Moderating alcohol intake and the benefit of a healthier mouth.
For the New Year, plenty of us brought in new resolutions for January. Doing more exercise, cutting out sugar, quitting smoking – the whole country united to become healthier. Since January however, the majority of people won’t have kept up with their new healthy habits.
This is natural because, sometimes new habits just don’t stick. But here at Abbey Road Dental, we certainly hope that some of the fresh starts of January have stuck with you, especially one habit; drinking less alcohol.
Drinking a moderate amount of alcohol can be fine if you follow government drinking guidelines. However, alcohol overall isn’t necessarily a healthy addition to a balanced diet. Drinking too much alcohol long-term can have negative effects on your mental and physical health and can also affect your gums, teeth and general oral health too.
If you are slipping back into drinking a bit too much since dry January ended, Abbey Road Dental in St John’s Wood are keen to help you remember why excessive drinking is not a good idea, so you can get back on track with your health goals!
Many alcoholic drinks are quite acidic, primarily due to the mixers which are used and acid contributes towards tooth enamel erosion. Alcohol like whisky or rum, can also contribute towards staining the teeth and when you start drinking alcohol more often, the issues become much more pronounced. You can get more plaque on your teeth and you actually increase your chances of losing your teeth as a result of dental disorders linked to excessive alcohol use.
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It’s time to see your dentist here in St John’s Wood!
Your bite or ‘occlusion’ refers to how your teeth align as they close together. It should really be a simple mechanism that helps you talk and chew food, however lots of people struggle with their bite.
These problems can cause issues with the look of the smile, with talking, eating and health issues like headaches can also occur. A badly aligned bite is certainly nothing to ignore and needs assessing by your dentist so that diagnosis and treatment can start the journey to relief.
A Healthy bite
If your bite is healthy, the jaw bones are similar in size, the teeth are the right size for the jaw they sit on, the teeth sit well together when the top and bottom arches close and the jaw joint relaxes when the teeth are together. The grooves on the teeth fit almost perfectly together when a bite is healthy. If you have a healthy bite the likelihood is you have never thought too deeply about it because everything works as it should.
A Bad Bite
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Could Your Smile Be Affected?
There are now so many coffee shops in the UK, you’re never really far from a cup of your frothy favourite, even when you’re in the countryside.
This is great news if you like a caffeine packed morning pick me up, or if you enjoy a daytime brew with a friend instead of sitting in a pub or bar. Perhaps you’re one of the many who use coffee shops like an office?
The fact is, many of us love the masses of coffee shops cropping up; the problem is, our teeth don’t love them quite as much.
Here at Abbey Road Dental, we wanted to share our advice on how drinking coffee at your local coffee shop could affect your teeth negatively. That way, once armed with the information, and some tips on enjoying coffee shops in a healthier way, you can still take advantage of this amazing new trend, without it affecting your smile.
Coffee Shops & Sugar
Unfortunately, sugar is a really big issue when it comes to the biggest coffee shop chains. Your average brew isn’t just milk and coffee. It is likely to come with shots of sugary syrup, along with whipped cream and a flavoured sweet sauce. These options are heavily advertised so that you’re desperate to try them when you go and visit the coffee shop. The problem is, these options are absolutely laden with sugar. They can be over 500 calories per drink, and some contain more sugar than a can of cola!
So conscientious customers who might not choose to drink a big glass of ‘full fat’ fizzy pop might unknowingly drink a hot drink in a coffee shop without realising that it contains just as much sugar. Drinking these drinks regularly will not be good for your teeth or general health. As far as oral health goes, the sugar feeds nasty bacteria in the mouth which omit acid which attacks the teeth. Not good! But there’s more….
Coffee & Staining
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Closing tooth gaps at Abbey Road Dental in St John’s Wood.
Gappy teeth are quite common, and could be one gap in between the front two teeth, or gaps between several teeth.
Many people embrace their gappy teeth as a unique aspect of their smile, and a smile can absolutely be entirely healthy with gaps in. However, some people aren’t happy with the gaps in their teeth and wish there was something they could do about it. Some people feel so self conscious about their tooth gaps that they cover their mouth when they talk, or avoid smiling completely.
For those people, gaps absolutely do not have to be forever if you don’t want them to be. There are plenty of options for those who want to remove the gaps in between their teeth. Lets take a look:
There are lots of treatments that can close the gaps in between the teeth. Cosmetic bonding is a cost effective option which uses a dental resin and special light to improve the appearance of the teeth. It is not as hard wearing as options like veneers which can also correct gaps in the teeth. Larger gaps can be corrected using dental implants or bridgework. Combination treatments may be suggested by our team if your desired result would be achieved using different methods.
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Top Tips From Abbey Road Dental in St John’s Wood.
Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love, whether that is the love of your partner, your pets, your family or your friends. It could even be a day you celebrate the love you have for those in need, which you express through volunteer work on the big day.
Whatever Valentines day means to you, prepping your lips and teeth is important because a beautiful smile means a lot to whoever is on the receiving end. Here are some top tips from Abbey Road Dental in St John’s Wood for lovely lips and teeth this Valentines Day:
Keep floss with you wherever you are for your date. It’s never a good luck to have a big piece of food stuck in your teeth whilst you’re trying to impress someone. Food lodged between your teeth also starts to rot and cause bad breath, so even if they haven’t seen it, they might detect it when you start talking!
Avoid Cold Sores
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Sensitivity and Pain – What to Do?
Weather reports keep letting us know that the weather is set to give us many more freezing temperatures before spring sets in – and this could be causing you problems if you suffer from sensitive teeth!
As the weather becomes colder, those with sensitive teeth could struggle with more tooth pain than usual.
A blast of freezing air on exposed teeth can cause the same amount of pain as an iced drink or hot food. Ouch!
Why Are The Freezing Temperatures Causing Tooth Pain?
When you are outside you are breathing in through your mouth and the freezing air impacts on your teeth which contract very slightly. Once back in warmer temperatures again, they then expand back to normal. Sudden temperature changes cause this process to happen quickly which is stressful for the tooth materials and can cause tiny little cracks which lead to sensitivity. The nasty pains you feel in your teeth with hot and cold temperatures are commonly caused by the sensitive nerves of the tooth being exposed through these tiny cracks.
However, the pain can also be caused by other reasons including:
- Teeth that have majority amalgam fillings
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay
- Particularly porous teeth
- Issues with bite
- Gum disease gum recession
- Tooth cracks
- Crown or bridge issues
- Issues with fillings
- Sinus issues
Preventing Tooth Sensitivity
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A good idea or best avoided?
Dental trends come and go just like trends come and go in fashion and music. The ill-advised tooth gems for example, were a huge trend in the 90’s, but luckily the two trends we are talking about today aren’t quite as harmful,
The two trends we are talking about today are oil pulling and charcoal toothpaste. Both are becoming popular and enough patients have mentioned them to us for us to take notice and start looking into them.
The funny thing is, both of these processes of cleaning the teeth have been around for thousands of years. Both processes appear in ancient times as very basic forms of teeth cleaning, so they aren’t new trends but rather, re-purposed methods.
Let’s take a closer look at both oil pulling and charcoal toothpaste to see if they are a good idea or not:
Activated charcoal is appearing in face masks, supplements and now in toothpaste. The product is carbon which has been treated and then in a toothpaste form it is combined with other ingredients to make a tooth cleaning product. It is thought to work by the carbon being porous and sucking up bacteria, dirt and debris from the mouth. It is also said to whiten teeth, clean teeth and freshen breath.
Here at Abbey Road Dental we can’t say that it works, and it certainly isn’t a replacement for regular tooth brushing, or regular visits to our NW8 clinic in St John’s Wood. It also isn’t as effective at tooth whitening as a professional bleaching treatment. However, some people have found it useful for freshening breath and removing surface stains from the teeth, and tested, approved products might work just as well as a standard toothpaste. Unsure? Please speak to your dentist at Abbey Road Dental before using a charcoal toothpaste, for further advice.
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It isn’t legal and could cause you real problems.
Within the last decade there has been a huge increase in the availability of cosmetic dentistry for the general public. Celebrities have spoken about the treatments they used to get the ‘perfect smile’ and treatments became more affordable and available to meet demand.
The problem is, as well as qualified dentists offering these treatments, spas and beauty salons have been offering them as well, particularly teeth whitening. Often treatments like these are offered at cut price in salons and beauty clinics, but are they safe or legal?
Beauty salons often offer these treatments as a way to create an entire beauty makeover, along with tanning, nails and hair services. According to the GDC (General Dental Council) though, teeth whitening by anybody who is not registered with them as an authorised dental professional, is actually illegal!
Just 5 years ago, new product laws came in to being to ensure any whitening product containing anything between 0.1% and 6% hydrogen peroxide would not be on offer to the general public. Instead, products like these are only legal for use by a dentist i.e. a GDC professional. Anybody breaching these rules is directly breaking the law.
Teeth Whitening In Spas & Salons
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Speedy Cosmetic Dentistry in St John’s Wood.
Here at Abbey Road Dental we understand that not everybody wants to wait a long time to get the ‘perfect’ smile. Sometimes an important occasion is coming up quickly and fast smile adjustments would be really welcome.
Our experienced dentists understand the need for speed and quality, which is why we have a range of speedy, ‘mini makeover’ cosmetic dentistry treatments for you to take advantage of. You don’t need to wait!
Quick Transformations For Your Convenience
You can view our full selection of cosmetic dentistry on our treatments overview page – we have a wide range available, including rapid transformative options.
Our speedy makeovers include (but are not limited to):
Often, we can complete cosmetic bonding in one session. The treatment is designed to deal with very minor issues and flaws whereby chipped teeth, areas that are worn down or gappy and other minor problems can be worked on to effectively improve the look of the smile. The treatment uses a dental composite to achieve the results and is usually painless.
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Get your New Year off to the best start!
Here at Abbey Road Dental we love supporting healthy changes that help towards your physical and mental health. The New Year is a great time to make those healthy changes, to build on excellent new habits that will carry you well through the year.
The only problem is, which healthy habits to choose? It is common knowledge trying to change everything at once is a bad idea because it is too overwhelming. Ideally, you could pick one or two things to change and stick to building those habits long term. One long term change could make a huge difference to your life compared to making lots of changes that aren’t sustainable.
To help with your New Year healthy habits, your favourite St John’s Wood dentist has 3 ideas for you to consider doing more of in 2018:
1. Eat More Plants
We don’t know much about veganism, but we do know that most people can benefit from eating more plants. The Veganuary idea seems like a lot of fun, but if you can’t go fully plant based for the month why not try just eating more plants in general? They benefit your whole body, including your dental health. Veggies like celery and kale, need chewing and help to clean your teeth, whereas fruits like apple and strawberries naturally whiten the teeth. According to Cancer Research UK:
“A diet high in fruit and vegetables may protect against head and neck cancer – insufficient fruit and vegetables intake is linked to an estimated 56% of oral cancer cases, and an estimated 45% of laryngeal cancer cases in the UK.”. So fruit and veggies can also help keep you protected too. Check out the BBC Good Food guide on implementing more fruit and veg into your diet.
2. Get Outdoors More
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