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How Bad is Drinking Alcohol For Your Teeth?

shutterstock_260238491It’s summer, and many of us are busy enjoying garden gatherings and afternoons in the beer garden. There’s nothing wrong with having a drink now and again, but it is important to be aware of the impact of drinking on your teeth and the dangers associated with drinking to excess.

How bad is drinking alcohol for your teeth?

Alcohol itself doesn’t pose much of a risk to your dental health if you drink in moderation. However, the juices and fizzy drinks used as mixers and sweet flavourings added to alcohol can put you at risk of dental decay. Fizzy drinks added to spirits, flavoured ciders and beers and cocktails can all be laden with sugar. In addition, drinks like wine and fruit juices are acidic. Acids are dangerous for the teeth because they weaken the protective enamel covering, increasing the risk of cavities and sensitivity. If you are drinking, use a straw and try and opt for diet versions of mixers, which contain no sugar.

Drinking alcohol is not just a danger to your teeth because of the risk of decay. Alcohol consumption is also one of the main risk factors for oral cancer. Oral cancer is a type of cancer, which has become increasingly common in the UK in the last decade. Drinking is particularly dangerous when combined with smoking. If you’re a smoker and you drink more than the recommended intake of alcohol per week, you are more than 30 times likelier to develop mouth cancer than non-smokers who drink rarely.

If you’re worried about drinking too much or you’d like more information about the impact of alcohol on your oral health, our dental team will be happy to help. Simply give us a call or pop in and see is us if you’re passing.

Dentists encourage patients to book pre-holiday check-ups

shutterstock_107224058It’s that time of year again when there’s a mass exit from British sores to exotic sun-drenched beaches. If you’re going away on holiday, dentists are advising you to book a check-up before you jet off.

Nobody wants to spend their well-earned break nursing toothache or avoiding ice cold drinks due to sensitivity, so dentists are encouraging patients to get in touch with their local practice and book a check-up before they head off on holiday.

Dr Richard Coates is urging anyone who hasn’t seen a dentist in the last 6-9 months to have a routine check before they leave the country. He also advises anyone who has experienced any dental troubles to seek advice before flying off. The pressure of the air cabin can cause problems for loose fillings or fillings that haven’t been fitted properly and it can also cause symptoms of decay, such as tooth pain, to become more severe. Pain becomes more intense as a result of pressure changes, which can cause air to expand in a cracked or damaged tooth.

Dentists are also eager to encourage patients who are travelling overseas to make sure they have travel insurance before they go. It’s unlikely that you’d need to make a claim, but plenty of people fall ill or experience unexpected symptoms while on holiday. Taking out insurance will cover medical costs and give you peace of mind that you’re protected if anything does go wrong. Many insurance policies also cover cancelled or delayed flights and lost luggage.

Pregnant women urged to make use of free dental services

shutterstock_315126320Pregnant women have been urged to make use of health benefits available to them on the NHS.

When you fall pregnant, you are entitled to claim a maternity exemption card, which enables you to claim free dental treatment, as well as free prescriptions. The cards are handed out by the government and can serve as a very useful means of reducing the risk of health issues during pregnancy and cutting the cost of healthcare. Prescriptions usually cost £8.60 per item and dental treatment is available from around £20.

Going to the dentist during pregnancy is particularly important because the hormonal changes that take place in the body can put you at greater risk of developing oral diseases, including gum disease. Gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the UK, but research also suggests that it can increase your risk of suffering from complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Women who have gum disease are more likely to give birth prematurely.

All pregnant women are advised to go to the dentist at least once during their pregnancy, and treatment continues to be available free of charge for 12 months after the baby is born. If you notice symptoms like swollen or sore gums or bleeding from the gums, it’s essential to make an appointment.

If you have any questions about applying for a maternity exemption card, your doctor, midwife or dentist can help. Most women receive their card within 10 days of applying.

Why it is Important to Wear Retainers After Brace Treatment

shutterstock_518368036If you have braces, you’ll be advised to wear retainers after treatment. When you’re looking forward to having your braces removed and enjoying your new-found freedom, retainers may not be the first thing you want, but not using them could have serious implications.

Why are retainers so important?

Retainers are orthodontic appliances, which are designed to maintain the new position of the teeth. If you don’t wear retainers, there is a risk that all the good work achieved by your braces will come undone. The retainer is developed specifically to hold the teeth in place. Without a retainer, there is a high risk that the teeth will slip out of position, which may result in you developing further orthodontic problems and end up with you needing repeat treatment.

When you’ve got an amazing new smile, and you’ve been through weeks, months or even years of treatment, the last thing you want is it to go to waste. Wearing a retainer is an easy, pain-free way of preserving the results, and enabling you to enjoy your beautiful new smile for many years to come.

About retainers

Retainers are not the same as braces, which are designed to make your teeth move. A retainer is designed to prevent tooth movement once the braces have been removed. You can choose from fixed or removable retainers and the duration you’re required to wear retainers will vary from one individual to another. Your dentist will give you instructions about how to use your retainer when you have your braces taken off. Retainers are discreet, and you shouldn’t find them painful. For the first couple of days, the retainer may feel a little tight, but any discomfort will soon wear off.

If you have braces or you’ve recently had your braces removed, and you would like to find out more about retainers and why you need to wear them, give us a ring and book a consultation or pop in and see us if you’re in the area.

Dental hygiene can make all the difference in care homes

shutterstock_631495172A dental hygienist who is committed to delivering hygiene services to care home residents has spoken out about the importance of dental hygiene for older people. Jane Peterson describes dental care as “vital” for care home residents and said that more needs to be done to ensure that people understand the value of providing dental treatment and encouraging patients to take good care of their teeth.

Jane is passionate about living by the mantra that prevention is better than cure and claims that she sees the benefits of hygiene services at first hand. Many residents claim that they look forward to her visits because it gives them a better sense of wellbeing, and they enjoy the sensation of having fresh, clean, sparkly teeth. Most of us are aware that taking care of our teeth is essential for good oral health, but there is a growing body of evidence to support the link between oral health and general health. Providing preventative services like hygiene treatments can reduce the risk of oral diseases significantly, but it can also lower the risk of heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Jane spends one day a week working at a dental practice, but devotes most of her time to providing hygiene services in care homes. She said that the staff value her input and patients are grateful for the treatments she provides. Older people are encouraged to maintain their independence for as long as possible, but there often comes a time when they become reliant on carers, and it’s important that carers have the knowledge they need to support patients and help them to look after their teeth and gums.

Dentists urge parents to check nutrition labels as ‘healthy’ snacks and drinks help to fuel decay epidemic

Untitled design (3)Dentists have urged parents to check food labels and nutritional information guidelines in a bid to crack down on rising rates of childhood decay.

Excessive sugar consumption is fuelling an epidemic of decay, which is resulting in thousands of young children ending up in hospital having teeth extracted under general anaesthetic The trouble is that while most of us know that sweets and chocolate bars are bad for the teeth, many ‘healthy’ snacks and drinks are flying under the radar.

If you take a packet of dried raisins, a shop-bought smoothie or a bottle of juice as an example, you may be shocked at the nutritional information you find if you look closely at the labels. It’s understandable to assume that you’re doing a good thing providing your children with dried fruit or a smoothie rather than a bag of sweets and a can of pop, but if you read the labels, you may actually find that the sugar content is very similar.

It can be very difficult to spot items that contain hidden sugar, especially those that are marketed as healthy alternatives, and dentists have urged parents to be vigilant. Foods like flavoured yoghurts can contain the same amount of sugar as a small chocolate bar, and even if you’re trying to be healthy, you may still find that your child’s daily sugar intake is higher than recommended. The advice from dentists is to read the labels, look for the green traffic light signals and try and make snacks and drinks like smoothies at home.

Designing your Perfect Smile With Smile Makeovers

shutterstock_630476711Do you dream of having a perfect smile? Are you envious when you see people on TV or in magazine adverts with flawless teeth? If you have a dream, we can make it come true. You don’t need to be a model, a social media star or an Oscar-nominated actor to have an award-winning smile. At Baker Street Dental, we can transform even the most unsightly teeth into a stunning new smile. With our bespoke smile makeover service, we can tend to all your dental needs and work with you to design a smile that will make you look and feel a million dollars for years to come.

What is a smile makeover?

A smile makeover is a cosmetic solution, which is used to transform dull, damaged, stained or worn teeth into a dazzling new smile. We offer a bespoke service, as there is no one-size-fits-all approach to a smile makeover. Every patient is different, and each individual has unique needs and preferences. One patient may come to us looking for a solution for crooked, stained and missing teeth. Another may want to address gaps between the teeth, a gummy smile and broken teeth. Whatever your dental health status or your expectations, we are here to help.

We have an array of treatments at our disposal and we can use restorative, orthodontic and cosmetic dental therapies and techniques to restore the teeth, replace missing teeth, straighten crooked smiles and improve the aesthetic of the teeth. We use a combination of treatments to achieve the perfect outcome.

It’s really important to us that we design a smile that you think is perfect, and this is why we like to get our clients involved at every stage of treatment. We will go through treatment options with you, have a look at some images and work with you to produce plans that are realistic and that fit in with your idea of a flawless smile.

Our treatments

We have a whole host of treatments available, but our most popular smile makeover services include:

  • Tooth whitening
  • Veneers
  • Cosmetic bonding
  • Dental implants and bridges
  • Gum and tooth contouring
  • Cosmetic braces
  • White fillings and crowns

If you’re keen to learn more, call us today and arrange a consultation!

Did you know that bad breath and gum disease could increase your risk of heart disease?

shutterstock_350641196It is well-documented that high blood pressure, inactivity and smoking are linked to an elevated risk of heart disease, but did you know that bad breath and gum disease could also be risk factors for strokes and heart attacks?

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, claims that the scientific link between poor oral health and cardiac problems is well-founded, but insists that many people are unaware of the risks associated with oral disease. Only 1 in 6 people are aware of the connection between gum disease and type 2 diabetes and two-thirds of people don’t know that oral health problems can put you at risk of heart disease.

GP, Dr Paul Stillman, explained that inflammation of the gums could lead to the possibility of bacteria from the mouth accessing the bloodstream and travelling to other parts of the body. He added that it’s “no accident” that bacteria known as Streptococcus sanguinis, which cause gum disease, are also a contributing factor to coronary heart disease.

The advice from dentists and doctors is to keep an eye out for changes in the mouth and to ensure that your schedule regular checks. When you go to the dentist, they may be able to spot early signs and administer treatment, which will prevent the condition from progressing. Symptoms of gum disease include swollen, sore and red gums and bleeding when you brush.

Health experts are also eager for the public to be aware of other risk factors, such as a sedentary lifestyle, a poor diet, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

Prolonged breastfeeding can increase the risk of dental cavities, new study claims

A new study has suggested that prolonged breastfeeding can increase the risk of severe dental decay in young children. Researchers from the University of Adelaide found that children who were breastfed up to and beyond the age of 2 years old were more likely to develop severe cavities by the time they reached the age of 5 years old than those who were not breastfed past the age of 12 months.

Researchers from the Australian university analysed data collected from more 1,100 children living in Pelatos, Barzil. The area has access to fluoridated water and all the children involved in the study were born in 2004. Karen Glazer Peres and her team collected information related to breastfeeding at the ages of 3 months, 12 months and 2 years old. They also analysed sugar consumption at the ages of 2,4 and 5 years old.

The study findings suggested that 24 percent of children had severe decay (classified as having 6 or more missing teeth or teeth with fillings or cavities) by the age of 5. A quarter of the total number of children were breastfed until the age of 2. Within this group, rates of severe decay were higher and children were also 2.4 times more likely to develop early childhood decay than those who were only breastfed up to the age of 12 months.

The authors of the study took sugar consumption into account during the analysis and evaluation stages and they concluded that prolonged breastfeeding is a risk factor for severe decay in children. The research team endorsed breastfeeding as the “optimal source of infant nutrition”, but suggested that mothers should be made aware of the potential risks involved with breastfeeding older children.

How veneers can instantly transform your smile

Have you ever wished you could click your fingers and transform your smile? Do you feel self-conscious about your crooked, stained or wonky teeth? Do you long for a smile you can be proud to show off? At Baker Street Dental, we don’t claim to work miracles, but we can achieve some pretty incredible transformations. If you’re looking for a treatment to turn dull, dishevelled teeth into a dazzling new smile, we promise you you’re in the best hands.

Our veneer treatments

Veneers are incredibly popular, and they’ve gained a reputation for creating Hollywood smiles often found on the red carpets and glossy pages of fashion and beauty magazines. The good news is that you don’t have to be an A-list celebrity to have a wonderful smile. Veneers are accessible to everyone, and we have an impressive range of treatments and systems available.

Veneers are ultra-fine sheets of ceramic material, which are shaped to fit over your natural teeth. They can be used to address a diverse range of aesthetic issues, including staining and discolouration, misshapen teeth, gaps between the teeth and chips and worn edges. If you thought it was impossible to turn unsightly teeth into radiant pearly whites, think again!

Our veneer treatments include:

  • Da Vinci veneers
  • MACveneers
  • Durathin veneers

We also offer composite veneers. Composite veneers are more affordable than porcelain veneers, and they can also be fitted immediately. These veneers are made from a tooth-coloured material called dental composite and they can be bonded directly onto the natural tooth surface.

Which veneers are best for me?

The type of veneers you choose may depend on your preferences in terms of budget and treatment time, and of course, the kind of smile you want to achieve. Some treatments are associated with all-out glamour, while others produce more subtle, natural looking aesthetics. If you’re considering veneers, we strongly recommend booking a consultation. Our dental team can talk you through the treatment options, answer your questions and have a look at your teeth to help you decide which type of veneer treatment would be best for you.

Baker Street

Dental Clinic

Dr Watson Chambers 102 Baker Street London, W1U 6FY

020 8748 9365

Liverpool Street

Dental Clinic

9 Artillery Lane, London E1 7LP

020 8748 9365

Earls Court

Dental Clinic

221 - 225 Old Brompton Rd, Earls Court, Kensington London SW5 0EA

020 7370 0055

Kings Cross

LDN Dental

34 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DT

020 7278 6362