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Belgians failing on dental health

Published on 27/08/2004

27 August 2004

BRUSSELS – Belgians are not changing their toothbrushes often enough, say the country’s dental experts.

On average Belgians use 1.13 toothbrushes every year, revealing that they are failing to meet the ideal target of changing every three months, several newspapers reported on Friday.

Between 25 and 30 percent of households only change their toothbrush once every two years.

Old toothbrushes can have a harmful effect on the teeth and gums, according to the Dental Medicine Society (SMD), it’s Dutch counterpart Verbond der Vlaamse tandarsten and the Colgate company.

The statement was made at the presentation of operation “change your toothbrush” which will take place in September, designated “dental health month.”

In September, people worried about their dental health can swap their old toothbrushes for new ones at participating dentists or special stands in supermarkets.

The 1,700 dentists taking part in the initiative will be given an urn to collect the old brushes will hand out posters and information leaflets to patients.

“Dental hygiene has improved in Belgium over the past few years. However, there are still a number of shortfalls,” said Didier Eycken from the SMD.

“Barely half of the population have been to see the dentist in the past twelve months,” he added.

According to Eycken, dental health is defined by four elements: using toothpaste that contains fluoride, brushing teeth regularly with a good quality brush, eating well and visiting the dentist.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news