October 2014

Under Attack!

Our diet can have a huge affect on our general well-being, and the number of recommended fruit and veg to be eaten each day has been the subject of some debate in recent months. Some sources advised as many as 10 portions a day, although we were relieved with consequent reports that this may be a little excessive!

A poor diet is widely linked to an array of increased health risks, from obesity to diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure and even some cancers.

The amount of sugary food and drinks consumed, and more importantly, the frequency of consumption can also have a detrimental effect on dental health. The combination of sugar and acid in these products mount an ingenious attack on the teeth. There is extensive data that show, once the enamel is demineralised, it becomes more susceptible to erosion even from brushing.

This is why we work hard to educate our patients about the dangers - awareness needs to be raised of the dental risks associated with constant snacking on sugary foods and consumption of fruit juices, particularly amongst parents of young children.

Tooth Decay Among Children in the UK

Despite general statistics for oral health in the UK showing improvement, it is important to remember that these are trends and only represent a proportion of the public. The state of UK children's dental health in particular has been highlighted a lot recently in both the professional and national press, and is a real area of concern.

A study by the National Dental Epidemiology Programme for England found that 27% of 5-year-old children suffer from tooth decay. There is also growing apprehension over the number of children admitted to hospital with sever decay, with an additional 3,000 cases predicted by the Health and Social Care Information Centre in 2013-14 compared to 2010-11.  In severe cases, some children have had as many as 20 teeth removed due to decay, harshly highlighting the importance of good dental education both for young patients and their parents.

What Can We Do?

A poll conducted for the BBC earlier this year suggested that two thirds of the public supported a ban on fizzy drinks in all UK schools and academies, while four in ten people would support a tax on sugary drinks. In the US, the former Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, famously backed a campaign to control the size of fizzy drinks sold in fast-food franchises, delis and cinemas. Due to issues with the implementation and workability of the proposal, as well as concerns regarding customer freedom rights, the Final Court rejected the initiative in June of this year.

Despite the many restrictions of imposing widespread limits on product size and purchase, education seems to our best way forward. Particularly as the kids go back to school this month, dietary advice on more tooth-friendly foods would not go amiss to help keep their teeth healthy. What's more, effective and easy-to-use oral heath care products should be recommended in order to encourage patients to achieve and maintain good dental health.

Start Them Young...

stablishing good eating habits, a simple oral hygiene regimen and an active lifestyle when they are young is better than trying to change behaviour when they are adults.

Complete Care - All your brushing and flossing needs in one place
Cordless Plus - Great for bathrooms without a shaver socket
Nano™ - Ideal for small bathrooms and travel
Ultra - State-of-the-art water flossing