West Germany has more teething problems than East
The divide between Germans in the former West and East even extends to teeth. Despite lagging behind in wealth and employment indicators, eastern Germans top the tables for dental hygiene.
People living in the five states of the former communist east of the country are far more conscientious when it comes to looking after their teeth.
More than 60 percent of citizens living in the states of Saxony and Thuringia went for a dental check up in 2012, compared to 44 percent in Bremen.
According to Germany’s 2014 dental report, released by health insurance company Barmer GEK, on average only every second citizen had their teeth cleaned at the dentist in 2012. This trend also applied to treatment and diagnostics.
Around 75 percent of Germans living in the new eastern states visited the dentist at least once in 2012, in comparison to the 69 percent living in the western states, the report showed.
Those that came out particularly well in the report were people in Saxony, with 79 percent visiting the dentist at least once a year. Coming in last were those living in the western state of Saarland, with only 63.9 percent going for a dental check-up in the year.
But the discrepancies are not just between east and west. The report also showed a difference between the sexes. Women are far more likely to visit the dentist than men.
In 2012, 74.2 percent of women went for check-ups compared to just 66.4 percent of men. And young men are the least concerned with looking after their teeth. It is only when they reach 50 that they gradually start visiting the dentist more often.
But by the time they reach 80, the figures are reversed as they overtake women in the frequency of check-ups.