News & Events

New research: public health guidelines for oral health are not aligned with today’s eating habits

18 October 2017

A new report has revealed that current public health guidelines for oral health are not aligned with our eating and drinking habits. The gap between what and when we eat and drink, and the measures we take to protect our teeth may be a contributing factor to the high prevalence of tooth decay. Tooth decay continues to be a major problem in the UK, placing significant burden not just on individuals but also on dental care professionals, the NHS and society.

Data from a new independent survey shows most respondents (83%) consume at least one snack between meals and almost half (48%) enjoy two snacks or more per day, however no oral health intervention is made after 56% of morning snacks and 60% of afternoon snacks1. Taking into account this ‘grazing’ culture, it suggests that our oral health routines may not be sufficient and further interventions are required.  

The Eat, Drink, Think report recommends that the current guidelines should be broadened to ensure that people are taking the necessary steps to protect their teeth when they are most prone to plaque acid attack and when brushing is not possible.

Dr Ben Atkins, a general dental practitioner, says: “Brushing twice a day remains the single most effective preventative oral health measure, but as the Eat, Drink, Think report indicates, eating and drinking habits have changed and patient’s attitudes to oral health must adapt too. The use of sugarfree gum can supplement existing oral health routines, and this should be reflected in the current guidelines.”

To download and read the full Eat, Drink, Think report visit the Research & Evidence section on the website. For further information on the report and on the benefits of chewing sugarfree gum, please contact:

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Michelle Coles wins national design competition and gets patients hooked on oral hygiene

24 March 2016

The Wrigley Oral Healthcare Programme (WOHP) and British Society of Dental Hygiene & Therapy (BSDHT) today announced that Michelle Coles, a dental hygienist at the Dental Studios in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, has won the Oral Hygiene By Design Award 2015. Revealed at the BDIA Dental Showcase in Birmingham, Miss Coles’ winning entry “Hooked on Oral Hygiene’” helps patients ‘hang-on’ to oral hygiene advice even after they leave the clinic. This winning idea will be launched to clinics nationwide in 2016. Miss Coles, who qualified as a dental hygienist in 1988, was also awarded a grant of £750 towards her Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and a year’s supply of Wrigley's Extra® sugarfree gum for her clinic.

"I often use visual aids and props to support my oral hygiene discussions in clinic, but I wanted to create something simple and appealing that helps patients remember this advice once they get home," said Miss Coles. "The "Hooked on Oral Hygiene" tool is great because it can be hooked somewhere visible, like a bathroom door, allowing patients to keep their oral hygiene advice close to hand and helping them to regularly recall this information to maintain good habits between check-ups".

The Oral Hygiene By Design Award invited Dental Hygienists and those dually-qualified in Dental Hygiene and Therapy to unleash their creative talents and submit their designs for the ‘ideal' oral hygiene instruction tool. A wide range of creative and innovative designs were reviewed by an esteemed panel of judges including Michaela ONeill (BSDHT President), Professor Francis Hughes (Professor of Periodontology at King's College London), Julia Brewin (Dental Hygienist and winner of the 2014 Dr. Gerald Leatherman Award), Matthew Kent (WOHP Senior Manager) and Matt Wright (Director at Matter product innovation consultancy). Miss Coles' "Hooked on Oral Hygiene" design was felt to be a simple yet powerful tool that enables the full spectrum of oral hygiene advice to be captured in one easy-to-use resource but that can also be personalised for individual patients' needs.

"We all recognise how patients often leave our chairs with the best of intentions to improve their oral health, but in reality these new habits are often quickly forgotten. Michelle's "Hooked On Oral Hygiene" idea really resonated with all the judges because it provides a visible reminder to patients of what they should be doing." says Michaela ONeill, BSDHT President

The Silver Award goes to Jack Waddington at the Vi Dental Centre in North Humberside for his idea, the "Mouth House" app that delivers oral hygiene advice as smartphone notifications. The Bronze Award goes to Jennifer Huntley at the Dawood and Tanner practice in London for her idea, the "Diet for Dental Health" app, which allows patients to visualise their oral pH changes throughout the day. Jack Waddington and Jennifer Huntley will receive £500 and £250 financial grants towards their CPD respectively, as well as a one year's supply of Wrigley's Extra® sugarfree gum for their clinics.

"These winning entries were among very many innovative and imaginative ideas we received for the inaugural Oral Hygiene By Design Awards. From Apps to videos, and models to leaflets, we were genuinely impressed by the diversity of ideas and the quality of entries. Wrigley is delighted to partner with the BSDHT on such a successful and innovative programme to support those in the dental hygiene and therapy profession in their day-to-day practice." says Matthew Kent, Senior Manager of the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Programme.

WOHP partners with dental professionals in the UK and around the world to help them improve their patient's oral health through one extra simple and enjoyable step in their daily routine: chewing sugarfree gum after eating and drinking, particularly while on the go.

Please contact for further information and samples of the Hooked on Oral Hygiene tool.

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Visit us at the 2016 Irish Dental Association’s Annual Scientific Conference

02 March 2016

The Wrigley Oral Healthcare Programme is delighted to be sponsoring and attending the 2016 Irish Dental Association’s Annual Scientific Conference, taking place from 21st – 23rd April 2016 in Galway.  As the IDA’s flagship annual event, the conference attracts over 550 delegates from the Irish dental community with a diverse and exciting programme featuring world-class speakers on dental care.

Attendees at this year’s conference can look forward to a busy trade show where Wrigley will be on hand to meet with delegates. And help deepen their understanding of the benefits of chewing sugar free gum as an important step for patients in maintaining a good oral health routine, including outlining the scientific evidence that exists to support the role of sugar free gum in preventing dental caries.
Please feel free to visit our stand in the trade show area and we will be happy to discuss the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Programme in more detail and the benefits of the Wrigley’s Extra brand in improving your patient’s oral health. We’ll also have plenty of samples on hand too.  We look forward to seeing you there!

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Oral Hygiene By Design Award 2015 - Closing date extended until 18 September!

17 August 2015

Don't miss the opportunity to enter the Oral Hygiene By Design Award 2015! The closing date for entries has been extended until 23:59, Friday 18 September 2015. Launched by the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Programme (WOHP) and British Society of Dental Hygiene & Therapy (BSDHT), the Award is challenging all BSDHT members to unleash their creative talents and design a new oral hygiene education tool for patients - and win fantastic prizes!

Among the great prizes on offer are £750 towards ongoing professional education and the chance to work with a professional designer to bring the design to life and launch it to dental professionals nationwide. Why should you enter? Find out! Click below to watch a video about the Award and share it amongst your colleagues!

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