% of Brits believe ageing causes a decline in the appearance of their teeth, with 77% of women aged 65 and over believing this to be true.

Tobacco is labelled as a further culprit by 23% of Brits, while one in five (21%) consumers believe that teeth grinding from stress is having an impact on the appearance of their teeth, rising to as many as 27% of consumers aged 16-24. By contrast, just one quarter (24%) of Brits attribute a decline in the appearance of their teeth to poor dental hygiene.

Overall, the dental issues which Brits are most likely to have suffered from in the last 12 months are plaque build-up (47%), staining or yellowing (45%), bleeding gums (35%), tooth pain, for example from a broken or abscessed tooth, (31%), and cavities (31%). Meanwhile, one quarter (26%) of all Brits have suffered from bad breath over the past year.

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