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Could braces be the new fashion accessory?


According to research done by the British Lingual Orthodontic Society, one-in-five adults would like to get braces as the trend for the ‘Hollywood Smile’ continues. Although orthodontic work can cost more than £5000 per patient, more and more people are opting to get braces as the treatment options become more discreet and less uncomfortable.

Dr Rob Davies, of Smile Centre in Cardiff, spoke to Wales Online about the trend, saying that the attitudes towards braces have changed dramatically over the last thirty years. He explained that ‘in the last five years or so there has been a big increase in awareness – everyone wants nice, white, straight teeth and they are willing to go through a little bit of discomfort or wear braces to get them.’

A spokeswoman for the British Dental Foundation said that many adult patients appear to be more concerned with the cosmetic aspect of orthodontic treatment, rather than the functional need to correct the bite. She also said ‘With more media coverage focusing on appearance and celebrities, the general public feel more pressured in achieving the perfect smile. With modern techniques, dental appliances can be made less visible, compared with traditional train-track braces.’

Teeth whitening should be left to the professionals


According to experts at the British Dental Foundation, people wanting to emulate their favourite celebrities with a pearly white grin should leave the job to the professionals, rather than purchasing a DIY kit and having a go themselves. Dental adviser for the BDF, Karen Coates, has commented that take-home products are not very effective and the procedure should be carried out by a qualified individual.

Ms Coates said that kits purchased over the counter from cosmetic stores and pharmacies contained less that 0.1% hydrogen peroxide, a tiny amount that couldn’t possible hope to break down deep staining. They can also put the teeth at risk of heightened sensitivity or enamel erosion, with sustained use. Professional grade whitening solutions contain much more bleach, in some cases upwards of 20%, but it wouldn’t be safe to allow to public to try the procedure on themselves; with such a high peroxide content, the potential for disaster is greater.

Ms Coates went on to talk about the kinds of things that could stain the enamel – even after a whitening treatment, naming curry, tea, coffee and red wine as the main culprits. She also added that if people would still rather carry out teeth whitening at home, they should make sure the product they select has the BDF’s logo on the packaging, which indicates that there are no harmful acids or abrasives inside.

Visually impaired should have better information, expert says


Those with disabilities should be given more dentistry guidance.

The visually impaired in the UK should be provided with better information regarding dentistry, it has been claimed.

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said more needs to be done to ensure all areas of society are aware of the oral health services that are available to them.

Indeed, he noted there is a level of inequality in the present system, as it does not cater for those with disabilities fairly.

He made his comments following the publication of a study carried out by Moorfields Hospital in London, which showed that visually impaired people were less likely to visit their dentist on a regular basis.

Elsewhere, Conservative shadow health minister Mike Penning recently claimed that should his party win at today’s (May 6th) polls, then he will introduce a new dentistry contract that will focus on improving levels of access for all sections of society.

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