The last bite (February)

02 February 2022
2 min read

Stephen Hancocks provides a round-up of some recent news stories in dentistry, discussing fudge, modelling and kissing.

Old fudge We’ve all been in the situation when we have wanted to keep a sugary snack secret. Perhaps a bargain pack of chocolate biscuits hidden under the shopping in a supermarket trolley in case any patients chance by and see; perhaps a confectionery bar deep in the car glove compartment as insurance against a long wait in traffic.

Well, it seems as thought we are neither alone, nor that it is a new phenomenon. A restoration expert, of dresses not teeth, recently discovered a half-eaten piece of fudge in the sleeve of a 1903 ballgown worn by a Romanov princess. Checking the garment in the Hermitage Museum she noticed a ‘lump’ in the hem of one of the sleeves. The dress had been worn by Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna at a royal ball in the Winter Palace at St Petersburg. She had clearly become peckish prior to the lavish dinner served that evening, had nibbled part of the fudge but was then at a loss as to were to hide the remaining chunk. The duchess escaped the Russian Revolution, living out her life in a house in grounds of Hampton Court Palace where she died aged 85 in 1960. How fascinating to have been able to ask her if she remembered the occasion – and the fudge.

Nursing a career change
Some fascinating responses to a recent social media poll which asked what dentists and nurses feel is most important in maintaining a good relationship with your clinician/ nurse. The top answer was respect and good manners and indicated that it is not only what is said but also the tone. Perhaps more predictably other answers were trust, banter, understanding and lots of cups of tea/ coffee.

At a time when various fallouts of the pandemic are being blamed for dental nurses leaving the profession it is pleasing to learn that some are travelling in the other direction. A former Miss West Yorkshire finalist who enjoyed a successful modelling career has now trained as a dental nurse. The 20-year-old said her modelling days, which included her featuring in advertisements for gyms and in music videos, were over, explaining that some days she would leave the house at 6am and not get back until 11pm. So, let’s hope that she finds a respectful dentist with good manners.

Kiss and tell
A California dentist has gone viral on TikTok explaining why she doesn’t kiss her child on the lips. She described that because bacteria can transfer through salivary exchange and that this is more common for children than adults, the transfer at an early age is usually from their caregiver through kissing and sharing utensils. Apparently, after the age of four a child’s oral microbiome has matured and is unique to them, making them more resistant during times of salivary exchange. Call me old fashioned but I just can’t help wondering what effect suddenly kissing your child on the lips for the first time at age four might do them psychologically!