Croatia is a country of opposites. It is a well known fact that it is a wonderful country rich in nature, culture, history and tradition, however, according to Eurostat, its citizens are the most uncultured nation in the European Union with very bad oral hygiene.
Some studies show that on the average Croats brush their teeth every five days and that they replace their tooth brushes once a year. Furthermore, devastating data also show that on the average 12-year olds in Croatia have four decayed teeth. All and all, in terms of oral hygiene, Croatia hit the European bottom, again.
The latest data from Eurostat provide some interesting findings. To the question ‘’How many of your natural teeth do you have?’’, only a minority of Europeans (41%) stated that they still have all their natural teeth. A third of respondents still have 20 or more natural teeth, but not all. On the other hand, 13 percent of respondents declared that they have only nine natural teeth at the most, or even none.
The respondents stating that they still have all their natural teeth live mainly in the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Denmark and Finland, as well as in Ireland, Cyprus, Malta and Greece. On the other hand, only 19-29 percent of inhabitants of eastern EU countries of Hungary, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia and Latvia said that they have all their natural teeth. When it comes to Croatia, only 26 percent of its citizens declared to have all their natural teeth.
Furthermore, Eurostat’s survey question ‘’When did you last visit a dentist about your teeth, dentures or gums?’’ also provided some interesting results. Respondents who visited a dentist during the past twelve months were inhabitants from northern EU countries such as the Netherlands (83%), Denmark (78%), Germany and Luxembourg (77%), followed by Slovakia (73%) and Sweden (71%). It is important to note that in some of these countries it is compulsory for inhabitants to visit the dentist once a year or even every six months in order to continue to benefit from medical insurance cover for their teeth.
On the other hand, inhabitants of several countries in the eastern part of the EU are the least likely to have visited the dentist during the past year such as Romania (34%), Hungary (35%), Latvia (41%), Poland (44%), Estonia and Bulgaria (45%), Lithuania (46%) and Greece (49%). This time Croatia scored better than all those countries with 50 percent of people who visited the dentist in the past year.