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Dentists urge patients to break the habit of a lifetime, as research shows rinsing after brushing can increase the risk of decay

Many of grow up practising an oral hygiene routine, which involves putting toothpaste on the brush, adding a drop of water, cleaning, spitting and then rinsing. The trouble is that this pattern may not actually be the best regime for your teeth. As new research suggests that rinsing after brushing can elevate the risk of decay, is it time you broke the habit of a lifetime?
Rinsing is part and parcel of teeth cleaning for many people, mainly because this is what they learn to do during their childhood. When you’ve been doing something for so long, you may never even have thought to question whether your cleaning technique is effective. Now, with research studies hitting the headlines, it may be a good time to assess your oral hygiene regime and make suitable changes. You might think that rinsing is harmless, but new research suggests otherwise.
A study conducted by researchers at Dundee University claims that rinsing can increase the risk of tooth decay. Co-authored by professor of paediatric dentistry, Nicola Innes, and lecturer in paediatric dentistry, Clement Seeballuck, the study suggests that breaking the habit could reduce the risk of decay by up to 25 percent. This is because rinsing removes fluoride from the mouth. Fluoride is added to toothpaste and it helps to prevent decay by strengthening and protecting the tooth enamel. When you rinse straight after brushing, you wash away the fluoride without giving it chance to work its magic.
The paper also advised people to cut down on sugary snacks, and to try and avoid eating and drinking anything sugary or acidic between meals. When you eat, the bacteria in your mouth feed, and this causes them to produce acids that attack the enamel. The enamel softens temporarily before hardening again. If you eat throughout the day, your enamel doesn’t have a chance to recover, and the risk of decay and erosion is increased.

Could berries hold the key to healthy smiles?

New research has suggested that berries could hold the key to healthy smiles.
Scientists have discovered that dark berries, including blueberries and cranberries, contain nutrients, which could help to reduce the risk of dental decay. The research, which has been published in the European Journal of Oral Sciences, suggests that these berries contain nutrients that protect the teeth against specific strains of bacteria, which are proven to accelerate decay.
The study builds on previous research, which suggests that polyphenols, which are key nutrients found in berries, play a useful role in promoting good oral health by preventing harmful bacteria from clinging to the tooth surfaces. By preventing bacteria sticking to the teeth, polyphenols could subsequently help to prevent gum disease, decay and bad breath.
During the trial period, researchers used high-quality extracts of three different types of berries, strawberries, cranberries and blueberries and a mixture of all three (known as orophenol) to treat Streptococcus mutans biofilms. These biofilms were 24 hours old and they were assessed and analysed by the research team to evaluate “metabolic activity, acidogenicity, biovolumes, structural organisation and bacterial viability.”
Researchers found that the cranberry and orophenol extracts brought about the most significant reductions in metabolic activity and acid production. The blueberry extract also produced significant reductions when used at the highest concentration.
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, said that nutrients found in fruit and vegetables are essential for good oral health, as well as general health, and suggested that polyphenols could potentially have a role to play in the future of manufacturing oral hygiene products. In addition to protecting the teeth, cranberries and blueberries are delicious, they’re a sweet treat, and the best thing is that they contain only natural sugars.

Simple, purse-friendly ways to get a more attractive smile in 2019

As the dust settles on the festive period, many of us will be making resolutions for the year ahead. While most tend to try and up their intake of greens and hours in the gym, there’s a lot to be said for making an effort to keep your smile in check. As surveys reveal that the majority of us consider our smile out most important feature, here are some simple, affordable ways to achieve a more attractive smile in 2019.
The best way to brighten up your smile and keep dental disease at bay is to adopt and stick to a daily oral hygiene regime. This should feature two two-minute cleaning sessions and daily flossing. When brushing, take care to cover every individual tooth, and reach right into the corners of the mouth. Electric toothbrushes are proven to be more effective at removing plaque than manual brushes, and they are available from around £15. Flossing is often neglected, but it plays an important role in promoting good oral hygiene, as it targets areas that cannot be cleaned with a brush, including the gaps between the teeth.
Diet also plays a crucial part in oral health, and after the indulgence of the Christmas holiday, it’s good to get back into the swing of healthy eating and moderate your intake of sugary foods. Try and eat a varied diet, with plenty of fruit and vegetables, whole grains and foods rich in fibre and nutrients, and ensure sweets, cakes, biscuits and chocolate bars are treats, rather than a staple part of your diet. It’s also wise to keep an eye on what you drink. Flavoured coffees, smoothies, juices and fizzy drinks often contain a vast amount of sugar.
Another brilliant resolution to make for the New Year is to see your dentist more frequently. If you tend to reach for the phone only when you have toothache or swollen gums, make it your mission to attend 6-12 monthly check-ups. Regular appointments reduce the risk of dental decay and gum disease, and they can also keep your smile looking great and minimise the risk of problems like symptoms of oral cancer being spotted at an advanced stage.

New study links mental health conditions with elevated risk of oral disease

A new study has linked mental health disorders with an elevated risk of oral diseases.
A research project, which has been published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, suggests that experiencing symptoms of illnesses, including depression, can increase the risk of gum disease.
Researchers evaluated and monitored both the mental and oral health of a group of more than 500 people from birth to the age of 30. The findings show that people who have symptoms of depression have a 20% higher risk of developing periodontal disease, an advanced form of gum disease. The study links depression with difficulty in fighting inflammation, the most common sign of severe gum disease.
Chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, said that the findings of the study highlight the importance of mental health. Several studies have linked poor oral health and physical conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, but less is known about the connection between the mind and the mouth. This research underlines the significance of a healthy mind and provides an insight into how other forms of health can impact oral health.
Dr Carter also added that the study provides an interesting and useful resource and point of reference for dental professionals. Depression is an increasingly common condition in the UK, and it’s crucial that health and dental workers are able to spot signs and symptoms to support and treat patients effectively. It is estimated that around 20% of people in the UK have symptoms of anxiety or depression, but the figure may be much higher, as many cases go undiagnosed.
Depression can be a barrier for seeking any kind of medical treatment, and Dr Carter suggests that dental patients may be anxious about seeing a dentist due to phobias, a fear of the unknown, or even shame or embarrassment linked to their oral health status.

Ministers rule out energy drink ban for children

Ministers have ruled against introducing a ban on the sale of energy drinks to children due to a lack of scientific evidence.
Campaigners had called for the drinks, which usually contain a lot of sugar and caffeine, to be prohibited for children, but MPs in the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee have concluded that there isn’t enough “quantitative evidence” to push a statutory ban through at the moment.
Although there will not be a universal ban on selling energy drinks to children, the committee welcomed individual measures and policies adopted by shops, retail chains and schools. In recent months, a number of high-profile stores announced that they would introduce restrictions on the sale of energy drinks, with some bringing in a ban for under 16’s. Qualitative data analysis suggests that these bans may help to reduce consumption, but could also prove beneficial as they reinforce the link between energy drinks and negative effects on health.
The government launched the consultation into a ban on energy drinks for children in the summer, with the Prime Minister supporting the measure as a means of tackling childhood obesity. Statistics show that children in the UK consume more energy drinks than their counterparts in other countries in Europe.
Norman Lamb, chair of the committee, said that the panel had listened to a diverse range of concerns, from hyperactivity and a lack of focus and concentration in the classroom to obesity and dental disease, but there was currently not enough scientific evidence to differentiate the consumption of energy drinks from other drinks, including coffee, tea and fizzy pop.

Brighten Your New Smile for 2019 with Lumineers

2019 is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than with a dazzling, new smile? If you dream of starting the year with a flawless smile, allow us to tell you all about Lumineers.
About Lumineers
Lumineers are a unique form of veneers, which are used to craft natural-looking, radiant smiles. Lumineers are not your average veneers. Rather than being made using porcelain like many other types of veneers, Lumineers are created using patented, pressed Cerinate porcelain. They are tougher and more durable than other veneers, and they are twice as strong. Despite their strength and robustness, Lumineers are incredibly thin and light.
The Lumineers difference
Lumineers are famed for creating stunning smiles, and they have a beautiful natural sheen, which is ideal for those looking to brighten up their smile, while preserving that natural, understated look. Lumineers are very thin, but they’re more durable and hard-wearing than many other types of veneer.
As Lumineers are so delicate, they are approximately the same thickness as a contact lens, minimal preparation is required. Usually, when you have veneers, a fine layer of the tooth structure is removed to make space for the new veneers. With Lumineers, the veneers can be bonded directly onto the tooth surface, keeping the structure of the tooth and the precious enamel coating intact. The procedure is also faster and less invasive.
How can Lumineers help me?
If you dream of a perfect smile, or you often hide your smile away because you’ve got chipped, worn or stained teeth or gaps between your teeth, Lumineers can help. Lumineers are capable of achieving magical transformations, and we can complete treatment within 2-3 weeks.
If you’re dreaming of a new smile for 2019, why not get in touch and book a consultation today?

As attendance rates fall, how often should you be seeing your dentist?

New figures for attendance rates have sparked debate among patients, professionals and dental organisations, but do you know how often you should see your dentist? Recent figures suggest that more than 55% of adults in London haven’t seen a dentist in the last two years, while more than 40 percent of children in England didn’t see a dentist last year.
In some cases, low attendance may be linked to poor access to services, but the vast majority of people should be able to get an appointment with a local dentist without a significant waiting period. In light of this, it’s worth talking about how often you need to see a dentist. Recently, dentists, including England’s chief dental officer, have spoken about reducing the frequency of dental visits, but there may be an element of confusion related to this advice.
The message dentists are eager to put across is the importance of seeing a dentist on a basis that is suitable for the individual patient. If you have strong, healthy teeth and a very low risk of decay and gum disease, you may only be advised to see your dentist once every year. If, however, you have existing dental issues or a high risk of developing conditions like gum disease, it is likely that you’ll be encouraged to attend appointments at least once every 6 months. Dentists also want to urge patients to be mouth aware and to seek advice if they notice any changes or any potentially dangerous symptoms, such as bleeding and swollen gums, slow-healing mouth ulcers, abnormal inflammation, lumps or tooth pain. In this case, patients are advised to call and make an appointment as quickly as possible, rather than waiting until their next scheduled check-up.
For children, dentists advise 6-monthly appointments. Routine checks are an effective means of preventing decay and infection, but they also flag up early signs of cavities and enable children to get used to going to the dentist.

The Importance of Retention: Why You Should Protect Your Investment

When you have braces, your dentist will recommend that you wear retainers after treatment is complete. Your teeth will hopefully look perfect, and it’s natural to want to enjoy that amazing new smile for as long as possible. This is why retainers are so important.
What is a retainer?
A retainer is an orthodontic appliance, which is used to maintain the new position of the teeth after treatment. Braces use forces to move the teeth, but unfortunately, they don’t stop moving when your braces are taken off. Retainers help to ensure that the teeth stay in the desired position, so that you can enjoy your incredible new smile for many years to come.
There are various different types of retainer available, including fixed and removable devices. Fixed retainers tend to sit behind the teeth, and they are usually bonded to the back of the front teeth. Removable aligners usually comprise a palate, which can be lifted in and out very quickly and easily.
Which retainer is best for me?
Both fixed and removable retainers have pros and cons. Removable retainers obviously give you more control and flexibility, and you may find it more comfortable and convenient to eat and clean your teeth without your retainer in place. Fixed retainers are more limiting, but they are proven to succeed, and once you’ve got used to your retainer, you won’t notice that it’s there. Different patients have different preferences and requirements, and we can work with you to decide which type of retainer is best for you.
The benefits of retainers
Wearing a retainer is strongly recommended following orthodontic treatment. Retainers help to keep the smile looking perfect, they prevent relapse, and they protect your investment by reducing the chances of needing repeat treatment.

Brighter Teeth in One Hour With Zoom!

Do you long for a whiter smile? Have you got an hour to spare? If so, we have great news for you! With Zoom! whitening, we can produce whiter, brighter smiles in just one hour!

What is Zoom! whitening?

Zoom! whitening is a rapid, in-chair whitening treatment, which is capable of lightening the teeth by several shades in the space of just one hour. This simple, painless procedure offers a faster alternative to home whitening for those keen to show off their new smile without delay.

What does the procedure involve?

The procedure for Zoom! whitening could not be simpler. Before you have treatment, we’ll invite you to come and see us for a consultation. This short, informal session will give us a chance to tell you all about the treatment, answer your questions and check that your teeth are in good condition prior to the procedure. When you come in for your Zoom! treatment, we will ask you to sit back and relax and put a pair of protective goggles on. We will clean your teeth thoroughly, and then apply a bleaching agent, hydrogen peroxide, to your teeth. This agent is activated using a light source, which will be directed onto the teeth for around 45 minutes. The whole procedure should be completed within the hour.

Is tooth whitening safe?

Many people have questions about the safety of tooth whitening. Zoom! whitening is a tried and tested tooth whitening treatment, which is administered by our highly-trained dentists. We can promise you that you’ll be in safe hands!

If you’re interested in tooth whitening, and you like the sound of Zoom! call us now!

London’s Mayor announces junk food advertising ban on the tube

The Mayor of London has announced plans to implement a ban on junk food advertising on the tube.
Under new guidelines, adverts for products that are high in fat, salt, and sugar will not be permitted on the underground. The ban will also include overground stations and bus stations and stops.
Sadiq Khan said that the measure would hopefully help to combat the “ticking time bomb” of childhood obesity in the city and contribute to healthier lifestyle choices and lower rates of dental disease. Tube stations and bus stops currently feature posters advertising items and products from fast food meals and chocolate bars to fizzy pop and energy drinks. The new ban will reduce exposure to junk food advertising for people who travel on the underground or via buses or trains on a regular basis.
Studies show that advertising can have a significant influence on consumer habits, and ministers are clamping down on advertising across the board. There are already bans in place at certain times of the day on TV, and shops and supermarkets are also being urged to eradicate displays of sugary and fatty foods close to the tills.
The TFL ban will come into play on the 25th February and will cover all areas and networks that are managed by TFL.
A consultation on the matter revealed widespread support for the ban. Of the 1,500 survey respondents, 82% supported the idea.
Mayor Khan said that it was crucial to take “tough action” to tackle preventable childhood illnesses, such as obesity, and stated that preventing exposure to advertising would make a difference, not just to children, but also to their parents and carers.
Professor Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, described the ban as an “important step in the right direction.”

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