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Video shows commuter brushing his teeth on the Tube


The morning rush can make it hard to fit everything in and one man in London has found a novel way to get ready for work after having already left the house; a video posted online shows a commuter brushing his teeth whilst on the Tube on his way to work. Most people would struggle with this task but the Northern Line commuter seemed to find it easy to brush his teeth whilst also reading the newspaper.

The video shows the man brushing his teeth with a tube of toothpaste and cup of coffee at his feet. The poster of the short video commented ‘I found this man brushing his teeth today whilst commuting on the London tube. As soon as he left, everyone burst out laughing.’ Although his fellow commuters seemed to find this amusing, the man was serious about his dental health and didn’t seem prepared to skip brushing his teeth just because he was running late for work.

Some people have suggested that this is a clever marketing ploy by the maker of the toothpaste but it is unclear at the moment whether this is the case.

Welsh children have less tooth decay than last year


According to the Welsh Government and Cardiff University, children between the ages of three and six in the country have seen a marked reduction in tooth decay, with almost 60% of this age group taking part in the Designed to Smile programme last year. The initiative was set up to help reduce levels of dental caries and encourage children to get involved in tooth brushing activities at home.

A total of 1,452 schools and 91,000 Welsh children attended education sessions focusing on nutrition and healthy diets, as well as dental hygiene. Although it has only been a year since the start of the initiative, the latest projections estimate that there has been a 6% drop in the number of five-year-olds experiencing dental decay compared to the same period last year.

Chief dental officer David Thomas said that this was ‘encouraging progress’ and added that ‘across all social groups dental disease levels in children are decreasing… Crucially we are seeing fewer children experiencing decay – not just a reduction in the number of teeth affected among those children with tooth decay.’

The Welsh Government has invested 12m in the Designed to Smile project after it was launched in 2009. Cardiff University reports that there has been a steady increase in the number of schools that have agreed to take part in the initiative to improve the dental health of infants and children in Wales.

Tooth problems could have cost athletes an Olympic medal


Health experts have revealed that tooth decay and other dental problems may have cost a number of athletes a gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games and statistics have shown that poor oral health may have affected a fifth of the athlete’s performances. The study revealed that 18% of sports men and women complained that the condition of their teeth may have had a negative impact on their athletic performance at the games.

Health experts at University College London said that athletes should give dental hygiene the same priority as other sports sciences to increase their performance by even the smallest margins. Professor Ian Needleman of the UCL Eastman Dental Institute said that problems concerning the teeth and gums are ‘easily preventable’ and could mean the difference between a gold medal and a silver one. Professor Needleman said ‘professional athletes and their teams spend a lot of time and money on ways to marginally improve performance, as this can make all the difference in elite sports.’ He also added ‘things like better tooth brushing techniques and higher fluoride toothpastes could prevent… toothache and associated sleeping and training difficulties.’

It has also been suggested that acidic energy drinks can cause decay among athletes and the researchers were keen to point out that they were not trying to ‘demonise’ energy drinks or suggest that athletes don’t use them, but people should be aware of their dental condition and take measures to reduce the risks to oral health.


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.’

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.’

Brushing at the wrong time can damage teeth


Brushing your teeth after every meal might seem like the right way to keep them strong and healthy, but dentists have warned that this can actually do more harm than good – especially if you have just eaten a rich meal, washed down with an acidic beverage. According to recent research, brushing within half an hour of eating can do real damage to the dentin layer beneath the enamel, because the acid levels in the mouth are higher after eating and brushing cannot remove the acid without damaging the tooth structure. Dr Howard R. Gamble, president of the Academy of General Dentistry spoke to the New York Times, explaining that ‘with brushing, you could actually push the acid deeper into the enamel and the dentin.’

As part of a study to test the theory,  volunteers wore human dentin samples in their mouth and tested different brushing routines; the results showed that brushing within an hour of drinking something acidic ‘stripped’ the teeth of their minerals, and waiting twenty minutes after a soft drink also did considerable damage. However, there is some good news, as the effect seems to be minimalised after about an hour; the researchers who carried out the study revealed that ‘after intra-oral periods of 30 and 60 mins, wear was not significantly higher than in unbrushed controls. It is concluded that for protection of dentin surfaces, at least 30 mins should elapse before tooth brushing after an erosive attack.’

Neglecting oral health ‘can lead to emergency dentistry’


Neglecting oral health 'can lead to emergency dentistry'People who fail to maintain good oral health are more likely to need emergency dentistry in the future, Colgate has claimed.

The company has stressed the importance of brushing teeth twice a day to ensure they remain strong and healthy and warn off bacteria that can lead to dental problems, the News Straits Times reports.

Colgate acknowledges the importance of good oral hygiene in maintaining overall health and ensuring people have good personal presentation.

A healthy diet is also important for healthy teeth and gums, and bad caused by lack of tooth brushing could lead to problems with speech.

Colgate has recommended that people regularly attend dental appointments to ensure good oral hygiene is maintained.

Meanwhile, medical website Dentistry IQ has advised people to store toothbrushes in a dry environment and to refrain from covering them when not in use to ensure good oral health.

The website warns that keeping bristles in a damp environment will lead to faster growth of bacteria and advises people to purchase a new toothbrush every three to four months.ADNFCR-2621-ID-800504106-ADNFCR

Midnight snackers ‘risk losing teeth’


Midnight snackers 'risk losing teeth'Snacking in the middle of the night could lead to an increased risk of serious tooth damage and even loss, experts have warned.

A six year study by the University of Copenhagen found that of the participating 2,217 Danes, the 173 who were categorised as nocturnal eaters lost the most teeth, the BBC reports.

Nocturnal eaters were categorised by their pattern of eating more than a quarter of their daily calories after dinner or in the middle of the night, at least twice a week.

No significance could be drawn between the types of food eaten and the findings, instead the researchers believe the drying-up of saliva flow at night is the causative factor.

The British Dental Association’s scientific advisor Professor Damien Walmsley said: “Eating at night, when the mouth is driest and any food remains in the mouth longer, accentuates the impact of consuming sugary and acidic food and drinks.”

He recommended drinking only water in the last hour of the day and ensuring teeth are brushed immediately before bed.

Lack of regular tooth brushing was recently found to increase the risk of suffering from heart disease, according to a report published in the British Medical Journal.ADNFCR-2621-ID-19813220-ADNFCR

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