Most people are aware of the dental perils of sugary soft drinks and fruit juices, but surely sparkling water is perfectly safe for your teeth, right? After all, dentists often recommend water as an alternative to sodas and sports drinks. It might surprise you to learn that it’s not quite so straightforward.
Soft drinks can be bad for your teeth because they tend to be loaded with sugar or non-sugar sweetener alternatives that feeds harmful oral bacteria, resulting in the creation of enamel-attacking acids. As the protective enamel layer is stripped away, it leaves the teeth exposed to infection and decay.
It is not just the sugar in soft drinks that threatens tooth health. It’s all the fizz.
Carbonated beverages get their fizz from carbon dioxide, which is converted to carbonic acid in the mouth. This acid has the potential to cause erosion of dental enamel and increase the risk of tooth decay.
One of the warning signs of enamel erosion in increased tooth sensitivity with exposure to hot or cold foods/drinks. Yellowing of the teeth may also signal enamel erosion as the white, shiny enamel gives way to the darker, yellower dentine underneath.
Keeping Things in Perspective
Now before you start panicking and give up Perrier and Pellegrino forever, it’s important to note that even though sparkling waters can alter the acidic balance in the mouth, it pales in comparison to the sort of acidic damage that occurs with the likes of sodas, fruit juices and other sugary or sweetened beverages. That said, if sparkling water is your drink of choice and you’re sipping it throughout the day, it could accelerate tooth wear. Especially if you like the flavoured sparkling waters, or enjoy a slice of lemon or lime. The addition of any such flavourings or fruit increases the acidity of the beverage.
Generally speaking, unflavoured sparkling water is considered fine for your teeth – in moderation! .A study found that both types of water were more or less the same in their effects on enamel, noting that sparkling water is slightly more acidic. So, all things in moderation – if you don’t overdo it with sparkling water, your teeth should be fine
- Be sure to mix in plenty of fluoridated plain water along with sparkling water to help naturally fight cavities and maintain the healthy pH balance in the mouth.
- Be mindful of the fact that all sparkling waters are not created equal. For example, citrus-flavoured waters increases the acidity levels of the beverage, increasing the risk for enamel erosion.
- Watch out for sparkling water which have sugar in them. Flavoured waters with sugar can be as bad as other sugar-laden drinks, so if you enjoy sparkling water, make sure you’re enjoying the real deal.
The team at the Harrow Dental Centre will be happy help if you have any concerns.
It is not what we eat or drink that effects tooth erosion but how we eat or drink .Tooth erosion — also known as dental erosion or acid erosion — occurs when acids wear away tooth enamel, which is the substance that coats the outer layer of each tooth. Over time, this erosion could give rise to tooth discoloration, sensitivity and in the extreme, even tooth loss. Unsurprisingly, the analysis revealed that acidic foods and drinks posed the greatest risk of tooth erosion.
The risk of moderate or severe tooth erosion is reported to be 11 times higher for adults who drank acidic beverages twice daily, particularly when they were consumed between meals, compared with those who consumed such beverages less frequently. When acidic drinks were consumed with meals, the risk of tooth erosion may be reduced by half.
Interestingly, the researchers found that adding fruit flavourings to beverages — for example, adding lemon to hot water — made them just as acidic as cola.
Your teeth are strong, but they’re not indestructible. Most popular drinks are very high in acid, and this acidity can damage your enamel. Once it is damaged, you’ll need your dentist’s help so that it doesn’t wear away more..
Dangers of Acidic Drinks
Drinks with a low pH level can cause a variety of oral health problems, but it begins when they eat away at the hard, outer layer of your teeth. Enamel erosion is a problem because enamel that becomes destroyed can’t grow back. Unlike other materials in your body, your enamel doesn’t have any living cells, so there’s no way for it to heal itself.
When your tooth enamel erodes, the sensitive, yellow-coloured dentine underneath is exposed. This is why your teeth will start to look discoloured when you don’t take care of them. But the exposed dentine doesn’t just have cosmetic downsides; it can also lead to painful dental conditions like tooth sensitivity. People with sensitive teeth experience pain when they drink or bite into hot, cold, sweet, acidic or spicy foods and drinks, and it can have adverse effects on their diet in the long run.
Common Acidic Drinks
Studies have indicated diet soda is not any more tooth-friendly than regular soda. Although it is sugar-free, it’s still overwhelming to your enamel if you drink it regularly. Even surprisingly small quantities of soda can damage your teeth; as little as one glass per day has been linked to damage. Fruit juices contain healthy vitamins and minerals, you may assume they’re healthy for your teeth as well. Sadly, this isn’t the case.
Orange juice and similar citrus-sourced liquids are packed with Vitamin C, but they’re packed with tooth-damaging acids as a result.
The Oral Health Foundation is a great source of further information, you may find this web site interesting.
For more information and advice contact us via our website www.harrow-dentist.com
Would you let your child cross the road on his or her own ?
Do you allow your child to brush his or her teeth ?
How old do will you your child be when you allow your son or daughter to cross the road on their own ?
One of the main causes of tooth decay in children is poor oral hygiene, more specifically inefficient brushing of teeth. What happens when we let our children do the brushing on their own?
During consultation, parents often say “My child knows how to do it”, “My child does not want me to brush his/her teeth” or “I want my child to be independent.”Many parents allow their children to brush their teeth by themselves. What happens then? The child does a very poor job of cleaning his/her teeth, and ultimately, the end result is dental problems.
Every child is different but in general parents should brush their child’s teeth until they are about 8 to 10 years old . Depending on the child (parental judgement ! ), this about the same age as you might allow them to cross the road on their own.Remember that it is very important that parents continue to supervise their children’s brushing until the age 10 to 12. This is to make sure that they’re doing it thoroughly. Brushing should be done for two minutes minimum twice a day.
Brushing is a skill. Like many skills, it take years to learn it and be good at it. Young children usually do not have the manual dexterity to brush or floss properly. If your child wants to do it by himself, let him/her ! It’s a great way to practice, but ALWAYS make sure that you brush their teeth before or after they have done it for themselves. For older children aged 10 to 12 years, make sure that you supervise them. Be there when your child brushes his/her teeth and make sure that your child is doing it well. Reinforce whenever necessary.
We all remember our first kiss—it was completely exhilarating, probably awkward, and may have involved braces. But kissing is an age-old practice with significance that extends far beyond just romance. The act of kissing has many meanings and takes many forms, from a hello kiss to a kiss goodbye. No matter which type of kiss you prefer, International Kissing Day on July 6 is the perfect time of year to celebrate this simple but powerful gesture.
- It’s a full face workout
A simple pucker kiss only involves two muscles. Who needs the gym when a make-out session will get our hearts racing and our muscles working?
- Kissing makes us happy and relieves stress
Kissing serves as a natural relaxer that makes us feel happy and at peace. By stimulating our brain to release feel-good chemicals, kissing makes us feel both calm and excited at the same time. Had a stressful day? Kiss someone!
- Kissing crosses language and cultural boundaries
Kissing is a cross-cultural form of communication that means the same things in every country—regardless of language, ethnicity, or religion. By kissing, you can communicate complex emotions without having to exchange any words with your kissing partner.
When you are in the personal space of your friend or partner bad breath can be really off putting.
Mouth odour ( bad breath or halitosis) is a social and health concern. Bad breath may be due to the food we eat, poor oral hygiene, gum disease or an underlying medical condition. It’s not always easy to tell if you have bad breath. Other people may notice it first, but could feel uncomfortable telling you. It takes great courage of a friend or partner to tell you that they are worried by your bad breath.
Are you comfortable and confident that you will not embarrass yourself on 6 July.
We are here to help!
If you have any concerns, please read on and contact us for advice.
Bad breath is a common problem that can affect anyone at any age.
About one in four people are thought to have bad breath (halitosis) on a regular basis.
What causes bad breath?
Bad breath can be the result of numerous things, but it’s usually caused by poor oral hygiene. If bacteria builds up in your mouth, it can cause your breath to smell.
Bacteria break down pieces of food in the mouth, releasing unpleasant-smelling gas. Any food trapped in your teeth will be broken down by bacteria, causing bad breath.
Persistent bad breath can sometimes be a sign of gum disease.
Occasionally, bad breath can occur following an infection or illness, or as a result of taking certain types of medication.
Treatment for bad breath (halitosis) will depend on its cause.
Usually, the most effective treatment is improving your dental hygiene. As part of your daily routine, you should:
- Brush your teeth and gums.
- Floss between your teeth.
- Clean your tongue.
Cleaning your teeth
Your dentist will probably recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day using fluoride toothpaste.
Here are some tips on how to brush your teeth and keep your mouth healthy:
- Choose a small or medium-sized toothbrush with soft, multi-tufted synthetic bristles.
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months.
- Brush your teeth for at least two minutes. Keep a toothbrush at work or school so you can brush your teeth after lunch.
- Brush all areas of your teeth, paying particular attention to where your teeth and gums meet.
- Your dentist or oral hygienist may recommend using a special single-tufted brush for specific problem areas of your mouth.
- Use a separate toothbrush or a tongue scraper to lightly brush your tongue. Some toothbrushes have a tongue cleaner on the back of the brush head.
- Use dental floss to clean between your teeth and remove trapped food that could cause tooth decay. Brushing on its own only cleans about 60% of the tooth’s surface.
- Your dentist may recommend that you rinse your mouth daily using an anti-bacterial or anti-odour mouthwash. This shouldn’t replace brushing, but can be included as part of your daily routine.
- To help prevent tooth erosion, avoid brushing your teeth for 30 minutes after drinking an acidic drink, such as fruit juice, or eating acidic fruit, such as oranges.
If you wear dentures, you should take them out at night to give your mouth a chance to rest. Clean your dentures thoroughly before putting them in the next morning. Follow the advice outlined below.
- Don’t use toothpaste to clean your dentures, as it can scratch the surface and cause stains.
- Clean your dentures thoroughly using soap and lukewarm water, denture cream or a denture-cleaning tablet.
- Use a separate toothbrush to clean your dentures.
If you follow this routine, your dentures should stay clean and fresh. It will also help prevent the build-up of plaque, which can cause bad breath.
Fresh breath tips
- Eat a healthy, balanced dietand avoid eating strongly flavoured or spicy food.
- Cut down on sugary food and drink, as it can increase the amount of bacteria in your mouth.
- Reduce your alcohol
- Stop smoking.
- Cut down on coffee.
- Drink plenty of waterto help prevent your mouth becoming dry.
- Chew sugar-free gum after eating, to stimulate the flow of saliva. This will help clean away any remaining food particles.
Make sure you visit your dentist for regular check-ups. Having regular dental care will ensure that any plaque is removed from your teeth, particularly in areas that are difficult to reach.
Your dentist can recommend the best way to clean your teeth and gums, and point out areas you might be missing. They can also identify any signs of gum disease and ensure early treatment.
If your bad breath is caused by a gastrointestinal problem, such as an H. pylori infection or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), you may be referred to a gastroenterologist.
Your recommended treatment will depend on the specific gastrointestinal condition that you have. For example, if you have a stomach ulcer, you may need a combination of two or three different antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). This is known as eradicaton therapy.
Treating and preventing bad breath
Improving oral hygiene is usually enough to cure bad breath and prevent it happening again.
Your dentist can advise you about ways to improve your oral health and will recommend:
- regularly brushing your teeth and gums
- flossing between your teeth
- keeping your tongue clean
Read more about treating and preventing bad breath.
When to see your GP
If you still have bad breath after making changes to your dental hygiene, see your GP. There may be a medical cause that needs investigating.
Don’t try to hide the smell of your breath before visiting your dentist or GP, because it will make it more difficult for them to find out what’s causing the problem.
Do I have bad breath?
It’s not always easy to tell if you have bad breath. Other people may notice it first, but could feel uncomfortable telling you. It takes great courage of a friend or partner to tell you that they are worried by your bad breath.
A simple test to find out whether you have bad breath is to lick the inside of your wrist with the back of your tongue and wait for a few seconds until the saliva dries. If your wrist smells unpleasant, it’s likely your breath does too.
6 April 2018
A sugar tax applies to soft drinks from today.
The first is a tax on the total sugar content of drinks with more than 5g of sugar per 100ml (taxed on point of production or importation at a cost of 18p per litre), and the second, a higher tax (24p per litre) on those drinks with 8g or more sugar per 100ml.
Drinks manufacturers have responded to these measures in one of two ways: by reducing the sugar content of their drinks – in some cases replacing it with sweeteners – or by proposing price increases to account for the levy.
Although sugar is notorious as an enemy of dental health, another food ingredient could also be damaging your teeth: phosphoric acid. Found in carbonated cola drinks, phosphoric acid is thought to be the second most abundant food additive in the food industry. Due to its high acidity level, phosphoric acid may erode enamel and make your teeth more prone to decay. Diet drinks are therefore potentially just as harmful to your teeth( not to mention the artificial sweeteners).
When low-pH foods with phosphoric acid make contact with your teeth, your enamel begins to dissolve and soften, paving the path to decay. Softened tooth enamel can promote plaque formation, which then leads to further enamel erosion. If damage from phosphoric acid becomes severe, erosion may spread under your enamel and into the layer of dentine below, causing sensitivity and toothaches.
You can reduce the impact of phosphoric acid on your teeth by changing the way you consume soda and other foods with this ingredient. Drink through a straw to minimize contact with your teeth, rinsing your mouth out with water after drinking soda, limiting your soda intake to one serving per day, and drinking phosphoric acid-containing beverages only at mealtime. In addition, drinking soda quickly rather than sipping it slowly can reduce the exposure phosphoric acid has with your teeth.
Although you can take measures to protect your teeth from phosphoric acid in beverages, you may want to avoid such drinks for other reasons .Fizzy drinks typically contain additive dye, caffeine and large amounts of sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup, which provides empty calories without any nutrition. Even sugar-free sodas may be mildly addictive if they contain caffeine. In addition, MayoClinic.com notes that sodas may be linked to kidney stones, other forms of kidney disease, high blood pressure, excess weight gain in the midsection and insulin resistance. Choosing beverages without phosphoric acid, such as milk or fruit juice, can help you avoid damage from soda while also obtaining more vitamins and minerals.
Here is a thought –
Will manufacturers of tomato ketchup, breakfast cereal, fruit yogurt , biscuits, chocolates cakes ,processed foods and baby formula milk now consider reducing the sugar content in their products?
Oliver Moody,the Science correspondent for the Times reports that Eliud Kiphoge came within 26 seconds of beating the 2 hour barrier for a marathon. His face was covered by a broad grin to smile away the pain of his effort. Sports Physiologists suggest that a smile will improve performance by at least 2%.
Dr Brick published in the Psychology of Sport and Exercise that a smile produced a relaxed state without constantly trying to relax.
In an episode of the TV sitcom set in the Korean War called M.A.S.H,the hospital team were depressed about the failing peace talks ,the constant loss of life and the protracted war. The commanding officer ordered the doctors to walk around with a smile to raise their morale and of those around them.
People who hide their smile in embarrassment, find socialising a tense,uncomfortable and inhibiting experience. They may even feel depressed as a result. It will take the courage of a good caring friend or relative to point out this behaviour or even more courageous to point out unsightly teeth. All dentists and their teams will be sympathetic to their plight and will be able to create a treatment plan to help.
Do you know someone who does not smile? Think how grateful they will be if you are able to prompt them to seek help rejuvenate their smile and bolster their confidence and general well being.
Computers are changing our world each day. We accept that apart from take off and landing, aeroplane flight is controlled by an autopilot. Driverless cars are today a reality but some way off universal acceptance and use.
Ziegler and Evans wrote in in their 1969 song ‘ In the Year 2525 ‘
In the year 6565
Ain’t gonna need no husband, won’t need no wife
You’ll pick your son, pick your daughter too
From the bottom of a long glass tube’
The world’s first ‘test tube ‘ baby Louise Brown was born just 8 years after the song was written in July 1978 . The computers on board Apollo 11 were 10 years ahead of any commercial computers of the time.
Medicine and dentistry is advancing today at an even more rapid rate on the back of the computer revolution.
The world’s first dental procedure without human intervention was recently (2017 ) carried out by a robot in China. We rely on digital X-rays, photographs, CT scans and 3D models to plan the surgical placement of dental implants .A bone graft created in a laboratory can be placed with the precision only dreamed about a few years ago.
Will robots replace dentists in providing dental care? This will happen when a robot can interact with emotion and empathy and build trust with the person on its care.
Who can predict when a driverless car will take us to a dental robot facility for treatment. Perhaps the future will see a dental robot arrive at our home on board a drone to provide dental care.
Perhaps there will be no need, as according to the song ‘In the year 2525’
In the year 4545
Ain’t gonna need your teeth, won’t need your eyes
You won’t find a thing to chew
Nobody’s gonna look at you
Until then please make dental care part of your daily life.Contact us via our web site www.harrow-dentist.com