UK’S leading dental network reminds Brits to prioritise healthy teeth and gums

While interest in cosmetic dentistry has never been higher thanks to a year of endless Zoom calls, the UK’s leading network of dental practices, {my}dentist, is warning that oral health comes first when it comes to dentistry.

Online searches for cosmetic dental treatments including teeth whitening, teeth straightening and composite edge bonding have increased by a third year on year*, while celebs such as Davina McCall have recently credited dentistry treatments with giving them improved confidence.

However, while people have been dreaming of gleaming, straight teeth it seems that they haven’t been keeping on top of their mouth’s health. According to the oral health foundation, 55 per cent of people have admitted neglecting oral health in the last year while one in five admits to brushing less than twice a day in lockdown.

Clinicians at {my}dentist are calling for people to make sure their oral health is a priority by keeping on top of their cleaning routines and visiting a dental hygienist regularly, as part of their smile makeovers.

Nyree Whitley, group clinical director for {my}dentist, said:

"Lots of us have spent nearly a year staring at our reflections on video calls, and many are keen to address any perceived imperfections.

“Smiles are a big part of that, and there’s more enquiries than ever about treatments such as teeth straightening. But the key thing to remember is that there’s no point having perfect teeth if your gums, which hold those teeth in place, aren’t also in good condition.

The evidence showing that people’s oral health routines are slipping in lockdown means that it’s likely more people than ever will have some level of gum disease. So, my best advice if you are interested in cosmetic treatments, or if you want assurance that you have good oral health, is to see a dental hygienist.

They can advise on the health of your gums, give advice on products and techniques to use, and help treat any gum disease to prevent future problems.”


Why you should visit a dental hygienist:

A visit to the dental hygienist helps to manage oral health, but keeping gums healthy can have an impact on your wider health. Key reasons to maintain regular hygienist appointments include:

To remove plaque

Hygienists remove hardened plaque (tartar) off the teeth which cannot be done at home. This is important because plaque is home to bacteria which can irritate the gums, causing gum disease. Eventually, if plaque isn’t removed, bacteria can travel below the gum line and begin to affect the stability of the teeth. In the final stages of gum disease, known as periodontal disease, teeth become unstable and can fall out.

To freshen up your smile

As part of a hygiene visit, plaque and staining on the teeth is removed. This has the effect of making the teeth appear brighter and whiter.

To support your overall health

As well as affecting your teeth, there’s evidence that bacteria in plaque can enter the blood stream via the gums causing or exacerbating wider health conditions including heart disease, diabetes and certain problems in pregnancy.

For advice

A dental hygienist will ask lots of questions about your oral health routine including type of toothbrush and toothpaste used, and how you clean interdentally (between the teeth). They can assess how successful this routine is in removing plaque, and advise what else you may need to do at home.

*Based on Google search volume research of 2,000 cosmetic dentistry search terms. Overall search volume in the UK in January 2020 was 880,730 vs 1,137,316 in January 2021. Overall increase of 29.13%.

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