Latest research from MINTEL finds Brits beaming brightly as the nation strives for a celebrity white smile. Although toothpaste dominates the oral hygiene market, it is the dental added extras which have really helped the market brush up its act. Despite still being a niche sector, sales of floss, dental gum and whitening products have grown by a massive 118% in the last 4 years alone, rising from £17 million in 2001 to £37 million in 2005. But it is the whitening products that are really driving this growth as the British oral hygiene industry taps into the world of cosmetic enhancement and the concept of ‘smile beauty’. ” The UK oral hygiene market has evolved into a whole new beauty sector. One of the biggest influences on the market has been the rising cult of celebrity, many of whom sport clinically enhanced pure white teeth. These stars have undoubtedly encouraged consumers to buy dental products on cosmetic rather than hygienic factors alone. Tom Cruise, Victoria Beckham and Ronan Keating are amongst those said to have had their teeth cosmetically enhanced. Previously only available from the dentist chair at a high cost, new product development, such as home whitening kits, now allows people to whiten their teeth in the comfort of their own home. These products appeal to a growing number of image-conscious consumers, who want to regain the white and unstained look they may have lost through a lifetime of drinking wine, coffee and tea or from smoking cigarettes, ” comments David Bird, senior market analyst at MINTEL.

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