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More than half of S. Koreans not brushing teeth after lunch: study

More than half of adults in South Korea do not brush their teeth after lunch, a survey revealed Friday. 

According to the data, released by the Ministry of Health and Welfare on the country’s oral health day, 51.7 percent of people aged 19 and older who participated in the annual Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey said they skip brushing their teeth after lunch.


Only 16.6 percent said they had their teeth cleaned by a dentist in 2015. 

The ministry said it aims to increase the rate of people brushing their teeth after lunch to more than 62 percent and those getting dental cleanings once a year to 20 percent by 2021.

In South Korea, one can get their teeth cleaned once a year at a cost of 16,000 won ($14.20), as it is covered by National Health Insurance.  

The ministry is also seeking to lower the rate of tooth decay in children to 45 percent by 2021. The average number of decayed teeth in a child aged 12 remained at 1.9 in 2015, a sharp decrease from 3.3 in 2000. In neighboring Japan, the figure stood at 1.1 in the same year.  

By Bak Se-hwan (