Oman ranked second in global oral health league

Oman Tuesday 17/May/2022 21:58 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman ranked second in global oral health league

Muscat: Oman has bagged the second place among countries with better dental health in a new survey based on sugar consumption, smoking rates and the number of dentists available per 10,000 of the population.

Oman was placed after Qatar, which finished first in the rankings among more than 178 countries, with a teeth-conscious score of 80.8. The study, conducted by British mail order dental supplier, Kent Express, found that Oman has three dentists per 10,000 people, a per capita annual sugar consumption of nine kilos or 2,252 teaspoons. The report also noted that 9.6 percent of adults in Oman are tobacco users.

In contrast, there are 6.2 dentists per capita in Qatar, which has an annual sugar consumption of 2.4kg per capita, or 607 teaspoons and about 14 percent of adults using tobacco.

“I think that more focus on prevention over treatment is needed,” said Anna Middleton, a dental therapist and founder of London Hygienist. “Good oral hygiene that includes brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and cleaning in between the teeth daily will remove the harmful plaque bacteria that causes decay and gum disease.

“Having a diet low in sugar is important too as well as not smoking and limiting alcohol,” she added. “Ensuring that we look after our mouths at home will significantly reduce the risk of dental treatment in the future.”

The report showed that people in Japan visit their dentists most often: More than three times a year. Those in the Netherlands, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Korea also practice good dental habits. In contrast, people in Portugal, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile and Colombia go to their dentists less than once a year.

Japan is among those countries with most number of dentists available, at more than eight dentists per 10,000 people. Norway, Luxembourg, Germany and Jordan also have a good number of dentists available to the population.
Qatar finished at the top of the table because of lowest sugar consumption rates in the world, a low proportion of people smoking and a large number of dentists at the community’s disposal.

The UK ranks 68th on the index, only seven places above the USA, which is renowned for its sugary diet. People in the US, on average, consume almost 33kg of sugar each year. The UK, in comparison, has an overall teeth conscious score of 54.3 with 5.3 dentists per 10,000 people and an annual sugar consumption of up to 22.1kg per capita.

Guatemala, in Central America, is ranked the least teeth-conscious country, consuming 436kg of sugar per person per year, which is equivalent to almost half a million teaspoons. The country scores a mere 12.6 on the index, compared to Qatar’s score of 80.8.

Urging people around the world to take action when it came to toothcare, Chris Moffat, a dental expert at Kent Express, said, “Whether it’s high levels of sugar consumption, ineffective cleaning or complacency about going to the dentists, many of us need to do more to improve our oral hygiene.

“Proactive measures are needed: We could consider preventative outreach at schools or looking at new ways to communicate oral hygiene advice to adults. It will take time for attitudes to change,” he admitted.