For Adults

Oral health of adults has improved over the past fifty years with more people retaining some of their teeth throughout their lives. Oral diseases can cause pain and discomfort, sleepless nights, loss of function and self-esteem which in turn can disrupt family life and lead to time off work. Experiencing tooth decay or having missing teeth or ill-fitting dentures can lead to an individual becoming socially isolated; this may negatively affect their confidence and employment chances. Emerging evidence supports an association between poor oral health and general health notably cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

For older people living with frailty it is crit­ical that their nutritional needs are met as poor oral health care can lead to difficulties with eating, and absorbing medications properly.

The incidence of oral cancer is increasing and in Y&H is higher than the national average, although predominantly seen in the older age groups it is increasingly presenting in middle aged and younger people. Risk factors include smoking, alcohol, chewing tobacco, HPV poor diet and sun exposure  

Frequent consumption of free sugars in large amounts or frequent, tobacco use and consuming alcohol above the recommended lower limits of 14 units per week have an impact on the oral health. Eating a healthy balanced diet containing fruit, vegetables, low in fat, salt and sugar and based on whole grain products is important for good general health and oral health. Stopping smoking and consuming less alcohol than the recommended lower limits are also good for both general health and oral health.   Regular toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste will help reduce tooth decay and gum disease.

For Children

Tooth decay is the most common oral disease affecting children and young people in England, yet it is largely preventable. Extractions of decayed teeth was the most common reason for hospital admissions in children aged between 5-9 years.

Poor oral health impacts on children and family’s wellbeing and is costly to treat. Poor oral health in children may be indicative of wider health and social care issues such as poor nutrition, obesity, lack of parenting support and possibly safeguarding and neglect. Like adults, the regular consumption of foods and drinks high in free sugars increases the risk of obesity and tooth decay. Twice daily toothbrushing with a fluoride toothpaste can prevent tooth decay.

Adults

Did you know that dental diseases are almost entirely preventable, would you like some further information on this?

Have you been advised how to look after your mouth and gums?

Did you know that you can lower the risk of oral cancer by quitting smoking and reducing the amount of alcohol you drink, would you like some further information on this?

Do you visit a dentist regularly or just when you have a problem?

Did you know that smoking increases the risk of gum diseases and can affect the response to treatment, would you like some more information on this?

Did you know that you can lower the risk of oral cancer by quitting smoking and reducing the amount of alcohol you drink, would you like some further information on this?

Would you like some further information on how to find a dentist?

Would you like like some further information on how to lower the risk of oral health problems?

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day (including last thing at night) with fluoride toothpaste can help reduce tooth decay and prevent gum disease, would you like some further information on this?
  • Reducing the frequency and amount of sugars in the diet can help prevent tooth decay, would you like some further information on this?

 Children

Did you know twice daily brushing teeth with fluoride toothpaste can help prevent tooth decay, would you like some further on what the recommendations are for this?

Are you aware that dental disease is almost entirely preventable? Would you like some further information?

Would you like some information on the drinks and snacks that are kinder for children's teeth?

Did you know that children should see their dentist as soon as their teeth start to appear?

Did you know that NHS dental treatment is free for children under 18 or under 19 and in qualifying full-time education?

Would you like like some further information on how to lower the risk of oral health problems for children?

  • Each time we eat sugary food or drink the bacteria in dental plaque produce harmful acids that attack teeth, would you like information on the types food and drink that are better for your children’s teeth?
  • Some healthier drinks such as fruit juices contain high level of citric acid which can lead to erosive tooth wear, would you like some information on alternative drinks that are kinder to teeth?
  • Children should be helped to brush teeth as soon as their first teeth appear and up until the age of 7 years with F toothpaste

Adults

Explain the importance of twice daily toothbrushing using fluoride toothpaste containing at least 1350 ppm fluoride can prevent dental decay - Click here for further information.

  • Teeth should be brushed last thing at night and at one other time
  • If a mouth wash is used this should be done at a different time to brushing
  • Do not rinse your mouth after brushing

Explain that eating a balance diet linked to good oral health, especially the reduction of free sugars within a diet. Utilise to the ‘Eat Well Guide’

  • Explain that the amount and frequency of sugars should be reduced
  • Avoid sugar containing food and drinks at bed time when saliva flow is reduced.
  • Soft drinks should be limited to meal times only

Explain that giving up smoking will not only help with the effectiveness of their dental treatment but will have a huge impact on their overall health and wellbeing - See Smoking on MECC Link

  • Advise not to use smokeless tobacco (paan, gutka, chewing tobacco)

Explain that drinking above lower risk guidelines can increase the risk of oral cancer  - See Alcohol on MECC Link

Explain regular visits to the dentist can identify problems early and enable a more preventive approach and care

    • Some people may be entitled to free NHS dental treatment 
    • For people who don’t have a regular dentist there is a service finder on the NHS website which enables you to find local NHS services, including dentists
    • You will need to contact the dental practice directly and check whether they are currently accepting NHS patients.

 

Children

Explain that children should have their teeth brushed at least twice a day as soon as their teeth erupt, last thing at night and on one other occasion - Click here for further information

Use a fluoride toothpaste:

  • Children under 3 years: use a smear of toothpaste containing no less than 1000 parts per million fluoride
  • Children aged 3 years and over use a pea size amount of fluoride toothpaste containing 1350 -1500 parts per million fluoride
  • Spit out after brushing, do not rinse

Explain that the frequency and amount of sugar in the diet should be reduced

  • Avoid sugar containing foods and drinks at bed time when saliva flow is reduced
  • Explain that eating a balance diet linked to good oral health, especially the reduction of free sugars within a diet. Utilise to the ‘Eat Well Guide’ in Healthy Eating on MECC Link.
  • Only water and plain milk should be consumed between meals

Explain that children should visit a dentist as soon as their first tooth appears

  • NHS dental treatment is free for children under 18 or under 19 and in qualifying full time education
  • If your child does not have a dentist explain that there is a service finder on the NHS website enables you to find local NHS services, including dentists. You will need to contact the dental practice directly and check whether they are currently accepting NHS patients.
  • Encourage children to attend the dentist with the rest of the family to receive regular preventive care

Self-Care - Adults

Healthy brushing advice: (Click here for further information)

  • brush at least twice daily, last thing at night and at least on one other occasion with a fluoridated toothpaste
  • spit out after brushing and do not rinse (Spit, Don’t Rinse!), to maintain fluoride concentration levels
  • use fluoridated toothpaste (1,350-1,500ppm fluoride)

Eat Well (See Act section of MECC Link – Healthy Eating)

Quit Smoking (See Act section of MECC Link - Smoking)

Reduce your Alcohol intake (See Act section of MECC Link - Alcohol)

Finding a dentist

Routine dental care:

  • The NHS website enables you to find local NHS services, including dentists. You will need to contact the dental practice directly and check whether they are currently accepting NHS patients

Urgent dental care:

  • call your dentist: some practices offer appointments at short notice
  • if you don't have a dentist, find one using NHS 111

Self-Care Children

Healthy brushing advice: (Click here for further information)

  • brush at least twice daily, last thing at night and at least on one other occasion with a fluoridated toothpaste
  • spit out after brushing and do not rinse (Spit, Don’t Rinse!), to maintain fluoride concentration levels
  • use fluoridated toothpaste:
    • Children aged up to 3 years: use a smear of toothpaste containing no less than 1000 parts per million fluoride
    • Children aged over 3 years use a pea size amount of fluoride toothpaste containing 1350 -1500 parts per million fluoride

Try and keep within the recommended intake of free sugars which is no more than:

  • 19g (5 sugar cubes) per day for 4 to 6 year olds
  • 24g (6 sugar cubes) per day for 6 to 10 year olds
  • 30g (7 sugar cubes) per day for 11 years and older

Finding a dentist

Routine dental care:

  • The NHS website enables you to find local NHS services, including dentists. You will need to  contact the dental practice directly and check whether they are currently accepting NHS patients
  • Take your child to the dentist when their first teeth come through
  • Take your child with you when you visit the dentist, so they may receive preventive dental care

Urgent dental care:

  • call your dentist: some practices offer appointments at short notice
  • if you don't have a dentist, find one using NHS 111