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Some parents see tooth decay in children as ‘acceptable’ in Scotland


A new survey has revealed that almost a third of parents in Scotland feel that it is ‘acceptable’ for a child to have some level of tooth decay before they reach adolescence. According to the research, which was carried out by dental payment plan specialists Denplan, 32% of parents in Scotland did not see a serious problem with their children developing tooth decay before they were teenagers.

Around 40% of respondents admitted that the reason they felt this way was because they struggled to help their children clean their teeth effectively on a daily basis. The company suggested that, whilst some people can blame regular tooth decay on genetic traits, most find that a family history of poor oral history is the real cause of changing attitudes to dental decay.

About a third of those asked admitted that they were not controlling their child’s sugar intake very well, whilst ten percent said they were not to blame for tooth decay arising, citing family history of the condition as the real problem. The government recently announced that a sugar tax will come into play by 2018, which should hopefully curb the amount of sugar that children are exposed to and reduce instances of tooth decay.



Scottish couple buy each other Botox as anniversary present


A couple from Scotland have decided that Botox would be the perfect gift for their first anniversary and purchased the his & hers treatments for each other to celebrate the milestone. According to the Daily Record, Tracey Alexander and Stephen Halleran visited the clinic for the Botox injections in order to give themselves a fresher, more youthful appearance; Tracey has just turned 40 and Stephen is 47 – both felt that frown lines on their foreheads made them look angry.

As well as Botox, Tracey opted for filler injections into her lips and she could not be happier with the results, she told the paper; ‘Stephen thinks my lips are brilliant – much more kissable, which has now committed me to having them done every year as I don’t want to go back to skinny lips.

Explaining their unusual choice for an anniversary present, Tracey said that they couldn’t think of anything conventional that they might want and so decided that Botox would be a good choice; she said ‘I’m always on a diet so I didn’t want chocolates. I’m not that keen on the smell of flowers. I’m probably non-traditional and awkward to get presents for anyway.’ She added that the couple feel they now have ‘a new beginning in an older body.’

Mary Berry reiterates her stance on Botox and cosmetic treatment


The Great British Bake Off judge Mary Berry has said no to Botox in the past and the 79-year-old has reiterated that opinion in a recent interview with the Radio Times magazine. The well-known cook says that she has not been tempted to go under the knife after the baking show brought her more media attention than she has been used to.

Mary was asked about the prospect of facial injections and replied ‘Botox? No, no. I think surgeons should be saving lives rather than pulling faces about. But I do think about what I look like now, whereas before I didn’t, unless I was going out to a party.’ She went on to say that she does not think about her appearance too much while she’s at home but felt some pressure to make the effort in public. Mary told the publication ‘Although I dress for my age… I can’t wear short sleeves… because of… what do you call it? Bat wings? (bingo wings).’

Talking about the upcoming fifth series of the hit show, Mary compared the successful Bake Off to other cooking programmes, saying that competing shows don’t seem to have been as fair in comparison. She said ‘We get no pressure from the BBC to say, ‘We need someone from Scotland to win.’ Nobody does that. We make the decisions. I often look at other cooking programmes and it doesn’t seem that way.’

Nursery dental care scheme reduces decay in Scotland


A new tooth brushing programme implemented across Scotland has led to a sharp decline in tooth decay among young children and saved £6 million in the cost of dental treatment for the under-five’s. A study carried out by the University of Glasgow showed that the initiative had reduced the cost of treating dental problems by more than 50% from 2001/02 to 2009/10, when the programme was originally introduced.

The scheme involves every nursery in Scotland offering free daily tooth brushing for children by nursery staff; it costs around £1.8million per year. As part of the Childsmile programme, the daily brushing is also accompanied by information about the importance of dental health and good diet choices from an early age.

Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson called the changes an ‘amazing achievement’ and said that the simple programme showed ‘just how much can be saved’. He went on to say that the Childsmile scheme had resulted in ‘less tooth decay in children which means less toothache, fewer sleepless nights and less time off school.’ He also praised the initiative for reducing financial pressures on the NHS because dental disease in five-year-olds has decreased. Matheson lastly added that ‘More children can just be treated routinely in the dental chair because they need less invasive treatments, so fewer fillings and fewer extractions, and many more children with much better oral health than we have seen in many years.’

Children in the west of Scotland are missing out on dental treatment


As part of the ‘Childsmile’ programme in Scotland, at least 60% of children should receive two applications of fluoride varnishing to protect their teeth from decay, but figures show that health boards in the country are falling significantly short of the government targets in this area of dentistry. At the moment it is estimated that between 35% and 40% in deprived areas of the country have received the treatment and this figure is as low as 8% in more affluent communities.

NHSGGC (National Health Service Greater Glasgow and Clyde) said that it would continue to encourage dentists to take part in the Childsmile programme and added that more nurseries in ‘high risk’ areas would be provided with the fluoride treatment. Children in priority schools and nurseries will also be given a further two applications to protect their teeth.

A spokeswoman for NHSGGC said ‘it is recognised that tooth decay is higher in populations of high deprivation so we have been working to provide this service in population areas where it is needed most. This approach ensures that fluoride varnish application is targeted in our most-at-risk populations and is therefore helping address oral health inequalities across Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

She also added ‘we will continue to provide access to fluoride varnish-application to all children in NHSGGC who are registered with a dentist.’

Dental treatment costs more in Glasgow that anywhere else in the country


According to new statistics released by the Scottish Government, people in Glasgow are costing more money than the rest of Scotland when it comes to dental treatment – approximately £57 for adults and £73 for children in the last year. NHS Ayrshire and Arran came in second, with around £52 for adults and £71 for children. The cheapest place for tooth care was Orkney, spending as little as £23 on adult dental treatment.

Experts say that the dramatic difference in price is probably caused by poor diet in some areas of Scotland, along with a lax attitude towards oral hygiene; overall, people who fail to brush their teeth or teach their children good hygiene habits cost the NHS almost £260million last year. Clinical director for the Scottish Centre for Excellence in Dentistry, Arshad Ali, said that it was important for parents to set a good example with dental hygiene; he said ‘In areas with higher levels of deprivation, such as Glasgow, information shows that dental health is poorer. Poor dental health is very much related to diet and frequency of tooth brushing. It is important that people brush regularly with fluoride toothpaste and for parents to pass on good advice to their children.’

Mr Ali also added that any symptoms of dental problems should be addressed quickly, saying ‘It is important to get treatment early. You will get parents who bring children in at the first sign of a problem and other wait till their children are in real pain. At this point, the cost of treatment will be higher.’

Half of Scottish primary school age children show signs of tooth decay


According to new figures released by the government, half of primary one children in some of the poorest areas of Scotland show obvious signs of tooth decay; a figure that differs dramatically from the one in five children in areas that are better off. Despite this seemingly gloomy outlook, this is a 1.5% improvement on the previous year’s figures when taking all areas into account.

Scotland’s public health minister, Michael Matheson, said that this improvement was due to investment in children’s dental care by the SNP government. However, there were some strong questions posed to the ministers about the difference between deprived areas and wealthier areas in Scotland and Tory MSP Alex Johnstone blamed the high percentage of tooth decay among poorer age groups on a lack of education on dental care. MSP Johnstone said that ‘It’s a failure on the education side and it is symptomatic of the way the SNP has tried to say it has put more resources into improving access to dentists, while at the same time neglecting other areas of public health.’ He also added that the SNP government has failed to provide enough resources to improve education and teach kids how to look after their teeth properly.

Scotland’s chief dental officer Margie Taylor said that it is important that parents take an active role in their children’s oral health, saying they should ‘remember their healthful habits and practices …to ensure their children enjoy a lifetime of beautiful smiles.’

The BAAPS calls for tighter regulations within the cosmetic surgery industry


The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons have made it clear that there should be more regulations in place to protect patients from practitioners offering procedures like dermal filler or Botox injections when they have had little to no training. Edinburgh surgeon Ken Stewart told a Scottish paper that he has seen many patients who have experienced problems with injectable fillers from people who have no experience in the field, he said; ‘I have seen all sorts of problems: patients with infections, patients with chronic inflammation, patients who have not known what has been injected and which has then reacted with something injected during a second procedure.’

Under current regulations, only a doctor can prescribe Botox injections, but it is not particularly difficult to obtain injectable solutions over the internet; making anti-aging treatments like this very hard to regulate. Medical director Dr Sam Robson is adamant that more rules are needed to protect patients – sometimes from themselves; ‘Anybody can set themselves up as an aesthetic surgeon and inject people if they are willing to be injected with something. It is not against the law and I find that really scary.’ She added, ‘I don’t think beauty therapists should be doing Botox and fillers.’

The Scottish Government is currently looking into the practice and a spokesperson told the media that ‘There is a range of regulation that applies to health in Scotland and regulation should be proportionate to the risks involved.’

Funding secured for Scottish dental schools


Glasgow and Dundee Universities have jointly been awarded £132,000 from the Scottish Funding Council in order to tackle ongoing issues with their dental services. The money is expected to go towards improving the treatment for oral cancer and birth defects like cleft palates. Joint initiatives between the two schools are also thought to be on the agenda, pooling their resources to build research programmes and seek additional funding.

Dean of dentistry at Dundee University, Prof. Mark Hector, spoke about the ‘unenviable reputation’ that Scotland held in the UK and throughout Europe, referring to it’s poor treatment of oral diseases like caries and cleft lips, as well as some types of cancer.
He said; ‘This funding will facilitate a greater level of effective collaboration between experts in dental research and dental public health at the universities of Dundee and Glasgow to accelerate progress towards finding solutions to such problems and implementing them with a beneficial impact on the health of the population of Scotland and beyond. ’

 Head of the Dental School at the University of Glasgow was in agreement, saying that the money would present them with ‘an excellent opportunity’ to improve their services and build on their research platforms. He added; ‘It will ensure that there is synergy and a sharing of expertise, which will help both institutions to deliver research outputs relevant to the Scottish population and enhance their positions and research reputations within the UK and internationally. ’

Scotland could soon be a hotspot for emergency dentistry needs


People in Scotland could soon need emergency dentistry.An emergency dentistry surge could be the result if people in Scotland do not improve their oral health.

This is the conclusion of the Scottish Health Survey, which showed that 12 per cent of Scots aged 16 or over do not possess any of their natural teeth, missing the national target by two per cent.

It was also discovered that many people have not visited a dentist for more than a year and some do not even know where their nearest one is.

Interestingly, older people in Scotland were found to be more likely to monitor their sugar intake in a bid to remain healthy than those in the 16 to 24 age bracket.

Emma Conroy from Edinburgh Nutrition said people need to limit their intake of sugary food and drink, but Dr Nigel Carter from the British Dental Health Foundation warned that skipping the recommended six-monthly visits to the dentist could also have other serious health implications.

He pointed out that oral cancer may be spotted during these check-ups, potentially saving lives.

Last month, reported that islanders have worse levels of tooth decay than anywhere in the UK.

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