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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.’

Study reveals that people in the West Midlands have worst levels of oral hygiene


According to new research carried out by Colgate Total Pro Gum Health, people in the West Midlands are the worst in the UK when it comes to looking after their teeth. The results showed that 50% of people in this area clean their teeth once a day or less – with 9% admitting that they didn’t bother to pick up a toothbrush in twenty-four hours sometimes.

The next worst are Londoners, closely followed by people in the North East. Experts recommend brushing twice a day for at least two minutes; those that don’t are leaving themselves open to tooth decay and gum disease.

The study also revealed that the healthiest region was the South East, where 77% of residents brush twice a day or more – this was only marginally ahead of Yorkshire, where 76% of people clean their teeth at least twice a day.

Dentist Richard Guyver – who founded the Diabetes and Dentistry Organisation – described these statistics as ‘worrying and quite surprising’ given that dental hygiene products are easily available in the UK. He said ‘It is also not particularly expensive or time consuming to care for your teeth, especially when compared to the cost of fixing any problems later on’ adding that ‘The recommendation is to brush twice a day at least, but ideally after every meal. That cannot always happen, for instance if you are at work, but brushing twice a day is really important.’

New campaign launched to encourage good dental health among children


Dentists in Rochdale are taking part in a new campaign designed to encourage parents to take their children to visit the surgery and get their teeth assessed on a regular basis; the initiative, entitled ‘Baby Teeth DO Matter’ has been launched to try and combat the high numbers of children with tooth decay throughout the region.

Dental professionals are hoping to deliver the clear and simple message to get parents and children into a routine of good oral hygiene; 1. Teeth should be brushed before bed using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste – less for children under three, and 2. Try not to give your child anything to eat or drink for an hour before bedtime – although milk or water is fine.

Clinics that are involved in the campaign are going to offer a free toothbrush and toothpaste to children aged five or under who have never been to the dentist before.

Colette Bridgman, consultant in Dental Public Health and Chair of the Greater Manchester Local Dental Network, said that they are focusing on children younger than five and providing them with education about oral hygiene. She added that ‘This scheme is an opportunity for dentists to identify those people who do not understand the importance of good dental hygiene from a young age. Children who do not look after their teeth often experience difficulties and dental problems later in life.’

Taking care of your teeth could prevent memory loss


According to new research, remembering to brush your teeth regularly could help keep your memory sharp as you get older; a study that has followed 5,500 volunteers over the past eighteen years has found that those who brushed their teeth less than once a day were 65% more likely to develop dementia than those who brushed three times a day. This is not the first time poor oral health has been linked to medical conditions; recently, it was discovered that gum disease could cause narrowing of the arteries, leading to a higher chance of heart attack or stroke. It was also revealed that people with Alzheimer’s were found to have more gum disease-related bacteria in their brain than others.

Lead author of the study, Annlia Paganini-Hill, said in reference to the results ‘Not only does the state of your mind predict what kind of oral health habits you practise, it may be that your oral health habits influence whether or not you get dementia’.

After eighteen years studying the elderly volunteers, the scientists found that 1,145 of them showed signs of dementia, with one in 3.7 women developing dementia by 2010, after brushing their teeth less than once a day since 1992. For those who brushed at least once a day, around one in 4.5 women developed the disease. Researchers were keen to stress that this doesn’t prove the two are linked and more study is needed into the idea, but scientists at the University of California said that ‘If confirmed… regular oral hygiene and use of dentures may reduce the risk of dementia.’


‘Open-wide day’ helps children get used to dental treatment


Children in Lincolnshire have been taking part in Open-wide day as local dentists attempt to improve oral hygiene among the younger generation. Oasis Dental care hosted the event to encourage children to keep their teeth clean and let them know that visiting the dentist does not have to be a scary experience. The day involved various demonstrations that help patients identify problem areas where oral hygiene needs to be improved and practice manager Stacey Prince was pleased with how things turned out; ‘The day went really well,’ she said ‘A major thing we see is that children are very scared of coming to the dentist and we see it a lot more now with children because it rubs off from the parents.’

The Open-wide day was aimed at demonstrating that visiting the dentist can be a fun experience, to make sure children don’t develop dental phobia later in life. Including the raffle and face painting, visitors could try a plaque treatment, Stacey explains ‘With the plaque search they chew a tablet and it targets the plaque that’s stuck to their teeth. It turns blue if it’s been there a while and red if it’s new so it shows where you are missing or forgetting to brush. It’s also a way to get them to brush their teeth properly afterwards to get the blue off.’

Proceeds from the raffle went to the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre and goodie bags for kids will be given away over the next few weeks.

Mobile dentistry arrives in Hampshire


A brand new NHS ‘tooth bus’ is set to travel through the counties of Hampshire, Berkshire, and Oxfordshire this summer, in an effort to raise public awareness of free dental services; the first rounds are being made in Hampshire up until the 19th of August. The idea behind the scheme came after NHS studies showed that over half the region’s population had not seen a dentist in more than two years, and it hopes to target areas where lots of people gather, such as shopping centres and supermarkets.

The National Health Service have commissioned Iosis Dental Clinic Ltd to carry out the tour; director Shapour Hariri spoke to the media, explaining that any patients who were examined and found to need on-going treatment would be referred to a local NHS dentist so that the required care can be quickly organised. ‘’Mobile health care of this sort is a fantastic way of reaching out to communities who may not have easy access to dental or health clinics, ‘Hariri said, ‘and can also be a good way of connecting health care with hard to reach communities.’ Director of public health, Dr Paul Edmonson-Jones was in agreement, saying that the ‘tooth bus’ was an ‘excellent step to better oral hygiene.’

The bus moves on to Berkshire on August 20th and then Oxfordshire on the 9th of November.

Redheads dread going to the dentist


Unfortunately for three per cent of England’s population and thirteen per cent of Scotland’s, it’s not just the sun that can prove troublesome, a new study by Southampton University Hospital has initially shown that pale-skinned redheads in both countries are likely to feel more pain when visiting the dentist, and will require more anaesthetic. Researchers have discovered that the genes that affect the colour of hair and skin are the same as the ones that help produce endorphins – the body’s natural painkillers.

The study of volunteers over the age of thirty involves anaesthetising the subject and then administering a small electrical charge to their thigh, then comparing the reaction with another group of people with brown or black hair. Although the research won’t be complete until September, early evidence suggests that the red-haired volunteers do feel more pain, which concurs with a similar study carried out in the US that revealed that redheads were generally more nervous about receiving dental treatment, and more than twice as likely to avoid it.

Dr Edwin Liem, who led the first study at Louisville University, commented that ‘Redheads experience more pain from a given stimulus and therefore require more anaesthesia to alleviate that pain.’ A second experiment in the same field showed that women with red hair needed nineteen per cent more pain relief to stop them from reacting to negative stimulation, than those with dark hair that were tested in the same way.

Katy Perry OCD over oral hygiene


Everyone knows that brushing your teeth regularly is a must if you want to keep them in good condition and prevent dental problems, but it appears that American singer Katy Perry has taken the advice a step too far, as she admits to taking a supply of new toothbrushes everywhere she goes, to stop her teeth from getting cavities.

A source told the Daily Star that Katy had experienced tooth decay when she was younger and is so determined to avoid the problem that she brushes her teeth up to six times a day. The singer spoke to YouTube this week and revealed that a childhood fascination with the teeth of pop star Britney Spears started her obsession with oral hygiene, saying ‘I wanted them to be like Britney Spears white. I used to grow up seeing her music videos and be like ‘what does she do? Does she get a new set of teeth all the time? They’re so white.’

The 27-year-old divorcee also admitted that suffering with dental caries as a child contributed to the habit, ‘I’ll brush my teeth [after] breakfast, lunch and dinner,’ she says, ‘I did have thirteen cavities at one time, so you can imagine why I’m so freaked out. When I was a kid I didn’t really go to the dentist a lot and when I finally went, they were like, ‘you might as well get a new set of teeth.’


Dental implants among the most important issue for patients


Dental implants among the most important issue for patientsIncreasing numbers of prospective patients are looking to receive dental implants to replace teeth that have been lost as a result of decay or sporting accidents.

Data collected by the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF) has revealed that the treatment has topped a list of enquiries, along with crowns, bridges and removable appliances.

The figures represent a drastic shift in the types of issues patients are concerned with in recent years, with 2006 results showing many were worried about rising dental charges.

In addition, the latest statistics revealed that higher numbers of individuals have shown an interest in improving their oral hygiene by carrying out research into the issue.

Sharon Broom, director of operations for the BDHF, said: "Overall, the public has remained fairly consistent with its information needs over the past five years.

"We are pleased that the number of calls regarding oral hygiene is increasing."

Last month, the BDHF announced the launch of the Mouth Cancer Action Month scheme, in a bid to educate the public about the symptoms of the fatal illness. ADNFCR-2621-ID-800720648-ADNFCR

Emergency dentistry patients ‘should care for their teeth as they age’


Emergency dentistry patients 'should care for their teeth as they age'Health-conscious individuals hoping to prevent emergency dentistry should take care of their teeth as they get older with an effective hygiene routine.

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums from a young age can considerably limit the risk of issues with dental hygiene in later life, with effective care recommended for everyone.

This view has been supported by a recent article in Australian newspaper the Fraser Coast Chronicle, which suggests that people continually monitor their oral health.

Changes that the body encounters as individuals age can have an effect on the conditions of teeth and gums, therefore preventative care is recommended for all types of people.

Written to mark the start of Australia's Dental Health Week, the article stresses the importance of preventative care and regular trips to the dentist.

According to Bupa, attending children's dentistry from a young age is an effective way to promote oral hygiene habits among influential youngsters.ADNFCR-2621-ID-800697279-ADNFCR

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