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Posts tagged “British Dental Association”

The Keto diet doesn’t hold the key to healthy teeth, dentists warn

Popular with celebrities and social influencers, the keto diet is enjoying a moment in the spotlight, but dentists have warned that it might not be as saintly as it seems when it comes to dental health.

The keto diet, which is a high protein, low carbohydrate diet, has previously been associated with healthier teeth and gums, but dentists are not convinced. Although the low sugar content of the diet is good news for the teeth, there are concerns about a lack of key vitamins and minerals. 

The British Dental Association encouraged those who follow the keto diet to be aware of the importance of a balanced diet, which can only be achieved by taking in a wide range of nutrients from different food groups. Dentists are also keen to point out that diet alone will not protect oral health, and that nobody will enjoy optimum oral health without a good daily oral hygiene routine. 

The advice from the BDA comes after a recent poll conducted in the US revealed that almost 20% of people have taken dieting advice from social media, with a quarter of those trying the keto diet. 

Professor Damien Walmsley, scientific adviser to the BDA, explained that fad diets can encourage healthier eating habits, but often, they can also pose problems by cutting out vital sources of nutrients. The keto diet is a very low sugar diet, which is beneficial for oral health, but it’s important for followers to understand that switching diet doesn’t eliminate the need for twice-daily cleaning and regular dental visits. 

Social media is awash with people claiming that embracing a keto diet has revolutionised their dental health, and dentists are eager to point out the potential pitfalls, as well as the perks, to ensure that those interested in the diet understand exactly what it constitutes and how it affects the body. Some of the information found online is accurate, but often, social influencers and celebrities are paid to promote plans or products, and content is exaggerated or falsified to make it more attractive to readers.

British Dental Association busts common dental myths to promote good oral hygiene

Many of us have grown up following a dental routine or employing certain habits to protect our smiles. While being aware of the importance of looking after your mouth is undoubtedly positive, dentists are concerned that some people have been misled by popular dental myths.

In a bid to encourage patients to take good care of their smiles, the British Dental Association has provided advice to bust these myths and ensure people have access to accurate information about oral hygiene.

Surveys suggest that some people think it’s fine to brush just once a day, but dental professionals recommend twice-daily brushing. Brushing once in a 24-hour period is not sufficient to remove bacteria and food debris, and this elevates the risk of plaque formation. Plaque is a sticky film, which envelopes the enamel and clings to the gums, and it puts you at risk of decay and gum disease.

The next myth is that you don’t need to floss. While flossing is not essential, it is important to clean between the teeth, and flossing is one method of doing this. The alternative is to use interdental brushes. Brushing between the teeth reduces the risk of decay and staining, as it targets the areas that are missed with a traditional toothbrush.

Mouthwash is a popular oral hygiene product, but some dentists are worried that patients think of it as an alternative to toothpaste. Mouthwash should only ever be used in tandem with brushing, rather than instead of cleaning your teeth. It’s also best to wait a while after cleaning your teeth to use mouthwash so that you don’t wash away the fluoride from your toothpaste. The same guidelines apply to rinsing after brushing. Many people automatically rinse straight after cleaning, but actually, this is not beneficial for your oral health. Leaving fluoride on the teeth will help to make the enamel stronger.

The British Dental Association warns against online dentistry, as US firm launches £1,500 invisible braces you can order on the web

The British Dental Association has warned against online dentistry, as a US firm launches £1,500 invisible braces you can order on the Internet. 

The SmileDirectClub is offering consumers the chance to benefit from cheaper braces by ordering online. The product, which retails at £1,500 is a significantly less expensive alternative to professional systems offered by dentists, including Invisalign. Invisalign treatment usually costs in the region of £3,000 to £5,000. As well as offering discounted prices, the company is also giving patients the chance to spread payments over the course of a 12-month period. 

The SmileDirectClub claims that customers can benefit from personalised, 3D printed braces and whitening treatment, as well as access to a British dentist online. The process would involve the individual visiting a high street pharmacy to undergo a 3D scan of the mouth. The braces would then be manufactured based on the mould. 

The US company is undoubtedly trying to capitalise on the popularity of a perfect smile, and this venture follows in the footsteps of cheaper contact lenses and glasses sold by cut-price online opticians. Although it may seem great on the surface, experts from the British Dental Association have reservations.

Vice chair of the BDA, Eddie Crouch, urged patients to think very carefully about pursuing online treatment. Orthodontics is a complex field of dentistry, and the best way to go about achieving a beautiful, straight smile is to see a trained orthodontist, or a dentist with advanced training in orthodontics, for a consultation. This will be followed by tailored treatment planning and close monitoring throughout the treatment stage. 

The US company already provides products for patients in the US, Australia and Canada, and it has plans to launch stores in cities across the UK, having teamed up with Well Pharmacy.

Could supervised brushing at school help to stem the tide of decay?

Public Health England figures suggest that dentists are removing around 1,000 teeth per month from children under the age of 6, despite the fact that almost all cases of decay are preventable. With dental issues costing the NHS millions of pounds, and children missing 60,000 school days every year as a result of decay, it has been suggested that supervised brushing in schools could help to stem the rising tide of decay. 

Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, is launching a consultation on a number of measures designed to reduce rates of decay, including supervised brushing schemes in schools. Health experts are worried that a large proportion of children aren’t brushing their teeth on a daily basis, and introducing brushing programmes could help to ensure that young children brush at least once a day. 

Poor oral hygiene is a significant factor in high rates of decay, but public dental health experts are also eager to improve eating habits, reduce sugar consumption and encourage parents to take children to the dentist every 6 months. 

The news of brushing schemes has been welcomed by dentists, including the chair of the British Dental Association’s principal executive committee, Mick Armstrong, but it has been criticised by teaching unions. Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, questioned whether it was the duty of teachers to ensure that their pupils brushed their teeth. 

Senior lecturer in dental public health at the University of Birmingham, Dr John Morris, said that the impact of poor dental health in childhood shouldn’t be underestimated. Dental troubles contribute to pain and a higher risk of infection, but they can also affect self-confidence and socialisation. 

Tooth extraction is currently the most common reason children are admitted to hospital in the UK.

Row over water fluoridation erupts in East Yorkshire

A row over water fluoridation has erupted in East Yorkshire. Dental experts have accused local councillors of “peddling myths” and providing “alternative facts” to try and persuade people that water fluoridation is expensive and ineffective.

The British Dental Association has spoken out after Hull City Council’s councillor in charge of finance, Phil Webster, described fluoridation as “expensive, undemocratic and unproven.”

In response to the comments, the British Dental Association has accused the council of spreading inaccurate information and urged councillors to explore the possibility of introducing a scheme the body believes would prevent rates of decay from rising. Russ Ladwa, health and science chair at the BDA, said that there was a “clear scientific consensus” on the efficacy of water fluoridation, and suggested that if Hull “waves a white flag” this will set a precedent others will follow and represent a victory for “doom-mongers.”

Alan Johnson, former health secretary and Hull MP, has waded in on the debate, lending his support to dental organisations. Mr Johnson said that it was necessary to stop the “conspiracy theories” and support councils like Barnsley and Doncaster that are planning to start water fluoridation in the coming months. Mr Johnson said that scare-mongering can be incredibly harmful, and used the example of the MMR vaccine debate.

Research conducted by Public Health England suggests that councils could claw back an investment of £22 for every £1 spent on water fluoridation due to improved standards of oral health. Mr Johnson said that the scheme was a “no-brainer” and encouraged people to look at scientific evidence before making a decision.

British Dental Association raises concerns over a lack of dental funding

The British Dental Association has raised concerns over a lack of funding for NHS dental services. According to research cited by the BDA, real-term spending on dental care has fallen by £7.50 per head in England.

A new study shows that spending on NHS dental care has decreased, despite the fact that charges for treatment have risen by up to 80 percent. The BDA suggests that a shortage of cash is now contributing to problems with access to NHS treatment, with many patients across the country finding it difficult to get an appointment with a local dentist.

Chair of the BDA’s General Dental Practice Committee, Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, has accused successive governments of failing to provide sufficient funding for an affective NHS dental care system and criticised ministers for hiking charges at the same time as cutting budgets. The BDA also claims that the government has been extremely slow to bring about changes in the dental contract and stated that NHS dental services shouldn’t be a “postcode lottery.”

A recent investigation showed that 24 local authorities in England currently have no dental practices accepting new NHS adult patients. Recently, it was revealed that no clinics are taking on new patients in Jeremy Hunt’s constituency, South West Surrey, and the BDA is hoping that this will spur on a response to a situation that is getting worse by the day.

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