Dental hygiene in Madagascar: the practices of the Tananarivians

28/02/2019. Good dental hygiene is the guarantee of good health and sick teeth are as many open doors to the fetid diseases that spoil our lives (and those of those who smell our breath xD). Dental hygiene is part of personal hygiene. At Stileex Post, we wanted to know about the Tananarivians: are they used to seeing a dentist? Do they even brush their teeth? So we launched a survey and interviewed 904 Tananarivians in the streets. We share the results with you in this article.

The tooth brushing ritual

The first observation of this survey on the dental hygiene of the Tananarivians is nevertheless reassuring: 99%, such is the percentage of Tananarivians who brush their teeth every day (otherwise, it would have been worrying xD).

In terms of frequency, it’s not too bad either, as 62% of those surveyed brush their teeth three times a day. Then 30% brush twice a day and only 8% brush only once a day.

From an early age, children are taught to brush their teeth three times a day.
From an early age, children are taught to brush their teeth three times a day.

And the brand of toothpaste most used by the Tananarivians is…

When we talk about dental hygiene, how can we not mention the use of toothpaste, which is inseparable from tooth brushing.

On this subject, our survey revealed that the preferred brand of toothpaste of the Tananarivians is none other than Ciptadent, a brand used by 23% of the respondents.

Then came Colgate, which received 19% of the votes, Maxam, which was used by 11% of respondents, and Signal, which attracted 8%. At the end of the pack are Formula (4%) and Tonident (1%).

Then there are those who use traditional methods to brush their teeth (clay, coal, baking soda, etc.) and who represent 3% of the panel.

Let us note finally that they are 30% to have no preference in the brands of toothpaste.

Ciptadent: the brand of toothpaste most used by the Tananarivians
Ciptadent: the brand of toothpaste most used by the Tananarivians

We also wanted to know what motivates the choice of a toothpaste in general. For example, 49% of respondents actually take a brand only out of habit while 27% choose a toothpaste for its availability. Basically, they buy it because it’s what they find where they shop.

13% then say they are motivated by the affordability of the toothpaste, 6% are rather sensitive to quality, 3% rely on the recommendations of their dentists, and, finally, 1% are sensitive to the notoriety of the brand.

Focus on the brands Ciptadent, Colgate and Maxam

We looked at the three favourite toothpaste brands of the Tananarivians to find out the main reasons why Tananarivians buy them.

Thus, we now know that 68% of those who use the Ciptadent brand do so out of habit. Then, for 22%, it is because they can find them everywhere, while for 4%, it is for the quality of the toothpaste.

As for the Colgate brand now, it turns out that 61% of those who choose Colgate choose it out of habit. Then 17% choose it because they find it to be of quality and 15% choose it for its availability.

Finally, for Maxam, 51% of its users buy it out of habit, 39% buy it for its availability and 7% buy it because of their dentist’s recommendations.

63% of Tananarivians have never been to a dentist!

This survey on dental hygiene reveals a frightening reality: 63% of Tananarivians have never yet gone to see a dentist!

Of the 36% who have been there at least once, 61% always go to the same dentist, in other words, it’s always the same practitioner who takes care of their teeth (and that’s the right thing to do).

Only 36% of Tananarivians have ever been to see a dentist.
Only 36% of Tananarivians have ever been to see a dentist.

If the norm in dental hygiene is to visit a dentist every six months (or at worst, once a year), it turns out that the majority of those who have already consulted a dentist, namely 61%, only go when they are in pain! Then, 22% go every 6 months, 7%, less 6 months, 6%, every year, and 3% go every 2 years.

Our survey also uncovered the reasons for their visits to the dentist. It found that:

  • 48% go there for dental extraction
  • 21% for a care check
  • 20% for dental care
  • 6% for descaling
  • 3% for teeth whitening
  • and only 1% go there for a routine visit

Conclusion of this survey on the dental hygiene of the Tananarivians

Already, we can say that the basis of dental hygiene is well instilled among the Tananarivians: 99% brush their teeth every day, with 92% brushing at least twice a day. Bravo!

Then, apart from the 30% of felons who have no preference for brands, it turned out that Ciptadent is the most popular brand of toothpaste in the capital: precisely 23% of them use it.

It also appeared that toothbrushes (lol) are loyal consumers: almost half (49%) of Tananarivians turn to a brand of toothpaste mainly out of habit. And the most loyal are precisely those who choose Ciptadent. On the other hand, it is also interesting to note that the notoriety of a toothpaste has nothing to do with its popularity.

Another fact that emerged from this survey is that 63% of Tananarivians have never gone to see a dentist. Wow! If such a proportion of the population neglects to go to a professional, is it because the cost of care is expensive just like the rest of the cost of living in Madagascar or is it because they do very well without? It’s true that more than once I have seen people pull out a loose tooth with a simple sewing thread, or chew a clove to calm a toothache, and you can imagine that the buckwheats are still alive. Always the ady gasy what!

Chewing a clove for a few minutes will ease the toothache, but it's not a real cure!
Chewing a clove for a few minutes will ease the toothache, but it’s not a real cure!

Normally, you also need to go to the dentist once every 6 months or once a year at the worst to have your teeth checked. Except that in practice, more than half of the Tananarivians go only when they are in pain! Personally, and I am not ashamed to admit it, I am one of those 61%. In fact, I have this phobia of xD dentists. So I do everything I can to avoid them. Like many, I actually equate a visit to the dentist with an unpleasant and painful experience: the injection of anesthesia (which hurts like hell), not to mention the terrifying noise of the drill. Brrrrrrr.

The dentist's tools cause apprehension in many people...
The dentist’s tools cause apprehension in many people…

In 2016, Madagascar had about 1,200 dentists for more than 23 million inhabitants. This gives an overall ratio of 1 practitioner per 20,000 inhabitants. According to the WHO, the norm is 1 dentist per 10,000 inhabitants! In other words, we still need to double the number of our dentists. But is it really useful if only one third of Malagasy people go there?


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