Readers' letters - March 30

Lack of basic knowledge contributes to decay issue

Friday, 6th April 2018, 2:17 pm
Updated Friday, 6th April 2018, 2:21 pm
The issue of teeth decay has got worse says a correspondent

What is surprising is the fact that, in 1975, we had 20,000 registered dentists. We now have 46,000 and things have got worse.

There are many reasons for this, the main problem being the lack of basic knowledge passed from parents to children, which is causing problems in many aspects of life today. There is also the amount of sugar available in many forms and the culture of feeding regularly throughout the day. After an intake of sugar, it takes 20 minutes for the mouth to return to a non-decaying environment.

Also, back in 1975, dentists were well paid and, contrary to what TV programmes of the time would have you believe, most dentists provided treatments which they were not allowed to provide on the NHS, for no extra charge.

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However, that is not the case today. In a radio programme, I heard that many young dentists are disappointed at the amount of non-clinical work they are required to do and their rates of pay. I feel very sorry for them.

Six years ago (five at university and one vocational training), they could not have known that average dental pay would fall by 35 per cent in the next five years, although they might have had a hint of the workload which began to increase eight years ago.

The pay for one filling is the same as for 10. One can only marvel at the saintly nature of our dentists who, after finding a cavity, continue checking the mouth for further decay, knowing that any they find will be time-consuming to treat and will pay them no money.

Most dentists would like to treat children, as the risk of having to provide expensive work is low, but child-only NHS contracts are only allowed if they were in place in 2006 when this farcical contract was introduced.

Andrew Mercer

Address supplied

Young people must lead way

Robert Swan, a British explorer, famously once said that, “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it”.

This quote has always stuck with me, because I believe this mindset is one of the key reasons why the state of our planet’s health is currently at breaking point.

The time for hoping that someone else will fix the problem has now passed. We find ourselves in a crucial moment for the future of our planet. Our current path does not make for happy reading.

It’s a sad fact that, since 1970, global wildlife populations have fallen by half. Oceans are suffering from extensive pollution and over-fishing, forests are being cut down at an alarming rate and we’re already seeing some of the devastating impacts that climate change is having upon the planet.

These issues can seem too big and complex. However, we all have the power to make changes and I think young people are at the heart of this. Right now, more than ever, we must ask ourselves what world we want to leave for

future generations.

I’m passionate about caring for our planet. That’s why I’m proud to support schemes, such as WWF’s Green Ambassador Awards, that help and inspire young people to care for our

precious world.

These incredible awards showcase the very best

examples of schools and pupils who are putting the environment at the heart of what they do.

As we approach the deadline (April 30) for these prestigious awards, we’re seeking inspirational green ambassadors. The lucky winners will each receive £500, to help boost green projects in and around their school.

Together we can make a difference and drive positive action that will help us in the fight against climate change and creating a clean, green, sustainable and happy future for us – and more importantly – all future generations. Visit

Cel Spellman


EU ‘shown its true colours’

This country is being slowly softened up to a situation like the Irish were – in other words, keep having a referendum until the EU gets its undemocratic way.

Thankfully, we are not in the euro, nor the Schengen Agreement – European disaster areas – and should steer clear of greater European


Seventeen million ordinary voters voted out. Generally speaking, the will of ordinary people is usually right.

When political parties become obsolete, the electorate throws them out.

Europe has slowly destroyed Italy, Greece and Spain. It was well on the way to destroying many of our


I have traded with Europe for more than 20 years, I saw the outstanding benefit that the Common Market provided, but it has developed into a monster.

For that reason I think if there was another referendum, the majority would be increased because the EU has shown its true colours.

Jack Caley

Address supplied