The summer holidays are mid-flow and most parents are either in holiday mode or survival mode. With the typically unseasonable weather added to the equation trying to keep the kids amused and occupied is something of an art form. One of the risks, especially when the kids are cooped up inside, is the tendency to pacify them with sweets and snacks to buy five minutes of much needed peace. However, before giving in the innocent demands of your children, take a moment to consider just what sugar actually does to the teeth.
Inside the mouth – an oral ecosystem
The human body is a complex organism and contains many of its very own ecosystems, all of which are vital to our health and wellbeing – provided of course that the balance is maintained. The mouth is one such ecosystem. A natural sea of bacteria constantly surrounds our teeth and gums, some of which is good for us and helps to repair and restore the teeth, whilst other bacteria are harmful, causing the creation of acid and attacking our teeth. Every day, a battle of the bacteria is taking place in which these two forces are constantly fighting for victory. Sugar is one of the biggest deciders as to which force wins.
Attack of the acid
When you introduce sugar into the mouth, harmful bacteria that are naturally present begin to feed on it. This causes the creation of acids almost instantly, which then begin to attack the enamel surface of your teeth – the shiny protective layer on the outside that gives our smile its natural shine – and also protects the more delicate inner layers of your teeth as well as the root. This attack can last for up to an hour every time you consume a sugary food or drink, according to the British Dental Association. Regular consumption of sugar means such attacks can continue for prolonged or even constant periods of time.
As acids keep on attacking the teeth, they cause the minerals to be removed from the enamel, a process known as demineralisation. The fight against demineralisation is led by your saliva, which is rich in calcium and phosphates and helps to replace the minerals and repair the damage caused by acid. Although this important work can be supported by using a fluoride toothpaste which also helps to strengthen the enamel, the biggest weapon against acid attacks is reducing sugar consumption.
The onset of cavities
The hardest part of the tooth is the all important outer layer of enamel, whose job is to protect the softer and highly sensitive inside layers. If acid is allowed to continuously attack the enamel it causes the surface to become porous and eventually cavities will form. Cavities are holes in the protective layer, which if left untreated can continue to grow and gradually penetrate deeper. Whilst in adults, it typically takes at least six months for a cavity to form, children have softer enamel and cavities can take hold in as little as three months. If the cavity reaches all the way to the inside where the nerve endings are, it will result in discomfort and toothache. A high sugar diet, even if it is only during the summer holidays, is more than enough to cause cavities to take hold.
Dealing with decay
If a cavity grows enough for the damage to extend into the softer inner layer known as dentine, it becomes known as tooth decay. If caught at this stage, it can usually be treated by thorough cleaning followed by a filling. Whilst the procedure is fairly straightforward, it is nonetheless a cause of discomfort and distress for both parents and children. Left unchecked, tooth decay can progress until the root of the tooth is damaged and eventually destroyed, usually leaving little choice but to remove the tooth – something that most parents will be keen to avoid.
Although recent statistics indicate that tooth decay in children remains a major issue, more and more parents are becoming aware of the role that sugar plays. If you’d like more information on preventing tooth decay in children, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist.
Here at Sharoe Green Dental Practice in Preston, we pride ourselves in promoting a proactive, preventative approach to dentistry for all the family, helping our patients of all ages to maintain a healthy mouth and a happy smile. To find out more or to book an appointment now, call us on 01772 718753 or enquire online here for a swift response.
So school is almost out. The kids are more than happy as they look forward to six weeks of relative freedom, while parents are making last minute preparations to keep them occupied and out of trouble. With the inevitable change of routine, it is important to think ahead to make sure your family’s teeth stay in tip top condition through the holidays. Here are our top 4 tips.
1. Be Snack Wise
Without the usual school day routine, it is normal during the summer holidays for children to consume more snacks than they would otherwise. Try to ensure that your children have low sugar snacks as much as possible, and encourage them not to snack too much between meals. If they do have sugary snacks, these are best eaten at meal times rather than between to reduce the length of time that teeth are exposed to sugar. Ensuring that your kids have nutritious breakfasts and lunches will help offset hunger and help to reduce snacking. Also, be cautious of what you have in the cupboards if the kids are at home – we all know what happens when we are distracted with work and other adult duties…
2. Drink Sensibly
Another major cause of tooth decay in children is sugary drinks. Your kids will need to stay hydrated during the holidays, but try to ensure they consume low sugar or even sugar free drinks as much as possible – pure water is great if they will accept it but there is plenty of choice in most supermarkets. Taking the time to check the labels is definitely time well spent.
3. Play Safe
For many parents and kids alike, action packed activities are a staple ingredient of a fun filled summer holiday. Whether it’s dad and the boys having a bit of rough and tumble or a sports activity camp for the kids, make sure that your children have tooth protection if recommended – some sports such as rugby advise the use of a specialist gum shield to help protect the teeth. In any case, if your child does experience any form of impact with the teeth or jaws, don’t be afraid to contact your dentist and seek their advice. Even if there is no visible damage, a checkup may be recommended.
4. Keep Brushing
Another big risk during the summer holidays is that your children fail to keep to their tooth brushing regime. Late nights are one of the biggest culprits, especially when it comes to teenagers. If your children stay up later than you do, there is a risk that they simply won’t bother to brush their teeth. Make sure that you have a system in place to ensure that teeth are being brushed properly at least twice a day. Your children may not like your keen interest now, but trust us – they’ll thank you for it later.
At Sharoe Green Dental Practice in Preston, we offer the very best in preventative dentistry for all the family, helping to avoid disease and decay before they become problems. To enquire about becoming a member or book an appointment now, call us on 01772 718753 or click here to contact us online.
We often assume that when it comes to our young ones’ teeth, it is not until the milk teeth start giving way to adult teeth that we really need to bother with visiting the dentist. New research, however, indicates that this is far from the case – and it’s costing toddlers dearly.
Despite parents being advised to take their toddlers to the dentist as early as possible, even if just to get them used to the experience, the true figures may well surprise you. Even with free dental care available to all children under the NHS, it appears that over 80% of one to two year olds in England did not visit a dentist in the last year.
One of the main causes was found to be parents simply not knowing when was the right time to bring their child for a first visit, which was ultimately put down to a widespread misunderstanding of the entire process of teething. The researchers did admit that it wasn’t just parents to blame either – there was also confusion in the messages being given by the NHS.
The cost of this delay in taking toddlers to the dentist is a huge rise in children needing to have their teeth removed in hospital – often before the age of one. Not only does this put pressure on the NHS, but costs dearly in terms of the stress that such experiences can put a child through.
Latest figures published by the Royal College of Surgeons show that there were 9,220 cases of tooth extractions performed in hospitals in England on children aged one to four – which comes out at a 24 per cent rise in a decade.
In 48 of the cases reported, infants were less than a year old.
The research also indicated tooth decay was the main cause of extractions – which translates as 90 per cent of cases being preventable through good oral hygiene.
Start out right
The key to ensuring that your young ones don’t add to the statistics is simple – get them to the dentist as soon as you can, ideally as soon as the first teeth appear in the mouth.
Professor Nigel Hunt, dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at The Royal College of Surgeons, said: “The earlier a child visits the dentist, the earlier any potential problems can be picked up, so it is easier to prevent children having to go through the trauma of having their teeth removed under a general anaesthetic.”
It is important to get children “comfortable in a dental environment” as early as possible, to avoid them becoming frightened of going to the dentist.
In addition, ensuring that as a family you adopt tooth friendly practices such as supervised brushing twice a day, relatively low sugar diets and avoiding sugary snacks, especially between meals will all help to offset early decay. Finally, follow your dentist’s advice with regard to the frequency of visits, which for a toddler may vary between three to six months.
At the award winning Sharoe Green Dental Practice in Preston, we specialise in providing preventative dental care for all the family, whatever your age. Join us now to become a member and enjoy being looked after by our friendly and experienced team. For more information or to book an appointment, call now on 01772 718753 or click here to contact us online.
Based on an article published in the Telegraph online, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/08/toddlers-having-teeth-parents-wont-take-dentist/
Did you know that right now it is National Smile Month 2017? The 41st edition of the annual oral health awareness campaign started on May 15th and runs until June 15th. Want to know more? Read on to learn how it all begun and how it has evolved to the present day.
Good things begin with smiles
The concept of National Smile Month was first created by the Oral Health Foundation (then the British Dental Health Foundation) in 1977. The aim was to address an increasingly critical problem of how to get people to look after their teeth, after studies revealed that over 60% of the population had lost some or all of their natural teeth. The campaign debuted with the ‘Smile 77’ project, a week long event which was created to break down the patient-dentist communication barriers that were seen to exist at the time.
At the heart of the project was the concept of preventative dentistry. This might seem standard practice today, but 40 years ago this was quite the opposite – at the time it could be seen as a dramatically reformed outlook on oral health care. A highlight of the 1977 campaign was poet Pam Ayres writing ‘Oh, I Wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth’ for the event – a poem that would later be voted into the top 10 of a BBC poll to find the Nation’s 100 Favourite Poems.
The current slogan ‘National Smile Month’ was introduced in 1979 and has remained unchanged ever since.
Into the eighties
With the huge interest from both dentists and the media and a willingness from those across the profession to participate, National Smile Month launched to a fantastic reception and the message quickly spread across the UK.
It was in 1984 that the campaign peaked public and media interest, as a result of the enormous launch at the iconic London Transport Museum. The theme for that year’s event was ‘Eat Well and Stay Biting Fit’, and healthy food buses were sent out into the city to bring the art of sugar-free cooking to thousands of children – a message whose importance has not diminished to the present day.
It was during the 1980’s that National Smile Month truly became a nationally recognised event, helping to establish its position as an important event on the annual health calendar.
Brushing to Brit Pop
It was the 1990’s – the golden age of Brit Pop. While the UK population was riding a new wave of popular music that seemed to redefine the very notion of ‘Britishness’. dentists and healthcare professionals were working hard to redefine attitudes towards dental health and encourage people young and old to look after their teeth. With an increasing amount of support and recognition for the campaign, the dental profession ensured that the message was spread into the heart of communities.
With millions of pounds worth of press coverage and dental practices using the event as a platform to bring oral health messages to the wider public, it continued to grow and grow.
The public became more aware of their own oral health under the ‘Show Your Teeth You Care!’ theme as they recognised the importance of eating the right foods, brushing your teeth and regular visits to the dentist all had in fighting tooth decay and gum disease – all of which remain at the heart of the campaign’s message through to the present day.
Today, tomorrow and beyond
In 2016, National Smile Month celebrated its 40th year, establishing its position as the largest and longest-running oral health campaign in the world. With thousands of organisations now taking part, the campaign was able to reach over 60 million people worldwide, becoming the focal point of the dental world.
The key messages of the campaign today are:
- Brush your teeth last thing at night and on at least one other occasion with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks.
- Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.
At the award-winning Sharoe Green Dental Practice in Preston, we are dedicated to providing the best possible dental care possible for all the family, here in our friendly, calm environment. We focus on preventative dentistry, helping our patients of every age to have a healthy and confident smile. To book an appointment now or enquire about becoming a member, call us on Preston 01772 718753 or click here to book an appointment online.
This article is adapted from National Smile Month – History and Background
With the Easter holiday behind us, our attention has already begun to shift towards summer and thoughts of holiday selfies. If, however, you have the misfortune of having damaged, discoloured or missing teeth, you have no doubt found yourself secretly dreading anybody asking to see your holiday snaps. Luckily, there are many cosmetic dentistry options to help you get the smile back on your face – and there is still time if you act now!
Teeth whitening for faded smiles
If you find yourself disappointed by the colour of your teeth in holiday snaps, do not despair. Firstly, you are not alone – a significant proportion of the UK’s adult population is unhappy with the appearance of their teeth. Secondly, most tooth discolouration is fully reversible with professional teeth whitening provided by your dentist.
No matter how well we brush our teeth, they naturally lose their colour and shine over the years. This is largely a result of superficial staining caused by consumption of foods and drinks – especially things like red wine and coffee. Smoking also causes severe staining.
With the Philips Zoom! whitening system available at our Preston clinic, you could see yourself with a smile that’s up to eight shades lighter in considerably less time than traditional methods. Click here to learn more.
Veneers for instant improvement
If you have a tooth that is discoloured through damage, or have concerns about chips, cracks or gaps, then veneers could be an ideal solution. These thin slices of porcelain are specially made to fit to your tooth and bonded onto the surface to restore your smile in a precise, natural and healthy way. They work rather like a false fingernail, but last for much longer.
In order to get the best possible result, the veneer is colour matched to your natural teeth. As a result, few people other than you and your dentist will ever be able to tell. With a minimum amount of preparation required, it is a simple and highly popular solution for teeth that are otherwise structurally sound.
Bridges for missing teeth
If you have a tooth that is completely missing or damaged beyond repair, dental bridges could be the perfect option. A bridge is usually made from a porcelain and precious metal blend, which is supported by the teeth on either side. Provided the surrounding teeth are healthy and strong, it is suitable in most cases.
It is important to replace missing teeth – not only to improve the appearance of your smile – but to prevent the weakening of the teeth either side, decay and gum disease caused by trapped food particles, or alterations to your bite.
Dental implants for trickier teeth
If for any reason dental bridges are not suitable to replace missing teeth, dental implants still remain an option. They are typically used when more than one tooth is missing, or where the damage to the tooth or jaw means that other methods will be ineffective.
Dental implants are essentially a way of replacing the natural root with a strong and reliable alternative upon which permanent replacement teeth can be mounted. With today’s advanced dentistry techniques, it is a very straightforward procedure with a minimum of discomfort and well worth the end result.
A typical dental implant treatment takes between 4 – 6 months to complete, so you could still have a shiny new smile in time for a late summer holiday if you get started as soon as possible.
To discuss the best cosmetic dentistry options for you with one of our friendly and professional dentists here in our Preston dental practice, call us now on 01772 804430 or click here to contact us online.
With Mother’s Day 2017 this coming Sunday, it’s high time to be thinking about how to celebrate the wonderful things our mothers do. Flowers of course are an absolute must, but many of us would like to give a memorable gift that will last a little bit longer. Here at Sharoe Green Dental Practice, we’ve got the perfect solution that will guarantee smiles all round – why not get in and take advantage of our special offer on teeth whitening, only available this March?
When is Mother’s Day 2017?
Mother’s Day 2017 is celebrated in the United Kingdom on Sunday 26th March. If you haven’t already got it saved in your diary, we recommend you get it noted down now. Already booked? There’s still time to change your plans and make sure it’s all about mum!
Why Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is a great gift for Mother’s Day. As we get older, our teeth naturally fade and lose some of the sparkle they once had. This is most commonly the result of our diet and lifestyle over the years. Normal everyday habits such as drinking tea and coffee, as well as smoking can stain teeth, as can other lifestyle factors. Even simple things like consuming the occasional glass of red wine can have an effect.
The good news is that as long as any discolouration is not caused by physical damage to the teeth, a professional teeth whitening treatment can work wonders in restoring the natural whiteness, leaving mum ready to smile with all her heart for some fantastic family photos. Why not get the camera out and capture some memories to cherish forever?
How does Philips Zoom Teeth Whitening Work?
Here at Sharoe Green Dental Practice, we are proud to use Philips Zoom in-surgery Power Whitening. One of the most popular and effective methods currently available, it has been used by over 10 million patients to date with an impressive satisfaction rate of almost 100%.
Although it is rare for somebody to be unable to have the treatment, we are committed to the health and wellbeing of our patients, so we will always begin with a dental examination just to be sure it is suitable. Your gums will then be protected by a special covering before a special whitening gel is applied to your teeth. The gel contains hydrogen peroxide, which breaks down the molecular structure of the substances causing the staining and discolouration.
To make the process even faster, Philips Zoom teeth whitening uses a unique LED light that not only makes the process happen much more quickly, but also improves results by up to 40%.
Great! How do do I Book Mum a Teeth Whitening Treatment?
It couldn’t be easier to get your mum booked in for a tooth whitening treatment here at Sharoe Green Dental Practice in Preston. Simply call our friendly team on Preston 01772 804430 or use our online contact form available here. If you have any questions, we’ll be more than happy to help. Our special offer is only available this March, so we recommend booking now to avoid disappointment and make sure your family celebrates Mother’s Day with smiles.
Whether for religious or purely personal reasons, Lent for many is both a time of reflection as well as a time of year in which we traditionally abstain from something for a month, often with a view to improving our health in the process. And given our tendency to overindulge on Pancake day, sweet snacks are often top of the list of things to give up. With a little strategic planning, you can use Lent to make some simple changes to your habits that will not just help your health in general, but will also benefit your teeth.
One of the most popular foods to abstain from in Lent is chocolate. When it comes to your teeth, there is absolutely no doubt that the majority of chocolates, given their high sugar content, are better off avoided. If you find yourself getting your sugar hit from chocolate, why not see if you can do a month without? If you can’t quite bring yourself to do it (we feel you), there’s always the option of switching to a low sugar, dark chocolate instead.
It goes without say that sweets are another great choice for your annual period of abstinence. Sticky, sugary sweets tend to leave residue in the harder to reach gaps in your teeth, causing high levels of acid build-up which can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums and lead to no end of problems, especially tooth decay.
Believe it or not, some savoury snacks are just as bad when it comes to oral hygiene as sweet treats. Crisps, for example, tend to cling to those parts of the teeth that cannot be easily reached with your tongue. Whilst the starchy leftovers themselves don’t directly cause decay, they tend to provide an ideal environment in which other acid-creating particles can take hold and therefore increase the risk of acid-related tooth decay notably if consumed on a regular basis.
Of course, it’s not just food that people chose to abstain from. For many, Lent is a great time to have a go at giving up cigarettes. Aside from the well-documented benefits to your overall health and wellbeing that stopping smoking offers, there are also tremendous benefits for your teeth and gums. Not only do the chemicals present in cigarette smoke cause harm and staining to the teeth, the reduction in oxygenated blood in circulation also means that it can take significantly longer for your gums to heal after dental surgery and reduce the effectiveness of some treatments.
A final note
Please do remember that as dentists we can only offer advice from an oral health perspective – before making any adjustments to your diet, whether temporary or permanent, it is recommended that you seek advice from a properly accredited nutritionist or dietician.
For more advice on how you can help to keep your teeth in tip-top condition, why not book an appointment now with one of the expert dentists or hygienists here at Sharoe Green Dental Practice in Preston. We welcome enquiries and bookings by telephone on 01772 804430 as well as via our convenient online contact form available here. New patient? Book a new patient consultation now for just £25, redeemable against treatment.
It may be the middle of January already, but it’s still not to late to make (and keep) a New Year’s resolution. If you’re struggling to find an idea for something to improve in 2017 we have a great suggestion – commit to visiting the dentist regularly! Not convinced? Read on for five good reasons why you should.
1. Stay happy and healthy
If New Year’s resolutions are all about having a better sense of well-being, then the condition of your teeth and gums is of vital importance. Not only can damaged, missing or stained teeth strip you of your confidence, they can be uncomfortable and painful and take the pleasure out of eating and drinking. This in turn can have an impact on your diet.
A thorough check up gives your dentist an opportunity to identify any issues that are a cause for concern before they become a problem, allowing preventative treatment to be carried out to minimise the likelihood of problems developing.
2. It’s good to talk
Here at Sharoe Green Dental Practice in Preston, our experienced dentists pride themselves in being approachable and friendly, as well as being good listeners. After all, we believe this is what makes the difference between a good dentist and a great dentist.
But we can’t talk to you about your dental concerns without a regular visit. Booking a routine appointment with your dentist and hygienist as recommended will only cost a small amount of your time – but could save you a significant amount of stress and worry.
Whatever your concerns, you can feel confident to discuss them with our team, who will be happy to investigate and advise you as necessary.
3. Your life, your lifestyle
Diet, smoking and drinking… these and many other lifestyle factors have an impact on your dental health. You don’t have to give up everything you enjoy – but a dental checkup allows you to discuss aspects such as these with your dentist, who can provide advice on minimising the negative impact your particular lifestyle may have on your oral health and hygiene.
Tailored, personal advice from an experienced dentist will help you to take a proactive role in protecting your dental health, allowing to to feel more confident and enjoy your lifestyle to the fullest.
4. You are unique – and so are your teeth
Like every patient we see, you are unique. This means that every checkup is also unique – a personalised experience specific to your teeth and gums, conducted by an experienced dentist. At Sharoe Green Dental Practice, we believe that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution to healthy teeth and gums.
Only by conducting a thorough, personalised examination with access to the right equipment can a dentist properly advise you on any specific preventative treatments or dental surgery you may require to keep your mouth in tip top shape.
5. Keep clear of cancer
Did you know that a dental check up is about more than just your teeth and gums? As well as all the traditional checks, dentists are also now trained to spot signs of mouth cancer, now recognised as one of the fastest growing cancers in the UK.
Regular dental checkups increase the likelihood of any important symptoms being recognised early on, giving you the best possible chance for successful treatment.
At Sharoe Green Dental Practice, we pride ourselves in offering the very best in dental care for all the family. As well as routine checkups and preventative treatment, we offer a range of cosmetic treatments to suit every situation. Conveniently located on Sharoe Green Lane opposite the Royal Preston Hospital, we have excellent parking facilities on Booths car park, which is free of charge for up to two hours for our patients visiting the practice. Make it your resolution to stay up to date – to book an appointment now call us on 01772 804430 or feel free to use our online contact form and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Why Choose Us?
- 'Platinum Elite' provider of Invisalign
- Membership benefits
- Family Dentist
- Convienent location
Dr Graeme Fisher BDS PGDip MJDF