LONDON, August 22 /PRNewswire/ -- One in four British women admits to not looking after her teeth, including brushing and flossing, on a daily basis, according to a new survey released today.

The survey asked women how important a good smile was; nearly two thirds (65%) of the women surveyed believe that a good smile results in a more confident individual, followed by 18% who said that someone with a good smile would be more likely to be successful in regards to romance and attracting a partner.

Teeth are clearly important in making an impression, but Brits are still living up to the stereotype of having bad teeth, as over one third of the women surveyed (36%) reported that they are embarrassed by their teeth. When asked what they would improve about their smile 49% of the participants stated 'very white teeth', followed by 29% wanting even and straight teeth.

The main problem is investing time and money in looking after our teeth. Nearly two thirds (64%) highlighted cost as a factor that deters them from getting their teeth straightened, with 73% only prepared to spend up to GBP1,000 on correcting their teeth. Yet when you compare how much women spend per year on their beauty regime, the survey revealed that the average woman happily spends GBP1,500 every year. Cosmetic dentistry, or correcting the smile with Invisalign costs between GBP3,500 and GBP5,000*, and when compared with the cost of cosmetics over the course of a lifetime, (and in light of the importance of an attractive smile), it is a small price to pay for a straight smile.

Dr Paul Humber, a leading dental practitioner commented, "The results of the survey demonstrate that women understand the importance of a healthy smile, but worryingly, they are not prepared to spend the time and money looking after their teeth. Fear of the dentist is an age old problem (24% are not willing to undergo corrective treatment based on fear), but new treatments such as Invisalign, which is a non-invasive procedure using a series of clear plastic aligners to straighten your teeth, have been popular, as they are discreet, and because they are removable, patients can brush and floss as normal. Invisalign gives me the chance to straighten teeth but without many of the treatment barriers that cause my patients to shy away from with traditional metal dental braces. The cost for treatment is a lifetime investment so when you compare this to how much women spend on beauty treatments, it is minimal."

Respondents were also asked which features they are most likely to notice when they meet a potential partner: eyes came top with 59%, followed by smile at 32%. When asked the same question about other women, the smile was considered their most noticeable feature (43%), followed by hair (39%). Seeing as teeth are important to women, it is surprising to consider how little attention they pay to them, especially when women are prepared to spend up to 30 minutes a day washing and styling their hair (69%), moisturising their body (60%) and applying cosmetics (49%).

Summary: One quarter of UK women admit to careless dental care despite the belief that an attractive smile results in personal confidence, British women are reluctant to invest in correcting their smiles.