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Finland falling behind with dental hygiene, studies suggest

Finland is a nation most people associate with good health and an effective healthcare system, but studies suggest that the Scandinavian country is lagging behind when it comes to dental hygiene.

According to a World Health Organisation report entitled ‘Growing up unequal: Health behaviour in school-aged children,’ just over half of Finnish men and 80% of women aged over 30 brush their teeth twice a day. The statistics are even worse for younger generations, with 55% of 15-year-old boys and 26% of girls skipping at least one cleaning session per day.

The study shows that Finland rates poorly when compared to other European countries. In Switzerland, 79% of boys and 91% of girls brush twice a day. The numbers are also much higher in the UK, Sweden, Germany and Norway.

Liisa Suominen, professor of oral health at the University of Eastern Finland, said that the results are surprising, especially as Pisa tests show that Finnish youngsters are more intelligent than the average child in Europe. Research suggests that bad habits in childhood and adolescence are likely to continue into adulthood, especially among males.

A study cited by Yle revealed the potential implications of poor oral hygiene, with rates of periodontitis, advanced gum disease, significantly higher in Finland than in Sweden and Norway. Sixty percent of Finnish adults have signs of advanced gum disease compared to 50% in Norway and 40% in Sweden.

Beautiful Smiles Designed by Experts in London

Nothing makes you feel more confident than a beautiful smile. At Baker Street Dental, we understand the difference cosmetic, orthodontic and restorative dentistry can make, and we have a team of experts ready and waiting to help you smile with confidence.

Our treatments

We offer an array of treatments, which are designed to promote good oral health and ensure you feel amazing when your smile is in the spotlight. If you don’t have perfect pearly whites, there’s every chance that we can find an ideal solution. We have a range of cosmetic, restorative and orthodontic treatments available, and we also offer a bespoke smile makeover service. We can provide single treatments or combine different services to bring about a dramatic transformation.

Smile makeovers are the ultimate treatment for people who aren’t completely happy with the appearance of their smiles. To achieve beautiful smiles, we use a series of different treatments to address flaws and ensure you’re ecstatic with the results. Our most popular smile makeover treatments include:

  • Tooth whitening
  • Veneers
  • Cosmetic braces
  • Cosmetic bonding
  • Gum reshaping
  • White fillings and crowns
  • Bridges
  • Dental implants
  • Tooth contouring

When you have a consultation, our dental team will discuss your treatment preference with you, and we’ll talk about the kind of aesthetic you’d like to achieve. When we have this information, we can work out which treatments would be best for you, and start planning your bespoke makeover.

To find out more about our dental services and our tailor-made smile makeover treatments, don’t hesitate to get in touch today!

Four Steps to Fresher Breath

Do you suffer from bad breath, or are you on the lookout for ways to improve your oral hygiene regime and keep bad breath firmly at bay? If so, here are 4 steps you can take today:

  1. Brush for 2 minutes twice a day: brushing is essential for preventing bad breath as it removes food debris and bacteria from your mouth. Often, bad breath is caused by a build-up of bacteria, which release odorous gases when they feed. We strongly recommend brushing for two minutes, twice a day, every day. When you brush, cover every tooth, and devote an equal amount of time to each quadrant of the mouth.
  1. Clean your tongue: many cases of bad breath are liked to collections of bacteria that form on the tongue. Most people know to brush their teeth, but they neglect the tongue. After brushing your teeth, use your brush or a tongue scraper to gently clean your tongue. You should find that this has a positive impact.
  1. Chew sugar-free gum: if you find that you’re prone to bad breath after eating, it’s really beneficial to chew sugar-free gum. Gum has a fresh flavour, but the action of chewing also stimulates saliva production, which cleanses the mouth. Always make sure you opt for sugar-free products, and don’t chew for more than two minutes.
  1. See your dental hygienist: if you suffer from bad breath on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to see your dentist or your dental hygienist. Hygienists are experts in oral hygiene, and they can use intensive cleaning methods and provide you with advice to tackle halitosis and increase your confidence.

If you’re worried about bad breath, or you have any dental hygiene questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

New study slams cereal manufacturers for depicting unrealistic portion sizes

A new study, which has been published in the British Dental Journal, has criticised cereal manufacturers for depicting portion sizes that are far too large. Experts believe that cereal boxes show serving suggestions that are far bigger than a standard portion, which could confuse consumers and contribute to excessive sugar consumption.

Researchers discovered that popular cereals, including Frosties, Coco Pops and Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, are packaged in boxes emblazoned with images of bowls overflowing with cereal. In some cases, the pictures show a serving size of approximately 90 grams, despite the fact that most manufacturers recommend a portion size of 30 grams. According to the new study, if the imagery was correct, children aged up to 10 could be consuming more than half their daily sugar intake in a single bowl of cereal.

As part of the study, researchers analysed the packaging and nutritional information of 13 popular cereal products. They discovered that the sugar content of several well-known options equated to more than a third of the total weight. The team also claim that if the imagery on the box was used as a template for buyers, 8 of the 13 cereals analysed would provide a child between the ages of 4 and 6 with more than 50% of their recommended daily intake of sugar.

Maria Morgan, study author and senior lecturer at Cardiff University, said that it was “impossible to know if manufacturers are deliberately tricking people,” but suggested that misleading images could contribute to excessive sugar consumption. Ms Morgan also claimed that it was likely that families from low-income backgrounds would be worst affected by such images.

The study has been published a month after NHS England’s chief encouraged food manufacturers to review and revise the sugar content of the products they sell.

Australian vets come up with innovative orthodontic solution for a pet python with an overbite

Vets in Australia have come up with an innovative solution for a pet python with an overbite.

The owners of Toothless, a green tree python, rushed her to the vets after she sustained jaw damage while eating. Toothless was chomping on her usual fodder when her left lower jawbone folded and became dislodged in her throat. When she swallowed, the bone got stuck, and this left her with a substantial overbite. After visiting the vets urgently, Toothless’ owners were surprised to hear of the proposed solution: a makeshift brace.

The vet team at HerpVet, which is the reptile unit based at the Greencross Jindalee Veterinary Clinic, took a look at Toothless and decided to exercise their creativity and come up with a design for special braces. The snake brace was crafted using a paperclip, which was attached to the scales using glue.

Sharing the story on Facebook, the team from HerpVets said that Toothless’ jaw may have been weaker than usual, as she had recently laid eggs and this was her first feed. After dislocating the lower jaw, the bone lay in an awkward position. Due to the diminutive size and fragility of the bone, it wasn’t possible to operate and a brace was fitted instead.

The moulded paperclip appliance was reapplied after it fell off the day after Toothless’ consultation, and it then remained in place until she shed, which gave the jaw time to heal and the much-loved pet time to recover. Toothless was provided with calcium supplements and she will not be given food for a period of around 2 weeks before her final X-ray, which will hopefully confirm that the jaw has strengthened fully. The unique story of Toothless and her brace has been shared by many online, and several people have praised the innovation of the vet team.

Comet the Labradoodle becomes Australia’s first dental therapy dog

Comet, a 3-year-old labradoodle, has become Australia’s first dental therapy dog.

Dr Dan Ford, a paediatric dentist based in Brisbane, has started bringing Comet into his practice to help young patients who suffer from anxiety and nervousness.

Dr Ford said that taking Comet into work isn’t just an excuse to have his beloved companion with him all the time, and he has already noticed an incredible difference in children’s behaviour and mindset when the lovable pup is around.

Many of the children Dr Ford treats need special care, and they are prone to anxiety and can get upset easily. Having Comet around helps to make them feel at ease, and it also gives them something to focus on aside from the imminent procedure. Comet is very affectionate and loving, but he also has a gift for reading situations, and he knows when to approach children and when they need a little extra reassurance. If he detects that children are anxious about having treatment, he often jumps up onto the chair so that the children can stroke him, and this helps them to relax. Having Comet around also makes the experience of going to the dentist a lot more enjoyable for children, so they look forward to the next trip, rather than being scared.

Comet is no ordinary dog, and he has undertaken intense training alongside Dr Ford to enable him to work with children in a dental clinic setting. Dr Ford trained Comet when he was a puppy, and he has also been trained by an experienced therapy dog trainer.

Therapy dogs are commonplace in practices in the US, but Dr Ford believes that Comet is the first dental therapy dog to work in Australia. So far, the feedback from parents and children has been really positive, and Dr Ford and Comet are looking forward to meeting more patients in the years to come.

How often should you be going to the dentist?

A health watchdog based in Yorkshire has recently launched a project, which aims to free up dental appointments by encouraging patients to attend check-ups less frequently. Many of us believe that it’s necessary to attend checks every 6 months, but how often do you really need to go to the dentist?

For many years, it has been assumed that six-monthly check-ups are recommended for all, but a growing number of dental experts believes that the frequency of visits can be reduced without harming oral health. England’s chief dental officer, Sara Hurley, suggested that 6-monthly checks were not essential for all patients, and NICE guidelines recommend checks every 3-24 months depending on the patient’s oral health status. While those who are prone to dental health problems may need to attend appointments every 3-6 months, those with a very low risk of oral issues may not need to see a dentist for 2 years after their most recent check-up.

The new project in Yorkshire is certain to get people talking about the frequency of dental visits, and it will be interesting to see the results of the pilot. Healthwatch Kirklees, which is working with NHS departments and local dentists, is hoping to encourage patients to communicate with their dentists to determine how often they should go to the surgery, rather than relying on advice, which isn’t tailored to the individual.

The advice from dental experts is to check with your dentist. If you haven’t been for a routine appointment in the last 9 months, it’s probably a good idea to book a check-up in the near future. Once your dentist has examined your mouth, they will be able to tell you when you will need to return for your next appointment. If you get a clean bill of health, and everything looks good, you may not need to go back for another 9-24 months.

Gummy Smiles are A Thing of the Past With Crown Lengthening

If you have a gummy smile, and you’re looking for a solution, crown lengthening may be a viable option. A gummy smile doesn’t pose dental health risks, but it can affect confidence, and crown lengthening can enhance the aesthetic of the smile at the same time as boosting self-esteem.

What exactly is a gummy smile?

A gummy smile is a term given to the appearance of the smile when the gum tissue covers a larger portion of the tooth crown than normal. This can cause more gum tissue to be visible when you smile, and the teeth to look short and small. A gummy smile doesn’t cause unpleasant symptoms like pain, but it can affect your confidence if you’re not happy with the look of your teeth.

What is crown lengthening and how could it benefit me?

Crown lengthening is a procedure, which can be used to address a gummy smile. The aim of this treatment is to make more of the tooth visible when you smile by exposing more of the crown by removing excess gum tissue. The procedure involves trimming away excess gum tissue and then restoring the tooth with a crown if it is damaged or worn. When you have treatment, more of the crown of the tooth will become visible, and as such, your teeth will look longer and larger, improving the balance of the smile. We use laser treatment to minimise discomfort and speed up the healing process.

If you have a gummy smile, and you wish you had a more attractive smile, we can help. We have procedures and tried and tested techniques that offer that can transform the appearance of the teeth to create a more balanced, even aesthetic and give you more confidence when your smile is on show. To find out more about crown lengthening, simply give us a call and book a consultation.

Four Reasons to Consider Replacing Your Fillings

Fillings are restorations, which are commonly used to fill cavities and prevent the spread of dental infections. If you have a filling, it won’t last forever, and you may be advised to have your filling replaced. Here are 4 reasons why it’s beneficial to consider replacing your fillings:

  1. Your fillings are old and worn: fillings have a shelf-life, and they bear the brunt of general wear and tear. If you’ve had a filling for as long as you can remember, it may be advisable to replace the filling with a new restoration. White fillings typically last around 5-8 years.
  2. You have mercury amalgam fillings: if you have mercury amalgam fillings, there’s no need to panic, but many people prefer to have white fillings because they are more aesthetically-pleasing, and they are also safer and better for the environment. If you have old fillings, we can replace them with new composite fillings.
  3. Your filling is damaged: if you grind your teeth or you’ve been involved in an accident or sustained a dental injury, you may find that your filling is damaged. Replacing the filling will protect the tooth, prevent sensitivity and reduce the risk of cavity growing.
  4. You have toothache: if you have toothache, and you have pain in a tooth that has been filled, this may be a sign that the filling is cracked or worn. It’s best to fit a new filling to shield the tooth and reduce the risk of infection.

If you have old, damaged or worn fillings, or you haven’t had a new filling for a long time, why not call and book an appointment?

Children consume up to five times more sugar during the school holidays

A new survey suggests that children consume up to five times more sugar during the school holidays.

A survey conducted in the South West revealed that children eat up to five times more sugary foods during the holidays. In response to poll findings, dentists are keen to encourage parents to use time off to book dental appointments, but, unfortunately, it looks as though experts face a battle. The survey revealed that parents rated activities including shopping for new school shoes, play dates with friends and going on holiday as more important than taking their child to the dentist.

Although 4 out of 5 parents involved in the survey admitted to being concerned about their child’s sugar intake, most admitted that they adopt a much more relaxed approach to diet during the holidays, with fizzy drinks and ice creams named as the most common treats. Some also said that they are less strict about oral care when their kids are not at school, with 3 in 5 admitting that their child often forgets to brush their teeth and 40% saying they don’t supervise teeth cleaning.

Tooth decay is the leading cause of hospital admissions among children in England, despite the fact that it is almost always preventable. Experts have blamed sugar consumption and poor oral hygiene habits for a rise in extractions.

Experts are encouraging parents to keep an eye on their children’s’ diets, but also to take advantage of NHS dental services, which are available free of charge. Children should be going to the dentist every 6 months from an early age, but research suggests that only 58% of 5-9 years old saw a dentist in 2016/2017. Routine checks are painless, they reduce the risk of decay, and they also provide parents with access to information about preventative measures such as fluoride varnish and advice about diet and dental hygiene.

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