have a screw loose when it comes to flossing
5 WORST flossing implements used by people in the UK:-
5. Paper clips
A survey has revealed that people are risking their oral health by
picking their teeth with dangerous household implements!
According to the National Dental Survey, conducted by the British
Dental Health Foundation in association with HealthSure, many people
simply use whatever is close to hand to remove food trapped between
Over 60% of people questioned for the survey admitted to using
makeshift items to pick their teeth, with screwdrivers, scissors,
needles and knives being among the answers given. The survey,
conducted in the run-up to National Smile Month (May 14 to June 13)
also found that a further 23% of people do get food stuck in their
teeth, but choose to leave it there, increasing the risk of gum
disease and bad breath.
Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the Foundation, commented:-
“Clearly people really need to be educated on the importance of
flossing. Flossing is a vital part of a good oral health
routine, removing food particles from between the teeth and plaque
from against gumline. It should be done once-a-day before brushing.
However it is very important to be gentle, even when using proper
dental floss, as jerking or snapping the floss into the gums can
damage the gum tissue. The best thing to dislodge food from
between the teeth with is interdental wood sticks, as these are
shaped specifically for this purpose. However, cocktail sticks are
not and should really be avoided." He added:-
“The idea of someone picking their teeth with a screwdriver may
sound amusing for a moment but it is actually a big worry that so
many people are happy to use whatever is closest to hand to remove
food from between their teeth. A screwdriver is hardly the most
flexible of items and I don’t think people realise the damage this
could do to their gums!”
As well as screwdrivers, scissors, needles and knives the survey
also saw people admit to using keys, paper clips, matchsticks,
earrings, nail files, pencils, cards and forks to pick food from
between their teeth.
Richard Sear, managing director of national healthcare cash plan
provider, HealthSure, who sponsored the survey commented:-
“We’re shocked that the survey has revealed that many people are
still not aware of how to take basic care of their teeth.
Flossing is a key part of a good oral health routine along with
brushing twice-a-day with fluoride toothpaste and cutting down on
the frequency of sugary foods and drinks.”
This year’s National Smile Month campaign is using the theme ‘Feed
Your Smile’ to remind people of the importance of eating a
healthy, balanced diet and maintaining a good oral health routine.
OF THE 'PROZAC NATION'
GROUND-BREAKING initiative offers better and faster access to
talking therapies. People suffering from depression will be
able to have better access to counselling and talking therapies
under a major new programme announced this week by Health Secretary
At the moment many people with mild to moderate depression find it
difficult to access talking therapies, with services patchily spread
across the country. This is despite clinical evidence showing that
better access to therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
(CBT) can help cure depression and reduce time off work due to
ill-health. Patients also prefer to receive talking therapies rather
The programme, announced this week by Patricia Hewitt in a speech to
the National Mental Health Partnership Conference, consists of 2
demonstration sites in Doncaster and Newham, which will be linked to
a regional network of local improvement programmes.
demonstration sites will bring together key programmes in the NHS,
voluntary sector and local employers to test various models that can
be implemented nationally.
Announcing the launch of the programme today, Miss Hewitt said:-
"Millions of people suffer from mild to moderate mental health
problems, and treating them takes up about a 3rd of GPs' time. Too
many people are prescribed medication as a quick fix solution, but
talking therapies work equally well and patients prefer to receive
them. We know that people in work have better health than
those out of work and the Choosing Health White Paper made clear
that work matters - it can improve your mental and physical health,
reduce health inequalities and improve life chances for people and
their families. I hope that these pilot sites will provide
real, tangible evidence of the effectiveness of investing in talking
therapies. They will help break the cycle of deprivation, where poor
health leads to unemployment and wasted lives as people fail to
reach their full potential."
Rethink chief executive Cliff Prior said:- "This could be the
beginning of a dramatic advance in mental health. We know from
our members that there is a huge demand for talking therapies. We
also know that there is already a strong evidence base to support
these types of interventions. We hope that the pilot sites will
report quickly and positively so that this initiative can become a
full national programme available to everyone who needs it."
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said:- "Mind has long
been campaigning for a wider choice of therapies, including talking
therapies, to be readily available on the NHS for all who need them.
We hope that these pilot schemes will be a first step towards making
this a reality, and look forward to the scheme's extension to cover
the whole population. We are delighted to finally see delivery
of pilot schemes for these urgently needed alternative treatments to
medication, now advocated by several NICE guidelines as frontline
treatments. Giving people the chance to learn coping strategies and
self-management techniques can help reduce the risk of mental health
problems returning later on."
Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health chief executive Angela Greatley
said:- "People with depression and anxiety have for too long
been offered little more than medication. For a significant
minority, this is not enough to help them to recover. As a result,
many lose their jobs, drop out of education or see their
relationships break down. Waiting times for psychological therapies
are long, despite the mass of evidence about their benefits for many
This announcement should be the beginning of a new
approach that ensures timely access to effective treatment and
practical support, with real choices and care close to home."