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Milton Keynes five-year-olds are improving their dental health

Wed

According to a company running programmes to educate families about dental health, the five-year-olds in Milton Keynes are improving their teeth dramatically; Central and North West London’s Oral Health Improvement Team started programmes such as ‘Smile Aware’ and ‘Healthy Early Years Award’ which aim to encourage families to help their kids look after their teeth properly.

The team are thought to have helped almost two thousand families access facilities required to improve education in this area, with 143 oral health sessions being delivered to families across Milton Keynes.

According to statistics, the tooth decay rate in five-year-olds has dropped from 25% in 2012 to 21.5%, which manager Lucie Daleki says is down to families improving their diet and helping children to ‘love their teeth.’ She called the results of the study ‘fantastic’ and said that the team were ‘pleased’ to have been part of the solution to high decay rates within this age group.

As well as encouraging good oral hygiene, the programmes focussed on ‘tooth friendly’ food and drink, and also reducing the use of bottles and dummies with young children. Additionally, the team also runs a fluoride varnish programme that has helped 254 children in the last year alone.

 

Salford area makes a big effort to improve dental health

Sat

With a possible wait of up to twelve months, kids in Salford have seen their dental health deteriorate over the past few years but now 3,000 schools in the area have decided to try and stop the rise in tooth decay by teaching lessons in dental hygiene to their pupils. Salford’s worst affected schools are to be given dental education packs, which teach children how to brush properly, and includes assembly and lesson plans for Key Stages 1 and 2. There is also a children’s book to educate the kids about good dental practice, which has been published by Wrigley.

Manchester currently has one of the highest rates of tooth decay among three-year-olds, at 25.6 per cent, and it is the main reason that five to nine-year-olds are given general anaesthetic in the UK as a whole, costing the NHS billions of pounds every year.

Although Salford is one of the worst places in the country for childhood tooth decay, there are simple ways to halt the process and improve dental hygiene enormously; just by brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, visiting the dentist regularly, and cutting down on sugary snacks, parents could help their children to reduce the risk of decay dramatically.

 

Figures reveal that a third of four-year-olds in Southampton have tooth decay

Fri

Shocking figures have shown that one in three children who have yet to start school in Southampton has tooth decay, and the numbers are apparently on the rise – despite national averages dropping overall. According to the statistics, this makes Southampton the worst area for dental hygiene in the South East.

Health officials were planning to add fluoride to drinking water in a bid to improve dental health but the plans were scrapped eighteen months ago as the public rallied against the idea. Public Health England reversed the decision despite their assurances that the practice could help improve dental conditions in the poorer areas of Southampton and south west Hampshire. PHE is undecided about putting the plans back on the table after these latest statistics revealed that 33.7% of 1,155 four-year-olds showed obvious signs of tooth decay.

The results show an increase from 29.9% in 2012 and city councils are hoping that new initiatives to promote healthy dental habits could reduce the numbers in the coming year. Programmes such as Saving Smiles are being rolled out to pre-schools, day nurseries, and among childminders in the area, in an effort to educate carers, parents, and children about how to stop tooth decay from developing.

 

Irish dentists warn that a sugar tax is not a ‘quick fix’ for levels of tooth decay among children

Sun

Like many countries, Ireland has been trying to deal with a high level of tooth decay among children and experts have warned that simply adding a sugar tax to drinks and snacks is not simply going to improve the numbers overnight. The Irish Dental Association has said that this is not a ‘miraculous quick fix’ to the problem or rising levels of decay among children.

The idea of a sugar tax has received widespread backing but the IDA has voiced doubt about the suggestion, given that there are no serious studies supporting it. In a statement, the IDA said that it would be publishing a paper about the topic ‘before making an informed decision’ about whether to lend its support to the sugar tax in Ireland.

At the moment, half of all twelve-year-olds in the country and three quarters of 15-year-olds have some level of decay in their permanent teeth; a sugar tax would hopefully drive down these numbers as children have limited access to sugary drinks and snacks that cause cavities and other health problems, such as obesity and diabetes. Although many health groups support the tax, others insist that the focus should be on encouraging people to reduce their intake of unhealthy products, rather than changing how much they are paying for them.

Latest diet fads could be damaging to our teeth

Wed

Whilst eating healthy food might be good for your body in general, dentists are warning that some food fads could actually be damaging to our teeth, even if they are good for our health. According to Dr Sameer Patel, there are several foods that should be avoided if we want to maintain good dental health.

Dr Patel, who works for Elleven Dental London, spoke to The Express about the risks people take when they switch to so-called healthy diets. Products that could stain or damage your teeth and those that have a high acidic content – such as grapefruit – should be avoided, according to Dr Patel, because they could cause enamel erosion and eventually tooth decay. This condition can also cause increased sensitivity in the teeth and this can be difficult to treat permanently.

Smoothies are also on the list of things to avoid, even though they are seen as being good for you. The problem with smoothies is their high fruit content, which again can cause problems with enamel erosion and decay. Dr Patel recommends drinking through a straw and waiting at least half an hour before brushing, to allow the enamel to harden again.

 

 

Teenagers in Northern Ireland have the worst levels of tooth decay in the UK

Sat

The Belfast Telegraph has revealed that teenagers in Northern Ireland have the worst levels of tooth decay in the United Kingdom; the statistics quoted are taken from the British Dental Association and they show that the country ‘tops the league table for rotten teeth’.

Around 72% of 15-year-olds were found to be suffering with some level of decay compared to 63% in Wales and 44% in England. The BDA is hoping to a new strategy to be implemented in order to counteract this problem and reduce the number of teenage patients that are being admitted to hospital to have teeth extracted due to decay.

As well as teenagers suffering with decay, cases of dental caries in five-year-olds have risen to 40% and chair of the BDA (NI) Council, Roz McMullan said that the government had the choice to accept these numbers as normal or ‘tackle this epidemic head on’ to try and remove Northern Ireland from the top of the league table for rotten teeth. McMullan added ‘All decay is presentable, and dentists need to know candidates from all the parties are ready to step up and take their share of responsibility.’

 

Sleeping with your mouth open could lead to decay

Thu

According to new research, sleeping with your mouth open could be as bad for your teeth as fizzy drinks because it can cause decay. The study, which has been published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, shows that people who sleep with their mouths open are at greater risk of decay than those who breathe through their noses due to dangerous levels of acid building up during the night.

The research stated that saliva can naturally prevent plaque and decay from building up on the teeth; if you are sleeping with your mouth open this will generally cause the saliva to dry up and this means that the teeth are not as well protected from plaque, which can lead to decay and gum disease. Plaque is known as a ‘biofilm’ that is invisible but coats the teeth and releases acid which can cause cavities and other dental problems if treatment is not provided

Furthermore, the study showed that sleeping with the mouth open raises the levels of acidity in the mouth to a 3.6 on the PH scale, which is the same as having a fizzy drink before bed time, as it leads to plaque building up on the teeth.

 

Premier league footballers have very bad dental health says study

Sun

According to a recent study on the dental health of footballers, the players in the professional leagues have worse teeth than the general public. Researchers at University College London had the results of their study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine after they revealed that four out of ten professional footballers have some level of decay; while one in twenty have extreme gum disease.

As well as decay and gum disease, players could see their performance hindered by regular toothache and those leading the study said that something had to be done ‘urgently’ to promote better dental hygiene among players. Experts can’t pinpoint what exactly is causing the poor levels of dental health among football players but it has been suggested that sports drinks might be to blame.

187 footballers from eight clubs – Hull, Manchester Utd, Southampton, Swansea City, West Ham, Brighton and Hove Albion, Cardiff, and Sheffield Utd – had their teeth and gums checked and were questioned about the impact their dental health has on their personal lives and their performance on the pitch. 64% of those asked said that they drank sports drinks at least three times a week, with almost three quarters of respondents saying they had been to the dentist in the past twelve months for treatment. A shocking 77% of those asked needed fillings and 84% had at least one decayed or filled tooth.

Funding secured for Scottish dental schools

Fri

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. ’

Many Plymouth children suffer tooth decay, says report

Fri

Sugary snacks can cause tooth decayMany children in Plymouth may find they have to go for emergency dentistry, if new figures are anything to go by.

A report from Plymouth’s NHS Oral Health Strategy has revealed that 29.1 per cent of five-year-olds suffered obvious tooth decay in 2009.

Furthermore, only 11 per cent had these decayed teeth filled, the Herald reports.

According to city healthcare experts, the problem comes as a result of poor diets and a high consumption of sugary sweets.

Dr Gill Jones, Plymouth consultant in dental public health, said many parents do not do enough to give their children’s teeth a proper clean twice a day.

“And we’ve got to get children used to coming into the dentist, giving them fluoride and brushing advice. It’s about raising awareness,” she added.

Dr Jones said that although it is fine to have some sugar at meal times, youngsters should not snack on sweet treats too much.

Earlier this week, the British Dental Health Foundation told Elle magazine that consuming too much sugar can lead to acid attacks.ADNFCR-2621-ID-19904954-ADNFCR

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