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Experts disagree on how to keep teeth clean


Opinions differ on how best to keep our teeth and gums clean and even the experts can’t seem to agree on the optimum technique for maintaining good dental health. However, if a new study is to be believed, the best way to brush the teeth may be easier than you might think. A professor of dentistry claims to have come up with the definitive answer.

Professor Aubrey Sheiham, Emeritus Professor of Dental Public Health, found the available advice on how to brush ‘unacceptably inconsistent’ and believes that the public should be given some ‘sound information’ on the best brushing method. She said ‘If people hear one thing from a dental association, another from a toothbrush company and something else from their dentist, no wonder they are confused about how to brush.’ The study revealed an ‘array of advice from different sources.’

Sheiham added ‘Dental associations need to be consistent about what method to recommend, based on how effective the method is. Most worryingly, the methods recommended by dental associations are not the same as the best ones mentioned in dental textbooks.’ The study showed that there is no evidence to suggest that a more complicated brushing technique will work better than a simple scrubbing motion.

Professor Sheiham advised people to ‘Brush gently with a simple horizontal scrubbing motion, with the brush at a 45 degree angle to get to the dental plaque. Avoid brushing too hard; hold the brush with a pencil grip rather than a fist. This simple method is perfectly effective at keeping your gums healthy.’

X-ray shows statue of Christ has human teeth


An x-ray has revealed that a 300-year-old statue of Jesus Christ in Mexico is fitted with human teeth, all of which appear to be in perfect condition. The eight teeth were discovered when researchers began restorative work on the statue – known as the ‘Lord of Patience’ – which was believed to have been created in the 18th century.

The teeth are thought to have been donated by followers as a way of showing gratitude or in an attempt to feel closer to the religious figure. Art restorer Fanny Unikel spoke to Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History about the restoration and explained that statues usually have teeth made out of wood or bone, so it is fairly unusual for them to have human teeth with the roots intact. Unikel said that the sculpture, which is located at a church in San Bartolo Cuautlalpan, around 30 miles north of Mexico City, was very well preserved, she said; ‘The sculpture is always dressed. He only leaves the church during Holy Week, when he is paraded through the town.’

It is common for rural communities to parade religious figures through the town on holy days and Unikel added ‘The community really appreciates him, and this can be seen in the base of the sculpture, where there are different layers of multiple shades of paint. This shows that they wanted to present him with dignity.’

Huffington Post editor bumps into Usain Bolt at the dentist


On a routine trip to the dental clinic social media editor for the Huffington Post, Chris York, was more than a little surprised to find himself in the company of the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt. The sprinter seemed to be in good spirits despite partying all night in London with friends and was happy to pose with the editor for a picture.

Chris York was dropping some paperwork at the reception and was shocked when he realised that one of the world’s most famous athletes was sat just a few feet away. Chris said he spotted ‘someone rather familiar-looking sat in reception. I glanced at the receptionist and she nodded and said ‘yes it is.’ He described the occurrence as ‘pretty surreal’ and explained that Usain did not say what he was at the dentist’s for but entertained those in the reception by making jokes and ‘having a laugh.’ Chris added ‘He seemed in good spirits considering the night before.’

Usain was pictured earlier in the day making his way home after a night out partying in London and his ‘walk of shame’ was widely documented by the public, although he seemed to be coping with his hangover in a typically jovial style; the sprinter appeared no worse for wear despite spending the night partying and drinking.

Dentists warn that alcohol can damage teeth


According to a new survey, only sixteen percent of the general public think about the effect that alcohol is having on their dental health. Dentists have revealed that just a single glass of wine a day can dry out the mouth, cause bad breath, and increase the risk of tooth decay.

Most types of wine are extremely acidic and this can lead to a softening of the enamel, eventually causing it to wear away; enamel erosion cannot be repaired naturally and this will cause sensitivity and pain within the teeth. Carbonated wine and other fizzy alcoholic beverages are especially damaging and Dr Henry Clover, a dentist with dental insurance firm Denplan, said that adding ice to your drink will dilute the effects of the acid within the liquid, he added that you are better off choosing a non-carbonated beverage as this reduces the acid content. As well as acid, many alcoholic drinks are packed with sugar and this can cause tooth decay.

Because alcohol is a diuretic it will dehydrate the body and this reduces saliva flow into the mouth, leading to bad breath. Dr Clover recommends alternating alcoholic drinks with water to keep the body and mouth hydrated, and chewing sugar-free gum could help to stimulate saliva production, keeping the mouth moist.

Jerry Hall is not a fan of Botox


Former model Jerry Hall has declared Botox to be ‘silly’ in an interview with Good Housekeeping magazine; the 58-year-old added that she doesn’t like how celebrities look after they have undergone the anti-wrinkle treatment

Jerry – perhaps most famous for being the ex-wife of Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger – told the publication that she is ‘very against’ the product, adding ‘I think it looks silly – people with mean-looking eyebrows.’

Despite her age, Jerry insists that she doesn’t try to maintain her appearance by adopting a healthy lifestyle and regularly enjoys drinking and smoking, as well as sunbathing. She joked ‘I am 58. That is pretty old, for God’s sake. I look pretty good for my age, and I am enjoying that. But I smoke, I drink, I like wine, I love sun tanning, I drink coffee; I am doing all sorts of things I shouldn’t do.’

The mother-of-four says that removing stress is the key to keeping skin smooth ‘I think you feel less stressed at my age. You are not so bothered – everything is water off a duck’s back. It is something that happens with age; I am not bothered about anything. What will happen will happen.

Diet fads could be damaging to teeth


Juice cleanses and trendy diets could cause serious damage to dental health, according to a top dentist. Dr Sameer Patel, Clinical Director at a London dental practice has warned against following diet fads too closely and detailed the worst offenders for dental damage.

The juice cleanse, favoured by celebrities, is a diet that involves swapping meals for smoothies and juices; these products have a high acid content, which will wear away the enamel and lead to sensitivity in the teeth, as well as decay. Dr Patel spoke to the Daily Mail, saying ‘Fruit’s natural sugar, fructose, is a common cause of cavities as the bacteria in the mouth feed on it, so be careful when you do consume juice as part of a balanced diet.’ He advises drinking juice through a straw and waiting at least thirty minutes before brushing your teeth afterwards.

Another common problem with new diets, such as low-carb diet plans, is ketosis; this is a condition that is caused by the breakdown of fat in the body and results in bad breath. Dr Patel explains ‘Ketosis is brought on entirely by your diet and unfortunately no amount of flossing and brushing will combat the smell so think twice before cutting out carbs completely and stick to healthy ones… these will keep bad breath away whilst staying trim.’

New tooth product could get same results as professional tooth whitening


Clinical tooth whitening can be an expensive business, so many people might be happy to learn that there is now a new product that could give the same results with a much smaller price tag. According to trials, 100 women tried Pearl Drops Pure White Whitening Kit for ten days and found that their teeth became whiter by five shades or more.

The kit contains two serums and the three step treatments comprises of using the serums for thirty seconds each, one over the other. After twenty minutes the teeth are cleaned with water, before a special tooth paste is used to complete the treatment.

Pearl Drops consultant Dr Abeer Al-Adhami said that the bleaching agent in the product can break down intrinsic stains that have been absorbed into the tooth, whilst the toothpaste then gets rid of the surface stains. The process has to be repeated once a day for ten days in order to get the best results and Dr Al-Adhami said ‘Leaving it on for longer, or using it more than once a day, won’t make your teeth whiter, or speed up the process. There’s a maximum amount of oxidation that can happen within any 24-hour period.’

However, Dr Uchenna Okoye, clinical director of the London Smiling Dental Group provided a warning to patients about home whitening kits, saying; ‘Using the product for longer than the recommended time might damage the enamel of the teeth. …chlorine dioxide… [is] an effective whitening agent, but it is also very acidic. Thirty seconds may not be long enough to cause the damage but, without published data showing long-term effects, I’d be wary.’

Australian shopper bites into safety pin in block of cheese


A Woolworths customer in Australia thought he had broken his tooth when he bit into a block of cheese and found a safety pin in the middle of it. The shop has since withdrawn the line of cheese following the incident in New South Wales.

Former School teacher Patrick McMullen, from Orange, New South Wales, cut a slice from a block of Woolworths brand cheddar cheese and was surprised to make the discovery. Patrick told ABC ‘I cut a reasonably thick slice, put it into my mouth, I had no idea. At first I thought I’d broken a tooth because I felt something hard in my mouth… [but] it turned out to be a safety pin.’

Mr McMullen said he was in ‘shock’ at the turn of events and rang the Woolworths hotline right away; he added ‘They assured me that they take this sort of matter seriously and that someone would ring me.’ After pressuring them to remove the item from the shelves, a spokesman for the company told ABC that the product was immediately withdrawn from sale, he explained that ‘Woolworths is continuing to investigate the issue and has been in touch with the customer a number of times and will talk to him again today.’

Mr McMullen maintains that he is not out to cause trouble by releasing this information to the public, saying that his only concern is ‘for the safety of everyone.’

Dental health of children in Bradford comes to the forefront


Five-year-olds in Bradford have the worst dental health in Yorkshire, possibly the country; according to a meeting of Bradford’s Health and Wellbeing Board. It was also revealed that the problem had noticeably increased since dental services became the responsibility of NHS England.

Board Chairman, Bradford Council leader Councillor David Green, said that the problem was becoming ‘bigger and bigger’ and was something that he is becoming ‘increasingly concerned about’. After speaking with a number of dentists he found that they were ‘basically at their wits end because of the pressure on them.’

He added that he was especially concerned about the number of people, in particular children, that were arriving at A&E with serious oral infections due to ‘lack of dental care.’ Councillor Green said that this could either be due to not visiting the dentist or perhaps because access to treatment is limited in the area. Finally, he said that the children of Bradford have got the ‘worst dental health…certainly in Yorkshire and the Humber, if not the country.’

Manager of patients’ group Healthwatch Bradford and District, Andrew Jones, pointed out that the poorer residents were more likely to be affected by dental problems, saying ‘The biggest enquiry issue that Healthwatch gets is about NHS dentistry. That’s nothing new, but dental care and oral health have a huge inequalities element to it.’

Singer gets orthodontic brace to treat spine problem


Singer with James, Tim Booth, has a dentist to thank for his recovery from a serious neck injury that caused him problems for several years. Booth injured his neck while on stage performing in the US in the late 90’s and had to get surgery; he had to wear a neck brace while top doctors tried to figure out what damage had been done and how it could be treated.

The singer told WENN that he was essentially ‘disabled’ for over two years and had to wear a neck brace on stage; he added that he ‘couldn’t carry a shopping bag.’ Booth ‘tried every specialist there was and nobody could fix it.’ Thankfully, he attended an appointment with a clever dentist who provided a brace for his jaw rather than his neck; this ‘changed the relationship’ between the spine and jaw, which cured the problem within a matter of hours. Booth said ‘I could do everything again. Remarkable work.’

The performer seemed very pleased with the results and said ‘it was the craziest thing. Now I can do anything again. I’m back to jumping into the audiences again and dancing like a lunatic.’ He added that his friends and family are incredulous when he tells them that a dentist rather than a doctor provided the breakthrough; ‘People can’t believe it. They’re like, ‘A dentist fixed your spine? You’re nuts.’

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