Mick Armstrong, Chair of the British Dental Association, wonders why we’re not all more worried about the poor state of the nation’s teeth. Here are 5 reasons we should be!

In an article for The Health Foundation’s QualityWatch, Mick Armstrong has voiced concern over what he feels is a worrying lack of attention to our collective oral health. Everything, from NHS funding to popular culture, needs to be rewired to raise the profile of dentistry and its importance to our general well-being.

At 543, we completely agree and constantly strive to do our part! As a reminder, then, of just how critical your dental health is, here are our top 5 reasons to prioritise dentistry:

1. Improve your chances of catching oral cancer early
Early detection of mouth cancer more than doubles your chances of survival, and the best way to ensure early detection is to be aware of the signs and to come in regularly for your check-ups and hygienist visits. Did you know we include oral cancer checks as standard with every check-up and hygienist appointment?

2. Reduce your risk of general health problems
Poor oral hygiene has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and stroke. It makes sense when you think about it – bacteria in your mouth doesn’t stay there. It’s transported to your stomach and from there throughout your whole body every time you swallow, so there’s really no part of you that’s NOT connected to oral health!

3. Reduce tooth pain and associated time off work
Suffering from dental problems, and taking the time required to treat them, is almost entirely preventable. Tooth pain can make your life a misery and also cause you to miss work and social engagements. Why put yourself through that needlessly? Not to mention the cost of advanced treatment if and when it comes to that.

4. Reduce tooth decay and hospitalisation for children
Did you know that tooth decay is the number one reason for children in the UK being hospitalised? This is because extractions in young children are usually done under general anaesthetic. It’s not a pleasant experience for them or you, as parents, and so easy to avoid if you just enforce good dental hygiene from an early age (ideally before their first birthday) and bring them to the dentist regularly.

5. Improve your professional and social prospects
You needn’t have a Hollywood smile to get ahead in life, but your chances of landing that dream job, or dream partner, are drastically reduced if you have poor oral hygiene or visibly missing teeth. And sadly, missing out on those opportunities can negatively impact your mental health and lead to anxiety and depression.

Here at 543, we want you to take full advantage of all the help we have to offer. Our website has good advice, as does the award-winning Teeth Team website (for parents and children). And we’re always happy to answer your questions – just give us a call on 01482 565 488 or ask at your next appointment.