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Sugar

Posted on 12 February, 2016 at 4:35 Comments comments (2)
DENTAL HEALTH & HABITSsmall-sugar-small

What sugar does to our teeth?

Not only is the rising sugar which has crept into our diets got us fatter and craving for the next hit, it’s killing our teeth.

Around half of 8 year olds have dental decay and that means likely decay in their adult teeth. Around 500 kids a week in England alone are being put under GA to have most of their rotten teeth removed.

Every time we consume sugar, the bacteria which sticks to the teeth surface converts it into acid during an acid attack which gradually eats away at the tough outer protective enamel and once through the enamel will lead to rapid destruction of your tooth.

When is most damaging?

An acid attack usually lasts around 30 minutes regardless of how much sugar is consumed and will lead to the same effect. The length of the acid attack depends on how much saliva is in your mouth and how long the sugary food stays in contact with your teeth. Put simply if you have less saliva and sticky sugary food regularly then your chances of getting decay is very high.

 How can you keep enjoying sweet foods and not lose your teeth?

We live in the real world. Sweet foods and chocolates are part of our everyday lives and its unrealistic to suggest that we will just stop.

Added sugar is certainly a good way to kill your teeth. Many fizzy drinks contain over 12 spoonful of sugar and so should be avoided. Many food producers are now using sugar as a preservative and to optimize the taste of the food e.g. tomato ketchup. Always brush first thing in the morning and last thing at night using a fluoride toothpaste and if you have lots of fillings, use a fluoride based mouthwash.

Top tips to reduce dental decay

1)   Cut down how many times you have sugary snacks, its frequency not quantity that worsens decay.

2)   If you eat sugary food, consume them after a meal as your saliva defense is at its best and so will reduce the duration of the acid attack.

3)   Chew sugar free gum after eating sugary food as this boosts saliva flow.

4)   Check food and drink labels and always choose the sugar free option.

5)   If you have a sweet tooth, try artificial sweeteners and always choose sugar free mints or cough sweet alternatives.

Orthodontics - Braces

Posted on 9 February, 2016 at 5:50 Comments comments (0)

Braces: Understanding Your Options

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Invisalign

A shocking 42% of Brits wish they could change the appearance of their smile. Instead of letting your smile affect your confidence, why not investigate your options – you could be surprised.

As dental technology evolves, the way different treatments are carried out is becoming more sophisticated. This includes teeth straightening. Unsightly methods of straightening teeth are becoming a thing of the past as new, advanced techniques are becoming available in more dental practices.

The team at Bupa UK share a short guide on teeth straightening options.

Older methods

Lots of people are unhappy with their smile; over a quarter of people feel so conscious that they avoid smiling in photographs. People often feel frustrated by how their teeth look, yet don’t get treatment because they don’t want to wear a visible brace that will knock their confidence even further.

Traditional teeth straightening and orthodontic treatments can also bring back bad memories for some of us. Whether it was the time you embarrassingly got food stuck in your brace, or the inevitable lisp you got from wearing a retainer – for many, these are memories you’d rather forget.

These traditional methods of teeth straightening include:

  • Fixed braces – commonly used for quite severe crowding, this kind of brace is made of metal brackets while are joined together with wire to line your teeth up. It’s still very popular and is often offered to under-18s through the NHS for free.
  • Removable braces – usually used for less severe crowding, a removable brace can be made up of a plastic plate with wire clips and springs to attach to the teeth. These are still used, however, are only ever recommended if teeth don’t require too much work.
  • Retainer – a more discreet option, which is usually recommended following a fixed brace.
  • Headgear – a visible brace that attaches to your head to position back teeth. This teeth straightening method was particularly popular during the seventies but has since become used less frequently.

Fortunately, advanced methods are more readily available that mean people no longer have to grin and bear it while feeling conscious of their braces.

New techniques

Clear fixed braces

This type of brace is becoming increasingly popular and is usually only available privately. It has the same effect and function as a fixed brace however, ceramic or clear brackets are attached to the teeth so they blend into the teeth. Some providers also use tooth-coloured wires to make the braces even less noticeable.

This type of brace isn’t invisible, but it’s much more discreet than traditional “train track” braces. Although clear braces are noticeable to others, they aim to blend into your teeth for a more concealed effect.

Invisalign

For those that don’t want visible braces, Invisalign could be the solution. The innovative Invisalign technology allows you to have custom-made aligners that are replaced every couple of weeks as your teeth gradually move and line up. But, the best part is that they’re made out of clear plastic.

The aligners are barely noticeable and slot over your teeth. You’ll be advised to wear them at all times apart from when you’re eating. In most cases the treatment will last between nine and 15 months, depending on the condition of your teeth.

They’re comfortable to wear and you’ll likely find that they cause little disruption to your life.

Helping Susanna get her confidence back

One of our customers, Susanna, shared her journey as she searched for the perfect smile to help get her confidence back. You can watch the video and find out more about Invisalign here.


Teen Oral Care

Posted on 3 January, 2016 at 7:35 Comments comments (0)

Overview

Understanding

Planning

Teen Oral Care

Posted on 3 January, 2016 at 7:35 Comments comments (0)

Overview

Understanding

Planning

10 Fun Facts about Teeth

Posted on 1 January, 2016 at 8:00 Comments comments (0)

10 Fun Facts about Teeth

Woman Smile

We believe it’s important to not only treat our patients with high quality care, but to educate them about their oral health so they can be empowered to live healthy lives.

Below are 10 fun facts about teeth we thought you’d enjoy learning about.

  1. The enamel on the top surface on your tooth is the hardest part of your entire body.
  2. Teeth start to form even before you are born—milk teeth or baby teeth start to form when the baby is in the womb, but they come through when the child is between 6-12 months old.
  3. Humans use four different types of teeth (incisors, canine, premolars, and molars) to cut, tear and grind their food.
  4. Humans have only two sets of teeth in their entire lifetime—baby teeth and permanent teeth. Once you have your permanent teeth, make sure you take good care of them.
  5. No two people have the same set of teeth—your teeth are as unique as your fingerprint, so be proud of your unique set of teeth.
  6. Your mouth produces over 25,000 quarts of saliva in a lifetime—that’s enough to fill two swimming pools. Saliva has many uses, including assisting you with your digestion and protects your teeth from bacteria in your mouth.
  7. An average person spends 38.5 days brushing their teeth over their lifetime.
  8. Many diseases are linked to your oral health, including heart disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
  9. One third of your tooth is underneath your gums—that means only two thirds of your tooth’s length is visible.
  10. If you get your tooth knocked out, put it in milk and hold it in your mouth—this will help your tooth to survive longer. Make sure you see a dentist right away.

A New Year's Resolution to Smile About Healthy Teeth

Posted on 30 December, 2015 at 11:35 Comments comments (0)

I usually make a New Year’s resolution that never makes it into the second week of January. This year, I have decided to set reasonable goals and do something easy and healthy at the same time. I have decided that improving my dental health is going to be my New Year’s resolution and I am going to stick to it.

If you haven’t already made a New Year’s resolution, why not make one that you can smile about?

New Year’s resolutions can be as easy or as hard as you make them. Setting a goal of good dental health is easy and it can benefit your overall health too.

By following these simple tips, you can easily maintain good oral health all year long.

  1. Brush your teeth at least two times a day. Brushing your teeth properly removesplaque from the surface before it hardens into calculus.
  1. Use a fluoride toothpaste. Using a toothpaste with fluoride helps to preventdecay.
  2. Change your toothbrush every 3 to 6 months, depending upon which type of brush you use.
  3. Floss your teeth daily. Flossing is the only way to remove plaque from in between your teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach.
  4. Use a mouth rinse. An antimicrobial mouth rinse can provide extra help in controlling plaque.
  5. Eat healthy meals and snacks. Good nutrition is an important aspect in maintaining good dental health.
  6. Visit your dentist for regular check ups. Routine dental cleanings and examinations are the best way to make sure that your teeth and gums stay healthy.

If you follow these simple tips, you can have a great smile as well as the satisfaction of knowing that you are sticking to your New Year’s resolution of maintaining good dental health!

Is it safe to visit the dentist during pregnancy?

Posted on 15 December, 2015 at 10:45 Comments comments (0)

Yes, it’s a good idea to visit the dentist when you’re pregnant. This is because the hormones circulating in your body can affect your gums.

Your gums are more likely to bleed and there is a greater chance of them becoming inflamed or infected. Having a gum infection can lead to your teeth being damaged. You're also more likely to get a build-up of plaque on your teeth.

So try to make regular and thorough teeth cleaning part of your routine. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist about the best ways to clean your teeth and the best brushes and toothpastes to use.

If you have serious gum disease, it won't directly affect your baby's health. But it may mean your general health is not as good as it could be. Serious gum infections are called gingivitis or periodontal disease.

If you're finding it difficult to stay healthy, this can affect the way your baby grows. For this reason, some experts believe that there is a connection between gum disease and premature birthlow-birth-weight babies and other pregnancy complications.

NHS dental care is free from the time your pregnancy is confirmed right through to your child's first birthday. This means that you don't have to worry about the cost of any dental treatment you may need. To get this free care, you will need to apply for your maternity exemption certificate, so ask your doctormidwife or health visitor for the right form.

Tell your dentist that you're pregnant so that if you need treatment, he can decide on the best type for you. Although there is no evidence that mercury amalgam fillings are a health risk, these are not recommended during pregnancy, just in case. Your dentist can suggest alternative fillings if you need them.

If you're not registered with a dentist, and you can't find a dentist who is willing to give you free NHS treatment, contact NHS England. It is obliged to provide you with a service for routine and emergency dental care. You can find out how to contact NHS England by looking at theirwebsite.


Dental Check Up

Posted on 24 November, 2015 at 19:30 Comments comments (0)

Dental Checkup – What Does the Dentist Look For?

A dental checkup or examination appointment is a very important opportunity for a dentist to identify any early signs of dental problems, which usually takes less than 30 minutes for routine check ups and around 45 minutes to 1 hour for new patients. This is because most dental problems when found early can be treated quickly and inexpensively.

Dental decay is often difficult to see with the naked eye, so X rays are used to see beneath the surface of the tooth along with checking for bone loss due to gum disease. X rays in dentistry are very safe (expectant mothers will have X rays postponed until after birth) and usually have less radiation exposure than a short flight. You can also ask your dentist why the X ray is being taken as the need for an X ray is due to a clinical need. Most dentists have switched to digital X rays which means you can also see the images on a computer screen. The X ray may be a full image of an individual tooth, called a peri apical or a collection of the side view of the back teeth, called bite wings. Less frequently a full X rays of the jaw and teeth is taken, called an OPG or OPT. Considering that the radiation risk is so low, having regular X rays is an accurate way to spot dental problems.

Commonly dental decay between the teeth, underneath fillings or crowns is monitored.  The dentist also checks the bone quality and quantity around the tooth because when gum disease has been present for some months and left untreated it causes the bone that supports a tooth to start shrinking. This effect is irreversible and this advances can even lead to tooth loss. This is the number one reason people lose teeth in the UK.

With oral cancer rates significantly rising, a dentist or hygienist will carefully check all of the lining of your mouth and tongue to check for signs of oral cancer and if necessary refer you to a specialist for further investigation.

Teeth grinding is particularly common these days and linked to stress as a cause. The wear effects on the teeth are irreversible and the jaw can become permanently damaged if left untreated.

Even though a dental check up may appear a chore it can potentially save you thousands of pounds in more expensive treatments – and even save your life! There is more and more scientific evidence emerging about the link between oral health and your overall health. At the end of a check up, your dentist will inform you how long you should wait before the next checkup. This decision is based on your risk factors and can range from 3 months through to a year. Children need more regular visits than an adult generally.

In summary, top 5 things a dentist checks for:

  • Dental decay
  • Gum disease – leading cause of tooth loss in the UK
  • Oral cancer – 15 new cases in every 100,000 males
  • Teeth grinding
  • Teeth crowding

Dental Hygienists and therapists are increasingly taking a role in check up appointments and will continue to do so over the coming years.

At the end of your check up appointment, if any further treatment is required, a written plan of treatment will be made. This outlines costs, number of visits and details of the treatment. If you agree to the treatment after understanding the risks and benefits, then you will be asked to sign the treatment plan before any active treatment begins. Should there be any changes required to the plan then a new treatment plan will be drawn up.

Some people feel that a dentist visit is only required when they experience a dental problem, however with more evidence of a link between dental disease with general disease, perhaps its time you make a dental appointment today?

* data for appointment duration is taken for private appointments from Toothpick.com

Oral Health and General Health

Posted on 24 November, 2015 at 6:15 Comments comments (0)


Oral Cancer

Posted on 23 November, 2015 at 19:40 Comments comments (0)

What is mouth cancer?

Most people have heard of cancer affecting parts of the body such as the lungs or breasts. However, cancer can appear in the mouth, where the disease can affect the lips, tongue, cheeks and throat.


Who can be affected by mouth cancer?

Anyone can be affected by mouth cancer, whether they have their own teeth or not. Mouth cancers are more common in people over 40, particularly men. However, research has shown that mouth cancer is becoming more common in younger patients and in women. There are more than 640,000 cases of mouth cancer diagnosed each year worldwide and it is the eleventh most common cancer. In the United States there are around 43,000 cases each year. In some countries there is an increased risk because of problems such as tobacco chewing - in India, for example - and the rates are even higher. There are, on average, almost 7,000 new cases of mouth cancer diagnosed in the UK each year. The number of new cases of mouth cancer is on the increase, and in the UK has increased by over half in the last decade alone.


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