Is the Cost of Living Crisis Contributing to People Not Visiting the Dentist?

Taking care of your oral health is as important as taking care of your general health. Good oral hygiene helps to boost your confidence, as well as your overall appearance.  

However, with the current cost-of-living crisis escalating to new heights, could this contribute to fewer people attending visits to the dentist?

Affordability Of Hygienist Visits

According to recent survey data from Hive Business on dental hygiene habits, 33% of UK respondents revealed they weren’t registered with a dental hygienist.

Photo by Robert Golebiewski on

People might think that brushing their teeth regularly or using mouthwash or flossing suffices for maintaining good oral health, but the need to visit a dental hygienist is just as important. 

Although treatment can be costly depending on certain bands of treatment, visiting the hygienist shouldn’t be discouraged, as they can help detect health issues earlier before they deteriorate. 

However, what should be taken into consideration is the argument that perhaps because of the cost-of-living crisis, people might not ‌afford visits or are unwilling to spend their money to do so, as they need to prioritise those expenses elsewhere. 

New data revealed that 94% of UK adults have been affected by the rising cost-of-living crisis, with almost 62% experiencing huge upsurges in their expenses. The crisis is forcing 82% of UK residents to make sacrifices as part of their spending habits, which includes 25% of people no longer spending money on essential oral health products such as mouthwash and toothpaste.

Since the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic, 12% of people declared that their oral health had declined and that 25% had less money to spend to look after their children’s health too. 

The best course of action is to cut down on sugary food and drinks and brush teeth with fluoride toothpaste, at least once during the day and then once at night.

Poor oral practices 

Poor oral practices can have a serious effect on an individual’s health. Some bad habits include:

Infrequent brushing and flossing 

Many brits forget to brush their teeth daily, and the latest figures from data collated by the Oral Health Foundation support this‌.

Some of these figures include: 

  • 66% of UK adults have visible plaque
  • Nearly 31% have tooth decay
  •  74% have undergone teeth extraction

The major cause of the statistics mentioned above is connected to the absence of twice-daily brushing, which is why dental professionals advise you to brush your teeth twice daily.

The first brush makes protects your teeth throughout the day and the second brush (night- time-brush) removes the daily build-up of food remains that sticks to the teeth and the gum surface.

Furthermore, keeping a good brushing and flossing routine will reduce the damage potential of plaque bacteria and the deterioration of mouth health.

Sharing Oral Tools

28% of Brits per Hive’s survey admitted that they have shared their toothbrushes at least once.

As caring as this act may seem, the effects often lead to detrimental diseases such as severe toothache, gum disease, tooth decay, or even tooth loss.

All healthcare professionals do not recommend this, as sharing toothbrushes will expose people to a variety of bacteria, which can spread easily from one person to another.


With the right awareness, UK residents will embrace good oral hygiene habits and their quality of life will improve. 

While it can be understandable why some people might want to cut back on some expenses because of the cost-of-living crisis, people should still seek to ensure that they ‌purchase important oral health items, such as fluoride toothpaste to brush their teeth twice daily, and they should aim to visit the dentist when they can do so.