2016 looks set to be a big year for dentistry. While this year brings some good news for dental health, it also brings new issues that require attention. Here are the four main topics you’ll be hearing a lot more about over the next few months.
1. Sexual Health
Every year we have a greater understanding of how sexually transmitted diseases spread, and this year action is being taken to protect men from the human papilloma virus (HPV). While women have been offered the HPV vaccine for some time now, men who have sex with men have not been, leaving them at risk from HPV and ultimately mouth cancer.
Research shows that rates of mouth cancer are higher than ever, and while great strides are being made, a policy will not be implemented until 2017, leaving many open to risk.
2. Teeth Whitening
With today’s endless exposure to celebrity smiles, the popularity of tooth-whitening procedures has sky-rocketed over the last year. This obsession with the Hollywood smile has led to patients searching out cheaper whitening treatments from illegal clinics, which can be dangerous and cause unwanted effects that cost thousands to repair. The General Dental Council has successfully prosecuted many illegal tooth-whitening clinics and will continue to do so in 2016.
By finding a registered dentist in central London such as uksmile, patients can stay safe.
3. Sugar Tax
This year the British government is set to crack down on the obesity epidemic. With attention turned to the negative effects of sugar, there are suggestions that a sugar tax will be put in place this year.
While, in general, few people welcome new taxes, with half of eight-year-olds showing signs of tooth decay, according to the British Dental Health Foundation, the so-called ‘sugar tax’ has drawn relatively little criticism.
4. National Smile Month
National Smile Month will take place between the 16th May and the 16th June this year and looks set to be a bonanza of educational fun for children and adults.
Every year since 1977 organisers have promoted the importance of good dental hygiene. The initiative was first set up to encourage people to learn how to take good care of their teeth at a time when false teeth were the norm.