No dentist appointments: Shocking news revealed

  • Discover the real impact that COVID has had on our teeth
  • Why children are being failed by the NHS
  • New stock… small mistake – Dr Heff’s Mints

Been to the dentist lately?

I ask because some of the latest statistics released by the British Dental Association show that only a third of us have been to the dentist in the last two years.

Of course, trying to see a dentist is a major issue if you do want to see one.

There are just no dentist appointments.

I read that in some regions there is an eighteen month wait to get an appointment for a check up.

Dentists are saying that they fear a mountain of hidden problems in the population, and they can’t see how they will be able to cope as a result.

Chair of the British Dental Association, Eddie Crouch, said that since 2020 a whole year’s worth of dental appointments has been lost and a recovery will be “impossible” if ministers “fail to halt the exodus from a demoralised workforce.”

It is all very worrying.

As I’ve written before I am not fond of going to have my teeth looked at, in fact I am a true coward, but I recognise why it is important to look after my teeth.

Having suffered from a couple of painful abscesses I know what awaits me if I don’t keep up my regular checks.

But I am one of the lucky ones who can get to see my dentist without having to wait for over a year.

Clearly reform is needed to ensure that NHS dentists are available across the country and for all ages.

Especially for children.

One of the most distressing parts of those statistics was that an increasing number of children are being admitted to hospital for extractions.

Public Health England say that nine out of ten of these cases are due to preventable tooth decay.

How can this be? Why aren’t parents taking children for regular check-ups?

When I was at school we used to get the ‘meat wagon’ show up twice a year with travelling dentists who carried out checks on everyone in the school, but these are a thing of the past.

Even allowing for long waiting times and a paucity of NHS dentists has it really come to the fact that parents give up on their children and give them a can of drink and a bag of sweets instead?

Of course not.

The need for child friendly dentists

The proposed sugar tax will be trotted out by the government and industry as evidence that they are doing something about this, but we all know this will have limited impact.

Effectively this is their spin for the next five years on a policy which will make very little difference because it covers so few of the things which badly affect children, like overly sweetened yoghurts, milkshakes made with raw sugar and gloopy fructose rich breakfast cereals.

If the powers that be had real courage they would highlight the worst offenders for destroying our children’s health and shame them out of business… but as most of these companies effectively ‘own’ the political system there is no chance of that happening.

Likewise having a few adverts on TV saying we should be eating healthier do nothing against the billions of pounds spent by companies advertising precisely the things that are rotting teeth.

When a parent is made to feel unloving towards their children because they won’t buy little Jonny a burger meal at least twice a week, then they are not going to follow advice which makes them unpopular.

I think we should see a return of the mobile school dentist service where children get checked at least twice a year – but the results of these checks need to be published to shame our politicians into acting further.

By taking the fight to Parliament in this way we begin to make a change.

Of course, we also need to support the right kind of foods for our children and that means doing right by struggling parents who see a frozen pizza as a quick and healthy meal…

…to stop the rot we have to act across the piece rather than just make political gestures.

But enough of the political debate, here is something much closer to home.

Good news for Good Life Letter readers

One of the products that I have featured in the last few years is Dr Heff’s Remarkable Mints.

These sugar free mints have been developed by two UK dentists and their formulation includes green tea extract, calcium phosphate, xylitol and natural peppermint oil which actively repairs your teeth.

They have been out of stock for a while as the effects of global shortages and problems with shipping had their effect.

But we do now have fresh supplies in – more info here.

Then… we noticed a problem.

Our new stock said that they were best before the end of January 2022… nearly three months ago!

So, we contacted Dr Heff’s and they realised the issue was in the packing plant and sent us this message;

“Again firstly massive apologies to you and your customers.

 I’ve been onto our manufacturer in Belgium. The stock was made in October 2021 and shipped to us in November 2021. The packaging has been mis-labelled and should be January 2024 use by date.”

So, if you do want high quality, great tasting mints that will look after your teeth, please buy with confidence.