Survey reveals young Scots have poor standards of oral hygiene

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The Scottish Health Survey has revealed that young Scots have poor oral hygiene, which is consequently affecting their oral health.

The survey found that older people are much more likely to keep an eye on their sugar intake than those in the 16-24 age bracket. According to the NHS and dental experts across the UK, diet has a significant impact on oral health and a growing number of young people are consuming sugary foods and drinks on a regular basis.

Dental check-ups are free of charge for students in Scotland, yet many people fail to make the most of the opportunity and many have not seen a dentist for over a year. Many students and young people do not even know where their local dentist is and several participants were unaware that check-ups are available free of charge.

Emma Conroy, from Edinburgh Nutrition, said that eating sugary foods was extremely bad for teeth and drinking fizzy  drinks was even worse, as they are both acidic and sugary, which contributes to tooth erosion, as well as decay.

Dr Nigel Carter, from the British Dental Health Foundation, also added that stress was a problem for students, as it often contributes to grinding the teeth, which causes migraines and jaw pain. Dr Carter also said oral cancer was a serious problem for young people, despite the fact that most people affected by the disease are aged over 40. In recent years, the number of young people being diagnosed with the disease has increased significantly and this has been attributed to drinking alcohol regularly, smoking and eating a diet lacking in fruit and vegetables.

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