December 1st, 2018
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.
November 28th, 2018
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.”
October 3rd, 2018
Finland is a nation most people associate with good health and an effective healthcare system, but studies suggest that the Scandinavian country is lagging behind when it comes to dental hygiene.
According to a World Health Organisation report entitled ‘Growing up unequal: Health behaviour in school-aged children,’ just over half of Finnish men and 80% of women aged over 30 brush their teeth twice a day. The statistics are even worse for younger generations, with 55% of 15-year-old boys and 26% of girls skipping at least one cleaning session per day.
The study shows that Finland rates poorly when compared to other European countries. In Switzerland, 79% of boys and 91% of girls brush twice a day. The numbers are also much higher in the UK, Sweden, Germany and Norway.
Liisa Suominen, professor of oral health at the University of Eastern Finland, said that the results are surprising, especially as Pisa tests show that Finnish youngsters are more intelligent than the average child in Europe. Research suggests that bad habits in childhood and adolescence are likely to continue into adulthood, especially among males.
A study cited by Yle revealed the potential implications of poor oral hygiene, with rates of periodontitis, advanced gum disease, significantly higher in Finland than in Sweden and Norway. Sixty percent of Finnish adults have signs of advanced gum disease compared to 50% in Norway and 40% in Sweden.
August 15th, 2018
Trading Standards has issued a warning over the provision of illegal tooth whitening treatment.
The regulator has warned that visiting non-dentists for treatment can result in significant injuries, as research suggests that treatments are being offered for as little as £60.
Under EU legislation, tooth whitening is a dental treatment, and as such, it can only be provided by trained, qualified dental professionals who are registered with the General Dental Council. The GDC has clamped down on illegal whitening in recent years, and a number of people have already been prosecuted. Whitening treatments are widely available in beauty salons and shopping centres, and there have also been numerous cases linked to individuals who have set up whitening businesses without any formal dental qualifications.
Prof Damien Walmsley, scientific advisor to the British Dental Association, said that businesses are targeting people who want to look better and jumping on trends that have become incredibly popular in the wake of media attention generated by programmes like Love Island, Geordie Shore and The Only Way is Essex. The reality is that the people are buying into clever marketing campaigns and investing in treatments that are not only unlikely to work, but also potentially hazardous.
Tooth whitening has become incredibly popular recently, and illegal treatments are appealing to many because they are usually cheaper than services offered by dental clinics. The problem is that members of the public may be unaware that the practice is both illegal and potentially dangerous.
Dentists have advised anyone who wants whiter, brighter teeth to see their dentist, and the GDC has asked members of the public to be vigilant and to report suspicious behaviour. Trading Standards has also urged those interested in having whitening treatment to consult a dentist.
May 24th, 2018
A new study suggests that GPs are not trained to detect the signs of dental neglect.
Research published in the British Dental Journal revealed that 96% of GPs surveyed had not received dental training, and some even admitted that they didn’t consider oral health a priority. Just five of the GPs involved in the study, which was carried out on the Isle of Wight, suggested that there may be a link between child neglect and a lack of dental care and failure to register a child with a dentist; however, no GPs worked at clinics where details of dental registration were obtained for patient records.
Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, the chair of General Dental Practice at the British Dental Association, said that decay can be a “tell-tale sign” of child abuse or neglect and suggested that many children could be “falling through the cracks” as a result of health professionals not paying due care and attention to dental health. Stating that GPs are under a lot of pressure and have many roles to fulfil, Mr Overgaard Nielsen suggested that the government must do more to tackle the crisis of dental decay among children. Decay is the leading cause of hospital admissions among children in the UK and there are several barriers to good oral health, including poor access to NHS services, poverty and a lack of education and knowledge.
The BDA suggests that GPs lack confidence, training and time to be able to spot signs of neglect and abuse, which are linked to dental issues, and dentists claim that often, decay is too advanced to treat by the time they see patients. The latest figures show that more than 41% of children didn’t see a dentist in the year leading up to June 2017, despite recommendations from dentists to attend a check-up every 6 months.
November 22nd, 2017
A new craze is sweeping the US, as Hollywood stars debut diamond-encrusted smiles on the red carpet.
Beverley Hills dentist, Dr Anjali Rajpal, said that there has been a massive increase in the number of patients seeking blingy smiles after pictures of stars like Katy Perry and Pink showing off sparkling smiles emerged in the press. Not content with a bright white glow synonymous with La La Land, stars are going even further to outshine the competition by having diamonds placed onto the teeth. Styles range from single diamonds to jewel-encrusted grills, according to Dr Rajpal.
Dr Rajpal, who treats a number of celebrity clients, said that demand has soared after images of stars appeared in the media. She explained that it is possible to create a raft of different designs using diamonds or crystals to create shapes, such as hearts and stars. The Chanel logo has also proven a popular choice. Once they have been placed, the diamonds can last a lifetime, but as trends come and go, most dentists expect their clients to return and have the gems removed after a fairly short period of time.
Dr Rajpal said that people are increasingly keen to show off a unique look and the standard Hollywood smile simply doesn’t cut it anymore for some stars. The cost of a single diamond is estimated at around $1,500 to $2,000. The exact cost depends on the size of the diamond and the carat.
October 25th, 2017
New research has revealed that men who perform oral sex on women may be more likely to develop oral cancer.
Researchers in the US claim that men who have performed oral sex on at least 5 female partners are more likely to develop head and neck cancer. The risk is further elevated in those who smoke. A US study of 9,425 people aged between 20 and 59 suggested that men who had more oral sex partners had a higher risk of developing oral cancer. Study participants were tested for HPV (human papilloma virus) and asked about the number of oral sex partners they had.
HPV is a very common virus. In the majority of cases, it doesn’t cause any problems, but certain strains are linked to an increased risk of some forms of cancer, including oral and cervical cancer. The findings of the study show that 6 percent of men and 1 percent of women carried potentially harmful strains of HPV. In men, oral HPV was more prevalent in smokers and those who had a high number of oral sexual partners.
The study authors claim that more research needs to be done find out more about the link between oral sex and oral cancer and stressed that the findings do not “prove causation.” Data analysis suggests that harmful strains of HPV are very rare, with 1 in 500 women and 7 in 1,000 men affected.
The study was carried out by research teams at John Hopkins University and Information Services Inc. The findings have been published in the Annals of Oncology journal.
September 13th, 2017
New figures from the NHS show that around half of adults living in England haven’t seen an NHS dentist in the last two years.
Statistics from NHS Digital show that 51.4 percent of adults saw an NHS dentist in the 24-month period leading up to June 30th 2017 despite recommendations from dentists. Ideally, most dentists recommend check-ups every 6-12 months for adult patients.
The figures come as stories appear in the press claiming that people are being forced to go private or even remove their own teeth because they can’t get an appointment at their local dental practice. BBC research suggested that around 50 percent of the practices in England listed on NHS Choices aren’t accepting new NHS patients and 40 percent aren’t advertising child places.
Recently, a couple from Yorkshire appeared hit the headlines after claiming that they had been refused access to a dentist and forced to extract their own teeth. Rebecca Brearey, from Dewsbury, said that she had been trying to register with a dental practice for four years, but had repeatedly been told that there were no places available. She said that she reached the point of begging for help, but was still unable to see a dentist and ended up removing her own tooth.
Chair of general dental practice at the British Dental Association, Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, accused successive governments as viewing dentistry as a “Cinderella service” and said that urgent action needs to be taken to prioritise dental access and also to improve morale in the dental profession, which the BDA chair claims is at “an all-time low.”
The NHS stated that 95 percent of patients who wanted a dental appointment in the 2-year period leading up to the end of June 2017 were able to get one.
August 11th, 2017
It’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.
August 9th, 2017
It’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.