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Category “Oral Hygiene”

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?

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.

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.

Crisps are better for children’s teeth than dried fruit, dentists claim

shutterstock_549438760Diet is one of the most important considerations for health-conscious parents, especially those who are eager to keep their children’s smiles in check. The trouble is that often, advice about healthy and unhealthy foods can be confusing, and so-called healthy snacks may not be quite as saintly as they seem. As dentist Ben Atkins, from the British Dental Association, explains, often, parents who think they’re making positive choices at the checkout, can come unstuck as a result of clever marketing and food myths.

Mr Atkins warned against buying products that are aimed at children without checking the labels first, using the example of child-friendly crisps. These products often contain added sugar, which isn’t found in products that are geared towards adults. There’s a perception that crisps are bad for you, but while they aren’t the best food choice, they’re actually often better for children than alternatives like dried fruit. West London dentist, Nicole Sturzenbaum, described dried fruit as a “nightmare” because products like boxes and bags of raisins usually contain a lot of sugar and the fruit is sticky. When you at raisins, they cling to your teeth, which spells bad news when it comes to tooth decay. Parents think they’re giving their children healthy snacks, but in reality, there are much better options out there. A 100g bag of dried apricots contains 53g of sugar compared to a standard Kit-Kat bar, which contains 10.8g

The advice from dentists comes after a report compiled by the Royal College of Surgeons showed that the number of extraction procedures carried out on pre-school children in hospital has risen significantly in recent years. Figures show that the number of procedures has rocketed by 24 percent in the last decade alone.

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