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New research suggests parents allow children to consume up to 5 times more sugar during the holidays

New research suggests that parents will allow their children to consume up to five times more sugar than normal during the summer holidays.

A poll has revealed that parents in the UK adopt a much more lenient stance when it comes to diet and nutrition in the holidays. The survey, which involved around 1,000 parents of children aged between 2 and 17 years old revealed a worrying trend that sees parents enabling children to increase their daily sugar intake considerably over the holiday period.

The research, which was conducted by mydentist, revealed that fizzy drinks and ice creams were the worst offenders in the long summer break. The findings of the study are even more alarming given that two-thirds of parents admitted that they wouldn’t take the opportunity to book a dental check for their kids in the next eight weeks. Just 1 in 10 parents said that their child would eat more vegetables during the holidays.

Mydentist clinical director, Nyree Whitley, said that the summer holidays are an excellent time to book dental checks for kids, especially as most consume more sugar than normal. NHS dental care is available free of charge for children, and routine checks can help to reduce the risk of dental decay significantly.

Sugar consumption is one of the potential risk factors for decay, the most common preventable childhood illness and the reason most children are admitted for hospital treatment.

In light of the findings, dentists are urging parents to moderate sugar intake, especially between meals, and to make use of the time away from the classroom to schedule a dental check-up. Most dentists recommend checks every 6 months for children aged 12 months or older.

Is there any need to worry about dental amalgam in the wake of new filling guidelines?

Recently, it was revealed that the use of mercury amalgam fillings would be restricted. Having reignited the debate about the safety of amalgam fillings, is it right for us to be worried about old fillings in wake of the publication of new guidelines? If you have mercury fillings, you may be anxious about your health, but is there any real cause for concern?

On July 1st, it was announced that restrictions would be placed on mercury fillings to protect ‘vulnerable’ groups, including children aged under 15 and pregnant and breastfeeding women. Many of us take an interest in health affairs, and news of the modified guidelines may have provoked a degree of concern. With mercury fillings now off the agenda for some groups of patients, does this mean that it’s necessary for others to replace them, and are there risks associated with leaving them alone?

The reality is that there is a great deal of confusion surrounding the use of mercury fillings. Most organisations deem them safe, but they are gradually being phased out. There is a concern for safety among some campaign groups, but the move may also be linked to the fact that dentistry is evolving and modernising, and better materials, which are cleaner and safer, are now available.

The advice from dental organisations is that you don’t need to rush out and get your old fillings replaced if you do have mercury fillings. Equally, you don’t have to lose any sleep worrying about the potential impact of having mercury amalgam fillings. If you need a new filling, it may be beneficial to opt for a white filling, but there’s no need to panic. If you’re unsure about what to do about your old fillings, your dentist will be able to offer advice.

New MRI scanners could increase mercury leakage from fillings

A new BBC report suggests that new, more sophisticated MRI scanners could increase mercury leakage from amalgam fillings.

Trials have revealed that new scanners, which are more powerful, caused more mercury vapour to leak from extracted teeth than teeth that were scanned using older equipment. Using a test tube of artificial saliva, researchers found that more leakage occurred with newer scanners than older models.

MRI scanners may cause the fillings to heat up, which causes mercury vapour from amalgam fillings to leak. Studies that were conducted previous to this recent trial confirmed that there was no evidence to suggest increased vapour during MRI scans, but this latest study analysed the impact of newer scanners. For this trial, researchers used a 7.0-Tesla MRI scanner. This new scanner produces more powerful magnetic waves and it is primarily used for research and clinical trials. It is uncommon for this type of scanner to be employed for diagnostic tests and procedures.

The findings of the study could impact the use of this new breed of MRI scanners in the future, as the unit price is likely to decrease in years to come, which could mean that the scanners are used more commonly.

It is not known whether the results would be the same if the scanner was used on a patient with amalgam fillings, or whether the vapour could be absorbed by the body, producing negative side-effects, and further research is required to answer these questions.

Five Steps to Straighter Teeth

With terrific orthodontic treatments like Simpli5, it’s never been easier to get a straighter smile. We can provide you with beautiful, straight teeth in no time at all, using a very simple process that involves five steps.

  1. Your consultation: during your consultation, your dentist will have a look at your teeth and analyse your bite. You can have a look around the clinic, ask questions, and find out all about Simpli5 before you make a decision whether or not to pursue treatment.
  2. Preparing for your new braces: if you want to go ahead with treatment, your dentist will draw up your personalised plan, and your bespoke Simpli5 aligners will be fabricated and sent back to us. When we receive them, we’ll contact you, and you can start your treatment.
  3. Wearing your braces for the first time: when you come and see us to have your braces fitted, we’ll show you how to insert and remove them and give you some cleaning tips to keep them nice and fresh. You’ll wear each aligner for 2-4 weeks and we’ll arrange check-ups to see how you’re getting on.
  4. Finishing your treatment: when you’ve completed treatment, we’ll check that everything looks great and then prepare your retainers.
  5. Retainers: retainers play a vital role in the long-lasting efficacy of orthodontic treatment. Wearing a retainer helps to keep the teeth in the right position, eliminating the risk of movement and preserving your perfect new smile.

To find out more, why not give us a call today?

New study reveals alarming standards of oral health among Britain’s elite athletes

A new study has revealed alarming standards of oral health among Britain’s elite athletes.

A study conducted by researchers at University College London showed that around 50 percent of athletes suffer from dental issues that are severe enough to have a negative impact on their performance. The team identified high rates of gum disease and other oral health conditions among groups of performers, including swimmers, rowers and rugby players.

Ian Needleman, a professor from the prestigious Eastman Dental Institute at UCL, explained that high carbohydrate intake is a major contributing factor to the prevalence of dental issues among athletes. The co-author of the study also added that dry mouth is an issue in sports where heavy breathing is common, including cycling and running. Stress can also cause some athletes to vomit before a performance, which can increase the risk of acid erosion of the enamel.

The study involved around 350 athletes from nine Olympic teams, the Reading football team, England’s rugby team and cyclists from Team Sky. Athletes underwent oral health checks and assessments, and they were also asked to complete a questionnaire about the impact of dental issues on performance. Just under half of those surveyed had decay, while 77 percent had gingivitis (mild gum disease). Almost 40 percent admitted that they experienced bleeding when brushing. More than a third of participants said that dental issues had a negative effect on their performance, as well as their ability to rest and relax.

The findings of the study are interesting, especially as almost all (99%) of those involved said that they brushed their teeth twice a day. This is significantly higher than the national average of 75%, yet the risk of decay was found to be higher in athletes than the general population.

The findings of the study were presented at a European dental conference in Holland recently.

Reports suggest HPV vaccine will be made available to boys and girls

Reports suggest that the government is set to roll out the HPV vaccine programme to include boys, as well as girls. According to the Daily Mail, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has backed calls from dental organisations to enable boys to benefit from the scheme. The HPV vaccination is currently given to teenage girls to reduce the risk of cervical cancer.

Following a meeting to discuss the future of the programme, it is understood that the committee has advised health ministers to approve the expansion of the scheme, and health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, is set to sign off on the guidelines in the near future. The move comes after leading dental bodies appealed for the committee to reconsider expanding the scheme after it concluded that offering immunisation to boys would not be cost-effective.

A group of dental organisations, including the British Dental Association, called for the committee to consider the widespread health benefits of protecting both boys and girls against forms of cancer that are linked to HPV (human papillomavirus). More than 20 different types of cancer are known to be associated with HPV, including oral cancer, which has become more prevalent in the UK in the last decade.

News of the initial reports has been welcomed by HPV Action, a charity, which has campaigned vigorously for the vaccination to be made available to boys. Peter Baker, director of the campaign, said that although the move is “long overdue,” it’s very welcome.

The move has also been backed by the British Dental Association. Chair, Mick Armstrong, said that the news may suggest that the government is “finally willing to walk the walk on prevention.”

Why dentists are fighting for HPV vaccines for boys

shutterstock_363779750Recently, a group of high-profile dental organisations called for the government to consider rolling out the HPV vaccination programme to include teenage boys, as well as girls. The vaccine, which is currently provided for girls as they enter their teenage years to protect against cervical cancer, is the subject of debate after a committee turned down the option to expand the reach of the programme on the grounds that it wasn’t cost-effective to vaccinate boys.

The British Dental Association has joined forces with the Faculty of General Dental Practice and the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons to urge the Department of Health and Social Care to reconsider plans to introduce vaccinations for boys. HPV is known to increase the risk of more than 20 forms of cancer, including oral cancer, a type of cancer that has become much more prevalent in the UK in the last decade.

Dr Mick Armstrong, chair of the BDA, said that cancers that affect the mouth and throat have a devastating impact on quality of life, and added that dentists are frustrated by the fact that many cases of mouth cancer could be prevented. Dentists are often first to spot potential warning signs, and the BDA believes that introducing HPV vaccines for boys could see the number of cases fall in years to come. In the UK, the number of people diagnosed with oral cancer has increased by around a third in the last ten years. Dr Armstrong suggested that it was both unfair and illogical to protect half of the population and leave the other half exposed.

In light of the growing prevalence of mouth cancer, the organisations have urged the government to think about rolling out the vaccination programme to include boys and prioritise saving lives over saving money.

Researchers hail breakthrough, which could put a stop to painful decay

shutterstock_752195566Researchers from Queen Mary University of London claim to have made a major breakthrough in the development of a material, which could put a stop to painful dental decay.

Scientists believe that they have created a material, which could facilitate enamel regeneration, preventing sensitivity and reducing the risk of cavities. The outer surface of the tooth is covered by enamel, the hardest substance in the body. Although enamel is incredibly hardwearing and durable, it cannot regrow once it is worn or damaged. Approximately 50 percent of the global population suffers from dental pain linked to decay or enamel erosion.

The London researchers have developed a means of growing mineralised materials, which would make the regeneration of hard tissues, such as bone and tooth enamel, possible. The team has identified a form of protein, which is capable of triggering the formation and growth of crystals in a way that mimics the development of enamel. The findings of the study have been published in the Nature Communications journal.

Dr Sherif Elsharkawy, co-author and dentist, explained that the study is “exciting” because the versatility of the “mineralisation platform” offers myriad opportunities to regenerate tissue within the body. Fellow author, Professor Alvaro Mata, hailed the research as a “key discovery”, which works by regulating and taking advantage of the protein’s ability to trigger and control the mineralisation process. By finding a way to exploit the proteins, the team worked on a technique that enables them to “easily grow synthetic materials.”

Three Ways to Treat Chipped Teeth

The teeth are amazingly strong, but they’re not immune to damage. Even if you look after your teeth really well, there’s always a risk of injuries like chips. If you have a chipped tooth, there are various solutions out there. These include:

  • Composite fillings: if you have a minor chip, it may be possible to patch up the tooth using a composite filling. This is also known as a white filling. Fillings are very simple to place, and you won’t experience any pain. Your dentist will use the closest shade to your natural tooth colour to create seamless results.
  • Bonding: bonding is a versatile procedure, which has a range of restorative functions. If your tooth is chipped, your dentist may recommend aesthetic bonding, which is also known as composite or cosmetic bonding. Bonding involves using dental composite to repair and reshape the tooth. Your dentist will select a close shade match for you and then set about shaping and moulding the composite to make your tooth look perfect. When the composite is in the desired place, it will be set using a curing light. Bonding is quick and painless, and it can really enhance the tooth aesthetic.
  • Crowns: if you have a large chip or your tooth is broken or weak, it may be best to fit a new crown. Crowns are also known as caps, as they sit over the top of the tooth. Crowns enhance the look of the tooth, but they also make the tooth stronger and more resistant to injury and decay. Crowns are often made from ceramic materials for a natural finish.

Bridges, Implants, Dentures: Which Tooth Replacement Treatment is Right For You?

shutterstock_450494800If you’ve lost a tooth, you may be considering your next step. At Baker Street, we strongly encourage our patients to replace missing teeth, as gaps can impact oral health, as well as the look of the smile. We have extensive experience in creating brand new smiles using the latest restorative techniques, and we have a range of treatments available, including bridges, dentures and implants.

Which treatment is right for me?

There are various types of restorative treatment, which can be used to replace missing teeth. These include:

  • Bridges: dental bridges are commonly used to replace a single individual tooth or a small number of missing teeth. There are different types of bridge available, and the most common is a traditional fixed bridge. This bridge is a false tooth which is fused to a crown on either side. Bridges can be made from metals but most people opt for ceramic bridges, as they blend in with the natural teeth for a beautiful smile. Bridges are an affordable solution, treatment takes just 2-3 weeks and a bridge should last up to 15 years.
  • Implants: implants are widely regarded as the best long-term solution for tooth loss, but they are the most expensive option. Implant treatment takes months to complete, but the results are incredible. With implants, you can replace any number of missing teeth, and you can enjoy the same level of functionality as you would with a healthy, strong natural tooth. Implants are compatible with dentures, bridges and crowns, so they are a suitable option for most patients.
  • Dentures: dentures have been used to replace missing teeth for decades. Modern dentures are lifelike in their appearance, and they’re also a much cheaper option than implants. Dentures can be used to replace full arches (complete dentures) or a smaller number of missing teeth (partial denture) and they are designed to produce natural-looking results.

If you have missing teeth, and you’re not sure what kind of treatment to go for, why not book a consultation? Our expert dentists can discuss the options with you, go through all the pros and cons and offer personalised recommendations.

Baker Street

Dental Clinic

Dr Watson Chambers 102 Baker Street London, W1U 6FY

020 8563 8063

Liverpool Street

Dental Clinic

9 Artillery Lane, London E1 7LP

0207 247 7151

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

0207 278 6362