National Smile Month Quiz

Stephanie Carter our dental therapist organised a quiz for National Smile Month for adults and children, congratulations to the winners!

Some of the questions proved to be quite challenging, so here are the answers with some clarification…!

Gum disease has been linked to the following conditions…
a. Pre-term, low birth weight babies
b. Cardiovascular disease
c. Diabetes
The knowledge that gum disease can be linked to medical conditions like heart disease and diabetes has been understood for a while – men over the age of 55 with gum disease are several times more likely to have a heart attack! More recently gum disease has been linked to pre-term, low birth weight babies and within the last 6 months several studies have been published that show a possible link with Alzheimers and Dementia. 5500 people followed over an 18 year period, those who brushed their teeth less than once a day were 65% more likely to develop dementia than those who brushed 2-3 times a day!!!
So brushing your teeth properly and seeing the hygienist regularly achieves a lot more than just fresh breath!

Smoking increases your risk of gum disease / tooth loss and oral cancer?
a. True
Someone who smokes is at higher risk not just for gum disease but the more aggressive forms leading to tooth loss.   A 2011 study concluded that around 70% of oral and pharyngeal cancers in men and around 55% in women in the UK in 2010 were caused by smoking tobacco.
We can help you with smoking cessation advice, or do ask your GP!

Tooth-brushing alone is enough to prevent gum disease
b. False
Even with the most sophisticated electric toothbrush you won’t be able to remove all the plaque between the teeth and under the gum line adequately.  It is the bacteria in the plaque which cause tooth decay and gum disease, and the only way to remove all of this is to use other oral hygiene aids like interdental brushes and/or floss. Stephanie will show you how to achieve maximum plaque removal – this is the most important way to treat gum disease and maintain oral health.
A tip – do your ‘extra’ dental cleaning at a time of day that isn’t too rushed for you, it really will pay off – for life!

The benefits of regular dental hygiene appointments are….
a. Tailored advice on maintaining your oral health
b. Improvement in overall health and positive impact on related general diseases.
c. Support in life style changes such as quitting smoking / dietary advice
d. Removal of tartar and stains to improve the health of your gums, appearance of your teeth and help maintain fresh breath.
Our dental therapist Stephanie is trained to provide individual support and advice in areas such as diet / oral hygiene regimes as well as providing support and information for those keen to quit smoking.  As a profession we are learning more and more about the holistic benefits of regular hygiene appointments – dental hygiene is about much more than a simple scale and polish, it really does have a positive impact on your overall health!
Think twice before postponing that regular hygiene appointment, it IS good for you!

In the children’s quiz a few were flummoxed by the question about brushing before breakfast – it IS better to brush before a meal to remove the plaque before the sugar hits!  Also, it’s better  for your teeth to eat sweets in one go rather than spread them out, this is because the sugar creates an acidic environment in which the bugs start to rot your teeth!