Your Oral Health Valentine

Men are from Mars and women are from Venus – that’s the saying we often utter to mark out the differences between the two sexes. For centuries, scientists and scholars have tried to offer some answers to this mystifying enigma and while many theories have been pondered, few certainties are actually known. The rules of attraction between men and women change on a daily basis, making the question “what is the opposite sex is attracted to” testing to say the least. Now it seems this preoccupation has gone dental.

Check out this lovely infographic about: “Which attribute do you find most attractive in a partner?”

Valentine Infographic about:


Your guide to a dentally friendly Christmas stocking

For many people, particularly children, the perfect Christmas stocking is one consisting of chocolate, sweets and other magnificent sugary treats. But while it may be tempting to cram in the selection boxes, it’s a ploy that could give their teeth a nightmare before Christmas.

Sugar-filled mince pies, chocolate selection boxes and fizzy drinks that make up a traditional festive diet are all likely to pose a hazard to teeth during the holidays. Whether young or old, the message remains the same; don’t forget about your oral health.

Presents under Christmas treeChief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, said: “It is important to be extra vigilant with your oral health over the Christmas period. It is not how much sugary food and drink we consume that is the problem. It is how often we have these. If you think about how much is consumed, and how often, particularly over Christmas and Boxing Day, your teeth don’t really get the chance to recover.

“Our stockings will inevitably be filled with to the brim with sweets and other sugar-based confectionary. If this is the case, try and eat them straight after mealtimes rather than grazing on them all day. Your teeth are under attack for up to one hour after eating or drinking, and if you think about how much is consumed, and how often, particularly over Christmas and Boxing Day, your teeth don’t really get the chance to recover. Any fruit juice they have should be diluted 10 parts water to one part juice as most are acidic and many contain added sugar.

“The word to remember is moderation. Enjoy the festive period, but for your teeth’s sake, try not to overdo it.”

Top stocking fillers that make it a jolly Christmas for teeth

  1. A two-minute timer. These are a fun way to get your child into one of the Foundation’s key messages of brushing for two minutes twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste.
  2. A character-branded toothbrush, some of which have been approved by the Foundation’s accreditation scheme, have the potential to make toothbrushing fun for children, which will make them more likely to brush without any fuss.
  3. Sugar-free sweets and chocolate are great for teeth. Small selection boxes are better than large ones, and remember to limit how often children eat the contents.
  4. Unsalted peanuts, walnuts and monkey nuts are really good for bone and therefore tooth development. They may not sound glamorous, but they’re a great alternative to crisps.
  5. Cheeseboards. Not only do they make a great gift idea, cheese helps return the mouth to its natural acid balance and help reduce the chances of tooth decay. Chewing on sugar-free gum for around 10 minutes can also have the same effect.

From everybody at the British Dental Health Foundation, Merry Christmas!

Oral cancer: My perspective

As a PhD student researching cancer, I have heard time and time again the latest cancer statistics and the latest idea of how to ‘beat’ cancer. However, it never crossed my mind that I, a healthy and happy 25 year old, would be diagnosed with oral cancer.

Cancer is never far from the headlines and every patient has their own story to tell, but I hope in writing this to share my personal experience from the rare position of a young patient and a scientist. That in the future, the causes of oral cancer in young people will be thoroughly researched to improve diagnosis and treatment, and that society will become more aware of the disease.

As a normal student in my twenties, I was busy living life to the full, juggling my time between family, friends, work and other interests. About the time I first felt pain in my mouth, my fiancé and I were busy planning our wedding. I found some ulcers under my tongue and tried various off-the-shelf products, which had little effect. It did not even cross my mind that it could be anything serious. I went to see a GP about it a couple of months later, and was prescribed another anti-inflammatory drug.

In the week leading up to our wedding we had a family tragedy, so I returned to see my GP only after our honeymoon. I felt exhausted, run down and had persistent ulcers and mouth pain. I was convinced that my stressful life was causing the symptoms. My GP looked at my mouth over this period, thought the ulcers were clearing up and agreed they were likely to be a sign of stress. Gradually my mouth became more painful, my speech slurred, eating difficult and sleep sparse. I struggled with normal life. My husband and friends were increasingly concerned and encouraged me to keep going back to the GP, who a few weeks later referred me to the dental hospital, but informed me that I would not be seen quickly as I was young, healthy and had never smoked.

READ THE FULL STORY: Oral cancer: My perspective

Get your teeth into new-look website

dental health website

The British Dental Health Foundation is pleased to announce a new-look to its main website. The changes will give the website – – a more dynamic and engaging appearance for users, as well as retaining its original features.

With more than three quarters of a million visitors each year, the website has become the most comprehensive and invaluable guide to oral health on the web. It now features a new and improved ‘Approved Products’ section to offer guidance on what product claims are clinically proven and not exaggerated. The website also embraces social media and is fully compatible across mobile and tablet platforms.

Only last year the Foundation scooped ‘Best Online Resource at the MyFaceMyBody Awards, and has once again been shortlisted for the award in 2013.

Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, said: “We are constantly looking for ways to deliver the best user experience possible for the public, press and the profession, and the latest re-design offers just that.

“The website contains an extraordinary amount of content for users, which is constantly updated and added to by the Foundation’s team of writers and dentally-qualified experts. The ‘Tell Me About’ series gives users an extensive hub of information relating to a variety of oral health issues, ranging from routine procedures and treatments, to various oral conditions and diseases. The information is laid out in a clear question and answer format and has all been approved by the Word Centre for Plain English.

“Along with our two major campaigns, National Smile Month and Mouth Cancer Action Month, the site has continued to grow within the last two years. Our previous re-launch went on to be award-winning, and hopefully we will enjoy similar success with our latest changes.”

Saliva test ‘could detect pancreatic cancer’

Saliva test ‘could detect pancreatic cancer’Researchers believe they are one step closer to detecting pancreatic cancer – through a simple saliva test. The team at UCLA School of Dentistry1 were able to identify the same biomarkers associated with pancreatic cancer in saliva, potentially enabling dentists to screen for the disease.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer. Most people with the disease will die within the first year of diagnosis, and just six per cent will survive five years.

Previous research has identified that dentists could help to screen for a number of chronic diseases, diabetes, potential heart problems, alcohol abuse and help with smoking cessation.

Pancreatic cancer accounted for 7,901 deaths in 20102. With previous research suggesting gum disease could be linked to developing the disease, Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, has called for further research into the potential screening process.

Dr Carter said: “Pancreatic cancer is extremely aggressive. If there is any possibility of dentists detecting it through a saliva test, further research must be done. What it does highlight is the importance of regular visits to the dentist.

READ THE FULL STORY: Saliva test ‘could detect pancreatic cancer’

Will-ing to support mouth cancer charity

William howesA local man has gone Dutch to raise money for a leading mouth cancer charity. For 25 year-old William Howes from Howden, the Amsterdam Marathon on Sunday 20 October is a chance to raise valuable awareness and funds for Mouth Cancer Action Month, after the disease claimed the life of his uncle in May this year.
The gruelling 26.2 mile course will start and finish in Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium. Having previously run the Istanbul Marathon last November, William is ‘training hard and preparing well’ for this year’s event against the backdrop of a difficult year.
Mouth cancer campaigners the British Dental Health Foundation raise awareness of the disease through Mouth Cancer Action Month, taking place throughout November. With cases increasing annually, William’s experience is becoming all too frequent.

Women six times ‘more disgusted by dental treatment’

After looking at pictures of dental treatment scenes, researchers discovered that female patients scared of the dentist were six times more likely to be disgusted with what they saw, compared with non-dental phobic women.

In a battle of the sexes, dental phobic women struggled to hide their emotions. Although both men and woman faired equally when asked about their feelings towards the dentist, women afraid of the dentist were more repulsed than their men counterparts.

Survey data from the Adult Dental Health Survey showed almost half of adults were moderately to extremely afraid of the dentist. With almost 30 million people visiting the dentist, Karen Coates, Dental Advisor at the British Dental Health Foundation, uses the research to reassure anxious patients that they are not alone and that there are ways make visiting the dentist a manageable experience.

Karen said: “The good news is that more and more dentists now understand their patients’ fears, and with a combination of kindness and gentleness can do a great deal to make dental treatment an acceptable, normal part of life. Make sure that the practice knows you are nervous, so that they can help you. You are not alone and your fear will be much less if you share it with your dental team.

READ THE FULL STORY:  Women six times ‘more disgusted by dental treatment’