School toothbrushing scheme is a success

Date posted: May 2, 2014


With ever increasing concerns over the dental health of schoolchildren, a scheme running in schools in Brighouse is proving to be a success.

Run by Leeds Beckett University in partnership with South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, the tooth-brushing scheme is currently running in 33 schools and children’s centres in Brighouse, and recent research carried out by the university shows that the rate of tooth decay in children aged between 3 and 5 is decreasing.

The initiative teaches children how to properly brush their teeth, a lesson some experts worry is not being taught at home. It also enforces general good dental health habits, which will ensure children can maintain good oral hygiene as they grow older. The programme supplies each child with a toothbrush and toothpaste.

This follows proposals by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in October suggesting that schools help children brush their teeth. Though thousands of children suffer from tooth decay each year, this and gum disease are two of the most easily preventable dental problems.

At the time, Professor Elizabeth Kay of the Peninsula Dental School at Plymouth University, and one of the experts advising on NICE’s guidelines, wanted it to be clear that while a school brushing scheme would be ideal in helping combat tooth decay in young children, it would not be an excuse for parents to not properly teach their children about the importance of oral hygiene.

Dr James Woodall, co-director of the Centre for Health Promotion Research at Leeds Beckett University, states that ‘including brushing in a daily school schedule’ is possible according to studies, as well as promoting good habits and lowering the risk of dental problems in children.

Kath Halstead of South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust adds that the successful scheme is providing children with ‘valuable life skill’.

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How to make dentist visits less stressful

Date posted: May 2, 2014


Though they are only there to help, many of us are still scared of the dentist. However, there are things you can do to make your visit more pleasant.

If you are still afraid of going to see the dentist, you are not alone, but conquering your fear and making trips there more enjoyable is for the best, as it means you will not be discouraged from going back in the future. Seeing the dentist regularly is a key part of a good oral health routine, and it is better to try out some new ways of relaxing than start skipping visits and putting your teeth at risk.

Before you even leave for the dentist, try getting into a calmer state of mind. Try meditation, yoga, or a nice walk to stay active, or instead indulge in a hot bath to feel more peaceful. On the way to the practice, listen to calming music so that you’ll feel happier walking in.

Don’t forget to leave yourself plenty of time to reach the dentist. Setting off too late and getting caught in traffic will undo any sense of calm you have achieved, and instead will leave you feeling more stressed out. Give yourself enough time to arrive, fill in any paperwork, and sit for a few moments in the waiting room.

Once you arrive at the dentist, remember that communication is key. Bear in mind that the dentist is just another person, and they want what is best for you and your teeth. If you feel nervous, tell them before you get in the chair, and if necessary, have them explain everything they’re going to do, and ask them to give you advice on how to be more comfortable. If you feel well-informed, you’ll feel more in control of the situation, and everything will feel less stressful.

Finally, you’ll feel a lot less nervous about heading to the dentist if you can be confident that your teeth are in good condition. Keep up a good dental health routine by brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time, and flossing once a day, to reduce the risk of problems such as tooth decay, weakened enamel and gum disease. A healthy diet will also help keep your teeth healthy, as well as your body.

Knowing you have great dental health will mean there’s no need for the dentist to prolong your visit by fixing any problems, while using other methods to keep calm will help if you do happen to need any work done.

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New dental implant material

Date posted: November 26, 2013


A new material for dental implants has been proposed by an expert research team, which could improve on the current options.

A group of experts from the Autonomous University of Baja California in eastern Mexico have designed a new material for dental implants which they are hoping will improve the field.

Using a mixture of polymer with ceramic and a light consistency, the team hopes this could replace the titanium screws in use at the moment, which can be susceptible to corrosion.

During testing, the group recreated the chewing process, in order to optimise performance, with the aim of ensuring the implant could withstand the stress of eating, as opposed to the actual bone structure.

With the new material posing an alternative to titanium corrosion, and helping protect the bone when chewing, it could be a serious consideration for the future of dental implants. The team also tried to take into consideration the affordability of these implants, as dental implants can already be an expensive, if worthwhile, investment.

Before officially introducing the new implants to the market, the team want to try and lower the stress levels even further by using mathematical formulas.

It has also been proposed that the implants be covered with vitamin D, as it can encourage the production of bone tissue around the implant, helping strengthen it even further, and reduce the risk of bone tissue loss, a problem occasionally encountered with dental implants.

Once all of the tests are finished, the results will be analysed alongside regular dental implants, and it will be determined if the new polymer implants are a viable alternative to the traditional titanium screw with a false tooth attached to the top. The aim of the research was to create an implant that could improve oral health as well as reducing costs.

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