Keep Smiling Dental Practice

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Is whitening toothpaste harmful for teeth?

Posted by info on December 11, 2014 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (96)

The reason the whitening toothpaste is called "Whitening" is because the paste is more abrasive than the non-whitening toothpastes. Toothpaste brands aren't legally allowed to put any chemical into the toothpaste, such as peroxide to lighten the teeth. The stain that the whitening toothpaste gets rid of is on the surface of the tooth usually caused by the food you eat. Because the whitening toothpaste is abrasive, it can wear down the enamel on your teeth if used daily, causing abrasion and sensitivity.

You may want to ask you Dental Hygienist the next time you go in for a cleaning,(or your dentist if you see him/her first)


You probably will not see a huge difference in the whiteness of your teeth unless you have heavy deposits of stain on your teeth. After you use the toothpaste it will stay white as long as the debre is gone. Things that cause stain on the outside of your teeth: coffee, coke, green tea, tea, smoking, corsodyl mouthmouth. If used enough, some of these stains can be absorbed into your teeth as well. Whitening toothpaste should only really be used once per week.

The only way to actually lighten the shade of the enamel is by chemically beaching the teeth. this is not harmful to the teeth and the results are always predictable. 

Tooth whitening is only legally allowed to be performed by a dental proffessional, please ask your dentist for more details. 

Who can perform tooth whitening?

Posted by info on December 3, 2014 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Teeth whitening is a form of dentistry and should only be performed by a dentist or another regulated dental professional, such as a dental hygienist or dental therapist, on the prescription of a dentist.

Some beauty salons offer teeth whitening, but this is illegal if there's no dental professional present, and it may put your oral health at risk.

You can also buy DIY home teeth whitening kits but these may also carry risks.

Smile-Saving Habits

Posted by info on October 30, 2014 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)


You can't always avoid enamel-eroding foods, so use these tips to minimize acid wear:

Avoid snacking in between meals to minimize acid attacks.

Don't swish or hold acidic beverages in your mouth. Sip them through a straw to reduce the amount of time the acids come into contact with your teeth.

Rinse your mouth with water or chew sugarless gum after meals to help neutralize acid attacks.

If you do consume acidic foods or beverages, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing. This gives softened enamel a chance to reharden,


What is our favourite toothbrush?

Posted by info on August 28, 2014 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush

Why choose Sonicare?

Taking good care of your teeth and mouth is essential, because your oral health can directly affect your overall health. While it doesn't mean you should say goodbye to the dentist's chair forever, an effective daily routine, using a good toothbrush, such as a Sonicare, will help. Sonicare brushes provide up to 100% better plaque removal in hard-to-reach areas versus a manual, thanks to the patented sonic technology. This delivers a gentle and dynamic cleaning action that drives fluid deep between teeth and along the gum-line to help prevent the development of gum disease and improve gum health in just two weeks.

Recommended Sonic Toothbrush Brand by Dental Professionals worldwide

The Philips Sonicare brand is a leader in oral health care, and is backed by more than 140 publications and abstracts representing clinical and laboratory studies conducted at more than 40 universities and research institutes worldwide. Philips electric toothbrushes are proven to promote and improve oral health, from reducing plaque build-up to improving overall gum health. They have also demonstrated the ability to increase patient compliance to oral health and hygiene regimens between dental visits. Over 22 million users worldwide testify to the great experience of using Philips Sonicare toothbrushes. Philips Sonicare is recommended by dental professionals worldwide.


 Dynamic Sonic cleaning action; Sonicare’s unique dynamic cleaning action drives fluid between the teeth, effectively cleaning every surface, even between the teeth and along the gumline, for a difference you can see and feel.

Gum Health; Gum health is the foundation of good oral health, yet most adults suffer from gum disease at some point in their lives. Thankfully, Sonicare electric brushes are clinically proven to improve gum health in just two weeks. It cleans along the gum line, removing plaque while stimulating gums.

Clinically proven safe and gentle; Your Sonicare is safe to use on: braces (brush heads wear out sooner when used on braces), dental restorations (fillings, crowns, veneers) and periodontal pockets.

Unique brush heads; The soft, contoured bristles on the ProResults brush head have been designed for maximum cleaning and whitening performance, allowing direct broader contact with each tooth.

Where to buy? Available in Boots, amazon

Can fizzy drinks ruin my teeth?

Posted by info on July 30, 2014 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Research shows that orange squash, cola and other carbonated drinks can cause both dental erosion and tooth decay.


Tooth erosion involves the loss of hard tissue from the tooth's surface through a chemical reaction with acids - many of which are found in carbonated fruit drinks. If untreated, it can cause sensitivity, enamel fracture and pain.


Tooth decay occurs as a result of high sugar content in our drinks. Some fizzy drinks can contain up to 21 lumps of sugar in just one can. The good news is that sugar-free fizzy drinks (or diet drinks) do not lead to tooth decay. They can, however, still erode your teeth by wearing away the hard tissue or enamel.


Each time you drink anything sugary, your teeth are under 'acid attack' for up to one hour after drinking. This is when sugar from drinks reacts with bacteria in our plaque (the sticky coating on our teeth) and produces harmful acids.


Dentists claim it only takes a week for an extracted tooth in a glass of cola to become a jelly-like mass.


Even more surprising is the news that even sparkling water can also damage our teeth. This is because our teeth are constantly being bathed in a weak acid solution containing carbon dioxide.


Dentists recommend drinking from a straw to help minimise acid attacks because fluid is being drawn to the back of your throat, rather than hitting the front of your teeth directly.


Verdict: Fizzy drinks can cause both tooth decay and erosion. If you want to limit the damage to your teeth, choose sugar-free fizzy drinks (or diet drinks) because they do not cause tooth decay. They can, however, still erode your teeth by wearing away the hard tissue or enamel.

Stress- related teeth grinding 'on the up'

Posted by info on July 21, 2014 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (0)

The number of people suffering from bruxism - which is caused by grinding the teeth over a long-term period - have increased significantly since 2009, the British Dental Association (BDA) has discovered.


During the last five years, dentists have seen a 30 per cent rise in patients reporting bruxism symptoms.


It is thought that the majority of these cases are related to stress, usually from pressure at work, while other contributing factors include money worries and relationship woes.


The BDA estimates that approximately ten per cent of the UK's population regularly grinds their teeth. However, most of these people do it without even realising.


Bruxism sufferers often don't even know they have the condition until a partner points out they are doing it in their sleep or until they begin to experience pain.


Ms Patel said: "When we sleep, any worries or concerns we have - even if only in our subconscious mind - can lead to clenching and nocturnal grinding."


Symptoms of the condition include a shortening of the back teeth due to excessive friction, the wearing away of enamel and an increased risk of chipping due to upper teeth becoming more angled.


Patients can also suffer from pain when they speak, chew, yawn and move their jaws in other ways. Headaches and earache are common in those with bruxism, as well as temporomandibular joint disorder, which affects the point where the skull and lower jaw connect.


Worryingly, continued grinding can change the shape of a person's face forever as it leads to increased use of the masseter muscles at the back of the lower jaw bone. Over time, this can make the face wider than it originally was.


Disrupted sleep due to grinding can have a negative impact on health too, as it can affect a person's general wellbeing.

Plaque/ sugar & tooth decay!

Posted by info on June 25, 2014 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (95)

Plaque is involved in the process of both dental caries and periodontal disease. Plaque is a soft, sticky film that forms on the surfaces of the teeth and it is packed full of bacteria and toxins. The first deposit to form on a clean tooth is the acquired pellicle. This is a film of glycoproteins from saliva which is formed within just a few minutes. This film is an open invitation for bacteria to come and stick to it and within about three hours, there will be considerable colonisation and the bacteria will continue to multiply unless the bacteria-packed film is removed. Plaque is mainly composed of bacteria and the toxins they produce, known as the matrix, and it equates to about 70%. If plaque is not removed from the teeth then it will absorb minerals from the saliva and turn into calculus, otherwise known as tartar.

Calculus is a very hard, stony substance. It is part crystalline and part calcium phosphate and has a high inorganic content (70-90%). Dental caries Dental caries is caused by the action of acids on the tooth surfaces. Bacteria found in plaque, especially streptococcus mutans, metabolise sugars and some other carbohydrates. The bacteria produce acid which attacks the tooth and any existing plaque holds the acid on contact with the tooth. The result of the acid attack is the loss of calcium and phosphate ions from the tooth- this is known as demineralisation.

The calcium and phosphate ions can be returned back to the tooth in order to repair it however this involves starving the plaque of any sugars. This is known as remineralisation. Caries forms and progresses if the demineralisation process occurs more rapidly than remineralisation. Early caries can often be halted and reversed if caught in time. Demineralisation starts beneath the surface of the enamel because enamel is so resistant to caries. At this point, it can be identified as a white spot lesion and the tooth can recover with treatment such as fluoride application, which will remineralise the tooth. If the caries is left to progress then the tooth will not be able to repair itself. The caries will either become arrested (stop progressing) or continue further. Frequency of sugar intake There is a very strong association between the frequency of sugar intake and caries. The most important sugars in the demineralisation process are the non-milk extrinsic (NME) sugars. These are sugars which are added to food and drink during manufacture and also at home. These sugars include sucrose (which we are most familiar with), dextrose, glucose, maltose and fructose. Lactose is also included however it is a sugar found in milk and is less likely to cause caries. The naturally occurring sugars which are found in fruit are known as intrinsic sugars and these are not as easily broken down by bacteria as the NME sugars.

Intrinsic basically means that the sugar is part of the cell wall. Fruit juice however is more harmful because the sugar has been separated from the cell wall and because of this, is easily metabolised. Fruit juice has NME rather than intrinsic sugars. What happens once NME sugar is consumed? On consumption, the plaque produces acid within one to two minutes, initiating demineralisation. This usually lasts for about twenty minutes but can last up to two hours. This is all dependent on the saliva flow and also the buffering ability of the saliva. Stephan’s curve is the name of a graph which depicts the fall in pH in plaque straight after the intake of a 10% glucose solution into the mouth. A similar fall is seen with other concentrations and other NME sugars in food and drinks. When the pH drops below the critical level of Ph (5.5), demineralisation takes place. Remineralisation occurs above this. Stephan’s curve also shows the comparison between somebody who has frequent sugar consumption and somebody who restricts sugar to mealtimes. The graph shows that frequent sugar intake keeps the Ph level below 5.5 for a considerable time.

Restricting sugar to mealtimes is nowhere near as harmful as there are only slight dips below 5.5 and there are longer repair periods in between. Educating patients about sugar frequency and dietary advice is very important and should always be specifically tailored to meeting the health needs of the patient. For example, a young child will need the help of a parent and may be advised to swap their bottle for a cup or dilute fruit juice when drinking at mealtimes. Effective dietary advice needs to be SMART- specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-related. Just like SMART is used in lesson planning, it needs to be used when giving one to one advice. Realistic aims and objectives should be set. For example, to advise a patient who has about 10 sugar intakes a day to totally cut out sugar from their diet is not sensible or realistic, it would be much more achievable to start by limiting sugar intakes to 5 a day. If the patient achieves this goal then they should be praised and encouraged to continue improving their oral health by limiting sugar even further. With help and support from their dental team, friends and family, the patient may well change their attitude and behaviour towards sugar. Acid erosion Acid erosion is caused by frequent or prolonged contact between the teeth and acidic food or drink. Plaque does not need to be present for erosion to take place. Vomiting or acid reflux can also cause erosion. Unfortunately, erosion is very common now with fizzy drinks and juice being as popular as they are. Erosion is normally painless however sensitivity to hot and cold is a side-effect. In order to reduce or prevent erosion, certain measures can be taken such as not washing fizzy drinks around the mouth and using a straw when drinking. Fluoride Fluoride application to tooth enamel increases the tooth’s resistance to caries.