The oral care category has seen 4% growth annually in 2012 and 2013, driven by the mouthwash and dental accessories/denture products segments. Price rises in mouthwash continue to drive growth in the market, as brands launch more sophisticated technologies with multiple benefits. The category is expected to grow by 3% in 2014, with continued growth forecast until 2018.

The value of dental services indicates areas of oral health that consumers are focusing on, with the cosmetics industry seeing significant growth in the period 2009 to 2013. Usage of oral care products shows that younger people are more interested in whiteness and bad breath, whereas older people show higher interest in products for more specific oral health concerns, such as plaque build-up. When it comes to benefits that consumers are willing to pay more for, instant benefits outweigh long-term benefits, suggesting that new innovations should continue to focus on providing instant results. In 2013, a number of premium launches in the category suggests that there is a market for premium products in oral care, particularly as consumers are willing to pay more for certain benefits. Although the category is predicted to see steady growth, driving value could come from developing the premium segment.


This report covers the UK consumer market for oral hygiene products, including products in the following categories:

  • Toothbrushes – standard manual, electric (rechargeable), battery-powered (non-rechargeable), replacement toothbrush heads, travel brushes and combined toothbrush/tongue scraper

  • Toothpaste – including pastes, gels, polish and powder formats

  • Mouthwash/rinse – primarily for the maintenance of dental and oral hygiene, includes medicated and non-medicated

  • Denture products – cleaners and fixatives and cleaners for orthodontic appliances

  • Dental accessories/ancillaries – includes cosmetic whitening products, eg gels, fresh breath dental chewing gum (eg Colgate Whitening Dental Gum) with product licences for the treatment and maintenance of oral hygiene, tongue scrapers, fresh breath strips and other breath fresheners, dental floss/tape, gum/ulcer/teething gel (eg Bonjela), interdental sticks and brushes, disclosing tablets

Please note that data have been revised since the last report due to new information from the trade.


  • Products used solely by the dental profession or products available only on prescription.

  • General-purpose antiseptic liquids, treatments for sore throats and products for the treatment of oral lesions, sores and mouth ulcers, such as gums, pastilles and teething gels are not included in the market size data, but are discussed within the scope of the report.

  • The report only covers retail sales, although the proportion of products sold direct via dental surgeries will also be discussed where appropriate.

Consumer research

  • To understand usage habits and attitudes towards oral care, Mintel ran a survey of 2,000 internet users aged 16+ in February 2014.

  • In February 2014, Mintel also conducted an online focus group to further discuss consumer attitudes towards oral care.

Value figures throughout this report are at retail selling prices (rsp) unless otherwise stated. Market sizes at constant 2013 prices are calculated using Mintel’s Chemist Goods deflator.

Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland.


ASA Advertising Standards Agency
GAD Government Actuary’s Department
GDS General Dental Services
GNPD Global New Products Database. For more information please contact Mintel on +44 (0)20 7606 4533
GP General Practitioner
GSK GlaxoSmithKline
HSCIC Health and Social Care Information Centre
HMSO Her Majesty’s Stationery Office
: :
: :
Back to top