NHS Dentistry is collapsing.
Find a dentist in your area!
Only one third of adults have seen a dentist since the start of COVID. This is largely due to a massive backlog at clinics across the country. Many NHS dental clinics are no longer seeing non-registered patients, even in an emergency. The problem is set to get even bigger! This website contains details of more than 8.000 dental clinics. Click here to find your nearest dentist.
Why do people need to visit a dentist?
We see thousands of patients booking appointments at clinics across the country every month. Most patients are reacting to a problem. Pain is the main reason for people needing to visit the dentist. However, we all know that the longer you leave a tooth problem, the worse it gets. If you are told that there are no appointments available for at least 3 months, what do you do with that screaming toothache?
Proactive is better than reactive….always!
With a backdrop of restricted dental help available to you and your family, what can you do to reduce the probability of having to see a dentist in an emergency? When dental surgeons across the country are seeing more children under the age of 10 with acute rotting teeth, we must understand that your teeth are your responsibility, and your children’s teeth are also your responsibility.
Firstly, reducing sugar from the family diet will have a huge impact on how often you need emergency treatment. Look closely at every item you buy and consider if it is really needed. As an example, ketchup is absolutely loaded with sugar…almost as much as chocolate. Bread contains sugar, so just think of how much a jam sandwich contains. The biggest culprit in the sugar stakes is fizzy drinks which contain an incredible amount of sugar. If high levels of sugar are consumed continuously, not only will your teeth suffer, but you run the risk of triggering diabetes and other life-changing illnesses. Don’t be a sugar junkie. Kick that habit!
Secondly, make sure your brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes, at least twice a day. What happens if you don’t? Plaque builds up at the base of the teeth and in between teeth. Think of this like moss getting under the tiles on your roof. The moss starts pushing the roof tiles out of place and creates gaps where the rain gets in. Plaque leads to gum disease which causes your teeth to become loose, exposes the softer pulp of your teeth which exposes the nerves….ouch! At best, you get toothache. At worst, your breath will smell (food has gone off in your teeth), your gums will be more susceptible to disease and your teeth will fall out. Some electric toothbrushes are able to destroy plaque within a week or two and it is worth investing wisely in a good toothbrush such as Sonicare or Oral-B. You can also buy tooth repair kits such as Toofypegs or Dentek. These are temporary repairs for a filling that has fallen out and will be easily replaced by your dentist when you get in to see them. Toothache can be calmed down by rubbing sensitive toothpaste around the offending tooth, or by using clove oil gel. Both are available at good chemists and many supermarkets.
Thirdly, do try to get an appointment for a checkup. The incidences of oral cancer being identified increased dramatically until the pandemic. Then dentists could only see a small number of patients and less cases of oral cancer were identified. A dentist will be able to spot any sign of oral cancer and this alone could save your life! A quick visit to the hygienist will get your teeth to the way they should be kept. You will feel amazing after this visit.
Your overall health can be badly affected by poor oral hygiene. It can affect your blood, your heart, your liver and kidneys. The first signs of continuous fatigue could suggest problems in your mouth and is worth checking out. This is similar to your car in that it should be serviced regularly to prevent it from breaking down. Service your teeth as often as you service your car and you could avoid some nasty problems flaring up.
You deserve to be the best version of you and the same applies to your family. So remember 3 things: cut out sugar, brush twice a day with a good electronic brush, and make an appointment for a checkup as soon as you can. Smile and the world smiles with you.
Emergency dental services are available if you call NHS 111. Please don’t go to A&E or to your GP with a dental problem.