A survey to get your teeth into

HERE S a funny thing. It certainly made me smile. That austere body the British Dental Health Foundation is about to conduct its annual national dental survey. It will be done online during National Smile Month which takes place between May 13 and June 12

HERE'S a funny thing. It certainly made me smile.

That austere body the British Dental Health Foundation is about to conduct its annual national dental survey.

It will be done online during National Smile Month which takes place between May 13 and June 12.

The findings will be used to document the views of the British public on dental issues and their oral health.


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Now pay attention, this is important.

The big boss man of the Foundation is appealing for as many people as possible to spare five minutes to answer the questions.

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He adds, and I quote: "This really is a very important document. It will provide a record of people's attitudes to oral health in 2007 and will be used to initiate political and media discussion on a range of issues over the coming year."

So what are the questions which will probe deep and give, maybe brutally but honestly, a true picture of what the nation is thinking?

One asks: "Which celebrity do you think has the best smile?"

Another wants to know: "Would you ever be happy to lend your toothbrush to someone?"

A third inquires: "What is the most unusual thing that you have ever used to pick your teeth?"

That's made me think of a question of my own: "What do you get if you pick your teeth?"

The answer is a slap round the head if it is done in the presence of my wife.

But getting back to the survey...

The questions may have been silly and irrelevant so far, but you are suddenly hit by what I suspect is the only one the Foundation is really interested in.

It is this: "Would you like your water supply to be fluoridated?"

Whether to add the chemical to the vital fluid coming out of the taps used to be a hot issue with strong feelings either way but I thought the fuss had virtually dried up with many people accepting the claimed benefits of such an action.

However, it must still be something of an emotive issue for the Foundation to keep plugging away, presumably still looking for public support.

Talking about drinking brings us nicely on to eating.

It may have passed you by but it was St George's Day on Monday when all things English like roast beef and Yorkshire pudding should have been celebrated.

There is a move afoot to make the day a public holiday but I fear it will fail miserably.

Here's one reason why - research just out claims that two in three people in England have switched from traditional dishes such as roasts, fry-ups and fish and chips to more Mediterranean food.

Just down the road from us, it is said that 77 per cent of people in Greater London would rather have paella than pies or puddings.

With the way the temperatures have been going, it may not be a surprise that people prefer humus over hotpot.

But for me, I'll always opt for a packet of chips over a bowl of olives.

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