Troops face prison over missed dental appointments

  • Army wants soldiers fit for duty

  • Jail for squaddies who dodge dentist

  • Army drill to improve oral health

If it wasn’t so severe it could have come right from the set of Dad’s Army – that TV comedy classic with Lance Corporal Jones (Clive Dunn) shouting “Don’t panic!” – but soldiers who fail to attend dental appointments could now face a week in military prison.

Extreme, perhaps, but it does get the message home that our armed forces are getting tough on teeth.

According to the Mail on Sunday the stiff new regulations are to try to prevent illness and absence caused by tooth decay.

Dads's Army

BBC classic comedy Dad’s Army

Drive to improve oral fitness

It sounds vaguely familiar to the blog post we carried about the D-Day dentists, who were there to ensure troops needing dentures and extractions received appropriate treatment before battle.

The new regulations, according to the newspaper, are part of a drive to improve ‘oral fitness’ among troops and cut the numbers declared unfit for deployment on military operations.

It is understood to be the first time that soldiers have faced jail for not going to the dentist.

For those of age, we can easily imagine those TV Home Guard characters of the 70s turning up for ‘drill’ and the comedic chaos ensuing when they realised it was not square bashing.

It’s an age thing we know, but the series was hallmark British humour penned by genius comedy writers Jimmy Perry and the late David Croft. The series spawned a full-length feature film, radio series and this year marks its 48th anniversary.

Troops face prison over missed dental appointments

Soldiers need to have healthy teeth and gums

Evidence published in 2011 found that Army troops suffered more tooth decay and dental-health problems than RAF and Royal Navy personnel.

Researchers concluded that overall their findings were ‘a reflection of the socio-demographic background from which they [the recruits] are drawn’.

The Mail explains that following this study the Army introduced rules stating that no applicants with five or more fillings, or five or more false teeth, would be permitted to start recruit training.

The Ministry of Defence was quoted as saying: “t is very important that serving personnel have good oral fitness so that they are passed fit to deploy.

“One of the fundamental principles of serving in the Army is following orders. Failure to follow an order will have consequences which in extreme cases, like repeated non-compliance, could mean detention”.

Six monthly dental check-ups

Of course, at North Street Dental we also believe that patients should turn up for dental checks and treatment, but we’re not about to put anyone in prison if they fail to honour an appointment.

We do, however, believe everyone should have a six-monthly dental check-up.

Why? Because regular dentist visits can do more than keep your smile attractive – they can also tell our clinicians a lot about your overall health, including whether or not you may be at risk for chronic disease.

New research suggests that the health of your mouth mirrors the condition of your body as a whole. For example, when your mouth is healthy, chances are your overall health is good, too.

On the other hand, if you have poor oral health, you may have other health problems.

Research also shows that good oral health may actually prevent certain diseases from occurring.

Other studies have shown there is a relationship between gum (periodontal) disease and health complications such as a stroke and heart disease.

North Street Dental building

We’re friendly at North Street Dental

Seeing a dentist regularly helps to keep your mouth in tip-top shape and allows us to look out for developments that may point to other health issues. A dental examination can also detect poor nutrition and hygiene, growth and development problems and improper jaw alignment, to name a few issues.

Anyway, we’re friendly, love families, rise to the challenge of restoring damaged smiles and like meeting new people.

We believe we have a fabulously equipped practice with its onsite laboratory and scanner, some talented clinicians and a creative implant dentist who has been placing them for more than 25 years. It’s ours, but we’d like to share it with you.

Want to be exposed to some cutting edge dentistry? Call us, now.