Finding out which country has the best teeth is a complicated process as there are so many factors to consider. One of those is the DMFT index which stands for Decayed, Missing and Filled Teeth. And it seems that a big shout-out is due to the Danes as Denmark is the number one country for healthy primary teeth. The results showed that an average of less than half a tooth per child was in need of critical care.
But the DMFT is only one element of working out which county has the best teeth.
Kent Express has compiled its own data of who has the best teeth in the world using data from WHO (World Health Organization) relating to the number of dentists per country, sugar consumption data from the Sugar – Commodities/Products Report from the United States Department of Agriculture. Foreign Agriculture Services, and data relating to the number of dental consultations from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report titled: Health Care Utilisations – Consultations, and tobacco prevalence using data from World Bank figures.
The result is The Oral Health Index – The World’s Most ‘Teeth Conscious’ Countries
In this article, we’ll focus on how the data indicates which country has the best teeth, and why the UK has performed so badly.
What Countries Have Great Teeth? And Why?
Elements that affect the overall results of the Oral Health Index are:
- Which countries visit the dentist most often?
Japan came top of this list with an average of 3.2. annual dental visits per person.
- Which countries visit the dentist least often?
Portugal came top of this list which is clearly nothing to be proud about. Sadly, the UK featured in the top 10 of low visits to the dentist. The problem in the UK has been exacerbated by the pandemic and also the difficulty in finding NHS dentists.
- Sugar consumption
Qatar, which topped the list of teeth-conscious countries, has one of the lowest sugar consumption rates in the world. In the US, known for its sugary diet, consumption is 33kg of sugar per person per year. By comparison, Guatemala has a shocking rate of 436kg of sugar per person per year and unsurprisingly ranked the bottom of the 178 countries featured in the Oral Health Index.
- Tobacco use
Figures related to people aged 15 plus who regularly use any type of tobacco product.
Where Does the UK Rank On the Oral Health Index?
The UK ranks 68th on the Oral Health Index, which was made by Kent Express Dental supplies and is a compilation of data from various sources about our oral health, incliding the World Health Organization and The World Bank. The UK has about 5 dentists for every 10,000 people, and they eat about 22.1kg of sugar per capita.
However, despite their low sugar consumption and the number of dentists, they are still in 68th place. Why? Well, most dentists are choosing to work privately instead of going through the NHS (National Health Service), and most Brits simply don’t make visiting their dentists a priority if they have to pay for the service.
For young people in England, the problem of tooth decay is still rising. Even though visits to the dentist would prevent this, according to a 2019 study on the topic, about a quarter of 5 year olds in the UK will have tooth decay in 3 or 4 of their teeth. Tooth decay can be stopped by brushing and flossing regularly, and also by limiting the consumption of sugar.
But this leads to a larger problem, because if very young children are dealing with tooth decay and aren’t building the habits needed to take care of their teeth at a young age, then they won’t do it as adults either, which can lead to even more oral health problems. Oral care is nothing more than a series of habits, and the faster that you can learn them and integrate them into your routine, the better it will be for your oral health down the line.
How Does This Data Help Countries Care For Their Teeth?
Whether you are looking at the Oral Health Index or any other forms of dental data, there’s no denying that seeing all that information can give countries a real wake-up call about the health of their mouths. It can be the big picture that eventually leads to small changes in the personal lives of people who want to care about their teeth.