The world has shrunk with the internet boom – and all the technology that comes with it – enabling people in far-flung corners of the globe to now connect instantly. As this trend continues, so smartphones grow ever smarter with a multitude of clever devices all offering a plethora of 24/7 on-the-go communication possibilities.
Indeed, it’s a rare day that my train journey into work isn’t interrupted by somebody’s mobile ringing or pinging.
We also now have no end of access to all kinds of incredible information, including anything and everything about dental health and, for me, this has certainly ramped up the knowledge my patients have about their teeth and general wellbeing; so much so, in fact, that these conversations have now become an important part of my appointments.
I love it when my patients ask questions because it’s a sign they have a real interest in their health and I am always very happy to ‘talk teeth’!
On the button
It’s important for us all that, when surfing the net, we use reputable health websites for our information and I always ask the source to make sure patients are listening to the right people who are saying the right things –from a clinical and scientific perspective.
Apparently, more than 40% of consumers say that information found via social media affects the way they deal with their health, so I thought I’d share my dynamic duo of ‘safe’ places to visit on the worldwide web guaranteed to separate fact from fiction when it comes to talking about dentistry.
Voted Britain’s best health website in 2014, www.patient.co.uk is an excellent all-round health website used and trusted by millions every month, including medical and health professionals.
- It’s easy to navigate
- Offers an A-Z of health information
- Includes a database of medicine and drugs
- Features discussion forums
- Has its own interactive and clinically backed assessment tool – MyHealth – to help you improve your health through a tailored 12-week health programme.
What is rather cool is that I, along with some of my colleagues on the council of my professional body (the British Association of Dental Therapists), contribute dental advice from time to time. In fact, I have just written a new one about National Smile Month for the website and I will be sharing my plans for the May to June month-long event in my next blog.
The British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF) is a charity that works to improve oral health by providing education materials, advice and information.
As well as organising National Smile Month, the lovely people at the BDHF also run Mouth Cancer Action Month every year to raise awareness of this terrible disease. Its website has:
- A dental helpline
- A Tell Me About It section
- All the latest oral health news, with resident expert, Dr Nigel Carter, often quoted in news stories as a leading expert in the world of oral health care
- There are some fun things to do as well – this month you can vote on which party leader has the best smile!
- And the charity also has its own stamp of approval for tried and tested oral health care products to help you decide what’s best for your dental health.
As most of us keep our phones close by – or are glued to them with the volume turned up on public transport (see earlier comment) – keeping updated and ‘in the know’ on the go has never been easier. So, here I’m also going to share my two favourite dental health apps.
- Brush DJ – a free NHS-approved and award-winning app that aims to makes brushing your teeth fun. It’s the innovation of dentist , Ben Underwood, and plays two minutes of your music to help you time your ideal brushing – www.brushdj.com/ and @BrushDJ
- Dental Phobia – Also developed by a dentist – Dr Jeff Sherer – it uses the power of knowledge to help patients overcome their anxiety about the dental visit – itunes.apple.com/gb/app/dental-phobia/id447569018?mt=8 and @drjeff_tooth
Of course, you can always follow me on Twitter, too – @MelPrebble – or come pay me a visit at Abbey Road Dental – @AbbeyRoadDental – in North West London, or The Clinic at The Luke Barnett Centre – @_Luke_Barnett_ – in Watford or Neel Dentistry –@neeldentistry – in Welwyn, Hertfordshire where I’d be more than happy to ‘talk teeth’ with you!