Keeping you “in the know”
Obesity is now at epidemic levels in the UK. Every week there is a new headline about the rising health issues related to obesity, and the problem seems to be getting worse. The recent sugar tax has of course been launched, in an attempt to help reduce those problems by encouraging companies to lower sugar levels in drinks, and discouraging consumers with higher product prices.
Here at Abbey Road Dental we are also interested in the new sugar tax because sugar consumption has a direct link to dental health, as well as obesity. Sugar is consumed by bacteria in the mouth that stick to your teeth and then produce acid which attacks the teeth and eventually causes tooth decay. Excessive sugar consumption is really bad for oral health and sugary drinks, which the sugar tax targets, are one of the worst products for exposing the teeth to it.
Unsure how the sugar tax works? Here’s everything you need to know about this health-forward move by the government:
What Is The Sugar Tax?
The sugar tax was announced in the budget last year and works by having companies selling drinks which contain high amounts of sugar either reduce the sugar in their drinks, or pay money to the government. There are two levels of sugar tax depending on how much sugar is in a drink. Over 5 grams is the first level of tax, whereas over 8 grams attracts a higher level of tax.
Where Does The Money Go?
The money paid by companies to the sugar tax will go to The Department Of Education.
When Does The Tax Come In?
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Supporting International Mother Earth Day.
International Mother Earth Day is held on the 22nd of April. But what does that have to do with Abbey Road Dental you might wonder?
Well, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to talk about one aspect of dentistry that doesn’t get talked about much, and that is plastic toothbrush waste.
Abbey Road Dental recommend switching your toothbrush when it gets worn or after about 3 months (whichever comes first). That equals about 4 toothbrushes a year for every single person, which contributes to the billions of toothbrushes worldwide that end up in landfill every year.
Once in landfill, the plastic and nylon the toothbrush is made from will never break down and degrade and will instead sit there for years to come, and worse get into the seas and rivers. You only have to watch the Bali diver making his way through a sea of plastic (which made headlines earlier this year) to realise that we all need to be doing more to reduce the amount of plastic polluting the planet.
What Can You Do To Help?
If you’re not wanting to switch your toothbrush for alternatives just yet, there are lots of things you can do to cut down the amount of plastic you use. Avoiding plastic straws, using reusable water containers, using woven bags for shopping and opting for food that has minimum packing will all help towards reducing your plastic consumption. Greenpeace has some more ways for you to try out too. Alternatively, it could be worth considering alternatives to the plastic toothbrush. There aren’t many yet, but there are some available to try in the UK at the moment.
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Help Your Family Avoid Being Part Of The Child Tooth Decay Crisis
In the recent media, some scary headlines about child tooth decay have come to light, and we wanted to bring them to you. The more we all know, the more we can change to improve our own families oral health for the better.
The headlines we are referring to, are those stating that the amount of child tooth extractions are at an all time high. Statistics show that NHS dental surgeons took over 40,000 teeth out of under 18’s in the UK between 2016 and 2017.
This is over 15% higher than extractions completed on under 18’s between 2012 and 2013.
Obviously, this is a concern for Abbey Road Dental, and for dentists and parents across the board. Extractions in children should be rare, and should only occur under special circumstances. Traumatic injury or overcrowding can cause a need for extraction, along with other issues. However, extraction in children, is wholly preventable overall and shouldn’t be something to expect. There is so much that can be done to avoid children needing their teeth extracted.
The Problem With Tooth Extraction In Children
Naturally, children will lose their baby teeth as they grow, and those teeth are replaced with permanent adult teeth. Sometimes tooth extraction is needed but tooth extraction in children is a last resort for dentists. Removing a tooth too quickly can cause issues with a child’s chewing, speaking and even facial development in some cases. Special care can prevent the tooth loss becoming a problem as the child grows, but it is better in the first instance to avoid extraction altogether.
Preventing Tooth Decay In Children
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Getting the basics right with Abbey Road Dental in St John’s Wood.
Spring brings plenty of lovely things, including warmer weather (hopefully!) and the opportunity to freshen up different parts of your life. The term ‘spring clean’ usually refers to cleaning up your home but it can be applied to all kinds of things if you want it to.
In this blog post, we want to help you ‘spring clean’ your oral health regimen. You spend a lot of time in your home, but you spend all of your time with your smile, so it really matters that it is healthy and happy! Follow these easy tips from Abbey Road Dental to freshen up your smile this spring:
Book Your Dental Checkup
Your dental checkup is important because it checks the health of your teeth, gums and oral tissues. Early discovery and diagnosis of any issue, whether it is tooth decay or oral cancer, is so important to assist successful treatment. Please call Abbey Road Dental on 02076241603 and we will be more than happy to make you an appointment at a time to suit you.
Checking In With Bad Habits
We all have our bad habits, whether they are drinking, chewing nails, smoking or overeating. Checking in with those habits regularly will remind you that there is always opportunity for change. You might not be ready to change them yet, but accepting they don’t have to be forever is a great start. Bad habits like smoking and drinking to excess are particularly bad for your oral health, so if you can work towards cutting back on those, your whole body, including your smile, will benefit hugely.
Check Your Brushing Technique
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Happy Easter From Abbey Road Dental!
Spring has finally sprung, and the lighter nights are well on the way, along with warmer weather, gorgeous spring plants and of course, Easter!
Easter is a wonderful time when the whole family gets to spend time together whilst enjoying lots of delicious food and drink. The problem is that the weekend can tend to revolve around all of the indulgent food, including an awful lot of chocolate! Of course indulgence will happen, but we want to help you make the most of Easter without putting your oral health at risk. Here are our 5 easy ideas for an Easter Weekend with plenty to smile about, without hurting your smile in the process:
1. Consider Limiting The Eggs
Eggs can come in from all members of the family, resulting in enough chocolate to last for months after the big weekend. This isn’t good news for your smiles all year round, so, what about limiting the chocolate eggs? One or two eggs could sit alongside alternative gifts to the same value, like toys, activities or other bits and bobs your children would like. This protects your children’s oral health whilst keeping them ‘involved’ in the festivities.
2. Limit The Time When Chocolate Is Consumed
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Promoting healthier teeth and gums worldwide
Our teeth and gums help us to eat, talk, they hold our face shape and they enable us to smile. So they deserve a day of awareness and celebration!
World Oral Health Day is observed on the 20th of March, and here at Abbey Road Dental, we thought it was a great idea to celebrate with you, our valued patients. It is also a great chance to take a good look at the true oral health basics we all need to be aware of on a day to day basis. These are the very basics of keeping our smiles ship shape, but oh so important.
Brushing your teeth is really important because it helps to remove debris and plaque. If that plaque stays where it is it will start to damage the teeth and gums, so it has to be removed using a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss. You only need to brush twice a day for two minutes, so it is the easiest part of oral care to keep up with day to day. Flossing helps to remove the debris from hard to reach spaces between the teeth to ensure your brushing routine is even more effective. If you need advice on the type of toothbrush to use, brushing, flossing or toothpaste, the team here at Abbey Road Dental can help.
Diet & Habits
Consuming lots of sugar and starchy foods provides a rich diet for nasty bacteria and will eventually lead to tooth decay. A balanced diet with lots of fruit and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates not only benefits your body, it benefits your teeth and gums as well. Avoid highly acidic, sugary or starchy foods along with habits like smoking which is very bad for your oral health. If you need help with quitting smoking, speak to your GP or pharmacist to find out about local services.
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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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