6 Ways To Make Christmas Healthier (for your teeth, at least!)

Christmas is the time when we notoriously overindulge, binge watch movies until we fall asleep in front of the telly & forget what day of the week it is! Bliss right? It’s a time to enjoy yourself and relax (once the Christmas shopping is done!) after a stressful year, however it’s also important not to forget about your teeth & health during this time of year, so here are 6 ways to make this Christmas healthier.

  1. Don’t ditch the routine

Ever get that ‘what day of the week is it?’ feeling during the Christmas break? It’s very common and because of this, usually our daily routine gets thrown out. However, try to stick to a good oral hygiene routine as especially during this time of year, your teeth take a bit of a hammering with the sweets, chocolates, sugary treats and drinks they go through!

  1. Christmas breakfast

The main event on Christmas Day may be lunch; however having a filling, healthy breakfast will help you to stop reaching for the Quality Street tin at midday.

  1. Swap the mince pie for a handful of nuts

Just as festive, and they won’t harm your teeth. Mince pies are quite high in sugar because of the dried fruit they are made up with, so instead reach for the nutcracker. Nuts are rich in vitamins and minerals, which help protect your teeth from decay.

  1. Drink water at the end of the office Christmas party

December is usually a busy month with lots of Christmas parties. A great tip is to make water your last drink of the night, as not only does it help to wash away the acid & plaque from the drinks, but also lessens the hangover!

  1. Fondue of a Christmas cheese board?!

Good news, cheese is not only rich in calcium, which promotes healthy teeth but also balances out the PH in your mouth after having an acidic drink, like mulled wine.

  1. Don’t deny yourself treats altogether

Denying yourself the good stuff is never a good idea, so if you can’t resist a chocolate coin or a Christmas tipple or two, chew some sugar-free gum or drink a glass of water to boost protection. Also, try not to snack, so your teeth are exposed to sugar and acid fewer times in the day.

How to spot mouth cancer

Beating mouth cancer is so dependent on diagnosing it at an early stage.

If it is caught early, the chances of surviving mouth cancer are nine out of ten – those odds are pretty good, and that’s why early detection is so important.

Sadly, far too many mouth cancers are not spotted early enough.

Mouth Cancer Action Month promotes the message ‘If in doubt, get checked out’. We encourage everybody to be mouthaware and pay more attention to what’s going on inside the mouth. Most importantly, if you notice anything out of the ordinary, it is essential that you tell your dentist or doctor immediately.

Checking for mouth cancer

As mouth cancer can strike in a number of places, including the lips, tongue, gums and cheeks, and given that early detection is so crucial for survival, it’s extremely important that we all know what to look out for.

Three signs and symptoms not to ignore are:

  • Mouth ulcers which do not heal in three weeks.
  • Red and white patches in the mouth.
  • Unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth or head and neck area.

When checking for signs of mouth cancer you should follow the following routine:

Head and neck

Check if both sides look the same and search for any lumps, bumps or swellings that are only on one side of the face. Feel and press along the sides and front of your neck being alert to any tenderness or lumps to the touch.

Lips

Pull down your lower lip and look inside for any sores or changes in colour. Use your thumb and forefinger to feel the lip for any unusual lumps, bumps or changes in texture. Repeat this on the upper lip.

Cheek

Use your finger to pull out your cheek so that they can see inside. Look for red, white or dark patches.

Then place your index finger inside your cheek, with your opposing thumb on the outside gently squeeze and roll the cheek to check for any lumps, tenderness or ulcers, repeat this action on the other cheek.

Roof of the mouth

With your head tilted back and mouth open wide, your dentist will look to see if there are any lumps or if there is any change in colour. They will run their finger on the roof of your mouth to feel for any lumps.

Tongue

Examine your tongue, looking at the surface for any changes in colour or texture.

Stick out your tongue or move it from one side to another, again looking for any swelling, change in colour or ulcers. Finally, take a look at the underside of the tongue by placing the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth.

Floor of the mouth

Look at the floor of the mouth for changes in colour that are different than normal. Press your finger along the floor of your mouth and underside of your tongue to feel for any unusual lumps, swellings or ulcers.

If you find anything unusual in any of these areas, or are unsure of anything, visit your dentist or doctor as soon as possible.

Fear of Visiting The Dentist, and how it really can be overcome!

More than ten million adults in the UK have some level of dental anxiety. Not only does this mean bad news for the health of your teeth and gums but it can also have a significant impact on your quality of life.

Being apprehensive about paying a visit to a dental professional is an incredibly common problem. As many as one in five reportedly suffer from some level of uneasiness, ranging from mild nervousness to medically recognised dental anxiety.

Fear was identified as the biggest barrier by both men and women as a major barrier to dental visits, and interestingly, it was far more common in women (21%) than men (16%).

Odontophobia, more commonly known as dental phobia, is the fear of dentists and dental treatment.
If fear stops you going to the dentist, it can cause you big problems. Avoiding check-ups and treatment gives any issues the chance to get worse – possibly leading to dental emergencies.


Dental anxiety can be relatively easy to overcome, often patients just need the help of a caring dentist.
5 ways to tackle your dental phobia
Here are some practical steps you can take to beat your fears:
1. Talk to your dentist
Dental phobia is common, and it certainly won’t be the first time your dentist has encountered a patient that suffers from it.
2. Confide in a friend or family member
Vocalising your worries can often make them seem less overwhelming. A little support and encouragement can make all the difference.
3. Chat with other sufferers
Reading about other people with similar issues can make you feel less like you’re the only person in the world with a dental phobia. Any, you might learn some useful tips on how to deal with it. Here at Absolute Dental, we have a book of testimonials which include patients who arrived as  nervous patients and left with much more confidence after finding care and understanding here. Ask to read our testimonials. Knowing other people have been in the same boat, can be just the encouragement you need.
4. Practice relaxation exercises
If you start to panic, find a quiet place on your own where you won’t be disturbed. Sit comfortably, and then relax each part of your body starting with your feet, until you reach your head.

Next:
1. Breathe in imagining you’re filling up your lungs from bottom to top
2. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth
3. Count from one to five (or less if you can’t manage five at first) slowly as you breathe in
4. Let your breath escape slowly, again count from one to five
5. Repeat until you feel calm. Breathe rhythmically without pausing or holding your breath

5. Let go of bad memories
Bad experiences of the dentist can be the root of dental fears, especially if you’re over 50. But dental practices are not the clinical, unfriendly place they once were. You’ll still notice the smells and sounds, but much less than before. Equipment is much quieter, and instruments less noticeable. And it’s now possible to treat patients without pain. Come and see us for a complimentary “get to know you” appointment, and over a cup of tea, let us show you how things have changed.

7 Bizarre Facts About Cheese!

When you really stop and think about it, cheese is a downright bizarre food. From the way it’s made to the thousands of varieties out there to the ways it is eaten across the globe, cheese is unlike any other food on earth. But even if no day is complete without some night cheese, we bet that there’s a lot you didn’t know about this ancient and odd food.

It’s Great for Your Teeth

Cheese is high in calcium, which is good for bones and teeth, and some varieties help stimulate saliva production, which eliminates sugar and acids from the mouth, helping to prevent tooth decay. End a meal with a lump of cheese – it could revolutionise your visits to the dentist!

Eating Cheese Before Bed Can Help You Sleep

According to a study by the British Cheese Board, thanks to a high amount of the amino acid tryptophan in cheese, eating a piece or two of cheese before hitting the hay every night can help you fall asleep quicker.

Some Cheeses are Safe for Lactose Intolerant People to Eat

Since lactose is a type of sugar, the less sugar found in a cheese, the less lactose. And the older a cheese is, the less sugar in it. Natural aged cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano should be fine for lactose intolerant people to digest.

The Same Bacterium Is Responsible for Both Smelly Cheese and Smelly Feet

If the smell of stinky cheese reminds you of the smell of feet, it’s no coincidence: Both contain the same bacterium, called Brevibacterium linens.

The World’s Most Expensive Cheese Is Made With Donkey Milk

A Serbian donkey milk called pule is widely regarded as the most expensive cheese on earth, fetching upwards of $600 per pound. Only about 100 donkeys are milked for pule, and the cheese is smoked after it’s made.

Scientists Have Only Recently Discovered What Makes the Holes in Cheese

It’s long been assumed that carbon dioxide released by bacteria is responsible for the holes in Swiss cheese, but a recent study by a Swiss laboratory has found that it’s in fact tiny flecks of hay in the milk that cause them. These microscopic flecks develop into bigger holes as the cheese matures.

Mice Don’t Actually Like Cheese

Cheese-loving mice are an accepted part of life, like cats liking tuna. But in reality, mice prefer grains, fruits, and manmade foods that are high in sugar, and tend to turn up their noses at very smelly foods, like cheese. In fact, a 2006 study found that mice actively avoid cheese and dairy in general.

Rotten Teeth Will Haunt You!

Halloween is around the corner, which for most children means bags of free sweets and a chance to build a stockpile of sweets for the winter. No surprise, Halloween can also present parents with a variety of health and safety challenges.

Here’s how you can help your families teeth survive this tricky (or treat-y) time.

Time It Right
Eat Halloween sweets (and other sugary foods) with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals. This helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth (in response to the sugar) and rinse away food particles.

Stay Away from Sweet Snacks
Snacking can increase your risk of cavities, and it’s double the trouble if you keep grabbing sugary treats from the sweetie bowl! Snacking on sweets throughout the day is not ideal for your dental health or diet.

Choose Sweets Carefully
Avoid hard sweets and other sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time. Aside from how often you snack, the length of time sugary food is in your mouth plays a role in tooth decay. Unless it is a sugar-free product, sweets that stay in the mouth for a long period of time subject teeth to an increased risk for tooth decay.

Avoid Sticky Situations
Sticky sweets cling to your teeth. The stickier sweets, like toffee and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.

Drink More Water
Drinking fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay. If you choose bottled water, look for kinds that are fluoridated.

Maintain a Healthy Diet
Your body is like a complex machine. The foods you choose as fuel and how often you “fill up” affect your general health and that of your teeth and gums.

Stay Away from Sugary Drinks
This includes fizzy drinks, sports drinks and flavored waters. When teeth come in frequent contact with drinks that contain sugar, the risk of tooth decay is increased.

Chew Sugar free Gum 
Chewing sugar free gum for 20 minutes after meals helps reduce tooth decay, because increased saliva flow helps wash out food and neutralize the acid produced by bacteria. You might even want to think about giving sugar free chewing gum out as a treat instead of sweets says at Halloween.

Brush Twice a Day

Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste. Remember, replace your toothbrush every three, or sooner if the bristles are frayed (or if you’ve been poorly in that time). A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth.

Clean Between Your Teeth

Floss your teeth once a day. Decay-causing bacteria get between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.

Visit your dentist!

Regular visits to your dentist can help prevent problems from occurring and catch those that do occur early, when they are easy to “treat”.

 

The first female dentist (UK)

Grab a cuppa and let me introduce you to an inspirational woman, Lilian Lindsay…

 She was born Lilian Murray in Holloway in London in 1871, the daughter of a musician, and the third of eleven children. She was educated at the Camden School for Girls, and won a scholarship to the North London Collegiate School. The founder and headmistress of the school, Frances Buss, informed Lilian that she would be suited to a career teaching deaf children, Lilian disagreed, and informed Miss Buss that she would become a dentist. Due to the argument, Lilian lost the scholarship and left the school in 1889.


Lilian Lindsay on her career choice:
“Miss Buss … sent for me and announced that I was destined to be a teacher of the deaf and dumb. Whether the sudden attack roused my rebellious spirit or I may have had an allergy to teaching I do not know, but I refused to teach. This enraged Miss Buss who stated emphatically “Then I will prevent you from doing anything else”. Like a flash I replied “You cannot prevent me from being a dentist”. She prevented me from having that second scholarship. I knew nothing of dentistry, but having stated boldly that I would be a dentist, there was nothing else to be done.”
Cohen E. Cohen RA. The Autobiography of Dr Lilian Lindsay. Br Dent J 1991 171(10) 325

Lindsay was able to secure a three-year apprenticeship in dentistry through a family friend, but did not feel this was enough and sought to enrol in dental school. She passed preliminary examinations, and in 1892 she applied for entry to the National Dental Hospital in Great Portland Street. The dean, Henry Weiss, refused to admit her because she was a woman; he was so concerned that she would distract the male students that he interviewed her on the pavement outside the school. He also advised her not to apply to the Dental Hospital of London as the Royal College of Surgeons of England did not allow women to sit their examinations at that time. He did suggest that she apply to Edinburgh Dental Hospital and School, and she was accepted there by the dean W. Bowman Macleod. Even then she met with the disapproval of some of the Edinburgh staff;
Sir Henry Littlejohn remarked “I am afraid, madam, you are taking the bread out of some poor fellow’s mouth.”

She met her future husband, Robert Lindsay, a member of the teaching staff, on her first day at the dental school. During her time in Edinburgh she won the Wilson Medal for dental surgery and pathology and the medal for materia medica and therapeutics in 1894. She graduated with LDS (Hons), RCS Ed. in 1895, the first woman to qualify as a dentist in the United Kingdom (others had previously travelled abroad to America amongst other countries to gain a qualification). She subsequently joined the British Dental Association in November 1895, the first woman to become a member. Report of Lilian Murray becoming the first female British Dental Association member as reported at the November 1895 Representative Board meeting.


After qualifying, Lilian returned to North London to work until 1905, a move she had to make to pay off her debts. In 1905 she married Robert Lindsay and moved back to Edinburgh to practise with him at 2 Brandon Street. They continued in practice until 1920, when Robert was appointed the first full-time Dental Secretary of the British Dental Association. They moved to a flat above the BDA headquarters in Russell Square, London, and Lilian became honorary librarian to the BDA. She founded the library with books bequeathed by Gaddes, and contributed her own artefacts to start the museum. She learned French, German, Latin and some Old English and Spanish to help with her historical research.

Robert Lindsay died in November 1930. Following this she became sub-editor of the British Dental Journal (BDJ) in 1931, a post she held for 20 years. She remained on the BDJ editorial committee until her death, and published 57 papers in the BDJ between 1925 and 1959. In 1933 she published her book on the history of dentistry. In the same year she delivered the first C.E. Wallis lecture to the Royal Society of Medicine, and later became President of the Odontological Section (1945) and History of Medicine Society, (1950–2) of the RSM. She was also President of the British Society for the Study of Orthodontics (B.S.S.O.) in 1938.

In 1946, Lindsay became the first female President of the British Dental Association, was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Edinburgh, and was awarded the CBE. She also published her translation of Pierre Fauchard’s Le Chirurgien Dentiste in 1946, the first time the landmark work had been translated into English. She continued to expand the BDA library until her death in 1960, and received a number of awards and honorary degrees during this time.

Quite a remarkable lady I’m sure you‘ll agree.

What our patients really think about Absolute Dental

In order to deliver the very best treatments, customer care, advice and dental environment, we periodically ask our patients to complete anonymous patient feedback surveys.

We ask for honest comments regarding any aspect of our service patients think could be improved; and equally, if there is something we do that impresses our patients, we ask them to let us know, so we can make sure we keep getting it right!

Our latest survey asked patients to respond to a series of questions letting us know how confident they feel about certain aspects of Absolute Dentals care.

Overall, our patients feel 100% confident that we strive to protect their confidentiality; that our team are clinically competent; that the practice is hygienically clean and that their dental concerns are listened to.

Here are the full results:

When asked for additional feedback on what they liked about the practice, our patients said:

  • Efficiency
  • The staff are fabulous
  • Relaxed
  • Friendly
  • Professional
  • Informative
  • Patient oriented
  • Lots of smiles
  • Punctuality
  • Team engage in our lives, who we are and what we do
  • Everything
  • Good quality and easy to make an appointment

When asked what we could do better, 4 patients said “Nothing”.

We welcome your feedback, not just during these surveys. So please, if there is anything we can help you with, at anytime, please let us know!

 

Mouths are amazing things…

Here are some of the most amazing from around the world…The Guinness Book of World Records that is…

The widest mouth measures 17 cm (6.69 in) and belongs to Francisco Domingo Joaquim “Chiquinho” (Angola).

The most teeth in the mouth is 37, achieved by Vijay Kumar V.A (India) (five more than the average adult), as verified in Bangalore, India on 20 September 2014.

For longest tongue we have a few contenders…

Chanel Tapper, a student from California, USA, has the world’s longest tongue, measuring 9.75 cm (3.8 in), from tip to top lip.

…..or a tongue which measures 10.1 cm (3.97 in) from its tip to the middle of the closed top lip belongs to Nick Stoeberl (USA). It was verified in Salinas, California, USA, on 27 November 2012.

The longest tongue on a dog measures 18.58 cm (7.31 in) and belongs to Mochi, a female St. Bernard owned by Carla and Craig Rickert (both USA) and was measured in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA, on 25 August 2016.

The widest tongue (female) measures 7.33 cm (2.89 in) at its widest point and belongs to Emily Schlenker (USA), as measured in Syracuse, New York, USA, on 2 November 2014.

The widest tongue (male) measures 8.57 cm (3.37 in) at its widest point and belongs to Byron Schlenker (USA), as measured in Syracuse, New York, USA, on 2 November 2014.

Emily’s Dad!

 

The largest gape measures 8.8 cm (3.5 in), and was achieved by Bernd Schmidt (Germany) in Wendlinger, Germany, on 17 January 2015.

Think you can beat any of these?

And a bit of bling to finish off…

Guinness World Records has now officially confirmed that the cosmetic dentist Dr. William “Bill” Dorfman has created the world’s Most valuable grill (jewellery), encrusted with diamonds and precious gemstones, it’s no wonder that the intricate grill is worth a hefty $1,000,000 (£758,388).

This dazzling grill may be a bit ostentatious to wear on the daily, but it fits just right in Katy Perry’s extravagant music video for hit single “Dark Horse”, for which it was intended.

Until next time, keep up that Oral Health!

Back to School – 5 Top Tips for Your Smile!

It is September and the busy back- to -school transition is upon us. This is a great time to review  your family’s dental health routine!

Dental disease can lead to difficulty for children in eating, playing and even learning, not to mention hours out of the classroom. To prevent dental worries  regular dental visits and a thorough cleaning routine are essential.

  1. SCHEDULE DENTAL APPOINTMENTS

Dental examination should be an integral part of back-to-school preparations. Prevention is better than cure, and regular check-ups are the best way to avoid unnecessary pain and minimise impact on important study time during the school year. It may be time to have your child assessed for Orthodontic treatment.

Update your family’s medical history with your dentist and inform them of any changes such as allergies or recent hospital admissions.

2.REGULAR TOOTH BRUSHING
In the rush to update school shoes, uniforms and stationery for the new school year, be sure to consider replacing the family’s toothbrushes too. It is important to replace your child’s toothbrush at least every three months, or after an illness.

To keep their mouths healthy, regular brushing with a fluoride toothpaste is key.For younger children just starting school, parents will still need to provide assistance with brushing, whilst at the same time encouraging them to manage their own brushing routine

3.TOOTH FRIENDLY LUNCH BOXES
Some schools have a healthy lunch box policy recommending a balance of grains, milk, cheese, raw vegetables, yoghurt or fruit . Avoid fruit drinks and smoothies . These are high in sugar. A small bottle of water or a small carton of milk is preferable

Replace sugary snacks such as chocolate and granola bars with alternatives like celery sticks, baby carrots and cubes of cheese

 

  1. SPORTS MOUTHGUARD

A properly fitted mouth guard is essential protection for children ahead of the winter sports season.  Your dentist can custom fit your child’s mouthguard to ensure that it is comfortable and stays in place securely. As your child’s teeth develop and change, it is important to check each year that their mouthguard still fits.

5.EMERGENCIES
The new school year is an opportunity to update your emergency contact list, which should include details for your dentist.

It is also worth checking if your school has access to a dentist on call, in case of playground or sports mishaps.

Follow these TOP FIVE Back to School tips to keep you smiling all year.

Ruthie

10 Uses for your Old Toothbrush!

How many toothbrushes do you think you have thrown away during your life? We are advised to change our toothbrush every three months, so in theory by the time somebody is 30 they will have already binned around 120 toothbrushes.

There are estimated to be more than 64 million people in the UK which could mean more than 256 million toothbrushes are discarded every year. That’s a very big pile of plastic but have you ever thought what happens to them? The Oral Health Foundation have taken a look at the potential uses for your toothbrush after it has finished its primary job of cleaning your teeth. What they have found is that we are remarkably creative when it comes to prolonging the usefulness of our little bristled friends.

Encouragingly, the research shows that 80% of us choose to repurpose our toothbrushes, so here are 10 best life hacks for your toothbrush which could save you valuable time and money and your environment.

1. Nail brush magic – Admit it, removing that stubborn dirt from beneath our nails can be difficult and even tedious. Use your old toothbrush to remove it in seconds! One person even said they keep one in their handbag just in case they need to brush up on the go.

2. Wheelie good – A surprising number of people told us they use their old toothbrush to clean the chain on their bicycle. Apparently, it is the perfect size to get into those little places.

3. Back to the bathroom – Some toothbrushes are never destined to leave the bathroom. By far the most popular use of an old toothbrush is to help clean those hard to reach cracks and crannies in the bathroom, and it certainly comes in handy for scrubbing the grout between the tiles.

4. Putting the sparkle back – An old toothbrush is the perfect tool to give your jewellery back their shine and sparkle, giving you back your brilliant bling!

5. Getting fishy – This may not have been one of the most popular but was definitely one of the more unusual uses. A few people told us they use an old toothbrush to clean ornaments in their fish tank, as they need a clean home too!

6. Paws for thought – One from the foundation team here, we think this may just be tickly torture but apparently, a toothbrush is perfect for cleaning a dog’s nails and paws.

7. Model behaviour – For you modelling experts out there, and we’re talking more clay than Kate Moss, an old toothbrush is ideal to create texture on your creations.

8. Exfoliate away – To some of the male members of our office this one surprised us as to how widely known it was. Many people use a toothbrush to exfoliate their lips when they are chapped. How somebody finds out this is an effective beauty tip is a different question!

9. Hair today – One for the home hairdressers, a toothbrush is perfect for picking out your highlights, so if you’re in the salon and see a toothbrush on the counter don’t be alarmed.

10. CRUMBS! Take a close look at your computer keyboard. Did you know that your keyboard has been proven to harbour more harmful bacteria than a toilet seat? A toothbrush is perfect for cleaning out all those little nasties. Going out for lunch might be a good idea too.

It is important to remember to change your toothbrush, or head on your electric toothbrush, every three months to help stop the spread of bacteria and to ensure you are brushing your teeth effectively. Be sure that before the next time you go to throw one away, you think about how else you can put it to use around the house – and let us know if you find any usual use for your old toothbrush!