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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 21 January, 2020

Smile! One third of Irish people have broken or missing teeth

Poor childhood dental habits were blamed for tooth loss later in life by the majority of people in a new survey.

Image: Franklin Reyes/AP/Press Association Images

POOR DENTAL HABITS as a child has led to Irish people having broken or missing teeth as an adult.

That’s according to a survey by Seapoint Clinic, which said 35 per cent of Irish people have broken or missing teeth, with a quarter blaming their bad habits as a child for this.


Most people surveyed had fillings (86 per cent), with almost half (42 per cent) having between two and three fillings.

More than half (60 per cent) of people aren’t happy with their smile, with 71 per cent even saying they would consider cosmetic dentistry.

When asked what they would change about their smile, 65 per cent said they would make their teeth white, while 12 per cent wanted straighter teeth.


How often do you brush your teeth? Most people polled said they brush twice a day (84 per cent), but 49 per cent said they don’t floss. Almost 1 in 5 people visit the dentist every two years.

Two per cent polled admitted they have never visited the dentist.

Dr Tom Linehan of Seapoint Clinic said:

While it was heartening to see that the majority of people polled are brushing the recommended twice a day, the amount of people flossing is quite poor. Flossing is an essential part of an oral hygiene routine to help prevent gum disease which is the most common cause of tooth loss.

Celeb smiles

When asked about their favourite celebrity smiles, over one third (39 per cent) said that Hollywood A-lister George Clooney has the best smile in Hollywood.

Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Cole topped the poll for female celebs (34 per cent), while Julia Roberts received 20 per cent of votes.

But what about Irish celebs? Here are the results, in slideshow form, so they can show off their grins themselves.

Smile! One third of Irish people have broken or missing teeth
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  • 1. Rosanna Davison

  • 1. Craig Doyle

  • 2. Georgia Salpa

  • 2. Nicky Byrne

  • 3. Laura Whitmore

  • 3. Liam Neeson

  • 4. Pippa O'Connor

  • 4. Shane Filan

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