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Does expensive toothpaste do the job better than cheaper alternatives?


Most kinds of toothpaste won’t set you back more than about five pounds but there are a number of new products on sale that claim to work wonders for your dental health, and some of them come with a much higher price tag. Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, has spoken to the Daily Mail about how these products could improve, or possibly damage, your teeth.

Dr Carter examined a number of different toothpastes with radical claims, from freshening breath to rebuilding enamel, and gave his verdict on the products; in some cases, describing the paste as ‘under-formulated and over-sold.’

When it comes to whitening teeth, pastes can do big business, but Dr Carter is not convinced that the more expensive products, costing around £12, will do the job, since the hydrogen peroxide contained is just 0.1% – nowhere near enough to make a difference with dental stains. Most whitening toothpastes will use abrasive ingredients to remove surface stains and Dr Carter surmised that ‘a product at an eighth of the price is going to be as good.’

The most expensive toothpaste claims to regenerate enamel and costs £40; although Dr Carter was sceptical at first, he admitted that Regenerate Enamel Science was ‘really exciting’ because it has taken ten years of research and extensive studies that support the theory behind the product. He added that ‘It is expensive but, with ten years of research and as a unique product on the market, there’s a real reason for the premium price.’

Children’s bad oral health is blamed on the parents


After it was revealed that 500 British children are admitted to hospital for tooth decay every week, dental surgeons have come forward to voice their concerns about this statistic. The figures, released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) made for alarming reading and showed that a shocking 25,812 children between the ages of five and nine were admitted to hospital because of poor oral health in 2013/2014 – this is a 14% rise from 2010/2011.

Chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, questioned parents that would leave their child in pain and added that dental decay was ‘a disease of poverty and disadvantage.’ Referring to the figures, Dr Carter said that the numbers were representative of the ‘North-South’ divide, and cited areas in the North West of England and Yorkshire, as the worst in the country.

Voicing his opinion on the cause of the problem, Dr Carter did not mince his words; ‘its pure parental neglect’ he says, and points the finger at the diets parents are feeding their children. He added ‘Parents must learn to check by reading labels… Things parents think of as healthy can be risky, such as sultanas or dried fruit, which are not only high in sugar but also sticky, so sugar stays in the mouth longer.’

With regards to dental hygiene, Dr Carter is concerned that children are not being taught how to brush their teeth, he says ‘Some parents don’t even provide a toothbrush or fluoride toothpaste and don’t supervise their children’s cleaning regime.’ Finally, he added that parents should take their children to the dentist at least once every six months for a check-up, so that they can avoid decay and hopefully a trip to the hospital for extractions will be unnecessary.

New figures show that over 25,000 British children visit hospital for dental treatment


A new report from the Health and Social Care Information Centre has revealed that more than 25,000 British children aged between five and nine have been admitted to hospital for tooth extractions as a result of tooth decay. This number is an increase of over 3,000 from 2010/2011.

The British Dental Health Foundation has spoken about this worrying trend and chief executive Dr Nigel Carter OBE, described it as ‘incredibly worrying’ and commented that it is ‘unacceptable’ that these children were not being taken to the dentist from the age of two or three, as is suggested by dental professionals. He added that a child’s first visit to the dentist should not be left until they are in pain and they need to have numerous teeth extracted to combat the decay, Dr Carter commented that this would ‘[set] the child up for a potential lifetime of poor dental health and dental phobia.’

According to the British Dental Health Foundation, the responsibility for arranging dental care lies with the parents and Dr Carter maintains that it is down to them to stick to basic oral hygiene principles to avoid problems with their child’s dental health. Finally, Dr Carter says ‘Tooth decay is entirely preventable through nothing more than a few very basic oral health messages’, including a visit to the dentist on a regular basis. Parents should also encourage children to brush their teeth every day for at least two minutes using fluoride toothpaste and reduce intake of sugary foods and drinks to protect the teeth.

Consumers are unsure what constitutes a healthy snack


Research carried out in Ireland has revealed that a worrying number of people are not sure what sort of snack is really bad for their teeth; most of those asked were found to be unaware that cheese constitutes a healthy snack. Constant snacking on the wrong food and drinks can cause long term damage to teeth if they are not given enough time to recover from acid attacks.

The survey was carried out by the British Dental Health Foundation and involved questioning more than 2,000 members of the public. Chief executive Dr Nigel Carter said that most people were aware of what affect food and drink has on their body, but don’t know that ‘diet also plays a vital role in oral health.’ He added ‘Frequent consumption of sugary foods and drinks naturally weakens the enamel on the teeth.’

Dr Carter offered some advice to consumers on how to improve their dental health, with regards to snacking; ‘If people do snack between meals, choose foods and drinks that do not contain sugar, limiting the amount of time the mouth is at risk.’ He also said that chewing on sugar-free gum after meals could be good for teeth, although almost half of those asked did not realise this – the action of chewing will help saliva to cancel out the acid that has been generated during the meal.

Parents are still taking children to the dentist during school hours


According to new research carried out by the British Dental Health Foundation, three out of five parents admitted that they would most likely take their child to see the dentist during school hours. The study also revealed that only three in ten would make appointments during the school holidays and less than one in ten would go over the weekend – despite the fact that more dental practices are trying to make appointments available outside school hours, in an attempt to meet the needs of parents in Britain.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, explained that there are a growing number of clinics that are taking the needs of parents with school-age children into consideration when scheduling their appointments. He added that ‘Later and weekend opening hours mean parents can take their children to the dentist without the need for skipping school attendance. The school holidays are also a great time to take your child for a check-up.’

Experts have long been pressing the issue of oral hygiene among the younger generation, suggesting that a dental appointment at least once a year is the best way to ensure good dental health – along with daily cleaning and tooth care. Dr Carter emphasised this point, explaining that ‘Early childhood experiences determine a child’s dental health needs for the rest of their lives.’

British Dental Health Foundation welcomes change to laws on tooth whitening


A new law has been passed to make it safer for consumers to undergo teeth whitening treatments, putting an end to illegal practitioners and untrained individuals providing similar services. The British Dental Health Foundation has welcomed the news that the European Council has ruled that whitening products containing or releasing between 0.1 and 6 per cent hydrogen peroxide can only be sold to a registered dental professional working from a clinic or surgery. This ruling should make the treatment process much more effective and improve safety standards substantially.

Dr Nigel Carter of the British Dental Health Foundation says that any type of bleaching carried out by beauticians could be dangerous to the health of the patient, adding that the procedure is often performed by individuals with no formal qualifications. The whitening gels used could also contain a much higher level of hydrogen peroxide, which can be bad for the teeth.

Dr Carter added that the treatments ‘may be cheaper but this comes at a real risk and a possibility of permanent damage to teeth and gums. Under the new law, our safety will no longer be jeopardised by illegal tooth whitening that can often leave lasting damage. By firmly outlawing tooth-whitening treatments carried out in beauty salons and whitening kiosks, we are no longer left confused by who can carry out the procedure. If you want your teeth whitened, you must now visit a dental practice.’

Evolution of the human diet could be to blame for dental problems


According to a conference in North Carolina, entitled Evolution of Human Teeth and Jaws; Implications for Dentistry and Orthodontics, many of modern man’s dental problems can be blamed on changing diets. Experts in the field have discovered that things like cavities, overbites, and crooked or crowded teeth are inevitable, given the drastic change in eating habits over the past 13,000 years.

The study used ancient fossilised teeth to compare today’s diet with that of our ancestors, explains Simon Hillson, Professor of bio-archaeology at University College London; ‘Not only are there exceptionally well-preserved examples of fossilised human ancestors available, we’ve been able to examine teeth of people such as the Aboriginals and Kalahari bushmen who ate a hunter-gatherer diet like our pre-agricultural ancestors as recently as the 1950’s’

Since man became farmers, rather than hunter-gatherers, food has become much softer and easier to chew, resulting in smaller jaws and teeth that are ‘actually redundant’, says Dr Nigel Carter of the British Dental Health Foundation. Dr Carter added that ‘apart from the necessity of teeth for appearance and speech, we probably no longer need them’, due to diets that reduce chewing. The arrival of sugar in Britain may also have played a big part in dental conditions, says Dr Carter, pointing out that at the start of the 19th century when the sweet stuff arrived on our shores ‘the state of our teeth plummeted.’

Pregnant women ‘could see changes to their oral health’


Pregnant women 'could see changes to their oral health'Expectant mothers looking to prevent emergency dentistry should attend regular check-ups with their dental practitioner in a bid to monitor their oral health, according to an expert.

Dr Nigel Carter from the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF) has revealed that hormone changes occurring during pregnancy may cause inflammation of the gums.

His advice comes after a study from the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology established a link between mothers with poor oral health and similar issues among their children.

Dr Carter advised women to look out for any changes to their dental health during pregnancy, as well as increased bleeding of the gums.

"Women particularly during the time of their pregnancy must keep a high standard of oral hygiene, which includes visiting their dentist regularly," he explained.

In addition, appointments with a dental hygienist who can offer advice and guidance – as well as provide thorough cleaning – have been recommended for expectant mothers.ADNFCR-2621-ID-800621381-ADNFCR

Individuals ‘should not take their dental health for granted’


Individuals 'should not take their dental health for granted'Emergency dentistry patients should not take their oral health for granted during their efforts to prevent wider health issues, an expert has claimed.

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF), has urged individuals to take increased care of their teeth in a bid to prevent the onset of illnesses.

His advice came after researchers from the University of Western Australia revealed that women with poor oral hygiene could experience difficulty getting pregnant.

The scientists discovered that females with gum disease took an average of two months longer to conceive than those without dental health problems.

Previous studies have shown individuals with high standards of oral health are at limited risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and strokes, Dr Carter remarked.

He added: "This is yet another indication that we should not take our oral health for granted. Conception is the latest in a long line of problems associated with gum disease."ADNFCR-2621-ID-800615763-ADNFCR

Cutting down on coloured food ‘could provide natural teeth whitening’


Cutting down on coloured food 'could provide natural teeth whitening'Image-conscious individuals contemplating teeth whitening procedures could be interested in recommendations from the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF).

According to the organisation's chief executive Dr Nigel Carter, limiting the consumption of coloured food and drink could be a natural method of protecting smiles.

His comments emerge after the Scottish Daily Herald reported actor James McAvoy had succumbed to Hollywood pressure and received cosmetic dentistry.

The X-Men star reportedly decided to get his teeth whitened and straightened, despite previous claims he was unwilling to change his appearance for his job.

Dr Carter insisted that before opting for such procedures, it is vital that people adopt an at-home routine to ensure overall oral health is maintained.

He recommended the use of fluoride toothpaste in a bid to remove often unsightly stains caused by smoking, red wine or coffee.

"Whitening toothpaste may also help the effect last, once your teeth have been professionally whitened," he added.ADNFCR-2621-ID-800611194-ADNFCR

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