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Why you shouldn’t buy into the celebrity charcoal tooth whitening trend

shutterstock_730351960If you go on Twitter or Instagram these days, it won’t be long until you come across a celebrity promoting or endorsing a cosmetic product of some kind. Adverts for skincare products, self-tan and tooth whitening treatments are ten a penny, but dentists are warning the public not to buy into dental trends.

According to dentists, popular whitening products, which contain ingredients like charcoal, are unlikely to make any real difference to the colour of the teeth. Many of the celebrities who endorse products by posting sponsored links and images on social media have had cosmetic treatment, and dentists are worried that adverts are misleading people and giving them false hope. Using charcoal toothpaste may remove surface stains, but it’s not going to suddenly give you much brighter, whiter teeth.

The demand for a radiant white smile is growing all the time and dentists are concerned that manufacturers are cashing in on trend-driven products that don’t actually do the intended job. Many people want whiter teeth and if they see toothpastes that are supposedly going to give them a much whiter smile, they’re going to opt for this treatment rather than spending a lot more on professional tooth whitening therapies provided by dentists.

The advice from dentists is to treat adverts with caution and to ensure you use products that meet safety and quality guidelines. If you do want noticeable results, it’s worth considering professional treatment. Whitening treatment is a dental service and as such, it should only be available from qualified, registered dentists. Anyone who offers whitening treatment without the relevant dental expertise is liable to face legal action from the General Dental Council.

Is our new obsession with posh popcorn contributing to rising rates of dental injuries?

shutterstock_697493491Have you noticed that supermarket aisles and café shelves are packed with all kinds of popcorn-based snacks these days?

In the last few years, there’s been a huge increase in the variety of popcorn products available, with manufacturers profiting from the nation’s obsession with healthy snacking. The trouble is that although popcorn may be lower in fat and contain fewer calories than crisps and biscuits, it’s not the most tooth-friendly food out there and dentists are worried that this growing trend is contributing to an increase in dental injuries, most notably, chipped teeth.

For a long time, sweets occupied first place on the list of foods detested by dentists, but popcorn is a definite rival. As well as posing a risk of chips and even fractures, popcorn is also a starchy food and most of us know all too well that it can get stuck in the teeth. Throw in the fact that most varieties are sprinkled with sugar or other sticky, sweet flavourings such as syrup, toffee or treacle, and popcorn is no longer the healthy treat many of us were looking for when we hit the local café with the best of intentions at lunchtime.

People often buy popcorn as a healthy alternative to crisps, cakes or chocolate bars, but close analysis will tell you that these products aren’t all that healthy, especially when it comes to your teeth. It’s easy for bits of popcorn to get stuck between the teeth and the kernels can be so hard that they break the teeth. Sales have soared by 50 percent this year alone while sales of crisps have fallen.

Dr Mark Hughes, a leading Harley Street dentist, claims that popcorn is one of the most common causes of dental injuries and the incidence of popcorn-related problems is increasing year on year. Just five years ago, around 1 in 20 cases was linked to popcorn, but Dr Hughes said that this figure is now more like 1 in 10.

3 Healthy Packed Lunch Snacks To Help Your Teeth

shutterstock_486943738When it comes to looking after your teeth, there are few things that are more important than your teeth. With occasions like Halloween and Christmas on the horizon, many of us will be looking forward to indulging a sweet tooth. There’s nothing wrong with a treat from time to time, but spare a thought for your oral health when you’re planning your weekly menu. If you need some help making healthy choices, here are 3 packed lunch snacks to try:

  1. Yoghurts: yoghurts are a great dessert, as they contain calcium, which is important for strong teeth and bones. Try and stick to natural versions, rather than sweetened products, as these can be laden with sugar. If you have a sweet tooth, you could always add a few berries for flavour.
  2. Raw vegetables: raw vegetables are an excellent snack option because they don’t contain sugar, they’re high in fibre and they have high water content, which cleanses your mouth. Chewing on foods like raw carrots, celery and cucumber can also stimulate the gums by increasing blood flow. This helps to keep the gums healthy.
  3. Cheese: cheese is a brilliant choice for your teeth because it’s a good source of calcium. Cheese also has a high pH value and it contains protein. You can eat cubes of cheese as a snack or use cheese as a filling for a sandwich or an accompaniment for a salad or readymade pasta salad dish. Try to eat small amounts of cheese, as it does have high fat content.

If you need any more advice about healthy eating or you’re looking for more tips for healthy snacks or meals, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

US and UK organisations join forces to fund new dental van in Jamaica

shutterstock_379196548A charity based in the UK has joined forces with a Christian group in the USA to fund a new mobile dental unit, which will be used in Jamaica.

The Angel Foundation has teamed up with the Denver Wesleyan Church in Denver, Colorado, to convert a bus into a functional, mobile dental clinic. The charities are paying for the bus, which has been painted in the colours of the Jamaican flag, to be shipped over to the Caribbean country in the coming weeks.

The Angel Foundation, which is run by Angel Christian, pledged to help fund the dental bus after Angel met some members of the Denver church group whilst volunteering in Jamaica. The foundation has already provided medical equipment, including a defibrillator and an ambulance. With money donated by Grace Foods UK’s Penny Pledge scheme, The Angel Foundation now plans to arrange shipment of the dental bus, which has been completely gutted and renovated to a high standard. The bus will provide dental care for communities that have limited access to dental treatment.

Ms Christian recently met Revd. Johnny Houser, from the Wesleyan Church and she was inspired to support the project. The church visits Jamaica on a regular basis, often participating in building and regeneration projects, which transform the lives of local people. Together, the organisations are preparing to launch the dental bus, which will enable hundreds of people to see a dentist, some for the first time.

Why You Should Treat Yourself to a Smile Makeover in the Heart of London

Are you one of those people who hides at the back of group photos or do you dread meeting new people because you’re self-conscious about your smile? If you’re not 100% happy with your smile, we’re here to help! We have an array of treatments and techniques we can use to create a beautiful new smile and ensure you feel confident every time your pearly whites are on display.

Why you should treat yourself to a smile makeover

Often, we like to treat those around us, but when was the last time you bought yourself a present? If it’s been a while, why not treat yourself to a smile makeover? If you long for a flawless smile, a smile makeover could be just the ticket.

A smile makeover comprises of a combination of dental treatments, which are used to design an amazing new smile. Every smile is different and we offer a bespoke service to ensure that every client is bowled over by the results. One patient may have completely different expectations and preferences to another and we can adapt treatment methods to produce a perfect outcome. We work with our clients to choose treatments, plan the treatment journey and most important, design a smile that will make them look and feel a million dollars. We can factor in your budget, the time you have available and also the type of smile you want to produce a personalised, perfect smile.

Our services include:

  • Cosmetic braces
  • Tooth whitening
  • Veneers
  • Restorative treatments, including dental bridges, dental implants and crowns
  • White fillings
  • Dental bonding
  • Tooth contouring
  • Gum reshaping

If you’re keen to find out more about our smile makeover services and you’re ready for the best treat ever, call us today and book a consultation.

Aspirin Could Reverse The Effects of Tooth Decay, Claim Belfast Researchers


shutterstock_520260781According to research done at Queen’s University in Belfast aspirin could lead to fewer fillings being required or even reverse the effects of tooth decay, by stimulating stem cells in teeth to boost the regeneration of teeth.

Aspirin is a common painkiller drug which has been used for various treatments since its original formulation, and is often used to relieve the pain of head and muscle pains.

Teeth naturally have a very limited ability to regenerate, generally limited to a thin band of dentine (the tooth layer below the enamel layer) that forms if the inner pulp is exposed, but this cannot help in the case of large cavities, which generally need to be filled, removing more tooth material and may need replacing.

The findings of the research, led by Professor Ikhlas El Karim of Queen’s University, Belfast, has shown that aspirin can enhance the function of stem cells found in teeth and potentially by repairing damaged teeth directly could remove the need for fillings.

Professor Karim noted that this would be a gradual process, but that a therapy could be developed which would allow teeth to repair themselves.

There are several complications to get past first, chief among which is applying it to the damage tooth. Aspirin could easily be washed away if simply placed on a cavity, and so some form of delivery system will need to be created to allow for a long term delivery.

Development of a compound or treatment is helped by the fact that aspirin is a drug that already has a license to be sold and prescribed, which will increase the speed of development of any treatment.

What is exciting is that this is something that if the tests continue to be positive and a delivery method can be found, is a treatment that could end fillings in the near future.

Income for NHS Dentists Drops 35% in a Decade

According to figures released by NHS Digital, the taxable earnings of NHS dentists has dropped by 35% in real terms since 2006.

The average income for a dentist who owns a dental practice was £69,200 in 2015/16, a fall of more than £45,000 over the last ten years.

These figures indicate a fall in real terms earnings by 1.9% in 2015/16. In Northern Ireland, the fall was 1.4%, although in Scotland, incomes bucked the trend and increased by 1.1%.

The chair of General Dental Practice at the BDA, Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen has said that the “underinvestment” and pay freezes risk “choking the life” out of the NHS dental system. He calls for further assistance, similar to those seen in the GP sector for a cornerstone of the health system in England, noting that patients stand to lose out the most in terms of access and investment as these issues reach crisis levels.

NHS dentistry in England, along with a number of public sector positions, currently has a below inflation 1% pay-rise for 2017/18, which in practice is a pay cut in real terms.

A spokesperson for the NHS suggested that the figures do not take into account that more dentists are working on a part-time basis for NHS patients, and so will not feel the headline loss in income.

Three Things You Can Do To Prevent Toothache

shutterstock_370294100Toothache can make life miserable. The good news is that most cases are preventable. If you’re keen to keep pain at bay, here are 3 simple steps you can take:

  1. Book regular check-ups: toothache is often a sign of decay, and you can reduce your risk of developing cavities by visiting your dentist on a regular basis. If you haven’t been for a check-up in the last 6-9 months, now is the time to pick up the phone and make that call. Dental checks and quick and painless, and they could save you a lot of discomfort further down the line.
  2. Brush up on dental hygiene: brushing and flossing are your best weapons against oral health issues. If you don’t already devote at least 2 minutes to brushing your teeth every morning and evening, it’s time to brush up on dental hygiene and start improving your regime. Brush gently, be thorough and set a timer if you’re worried that you’re not brushing for long enough. Once you’ve cleaned your teeth, use dental floss or inter-dental brushes to clean the cracks and gaps between your teeth.
  3. Step away from the sugar: toothache is often a sign of infection or decay. Your diet can have a very strong influence on your oral health, so watch what you eat and try and limit your intake of sugary foods. When bacteria feed on sugar, they release acids, which weaken your tooth enamel and irritate the gums.

If you do have toothache, don’t cross your fingers and hope for the best. Give us a call and we’ll have you smiling again in no time!

New figures show half of adults in England haven’t been to the dentist for 2 years

shutterstock_268735361New figures from the NHS show that around half of adults living in England haven’t seen an NHS dentist in the last two years.

Statistics from NHS Digital show that 51.4 percent of adults saw an NHS dentist in the 24-month period leading up to June 30th 2017 despite recommendations from dentists. Ideally, most dentists recommend check-ups every 6-12 months for adult patients.

The figures come as stories appear in the press claiming that people are being forced to go private or even remove their own teeth because they can’t get an appointment at their local dental practice. BBC research suggested that around 50 percent of the practices in England listed on NHS Choices aren’t accepting new NHS patients and 40 percent aren’t advertising child places.

Recently, a couple from Yorkshire appeared hit the headlines after claiming that they had been refused access to a dentist and forced to extract their own teeth. Rebecca Brearey, from Dewsbury, said that she had been trying to register with a dental practice for four years, but had repeatedly been told that there were no places available. She said that she reached the point of begging for help, but was still unable to see a dentist and ended up removing her own tooth.

Chair of general dental practice at the British Dental Association, Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, accused successive governments as viewing dentistry as a “Cinderella service” and said that urgent action needs to be taken to prioritise dental access and also to improve morale in the dental profession, which the BDA chair claims is at “an all-time low.”

The NHS stated that 95 percent of patients who wanted a dental appointment in the 2-year period leading up to the end of June 2017 were able to get one.

Could dating apps be fuelling rising rates of oral cancer?


Dentists have issued a warning over the use of dating apps amid concerns over the increased prevalence of HPV, a virus known to increase the risk of several forms of cancer, including oral cancer.

The British Dental Association, along with a number of other health bodies, has already backed a move to expand the HPV vaccine programme to include teenage boys, as well as girls, but this was rejected by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. It is estimated that up to 50 percent of the population will be affected by HPV at some point in their lives. In most cases, HPV doesn’t cause any problems, but certain strains are linked to an elevated risk of some forms of cancer. Cervical cancer is one of these, and this is why the HPV vaccination programme was introduced in British schools. Girls aged 12 and 13 are entitled to the vaccination, but the immunisation is not currently available for boys.

Dentists are worried that the ruling on HPV vaccination for boys is based on data that is no longer accurate, as behaviour has changed and factors, including the rise of dating apps like Tinder, have not been considered by those in charge of making decisions. The British Dental Association believes that information used to make decisions is outdated and there are also accusations that data has been withheld during the consultation process.

Dr Mick Armstrong, chair of the BDA, said that it is “shocking” that the vaccine will not be made available to thousands of boys who are at risk of developing certain forms of cancer, including oral cancer, as a result of HPV infection.

The relationship between oral cancer and HPV has been a subject of intrigue, especially since Hollywood actor, Michael Douglas, attributed his own experiences with throat cancer to oral sex.

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