Dental products find their way into everybody’s shopping trolley, but only a quarter (26%) of the public understands what ingredients they are made from and their purpose.
The findings have been published by the British Dental Health Foundation as part of its National Smile Month campaign.
The survey also reveals that approaching three quarters (72%) of people did not always believe the product claims made on dental products.
The Foundation believes the issues are connected and has published a glossary of common ingredients and their purpose to help educate and inform consumers.
Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, says: ‘The Foundation has a long track record of helping to educate the public on all aspects of oral health issues.
‘For nearly 20 years, we have been evaluating consumer oral health care products to ensure that manufacturers’ product claims are clinically proven and not exaggerated – an issue which is considered important by nearly three quarters (74%) of consumers.
‘Providing consumers with more information about ingredients is a natural extension of our charitable work in this area. When you glance down the ingredients list of a typical toothpaste or mouthwash it is easy to see why people may have some difficulties. Even common ingredients like water may sometimes be described in terms that not everyone will understand such as “aqua”.
‘We hope our new glossary of common ingredients will help more people to make an informed choice about which products to buy and how it can help their oral health.’