Feb 2012

Nice Smile Important in Partner Survey

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Results from the recent Oral-B Powerbrush Survey show that the majority of Kiwis see a nice smile as one of the key elements of a potential partner however we are not taking care of our smiles as well as we should be!


We might suffer cavities, gum disease and bad breath ourselves but a nice smile is a necessity for a potential partner according to a new dental hygiene survey!

New research by Oral-B Powerbrush has revealed that when it comes to oral health Kiwis are sadly lacking – but that doesn’t mean we’ll accept poor dental hygiene from our loved ones.

The survey showed that more than 80% of Kiwis have cavities, with many failing to brush, floss or rinse and the majority suffering from early signs of gum disease.

Interestingly despite our own neglectful oral care, more than nine out of 10 (91%)  Kiwis said having a nice smile is important when it comes to finding a partner!

The Oral-B Powerbrush survey showed issues with oral health were common with more than eight out of 10 (81%) Kiwis having had cavities, more than half (51%) with bleeding gums – a common sign of gingivitis and a further four out of 1010 (42%) admitting to having bad breath at some stage.

The research was commissioned by Oral-B in conjunction with the Oral-B Triumph with Smart Guide toothbrush. The brush is Oral-B’s most technologically advanced, state-of-the-art power toothbrush with a wireless display and customised settings to enhance cleaning performance.

The Oral-B Triumph with Smart Guide was designed to bring together clinically proven technology for up to twice as much plaque removal than a manual toothbrush[i] to help promote gum health, with a visible display to help you improve your brushing habits.

Despite the oral health warnings the survey results also showed that just over half (55%) of Kiwis brush their teeth the dentist recommended twice per day and around one third (36%) brush once per day. One in 10 (10%) Kiwis brush less often than once a day.


The study found that more than eight out of 10 (82%) people floss less often than once a day, with 4% flossing twice a day. Mouthwash use has a similar profile as flossing in frequency with 85% not using mouthwash once a day and 5% using it twice per day.

Dr Hisham Abdalla, an international lecturer in dentistry, says he is disappointed that so few Kiwis take care of our teeth and that the financial and social costs of oral diseases are an increasing burden on society.

Dr Abdalla says the proper routine is brushing the gums and teeth with a soft brush or power brush twice a day for two minutes, flossing once a day and using an alcohol free mouthwash once or twice a day.

“The brush should be soft and small and ideally a power brush, like the Oral-B Triumph Power Brush. They are small, soft and the oscillating-rotating heads are much more efficient in removing sticky, bacteria infected food debris (plaque) in the prescribed two minutes. I find Oral B Power Brushes easier to use than a manual toothbrush too.”

It’s no surprise then that more than half of us (55%) visit the dentist or dental nurse less often than once a year. More than eight out of 10 (84%) of say the aspect they like least of visiting the dentist is the cost, followed by pain (13%) and the inconvenience of having to find the time during the day (9%).

Dr Abdalla says if people took better care of their teeth in between dental visits they would have a more positive relationship with their dentists.

“I would like those people to find a dentist or hygienist who inspires them to take better care of their oral health. It should be a positive and preventative relationship that saves people money and stress in the long term.”

Nearly two thirds of respondents (65%) said they didn’t mind the routine of brushing their teeth however for 5% of New Zealanders it was a chore they tended to dread.

Most of us (69%) agree our parents did a good to excellent job of instilling oral hygiene habits, there was also a definite shift from having received those habits to passing them onto their children in that nearly eight out of 10 (79%) parents tend to agree with the belief that they are doing a slightly better job.


Dr Abdalla says it’s great to see that so many feel their parents have installed good oral hygiene habits in them but the onus is now on us to keep looking after ourselves and pass on that knowledge to our kids.

“Some parents are doing a fantastic job, but many need to be more informed on things like diet, proper brushing for kids, when to stop supervising them, not to lick baby bottles, spoons and pacifiers before giving them to the child and so on. Innocent, well-meaning habits can cause a huge increase in dental disease risk,” he says.

The Oral-B Triumph with Smart Guide can make light work of the daily brushing task. The brush has been embedded with microchips which track what you’re doing and send a signal wirelessly to the Smart Guide remote display which provides while-you-brush real-time feedback.

The Smart Guide lets you know if you’re applying too much pressure, have cleaned one particular area enough and when you’ve reached the dentist-recommended two minutes. The Smart Guide even rewards you with a smiley face on the LCD screen for your efforts and stars appear to indicate that you are completing a good clean – a great way to encourage kids to brush for a 5 star clean too.

With five settings to choose from, the Oral-B Triumph with SmartGuide gives you a personalised teeth cleaning experience. Select the Clean mode for superior whole mouth cleaning or opt for the Sensitive function which is gentle enough for even the most delicate areas.

If you want an overall polish then the Polish setting is for you – while the Massage mode is for gently massaging your gums. For a thorough clean you can use the Deep Clean mode to make sure you remove plaque from all of those hard to reach areas.

Despite these results more than half (54%) of Kiwis rated their overall oral health as good. A further 16% said it was excellent with nearly one third (30%) rating their oral health as fair or poor.

When it came to voting for a New Zealander with the most powerful smile, the results were surprising. More than four out of 10 (43%) of respondents voted rugby star Richie McCaw as having the most powerful smile. McCaw bet Prime Minister John Key at 38%, Sir Peter Jackson at 9%, Graham Henry and Helen Clark both at 5%.

Psychologist Sara Chatwin says it’s likely Richie McCaw’s smile was perceived the most powerful due to New Zealand’s iconic sporting status.


“Kiwis are particularly fond of our sports heroes and similarly we tend to define ourselves by our sports and sporting achievements. Sports people tend to be seen as non-contentious, feel-good types with whom we would all like to associate”.

The Oral-B Triumph with Smart Guide, features rotating-oscillation technology, surrounding each tooth to gently remove plaque between each tooth and along the gum line. It’s no wonder Oral-B is the number 1 toothbrush brand recommended by dentists worldwide.

[i] Robinson, P et al, Manual versus powered toothbrushing for oral health. Cochrane Database of Systematic Review 2005.

Oral-B Triumph with SmartGuide is available for RRP $214.62. For stockistsp lease phone 0800 441 058

Fact Sheet


The Oral-B Triumph with SmartGuide Comes with:

  • An Oral-B Triumph powerbrush handle
  • A wall mountable Smart Guide wireless remote display unit
  • A charger base station
  • An Oral-B advanced FlossAction brush head
  • An Oral-B dentist inspired ProWhite brush head

Brushing Modes

Oral-B Triumph with Smart-Guide Has Five Brushing Modes:

  • Clean – superb whole mouth cleaning
  • Sensitive – gentle yet thorough cleaning for sensitive areas
  • Massage – gentle massage of gums
  • Polish – all-over polishing of your teeth
  • Deep Clean

Smart Technology

Oral-B Triumph with Smart-Guide employs smart brushing guidance technology

  • Shows brushing time, with 30 second and two minute signal
  • Has charge level display
  • Pressure sensor on handle and screen

Brushing Technique

Oral-B Triumph with Smart-Guide Optimal Brushing technique:

  1. Guide the brush head slowly from tooth to tooth
  2. Hold the brush head in place for a few seconds before moving to the next tooth
  3. Brush the gums as well as the teeth, first the outside, then the inside, finally the chewing surfaces
  4. Do not press too hard or scrub. Simply let the brush do all the work

About Dr Hisham Abdalla

Dr Hisham Abdalla is an Auckland based dentist.

Dr Abdalla is an invited Associate Professor at Cagliari University in Sardinia, Italy and an affiliate member of the American Dental Association.   He is an internationally respected Speaker, Author and Educator in the fields of Laser dentistry, Minimally Invasive preventative dentistry, High-tech dentistry, CEREC and Cosmetic dentistry. He is the accredited course provider and examiner for The Queensland University Laser Certification program.

Dr Abdalla is known for his pioneering ideas, strong motivation and passion for research and knowledge.  He was nominated by his colleagues at the Auckland Dental Association for NZDA Young Dentist of the Year in 2005.  A year later in 2006 he represented New Zealand as a finalist at the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons Young Lecturer of the Year Award.  Other honours include a Fellowship and Diplomat status from the World Congress of Minimally Invasive Dentistry.  He served as a past Directors Board member of the organisation in the USA.

He is a Founding member of the NZ Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, founding member and past Vice president of the NZ Institute of Minimal Intervention Dentistry, Fellow of the World Clinical Laser Institute, member of the Auckland and New Zealand Dental Associations.
Dr Abdalla graduated with honours from Charles University in Prague with a Medical University Doctor of Stomatology (dentistry

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Fleur Revell
Fleur Revell is one of the country’s most eminent PR consultants and public relations practitioners with more than 20 years industry experience behind her. Fleur is also a three times Qantas Media Awards winner and Feature Writer of the Year; and has an exceptional working knowledge of the New Zealand media landscape and its accelerating evolution in the digital age.
Nice Smile Important in Partner Survey
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