Turning off the tap when cleaning your teeth could save over 12 litres of water per person, according to new research.
The research, conducted by Save Water Save Money and the British Dental Health Foundation for National Smile Month, has revealed that nearly two thirds (64%) of 7 to 10 year olds admitted to leaving the tap running while brushing their teeth.
The research has also shown that in homes using a water-saving aid, only six per cent of 7 to 10 year olds left the tap running, saving more than 4,230 litres of water in the process.
The Foundation and Save Water Save Money are encouraging people to think about saving water as well as saving their teeth during the Foundation’s annual campaign, National Smile Month.
Chief executive of the Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, said: ‘Many people believe after brushing their teeth they should rinse their mouth with water, when in fact it is better for oral health to spit the toothpaste out. This ensures that the fluoride found in most toothpastes will remain on the teeth and therefore continue to remain effective.
‘Using water in the right way can be of benefit to oral health. Still water is a great drinks choice for children, while it is also beneficial to have a glass of water after eating or drinking anything sugary.’
Tim Robertson, Director of Save Water Save Money, said: ‘Linking one of National Smile Month’s key oral health messages with the “turn off the tap: campaign makes it an action everyone can relate to.
‘That is why products such as the Toothy Timer, carrying the Foundation’s key oral health messages, can help to make a difference. While two thirds of the children in the first survey left the tap running, after the introduction of the Toothy Timer this figure dropped to just six per cent.’
Taking place from 20 May to 20 June, National Smile Month is theUK’s largest oral health campaign.
Save Water Save Money is working in conjunction with theUK’s Water Companies to encourage water efficiency by raising awareness of the high levels of water wasted in the bathroom. Some participating Water Companies are offering their customers free or discounted Toothy Timers, a two minute teeth timer with a funky crocodile attachment, in support of National Smile Month.
Advice on how to use water wisely and details as to what’s on offer from your water company can be found on specific water company websites or at www.savewatersavemoney.co.uk/turnoffthetap. For further information on National Smile Month, head to www.smilemonth.org
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Acknowledgements to Dentistry.co.uk