• bda
  • invisalin
  • inman
  • six month smiles
  • British Orthodontic Society
  • enughtn

Category “Oral Hygiene”

British Dental Association busts common dental myths to promote good oral hygiene

Many of us have grown up following a dental routine or employing certain habits to protect our smiles. While being aware of the importance of looking after your mouth is undoubtedly positive, dentists are concerned that some people have been misled by popular dental myths.

In a bid to encourage patients to take good care of their smiles, the British Dental Association has provided advice to bust these myths and ensure people have access to accurate information about oral hygiene.

Surveys suggest that some people think it’s fine to brush just once a day, but dental professionals recommend twice-daily brushing. Brushing once in a 24-hour period is not sufficient to remove bacteria and food debris, and this elevates the risk of plaque formation. Plaque is a sticky film, which envelopes the enamel and clings to the gums, and it puts you at risk of decay and gum disease.

The next myth is that you don’t need to floss. While flossing is not essential, it is important to clean between the teeth, and flossing is one method of doing this. The alternative is to use interdental brushes. Brushing between the teeth reduces the risk of decay and staining, as it targets the areas that are missed with a traditional toothbrush.

Mouthwash is a popular oral hygiene product, but some dentists are worried that patients think of it as an alternative to toothpaste. Mouthwash should only ever be used in tandem with brushing, rather than instead of cleaning your teeth. It’s also best to wait a while after cleaning your teeth to use mouthwash so that you don’t wash away the fluoride from your toothpaste. The same guidelines apply to rinsing after brushing. Many people automatically rinse straight after cleaning, but actually, this is not beneficial for your oral health. Leaving fluoride on the teeth will help to make the enamel stronger.

New research links good oral health to lower Alzheimer’s risk

A new study has linked good oral health to a significant reduction in the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers from the University of Bergen, Norway, discovered that gum disease plays a major role in determining the level of risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Dr Piotr Mydel, from the research team, explained that during trials, DNA-based proof that confirmed that harmful bacteria can travel from the mouth to the brain was established. Bacteria that are associated with gum disease produce a specific protein, which destroys nerve cells within the brain and affects the memory. Ultimately, this chain of events puts people at greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

The strain of bacteria in question, P.gingivalis (Porphyromonas gingivalis) is one of the primary causes of advanced gum disease and gum infections. It can cause long-term infections within the mouth, but research shows that it can also travel to the brain, where it damages the nerve cells. Approximately 50% of the population has this strain of bacteria, and around 10% are at risk of gum disease, infections, and according to this study, Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr Mydel argued that the findings of the study do not suggest that the presence of bacteria is causative, but rather that the bacteria significantly increases the risk of Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is one of the most common conditions in older people and it causes progressive loss of memory in addition to confusion and a gradual loss of the ability to recognise people and live independently.

The advice from researchers is to look after your teeth and gums, to see a dentist on a regular basis and to ensure you seek professional advice if you spot signs of gum disease, including bleeding gums, swelling, pain and increased tenderness in the gums.

American researchers link oral bacteria to colon cancer progression

Researchers in America have established a link between a form of common oral bacteria and the acceleration of colon cancer.

A team from the College of Dental Medicine at Columbia University found that a common strain of oral bacteria, which is linked to tooth decay, can also contribute to colon cancer progression. F.nucleatum, which is often found in dental plaque, could play an instrumental role in the pace of colon cancer growth. Colon cancer is currently the second deadliest form of cancer in the US.

Yiping H Wan, study leader and professor of microbial sciences, explained that genetic mutations play a significant role in the development and spread of cancerous cells, but there are other factors to consider, including the presence of microbes. Scientists discovered that around a third of colon cancer cases are associated with the strain, and those were found to be more aggressive than others, but until now, it was not known why this was the case.

In a previous study, Han and his team discovered that the bacterium produced a molecule known as FadA adhesion, which was found to stimulate growth in cancerous cells, but not in healthy tissue. Prof Han wanted to build on the findings of that study and determine why F.nucleatum only triggered growth in cancerous cells. The most recent study focused on this interaction, and researchers found that non-cancerous cells lack a protein called Annexin A1, which stimulates growth. Using in-vitro trials, which were followed by trials involving mice, they determined that prohibiting Annexin 1 function prevented F.nucleatum from binding to cancerous cells. Subsequently, this slowed growth.

In light of their findings, Prof Han and the team are now looking for ways to use Annexin 1 as a biomarker for advanced, aggressive cancers and to utilise the study as a base for developing potential treatment options.

American researchers link oral bacteria to colon cancer progression


Researchers in America have established a link between a form of common oral bacteria and the acceleration of colon cancer.

A team from the College of Dental Medicine at Columbia University found that a common strain of oral bacteria, which is linked to tooth decay, can also contribute to colon cancer progression. F.nucleatum, which is often found in dental plaque, could play an instrumental role in the pace of colon cancer growth. Colon cancer is currently the second deadliest form of cancer in the US.

Yiping H Wan, study leader and professor of microbial sciences, explained that genetic mutations play a significant role in the development and spread of cancerous cells, but there are other factors to consider, including the presence of microbes. Scientists discovered that around a third of colon cancer cases are associated with the strain, and those were found to be more aggressive than others, but until now, it was not known why this was the case.

In a previous study, Han and his team discovered that the bacterium produced a molecule known as FadA adhesion, which was found to stimulate growth in cancerous cells, but not in healthy tissue. Prof Han wanted to build on the findings of that study and determine why F.nucleatum only triggered growth in cancerous cells. The most recent study focused on this interaction, and researchers found that non-cancerous cells lack a protein called Annexin A1, which stimulates growth. Using in-vitro trials, which were followed by trials involving mice, they determined that prohibiting Annexin 1 function prevented F.nucleatum from binding to cancerous cells. Subsequently, this slowed growth.

In light of their findings, Prof Han and the team are now looking for ways to use Annexin 1 as a biomarker for advanced, aggressive cancers and to utilise the study as a base for developing potential treatment options.

Have you been brushing your teeth wrong all along?

You might assume that there are few things simpler than brushing your teeth, but what if your dentist told you that you’d be doing it wrong all this time? Brushing is the most effective means of reducing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease, so it’s vital to get it right. Here are some tips from the experts to keep your pearly whites in pristine condition.
When you brush your teeth, what exactly do you do? Brushing cleans the mouth, but you have to do it properly to reap the rewards. If you’re not putting enough effort in, you’re only covering some of the teeth, or you’re putting your brush back in the pot after 30 seconds, you might be putting your oral health at risk. Set a timer and aim to brush for at least 2 minutes every morning and evening. Cover each individual tooth, and angle the head of your brush so that you can clean every surface and remove food debris from the gum line. Electric toothbrushes are more powerful than manual brushes, and they are proven to target plaque more effectively.
It’s understandable to assume that the harder you brush, the deeper the clean, but this is not the case. If you brush too firmly, you can damage the enamel and end up increasing the risk of decay and sensitivity. Be gentle when you brush, and if you’re using an electric brush, let the brush do all the work. You don’t need to scrub your teeth, just hold the brush in position and move it from one tooth to the next.
Many people rinse after brushing, and it seems to be a staple part of an oral hygiene routine most of us have picked up from childhood. The truth is that rinsing is not only unnecessary, but it could also harm your teeth. This is because when you rinse your mouth, you remove fluoride from the tooth enamel. Fluoride is added to toothpaste, and it helps to protect your teeth by strengthening your enamel. Instead of rinsing, just brush your teeth, spit, and then get on with the rest of your day.
Another handy brushing tip is to wait around an hour to clean your teeth after eating. This gives the enamel a chance to remineralise and prevents acid erosion.

What is your mouth telling you about your health?

They say the eyes are the window of the soul, but a look inside the mouth can also reveal a lot about a person. Dentists and doctors are well aware of the importance of looking for potential warning signs in the mouth, but do you know what your mouth may be saying about your health?

Most of us know that bad breath means we probably need to do a better job with our toothbrush, but did you know that there are a series of potential oral warning signs that could flag up dental and general health issues? If you’ve ever noticed blood when you clean your teeth, for example, this can be a symptom of gum disease, a condition that is known to elevate the risk of an inflammatory response in other parts of the body. Gum disease can cause complications during pregnancy and childbirth and it can also increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Another sign to look out for is chapped, dry lips, which can indicate iron deficiency. Iron is found in many common food items, including meat and leafy green vegetables. A lack of iron can cause anaemia, which is commonly characterised by feeling tired and lethargic.

Mouth ulcers are very common, and in the vast majority of cases, they don’t cause major problems. Sores can be painful, especially when you’re eating, but they usually heal within a week or so without the need for treatment. If you have an ulcer that is hanging around, however, this could be cause for concern. Slow-healing sores can be a symptom of oral cancer. Other signs to watch out for include difficulty swallowing, lumps and swelling, and red or white patches in the mouth or throat.

The mouth can provide a useful insight into general health, and sometimes, it may be possible to spot warning signs of developing conditions. As well as keeping your smile in check, regular routine appointments could also enable dentists to investigate potential issues, so don’t forget to call and make an appointment if it’s been a while since you took a trip to the dentist.

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!

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.

Swansea dentist backs calls in Liverpool for Coca Cola truck to be banned

shutterstock_177385157A dentist from Swansea has called for the Christmas Coca Cola truck to be banned from the city in a bid to clamp down on dental decay. Karl Bishop has spoken out after health officials in Liverpool urged a planned visit to be cancelled to try and discourage people from indulging at Christmas.

Karl, clinical director for dentistry at Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, said that promoting the consumption of fizzy drinks, which are crammed full of sugar, is not a positive message for children and adults in the city. Swansea has high rates of childhood decay and health experts are also worried about rising rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

The truck has been visiting towns and cities over the festive period for the last five years and this year it is due to stop off in Swansea on the 16th November.

The latest figures show that around 3,800 children had their teeth extracted under general anaesthetic in South West Wales in 2016/2017.

Mr Bishop is not the only person fighting for the tour to be called off and health officials in Liverpool have been campaigning against the visit for weeks. The Swansea dentist said that the decision to welcome the truck to the city is “really disappointing” and urged people to consider the impact of consuming fizzy drinks. Rates of decay among children are sky high, and fizzy drinks are one of the main issues dentists are trying to tackle.

A representative for Coca Cola said that children under the age of 12 will not be provided with samples unless they have parental permission.

Three Reasons It’s Important to See Your Hygienist Regularly

shutterstock_615827510Most of us are aware that we need to go to the dentist every 6-12 months, but did you know that it’s also really beneficial to see a dental hygienist on a regular basis? If you’re thinking about booking a dental hygiene appointment, here are 3 good reasons to go ahead:

  1. Lower risk of gum disease: if you see your dental hygienist on a regular basis, you can drastically reduce your risk of developing both decay and gum disease. Dental hygienists use intensive cleaning treatments to remove plaque and tartar deposits, ridding your mouth of harmful bacteria and increasing your chances of enjoying good oral health for longer. Your hygienist can also offer advice to help you brush better at home and adopt a healthier, more tooth-friendly diet.
  2. Fresh, clean breath: bad breath is a very common problem. If you’re prone to halitosis (bad breath), you may be advised to see a dental hygienist on a regular basis. This is because the cleaning techniques used by hygienists are much more powerful than brushing at home. Bad breath is caused by bacteria in your mouth releasing odorous gases. Your hygienist will target bacteria and clean areas of the mouth that are commonly missed when brushing.
  3. Sparkling smile: there’s nothing like the feeling of freshness you get when you’ve been to the dentist or the dental hygienist and you’ve had your teeth cleaned. Your hygienist can remove surface stains and get rid of unsightly plaque and tartar, giving your teeth a gorgeous, healthy glow.

If you’d like to know more about our dental hygiene services, why not give us a call today?

Baker Street

Dental Clinic

Dr Watson Chambers 102 Baker Street London, W1U 6FY

020 8563 8063

The Whiter Smile

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