Dental Statistics (UK & Worldwide)

On this page we keep a record of interesting oral health statistics that we come across when researching various topics.

These are mainly dental statistics about the UK, but we have also included some that apply globally.

We only reference reliable sources, and credit them after each statistic.

Sometimes the original source may be deleted from the internet, in which case we keep a record here but include a caveat that the original page was deleted.

If you’ve come across any oral health and dental research that you think would be interesting to us, please get in touch here and we will consider it for inclusion here, or on our facts about teeth page.

Teeth Brushing Statistics

  • 20% of British people have developed the habit of brushing their teeth for longer during the pandemic. 27% of 18 – 24 year olds said that they brushed their teeth for longer compared to 13% over 55s. (Oral Health Foundation, 2021)
  • 26% of adults regularly brush their teeth once a day, with 25% not brushing their teeth in the evening before bed. (Oral Health Foundation, 2021)
  • 70% of adults brush twice a day, but 10% have no set routine. (Oral Health Foundation, 2021)
  • 68% of UK adults say they could not go a day without brushing their teeth, with 21% deeming it three times more important than exercise. (Oral Health Foundation, 2021)
  • 43% of adults in the UK believe tooth brushing was more important that eating breakfast. (Oral Health Foundation, 2021)
  • 25% of adults do not brush with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day. (National Smile Month, Oral Health Foundation 2020)
  • One in three (33%) of adults have never flossed or cleaned interdentally. (National Smile Month, Oral Health Foundation 2020)
  • 23% of adults brush once a day (Simply Health, 2019)
  • 1% of adults never brush their teeth (Simply Health, 2019) 33% of adults never floss (Simply Health, 2019)
  • 4% of adults brush their teeth for 30 seconds of less.
  • 77% of women are likely to brush their teeth twice a day compared to 69% of men (Simply Health, 2019)
  • 3 out of 10 adults in Britain don’t brush their teeth twice a day (YouGov, 2017)
  • 25% of children don’t brush their teeth twice a day (Oral Health Foundation, 2015)
  • 8% of Brits brush 3 or more times per day (YouGov, 2017)
  • 1 in 50 Brits (2%) don’t brush their teeth at all on a typical day (YouGov, 2017)
  • In Britain, 22% of people skip brushing their teeth if they’re in a rush. (Bupa Dental Care, 2018)
  • 87% of Brits are more likely to brush their teeth in the morning, compared to the 72% in the evening (YouGov, 2017)
  • Men are most likely to brush infrequently.  33% brush just once a day compared to the 26% of women (YouGov, 2017)
  • 34% of Brits never floss (Bupa Dental Care, 2018)
  • 33% of Brits never visit the hygienist (Bupa Dental Care, 2018)
  • 4 in 10 people (42%) do not change their toothbrush /brush head every 3 months (Electric Teeth, 2018†)
  • A quarter of people (26%) change their toothbrush / brush head every 6 months (Electric Teeth, 2018†)
  • More than half of people asked (57%) experience tooth sensitivity (Electric Teeth, 2017†)
  • Almost one in ten (9.7%) said they had shared a toothbrush, and even more said they would consider doing it if they needed to (11%). (Oral Health Foundation, 2014*)
  • One in five people (20%) said they had used their finger to brush their teeth (Oral Health Foundation, 2014*)
  • One in ten (10%) said they had used something other than toothpaste to clean their teeth with (Oral Health Foundation, 2014*)
  • Almost two in five said they had only rinsed their mouth out with water instead of brushing their teeth.(Oral Health Foundation, 2014*)
  • One in seven of still use household items such as business cards, credit cards and earrings to clean in-between their teeth. (Oral Health Foundation, 2014*)
  • 26% (one in four) Brits are willing to share their toothbrush with others (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • 32% of men compared to 20% of women are prepared to let someone else borrow their toothbrush (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • 55% of young adults will share a toothbrush compared to compared to their parents, 30%, their grandparents 13% (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • 15% of Brits would share their toothbrush with a loved one (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)

Tooth Decay Statistics


  • 23% of 5-year-old children in England in 2019 have had dental decay (Public Health England, 2020)
  • There is a 20% higher likelihood of children from more deprived areas of England having decay than less deprived areas (34% vs 14%) (Public Health England, 2020)
  • 32% of children have had between one and 5 fillings (Simply Health, 2019)
  • 19% of those children admitted to hospital for tooth extraction as a result of decay had four teeth extracted (Simply Health, 2019)
  • 26% of 5 year old children in London suffer from tooth decay (British Dental Association, 2019)
  • In 2018, 7,000 children under the age of 9 underwent hospital extractions in London (British Dental Association, 2019)
  • More than 2,000 children under 4 years old in London have had a general anaesthetic in hospital to have rotten teeth removed (British Dental Association, 2019)
  • 5% of adults said their child needed emergency dental treatments in the past 12 months, 36% of which was as a result of tooth decay (Simply Health, 2019)
  • 23.3% of 5-year-olds in England had decayed, missing or filled teeth in 2017, down from 30.9% in 2008. (Public Health England, 2018)
  • One in seven children are classed as having severe or extensive tooth decay (Oral Health Foundation, 2015)
  • 60,000 days a year are missed from school due to hospital tooth extractions (Public Health England, 2018)
  • Every 10 minutes, a child in England has a tooth removed due to preventable tooth decay (Public Health England, 2018)
  • In England, 141 children per day have a tooth removed because of tooth decay (Public Health England, 2018).
  • Childhood tooth extractions cost the NHS more than £50m in 2017
  • (Oral Health Foundation, 2018) Globally 44% of children drink soft drinks every day (Global Nutrition Report, 2018)
  • 486 million children globally suffer from tooth decay of primary teeth (World Dental Federation, 2019)


  • 31% of British adults have signs of tooth decay. (Oral Health Foundation, 2021)
  • 16% of adults in the UK said they needed emergency dental treatment in the last 12 months. 46% of cases were due to tooth decay (Simply Health, 2019)
  • Three quarters (76%) of British adults of Brits have fillings and 66% have had at least one tooth extracted. (Bupa Dental Care, 2018) 
  • Dental caries (tooth decay) is amongst the most common diseases to affect humankind. 35% of the global population, 2.4b people have untreated caries in their permanent teeth. (Cardiff University, 2017)

Electric Toothbrush Statistics

  • 67% of adults in the UK (approx 34 million people) now use an electric toothbrush. (Oral Health Foundation, 2020)
  • There has been a 52% increase (12 million people) in electric toothbrush use amongst adults in the UK over the last 5 years, (Oral Health Foundation, 2020)
  • 45% of people switch to an electric brush because they believe it cleans better than a manual brush. (Oral Health Foundation, 2020)
  • 27% of people switch to an electric toothbrush having been advised by their dentist. (Oral Health Foundation, 2020)
  • The electric toothbrush market worldwide will be worth US $3.2 billion by 2025, a growth of US $1.8 billion from 2019. (Global Industry Analysts, 2019)
  • The global annual revenue estimated to be generated by electric toothbrush sales is $3.5billion (Future Market Insights, March 2019)
  • Just under half (49%) of people surveyed own an electric toothbrush (Electric Teeth, 2017†)
  • Only one third of people (36%) regard price as the most important factor when choosing an electric toothbrush (Electric Teeth, 2017†)Just over one in ten people (11%) say their ideal price range is less than £25 (Electric Teeth, 2017†)
  • 18% of people are willing to pay more than £100 for an electric toothbrush (Electric Teeth, 2017†)
  • Almost two thirds of people (64%) would like to be able to connect their toothbrush to their phone (Electric Teeth, 2017†)

Dental Visit Statistics

  • COVID-19 pandemic resulted in 45% of British adults experiencing delays in dental appointments and treatments in the last 12 months. As a result one-in-ten (12%) people have accessed remote dentistry services in the last 12 months. (Oral Health Foundation, 2021)
  • 74% of British adults prefer physical appointments with their dental team rather than remote. Oral Health Foundation, 2021)
  • 39% of adults don’t go to the dentist regularly. (National Smile Month, Oral Health Foundation 2020)
  • 2 million Brits have to travel at least 40 miles to access dental care. (National Smile Month, Oral Health Foundation 2020)
  • 22 million adults were seen by an NHS dentist in the 24 months up to 30 June 2019. (NHS Digital, 2019)
  • 7.0m children were seen by an NHS dentist in the 12 months up to 30 June 2019. (NHS Digital, 2019)
  • 39.7 million courses of dental treatment were delivered in 2018-19. Up 1.28% on the previous year. (NHS Digital, 2019)
  • 46% of adult clinical treatments in 2018-19 were for a scale and polish. (NHS Digital, 2019)
  • 52% of clinical treatments for children in 2018-19 were for fluoride varnish treatment. (NHS Digital, 2019)
  • 36% of Brits are not visiting the dentist as a result of money worries. In 2 years this figure has doubled from 17% in 2017. (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • 11% of the British public are not registered with a dentist. (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • 16% of Brits only go to the dentist when they have a problem. (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • 82% of adults in the UK visit the dentist at least once every 2 years (Simply Health, 2019)
  • 8% of adults in the UK only visit the dentist when they are in pain (Simply Health, 2019)
  • 6% of adults in the UK admit they never visit the dentist (Simply Health, 2019)
  • 11% of UK adults don’t think they need to go to the dentist (Simply Health, 2019)
  • 36% of adults in the UK don’t visit the dentist regularly because of a fear of the dentist or the pain they may experience (Simply Health, 2019)
  • 5% of children never visit the dentist (Simply Health, 2019)
  • In 2018, 1 million children failed to attend their free NHS dental checkup (British Dental Association, 2019)
  • In 2018, 41% of children aged 17 or under, did not see a dentist. (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • More than a third of Brits admit to ignoring dental pain or masking it with pain killers. (Bupa Dental Care, 2018)
  • Over 2 million UK adults haven’t been to the dentist in over 10 years (Bupa Dental Care, 2018)
  • 13% of parents with children aged 18 or undertook their child to the dentist before their first birthday, the recommended age for a first dental visit with 20% never having taken them (World Dental Federation, 2018)

Dentistry & the environment

  • 256 million toothbrushes are discarded in the UK, each year. (Oral Health Foundation, 2021).
  • 4 in every 5 toothbrushes are used for a different purpose. 40% use for scrubbing tiles with 28% using for assisting in cleaning kitchen appliances. (Oral Health Foundation, 2021).
  • In 2013 to 2014, the total greenhouse gas emissions of NHS dental services in England measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (tCO2e) was 675,706 (Public Health England, 2018)
  • NHS dentistry in England makes up 3% of the total carbon footprint of the NHS (Public Health England, 2018)
  • Dental checkups account for 27% of the carbon footprint (Public Health England, 2018)
  • Travel (patients & staff) account for 60% of the dental carbon footprint. 31% patient and 30% staff (Public Health England, 2018)
  • Energy usage by dental activity in England accounts for 14-21% of the total carbon emissions in the dental sector (Public Health England, 2018)

Teeth Whitening Statistics

  • 4 in 10 under 35’s have had tooth whitening treatment with 48% planning to have them whitened within the next 12 months. (Oral Health Foundation, 2020)
  • 20% of British adults have had cosmetic dentistry with 1 in 10 having had treatment in the last 12 months. (Oral Health Foundation, 2020)
  • 19% of the population are looking into cosmetic dental work. (Oral Health Foundation, 2020)
  • 32% Brits want whiter teeth while 66% have actively considered it. (Oral Health Foundation, 2020)
  • Reports of illegal tooth whitening (not carried out by a registered professional) are up 26% in the last year. (General Dental Council, 2020)
  • Globally, the teeth whitening market is expected to grow by a compound annual growth rate of over 4% (Arizton, 2019)
  • By 2027, the global teeth whitening market is projected to be worth $8,4048.70 Mn (US) compared to $5,857.61 in 2018. (The Insight Partners, 2019)
  • The UK’s cosmetic dentistry industry is valued at £2.2 billion and is expected to increase by 8% by 2021 (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • A Market Surveillance Study carried completed in 2018 by the network of Official Cosmetics Control Laboratories (OCCLs) found that 78% of paint-on (brush-on) whiteners and more than 50% of tray-based tooth whiteners and whitening strips were non-compliant with European Union or national regulations (Council of Europe, 2019). 
  • Nearly half (45%) of single adults in the UK have had illegal tooth whitening (Oral Health Foundation, 2017)
  • The UK tooth whitening industry is estimated to be worth over £40 million in the UK (Oral Health Foundation, 2017)
  • In the UK £100 million is spent per year on whitening toothpaste (BBC, 2016)
  • The global teeth whitening products market was valued at USD 5.56 billion in 2016, with an estimated value of USD 7.40 billion by 2024 (Hexa Research, 2017)
  • Whitening toothpastes accounted for 86.3% market revenue share in 2016 (Hexa Research, 2017)
  • The whitening strips segment was valued at USD 899.8 million in 2016 (Hexa Research, 2017)

General Dental & Oral Health Statistics

  • 66% of adults have in the UK have visible plaque. (Oral Health Foundation, 2021)
  • 74% of adults in the UK have had teeth extracted. (Oral Health Foundation, 2021)
  • 58% of British adults view their smile differently as a result of online video calls during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Oral Health Foundation, 2021)
  • 33% are more aware of their tooth colour and 24% more aware of tooth alignment. (Oral Health Foundation, 2021)
  • 11% of adults feel conscious about seeing their smile during an online meeting or video call. (Oral Health Foundation, 2021)
  • 3 million suffer from regular oral pain. (National Smile Month, Oral Health Foundation 2020)
  • British adults, under 35 are spending on average £750 a year on dental treatment – more than 3x the national average. (Oral Health Foundation, 2020)
  • 53% of under 35’s in the UK have had cosmetic dental treatment. (Oral Health Foundation, 2020)
  • 3 school days on average are missed yearly due to dental problems. (National Smile Month, Oral Health Foundation 2020)
  • 12% (1 in 8) of UK children wake from a nightmare about their oral health. (Oral Health Foundation, 2020)
  • 47% of children have expressed anxieties about their oral health to their parents. (Oral Health Foundation, 2020)
  • Globally, by 2025 the value of the oral health products market is anticipated to be worth US $33.7 billion. (PR Newswire, 2019)
  • 8,337 new cases of mouth cancer in the UK a year (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • 171% increase in mouth cancer in the last 20 years (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • 64% increase in mouth cancer in the last 10 years (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • 2,701 British people die as a result of mouth cancer (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • 64% do not know the signs and symptoms for mouth cancer (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • UK schools rank last in providing oral health education, survey of 13 countries says (World Dental Federation, 2019)
  • 49% of UK parents don’t know how often their child’s school gave lessons on good oral care (World Dental Federation, 2019)
  • 3.58 billion people (equivalent to half of the world’s population) suffer from oral diseases (World Dental Federation, 2019)
  • 51% of British adults are made to feel conscious of their smile (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • 1 in 5 adults (17%) have received negative comments from their family members on the look of their smile (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • 1 in 10 adults (10%) have been subject to unkind remarks about their from strangers (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • 87% of those under 35 are made to feel self-conscious about their smile (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • Only 29% of the adult population are likely to pose for a photograph with an open-mouth smile (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • Each year over 8,000 are diagnosed with mouth cancer in the UK (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • In 2017, 2,722 Brits lost their life the mouth cancer (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • 75% of people don’t know the signs for mouth cancer (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • In 2017/18 the UK government spent £2,812 million on dentistry (HM Treasury, 2019)
  • 22.1 million Brits were seen by an NHS dentist Between January 2015 and December 2017 (HM Treasury, 2019)
  • Just under 7 million children were seen by a dentist between 2016 and 2017 (HM Treasury, 2019)
  • Women who entered labour early are one and a half times more likely (45%) to have gum disease than women who experienced a perfect pregnancy (29%). (Journal of Clinical Periodontology, 2019)
  • Those suffering from sadness, helplessness and other symptoms of depression, are almost 20% more likely to also have severe gum disease (Journal of Clinical Periodontology, 2018)
  • 1 in 5 Brits admit to being afraid or anxious about visiting the dentist (Oral Health Foundation, 2018)
  • More than 10 million adults in the United Kingdom have some level of dental anxiety, with an estimated six million suffering from dental phobia (Oral Health Foundation, 2018)
  • Gum disease affects up to 50% of the adult population worldwide (World Dental Federation, 2018)
  • 65% use their teeth for tasks other than eating or drinking (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • More than four in five (85%) 18-35-year-olds admit to abusing their teeth by performing unusual tasks with them. This is significantly higher than 35-54-year-olds (70%) and the over-55s (54%) (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • 41% admit to using their teeth to tear selotape (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • 26% of us bite our nails (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • 20% use their teeth to take tags out of clothing (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)
  • 9% use their teeth to open bottles (Oral Health Foundation, 2019)

Sugar Statistics

  • Young people are 33% more likely to eat sugary foods and significantly more likely (39%) to have decaying teeth, if there watch over and 90 minutes of TV per day. (Department of Pediatric Dentistry Clinic, Aplicacao School of Federal University of Para – UFPA, Belem, Para, Brazil, 2019)
  • 53% of children watching television for more than 90 minutes a day have some form of tooth decay. Youngsters who eat sugary foods while watching TV are also more than twice as likely to have decaying teeth than those who choose to avoid them. (Department of Pediatric Dentistry Clinic, Aplicacao School of Federal University of Para – UFPA, Belem, Para, Brazil, 2019)
  • 24% of adults admit being addicted to sugar (Simply Health, 2019)
  • By a child in the UK turns 10 years old, they have already exceeded the maximum recommended sugar intake for an 18 year old. They are consuming around 2,800 cubes of sugar per year (8 per day), more than is recommended. (Public Health England, 2019)
  • A 500ml can of energy drink contains on average 13 sugar cubes (Public Health England, 2018)
  • A 330ml can of cola contains an average of 9 sugar cubes (Public Health England, 2018)
  • A 200ml juice pouch with added sugar contains on average 5 cubes of sugar (Public Health England, 2018)

*The page that published this information has since been removed from the internet, but we have chronicled the statistics above, and included the accompanying statement from Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, on this page.

† This is data that we have gathered ourselves by anonymously surveying a minimum of 1000 site visitors.

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