With thousands of Brits now having some form of teeth whitening each year, the desire for a whiter smile seems to be growing. But with so many whitening options out there, what is actually safe?
Having worked as a dentist for 17 years, Henry Clover joined Denplan in 1998 and is now our Deputy Chief Dental Officer. For this article, we’ve asked for his expert advice on tooth whitening and its dangers.
Always see your dental practice for teeth whitening
Under European law, teeth whitening can only be carried out by a dentist or another regulated dental health professional, such as a dental hygienist or dental therapist, working under the prescription of a dentist. Dental professionals can use products that contain or release up to 6 per cent hydrogen peroxide, which can achieve effective levels of whitening.
Don’t be tempted to visit your local beauty salon or spa for teeth whitening
It is illegal for beauty salon staff to carry out teeth whitening. The procedure might not be carried out properly and the bleaching gel may burn sand blister other parts of your mouth.
For more information, see what Henry Clover has to say in our Denplan video: Can tooth whitening damage my teeth?
The internet is full of ‘tips’ to whiten your teeth such as brushing with baking soda or rubbing lemon peel onto your teeth. These can actually damage your teeth.
How effective are over-the-counter whitening kits?
Legally these shouldn’t contain more than 0.1 per cent hydrogen peroxide – if they do, you could harm your teeth.Be aware that those within the safe 0.1 per cent hydrogen peroxide levels have minimal whitening effectiveness as the levels are very low.
In this video, Henry gives us his opinions whitening kits bought online,
If you’re thinking about whitening your teeth, always speak to your dentist to find the most appropriate option for your teeth and budget.
*Please note that, as teeth whitening is a cosmetic treatment, it is not included as part of your Denplan contract. Article is for information purposes only.
Here at Denplan, we believe that prevention is definitely better than cure. Brushing your teeth twice a day is important, but just as important is ensuring you’re cleaning between your teeth. Henry Clover, our Deputy Chief Dental Officer says
“Brushing alone only reaches around 70% of tooth surfaces, so it’s important to clean in between your teeth to remove bacteria and any food particles which could lead to gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath. Gum disease is also linked to more serious health conditions.
There are lots of other options available to clean between your teeth including several different kinds of floss, interdental brushes, floss harps and electric water or air flossers. Speak to your dental team to find out what works best for you and, if possible, see a hygienist who will be able to demonstrate the most effective way to get in between your teeth, which is really helpful if you find flossing a bit tricky.”
We were interested to find out more about attitudes towards oral health so we asked about people’s brushing and flossing habits.
Here are a few of our findings:
- The number of children present in a household might affect how often adults are able to brush their own teeth each day. Only 58% of adults in households with three or more children brush their teeth at least twice a day.*
- Only 62% of people brush their teeth for at least two minutes each time. 31% said they brush for one minute and 6% said they brush for 30 seconds or less!*
- Only 10% of 18-24 year olds floss at least once a day, whereas adults aged 55 or over are three times as likely to floss at least once a day (30%).*
If you’re interested to find out more about how you can improve your employees’ oral health, please contact your Denplan Account Manager who’ll be happy to work with you on a tailored communications plan.
*All figures are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 5,823 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 4th-9th February 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
Recently, sugar has been a hot topic of conversation. The World Health Organisation recommends that we reduce our sugar intake to 12 teaspoons per day (ideally to aim for 6). In light of this, we wanted to find out if people really understand how much sugar they’re consuming, how it affects their health and what should be done about it.
Here are a few of our findings:
- Only 2% of people knew that 250ml of fresh apple juice contains 7 teaspoons of sugar, the same amount as in a 250ml serving of cola.*
- Only 35% of people think retailers and food companies do enough to inform them
of how much sugar is in their food and drinks. *
- 73% of people who disagree that retailers and food companies do enough to inform them of how much sugar is in their food and drinks think they should reduce the amount of sugar in food and drinks. *
If you’re interested to find out more about how you can raise your employees’ awareness, please contact your Denplan Account Manager who’ll be happy to work with you on a tailored communications plan.
If you don’t have a dental health plan in place as an employee benefit, why not call us on 0800 838 951 or visit www.denplan.co.uk/companies.
* Denplan/YouGov Survey February 2015. The survey was carried out online. Total sample size was 5,823 adults. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
We recently launched our Big Summer Brush Up, encouraging children and parents to make sure they’re brushing properly. With almost a third of children suffering from tooth decay, caring for your children’s teeth is paramount to their health and wellbeing.
One of the most important and simple things parents can do to ensure children don’t suffer from tooth decay, is to make sure they’re brushing properly, twice a day.
82% of parents with a child aged seven or under brush their teeth for them or supervise their brushing. 11% say their child brushes their own teeth, unsupervised. 59% say they find it easy to get their child to brush for the recommended two minutes, twice a day. 21% said they find it difficult.*
Henry Clover, our Deputy Chief Dental Officer says “dentists recommend that children under seven are always supervised when brushing their teeth. This helps to ensure they’re brushing each tooth properly and for the ideal two minutes. Also, as children tend to suck the toothpaste off their brush and swallow it, it also helps keep an eye on this! Try to make brushing time as positive as possible. Fun toothbrushes, toothbrush timers, brushing charts and counting your teeth in the mirror can help to get children interested in this activity. Your dental team will also be able to provide lots of helpful tips and techniques to optimise brush time.” See here our Big Summer Brush Up reward chart!
How can we help get parents more clued up on children’s oral health? Denplan can help support everyone looking for information on how to get great oral health for all the family we created MyTeeth, a website full of handy tips and facts to help improve your family’s oral health. We also have the ‘Little Book of Healthy Smiles’, a fun and pictorial way to educate everyone. Get clued up today and ensure your child’s smile stays happy and healthy for a long time to come.
*All figures are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 5,823 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 4th – 9th February 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
Here at Denplan we like to shout about what we do best. And these four steps to success are integral to ensuring we deliver award winning dental care plans:
1. Unbeatable marketing support for you.
2. Our online support is always on point.
3. Health and Wellbeing – plus new eldercare offering!
4. Denplan Discount Network (DDN).
Employers that take out dental care as an employee benefit through Denplan have access to all these services. Among others, they include dedicated account management and eldercare. A brand new add-on to Denplan dental plans, eldercare gives employees the option to extend their cover to include relatives.
A hot topic at the moment, eldercare is the fastest growing add-on in the flexible benefits marketing world. The increasing demand is being driven by key factors in our changing society:
– The number of people needing care will outstrip the family members able to provide it.
– The UK’s ageing demographic is affecting the ‘sandwich generation’, so named because they need to re-think how they best manage their work-life balance to better cope with the care of both children and elderly relatives.
The UK’s changing demographic will create a number of challenges for employers. Perhaps the most pressing will be the need for organisations to help employees understand the realities of living longer and caring for their families across all generations.
The addition of eldercare to our plans helps to provide employees with financial and emotional reassurance.
To find out more about eldercare cover with Denplan – visit our eldercare webpage, or call us on 0800 838 951.
Source data from “What is driving demand for eldercare as a workplace benefit?“, by Robert Crawford for www.employeebenefits.co.uk.
The headlines this week have focused on the poor state of children’s oral health across the country; “Child tooth decay at crisis point” (The Times), 50,000 children in hospital each year for rotten teeth (The Express) and “Rotten teeth in kids crisis as dentists demand graphic health warnings on fizzy drinks and sweets” (The Mirror). Research shows that almost a third of five-year-olds are suffering from tooth decay, and it is the most common single reason why five- to nine-year-olds are admitted to hospital. In some cases children are admitted for multiple tooth extractions under general anaesthetic, despite tooth decay being almost entirely preventable.[i]
Denplan has also conducted our own research with over 2,000 parents of children aged 2-11, which shows that over a third (37.35%) of children have gone more than a day without brushing their teeth, with over 14% not brushing for two days. Furthermore, over 80% of children don’t brush for the recommended two minutes each time they brush[ii]. Clearly, the state of children’s oral health needs addressing and that’s why Denplan is focussing on children’s oral health in our Big Summer Brush-up campaign which runs for six weeks throughout the summer school holidays. We will be encouraging parents across the UK, to make the most of the summer holidays to visit the dentist. This national-facing PR campaign will help to raise awareness of the importance of proper brushing and will provide practical tips on how best to do this.
Over the six week period, we’ll be revealing the results of our in-depth family surveys and focus groups through national press articles and social media. We’ve also designed a handy booklet – Denplan’s Little Book of Healthy Smiles – for families to download from www.denplan.co.uk/bigsummerbrushup. This provides helpful tips on how to brush effectively, including oral health advice from dentists and insights from mums to other mums.
Earlier this month, on the 1st July, Denplan also hosted a Roundtable meeting at The House of Lords emphasising the importance of children’s oral health and the serious consequences of failing to provide enough advice, guidance and access to oral health assessments. We were extremely pleased that key policymakers from across the health spectrum were motivated to attend. This shows our commitment and ability at Denplan to make sure dentistry commands attention at the highest level.
Improving your family’s oral health is an issue that will concern everyone, to find out more, employees can visit www.denplan.co.uk/myteeth.
[i] Faculty of Dental Surgery report on The state of children’s oral health in England, published January 2015
[ii] A Onepoll survey of 2,000 participants conducted in May 2015