Category Archives: Dental Health

Guide to Children’s Dental Care Launched for Parents

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Guide to Children's Dental Care

The British Society of Paediatric Dentistry (BSPD) has launched a guide to children’s dental care for parents in an effort to bust dental myths and set children up for a life of good oral care.

The 11-page guide is available online, and covers the stages of milk teeth, when to start cleaning teeth, when to first visit the dentist, and maintaining good oral health. Broken down into age stages, the guide is quick and simple to understand, and confronts common misconceptions which can lead to poor habits and unsatisfactory oral care.

A dangerous myth which abounds is that milk teeth “don’t matter”. Highlighting this, a spokesperson for the BSPD said: “Your child’s baby teeth – also known as milk teeth – do matter and have an important role to play. They hold the space for second teeth to come through into but because the enamel is thin, they are highly susceptible.”

The guide has been launched to counteract the current downward spiral of children’s dental health in the UK, with one in three eight year old children showing signs of dental decay. Explaining the guide, the BSPD said its aim is to: “support parents to access accurate and easy to understand information. The kindest things a parent can do is pay attention to their child’s teeth from an early age. Our new guide explains how. We would strongly encourage all parents to ensure that their child is taken for a dental check as soon as their teeth come through and certainly before their first birthday. This allows families to get preventive advice before problems occur.”

A practical guide to children’s teeth [via the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry]

Reverse Tooth Damage with Preventative Oral Care

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Reverse Tooth Damage

A seven-year study undertaken by the University of Sydney has concluded that non-invasive and preventative oral care can help to reverse tooth damage.

The study discovered that dental decay can be stopped, reversed and prevented by “no-drill” techniques. Such dental care reduced the need for fillings by 30-50%.

Lead author of the study, Wendell Evans, Associate Professor Wendell Evans of the University of Sydney , said: “For a long time it was believed that tooth decay was a rapidly progressive phenomenon and the best way to manage it was to identify early decay and remove it immediately in order to prevent a tooth surface from breaking up into cavities. After removing the decay, the affected tooth is then restored with a filling material – this process is sometimes referred to as ‘drilling and filling’.”

Whilst the report is tailored towards Australian dentists, its findings are universal for dental practices and patients alike. Reversing tooth damage requires early discovery and treatment of decay before cavities form. Four major points have been highlighted:

  • Application of high concentration fluoride varnish by dentists to the sites of early decay
  • Attention to home tooth brushing skills
  • Restriction of between-meal snacks and beverages containing added sugar
  • Risk-specific monitoring

It may seem obvious, but the results are clear. Avoiding sugary drinks and snacks, having a good oral care routine, and regular visits to the dentist can help to reverse tooth damage and prevent invasive procedures.

Professor Evans also highlighted the need for dental care by patients themselves in the report’s conclusion: “The reduced decay risk and reduced need for fillings was understandably welcomed by patients. However, patients play an important role in their treatment. This treatment will need a partnership between dentists and patients to be most successful.”

‘No-drill’ dentistry stops tooth decay, says research [via The University of Sydney]

Apps to Help With Dental Phobia

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Apps to Help With Dental Phobia

Fear of visiting the dentist or dental procedures is a common phobia which can lead to poor oral health. As with many things in life – there are apps to help you with this particular problem. We’ve found some of the best to help you deal with dental phobia.

Apps to Help With Dental Phobia

Apps to Help With Dental Phobia - Dental PhobiaDental Phobia (iOS) [download]

Designed to give people with dental phobia all the information that they need, Dental Phobia is a comprehensive trove of information which aims to help people overcome their fears through information, not gimmicks. Contents range from detailing dental phobia and providing coping strategies, to in-depth and approachable explanations of the process of sedation, oral procedures and intravenous (IV).

The app also provides the ability to contact qualified dental professionals to get answers to any questions that may arise. Most importantly, the app has very good reviews from its users, proving that knowledge can be a very powerful tool in overcoming their dental phobia.

 

Apps to Help With Dental Phobia - Dental ExpertDental Expert (iOS) [download]

Another comprehensive collection of information which aims to provide approachable information, Dental Expert is designed for patients and also children.

The variety and depth of the information, illustrations and diagrams serve a similar purpose as Dental Phobia by allowing people to use information to overcome their fears and anxieties.

The app features extensive information on all aspects of dental care, such as how to choose a dentist, guides to nutrition, and details of various dental procedures. It’s an excellent app for information which can help overcome dental phobia.

 

Apps to Help With Dental Phobia - Mouth and TeethMouth & Teeth (iOS) [download]

Whilst it is more functional in appearance than the previous two apps, Mouth & Teeth is just as packed with useful information which helps to inform patients and help them use information to overcome any anxiety from dental procedures.

 

 

 

 

 

For further reading, check out our own guide for how to overcome dental phobia and anxiety:

How to Overcome Dental Fear – Part One

How to Overcome Dental Fear – Part Two

How to Build Better Habits for Oral Health

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How to Build Better Habits for Oral Health

Sometimes you have to go back to basics, so we’ve put together a guide on how to build better habits for oral health. Whether you need to floss more regularly, make regular appointments with your dentist, or keep a schedule for daily brushing, we’ve got some handy tips and tricks to keep you on course to making a better routine a daily habit.

Set your goal(s), and set them up

Consider what it is about your oral care routine that you wish to improve, or what your dentist may have recommended you do. Do you need to improve the way you brush your teeth? Do you floss at least once a day? Are you drinking enough water? Do you get the correct amount of vitamins and minerals via food or supplements? Whatever your goals, the first action is to acknowledge them and then make the first steps to achieving them. Buy a new toothbrush, dental floss, or any other supplies you will need to make this crucial initial step.

Train your brain

The aim of establishing any good habit is to train your brain into making the new routine normal. There’s no magic number for making a new habit, despite many reports of it taking 21 to 66 days respectively. In order to do this, it may be worth setting reminders on your phone, or use an app to keep track of your habits. Other tricks include setting up everything you need before you need it – keeping floss and supplements where you will actually use them will give you less of a reason to break your new routine.

Keep going and reflect

Setting up reminders to occur daily, then weekly, then monthly can be a great way to keep yourself in check. Eventually,you shouldn’t need the reminders as your new habit becomes daily routine. If you are using reminders, set one up for yourself on a distant date to congratulate yourself on your progress!

Oral Piercings and Oral Health

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Oral Piercings and Oral Health

A recent study by the Oral Health Foundation (OHF) has highlighted the relationship between oral piercings and oral health. The study found that tongue piercings were the most popular type of oral piercing, with 43% of people surveyed having one. 33% had a lip piercing, with cheek (3%) and gum (7%) piercings being a less common choice. 13% those with an oral piercing had more than one.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the OHF said: “Oral piercings are a major cause of chipped or cracked teeth due to trauma when they come into contact with the teeth; many people even have a habit of biting or playing with their piercing which can be extremely dangerous and can often lead to extensive dental work. On a day to day basis oral piercings can interfere with such basic functions such as speech, chewing and swallowing.”

He also highlighted the risk of infection due to poor aftercare: “The mouth also contains a huge amount of bacteria and is an ideal place for infection to arise, this is especially the case with new piercings as it is an open wound and needs constant care and attention to prevent infection. An infection can quickly lead to other more serious conditions such as blood poisoning (septicaemia). The act of getting a piercing is itself very dangerous as if done incorrectly can cause issues such as permanent numbness of the tongue, blood loss, excessive swelling which affects breathing and swallowing and in severe cases and increased risk of HIV and Hepatitis B.”

The OHF is encouraging people considering oral piercings to research the risks and aftercare involved, as well as only getting piercings from reputable sources. Using antisepctic mouthwash, avoiding excessive fiddling with piercings and avoiding contact with the teeth are advised to avoid dental erosion. Removal of any piercings during physical activity such as sport is also advised.

As with oral health in general, regular visits to the dentist and swift treatment of any arising problems are the best ways to maintain good oral health.

Don’t let piercings put a hole in your oral health [via Oral Health Foundation]

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