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Nearly half of the people in Wales have not visited an NHS dentist in two years

Fri

Figures released by the Welsh Government have shown that almost half the population did not visit the dentist at all over the last two years. Statistics revealed that only 55.7% of the people in Wales were recorded to have visited an NHS dentist in the past twenty-four months, with a total of 1.5million procedures being carried out during this time. Although this is an increase of 1.8% from 2010-2011, a large number of people have not been able to access NHS treatment because of the number of dentists available and concern over price.

Dental hygienist Alison Lowe, based in Cardiff, said that ‘access to dental care is still difficult. People still find that they cannot get an NHS dentist and because of the financial climate people are reluctant to pay for work as well.’ She went on to say that the cost of future dental treatment was also of some concern to the Welsh public, adding ‘Many worry that they won’t be able to afford dental care now and in the future and younger people are now more inclined to seek private treatment. Emergency dental services on weekends are full and people just cannot afford to pay for it.’

Only last month the Welsh Government launched Together for Health, a programme designed to reduce oral health inequalities over the next five years. Health minister Lesley Griffiths said that ‘Oral health is an intrinsic part of general health and prevention is at the core of the draft plan.’

Emergency dentistry prevention: Top tips to protect teeth

Wed

An expert has been giving advice on emergency dentistry prevention. People keen to prevent emergency dentistry have been given some top tips on how to look after their teeth by one expert.

Speaking to the Western Mail, hygienist Alison Lowe said one of the easiest ways to do so is to use a fluoride toothpaste, which could reduce decay by up to 50 per cent.

However, she advised people to check the packaging, as different formulas are required for different age groups. For instance, children younger than two will need fluoride levels of 600 parts per million (ppm), whereas 1,450ppm is fine for the over-fours.

Meanwhile, Ms Lowe also recommended brushing teeth before and not after breakfast, as this will prevent acids from stripping away the tooth enamel.

She said it is best to leave an hour between eating and brushing and recommended eating sugary foods at mealtimes rather than grazing in them throughout the day.

Last month, Dr Sarah Hulland told the Vancouver Sun that parents should teach their children about the benefits of good oral hygiene as early as possible to reduce the likelihood of them needing emergency dentistry in the future.

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Healthy lunchboxes ‘could prevent emergency dentistry’

Mon

Avoid emergency dentistry with better lunchboxes.Making sure children have healthy, non-sugary food in their lunchboxes could prevent a need for emergency dentistry later in life.

This is the advice of Alison Lowe, writing for the Western Mail, who said that when sugars and carbohydrates dominate the diet, the risk of tooth decay is dramatically increased.

"Some bacteria in the mouth use sugar as food to produce an acid, which is strong enough to dissolve enamel and cause tooth decay," she explained.

Ms Lowe recommended avoiding fizzy drinks and diluting fruit juices to make them less damaging, as well as opting for yoghurts that have more fruit in them than sugar.

Water and one piece of fruit are ideal for lunchtime, Ms Lowe said, although fruits which stick to teeth should be avoided.

Brushing twice a day should also help children to avoid emergency dentistry.

Earlier this month, AllVoices.com recommended that parents whose children are going trick or treating for Halloween should send them out with a bottle of water, as this can prevent sugary sweets from attacking enamel.
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