Six Month Smile Treatment Update

Following my second adjustment appointment for the six month smile treatment I thought I would share with a you a close up of my teeth so you can see how quickly 6MS can achieve results.

The first image was taken just before Rhod fitted my 6MS early November.

The second image was taken less than two months later at the end of December.

The overlap of my upper front central teeth has gone already, it is incredible! The lower teeth are also a lot straighter & I now have space where they were crowded before.

There are still lots of precise adjustments to follow, it is a great start. Looking forward to sharing with you all the end result!

If you wish you had straighter teeth & want to find out more, please ask any of our team at Absolute.

Christina, Dental Therapist.

Are fruit juices and smoothies bad for our teeth?

Studies have shown that some smoothies from shops in fact have more sugar in them than a can of coke. So when you’re thinking about grabbing a smoothing on the way to work because its quick and easy, you may want to think again.

There is an ascorbic acid in vitamin C that can cause enamel to erode, making teeth more vulnerable to staining. Also the natural sugars in fruit can lead to tooth decay.

Here are some tips to help you enjoy your smoothies but to keep your teeth as healthy as possible.

Drink your smoothie all in one go and don’t slowly sip on it over several hours.
Try drinking through a straw (paper not plastic) to avoid as much contact with the teeth as possible.
Avoid using citrus fruits to reduce the acid.
Try to drink more green smoothies as these will contain more veg than fruit and will keep the sugar levels down.

Some smoothie recipes to try:

  • Half a cup of coconut milk, one cup of spinach, one banana and one green apple.
  • One cup of plain greek yogurt, one cup of fruit (strawberries, bananas, blueberries), half a cup of milk.

FA Cup 3rd Round – Dental Injury on Live TV!

I don’t generally watch sports, but I heard about a dental injury that occurred during the FA cup third round match West Ham vs Shrewsbury.
Josh Cullen unfortunately got a high boot to the face from the team captain of the opposing team which completely knocked his front tooth out. It was placed in a glass of milk, put on the bench and the 21 year old played on!

If you were to experience a similar injury, we certainly wouldn’t advise carrying on with your game – so here are a few important actions to take in the event of accidently knocking out a tooth.
1 – locate the tooth, do not pick it up the by root, instead pick it up from the crown of the tooth (the bit you can see in the mouth normally)
2- do not run it under water, rinse with milk or lick it clean
3- if you can gently replace the tooth into the socket and hold in place with a finger or gently closing your mouth, then do so
4- if it cannot be put back in, place it in a glass of milk or hold it in your mouth, just beside your cheek
5- call your regular dentist for an emergency visit. If you do not have a regular dentist call 111.

Although mouth guards aren’t usually worn in football, an incident like this makes us think if they should be mandatory for all sports? If you do wear a guard for any sport,  please make sure yours has been custom made by a registered dental lab (rather than the “mould at home” types, which are often not as good).

A custom made mouth guard from at Absolute Dental is only £55 for a clear guard – although than can be made in your team colours too – just ask! It’s a small price to keep a perfect smile.

(It may also interest you to know that our Privilege Membership includes a Dental Emergency Assistance Scheme that offers support and assistance to our patients who require treatment following a trauma such as this. It covers emergency treatment in this situation, and provides additional cover for further treatment. Ask one of the team if you would like further information.)

School children consuming energy drinks

The energy drink market is currently estimated to be worth over £2 billion and research published this month by Fuse (the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health) has highlighted again the impact of energy drinks on our young children, with emphasis on relation to the caffeine and sugar content in these drinks. A typical 500ml energy drink can have 160mg of caffeine (akin to 2 shots of expresso coffee) and up to 15.6g of sugar, equivalent to 20 teaspoons.

The in-depth qualitative research focussed on children aged between 10 – 14 years old who shockingly are being drawn to these energy drinks as they are often cheaper then alternatives such as water, and even fizzy drinks. The children reported that they understood that energy drinks may not be as healthy as the alternative drinks on offer but were unaware exactly of how much sugar, or the impact of caffeine may have on their body. The children reported that they felt that sports drinks marketing was targeting them by holding special offers, advertising during tv adverts and sports sponsorship.

Previous research has shown that energy drinks can cause insomnia, palpitations and headaches in individuals. The researchers in this project feel that whilst the government are trying to tackle sugar consumption with the introduction of the sugar tax, more action is required for energy drinks due to the high levels of sugar and caffeine. This has been supported by the teachers’ union, NASUWT, who is proposing a ban on all energy drinks in schools to minimise the effects of detrimental behaviour in the classroom. A spokesman for NASUWT commented, “The NASUWT has always been clear that drinks with high levels of sugar should not be sold on school premises. It is time to look again at the School Food Standards, and the enforcement of the standards, to make sure that every school in the country is free of highly-caffeinated soft drinks, as well as those that are high in sugar.”

Benefits and Balance when it comes to Fruit in our Diet

An Oral Health Organisation study has revealed that almost 60% are more likely to reach for a piece of fruit than a chocolate bar.

This shows in general that we are more sugar savvy and take this into consideration when choosing our foods.

As a nation we have become more health conscious and more aware of where our food comes from and what it contains.

The government has backed this with more investment in more recent years into campaigns like the traffic light food labelling policy which has made it a lot easier for people to get a better idea of what their foods contain.

Added sugars, seen in foods like confectionary and in fizzy drinks, come with excess calories and are low in vitamins and minerals, and it is the make up of these nutrients that is the difference between feeling full and hungry.

Although fresh fruit is great for our bodies we do need to take caution when it comes to our teeth as it can contribute to acid erosion.

The recommended amount for healthy adults and children is three servings of fresh fruit per day, during meal times.

Remember to clean your teeth before breakfast (especially if fresh fruit is on the menu) and freshen up with a mouthwash afterwards.

5 Obscure Christmas Traditions from Across the Globe

Christmas traditions, every family has them! Whether it be eating christmas dinner in your pajamas, or dressing up, or dressing up the dogs in pajamas, waiting till dusk to open your presents or up well before dawn; it’s not christmas in our house without a ‘lively family debate’ (or argument), traditions do bring us together and make the season feel all the more special. Here’s an assortment of wacky customs from around the world for you to chuckle at (and take comfort in the knowledge that your ‘weird’ family christmas isn’t as weird as you thought!)

#1 Watch for witches

In the freezing darkness of a Norwegian Christmas Eve, Witches and other such malevolent spirits are believed to visit the earth, so Norwegians always make sure to hide their brooms before they head to bed.

#2 With a BANG!

Don your lederhosen and dust off your cannonballs, in the highlands of Bavaria, a rather extravagant tradition of proudly sporting the national costume whilst firing mortars into the air can be observed.

#3 It’s getting ho ho hot in here

On Christmas Eve in Estonia, families traditionally share a sauna session

#4 Cobwebs you’ll want to keep!

Traditional Ukrainian christmas trees are decorated with glittering imitation webs, to emulate the folktale of a poor family who went to bed on christmas eve disheartened at their bare christmas tree, who woke up to discover the spiders had heard their dismay, and spun silky webs all across the tree, which as dawn broke turned into threads of pure gold and silver, thus changing the family’s fortune forever

#5 KFC (Kentucky Fried Christmas?)

In Japan, a lack of Turkey and a (very) successful advertising campaign in the Seventies means that a large majority of Japanese people actually have a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken for christmas dinner. Some families even book a table at the restaurant In fact, KFC Japan recommends pre ordering your christmas bucket weeks in advance!


Our Hot Drink Culture is Ruining Our Teeth!

One in seven British adults are now regularly exceeding their sugar intake – from tea and coffee alone, a recent survey showed.

31% of adults add sugar to each cup of tea or coffee they drink

16% of those add at least one teaspoon

3% add more than three teaspoons of sugar to every cup!

With the average Brit drinking four cups of tea/coffee per day, however, three in 10 adults drink 5 or more cups per day.

When you consider that each teaspoon of sugar contains 4g of sugar, it means that those choosing to add 2 teaspoons of sugar or more to their hot drinks are exceeding recommended sugar intake guidelines in their drinks alone. 

Those adding one teaspoon of sugar to their drinks are still consuming approx. 10,000g or sugar a year – that’s the equivilent of 35 full cups of sugar!

Not only does this effect your general health, it means that with every hot drink, you are bathing your teeth with liquid sugar – and the frequency of doing this will lead to tooth decay.

Anyone looking to reduce sugar from their diet MUST consider their drink consumption too.

Many coffee shop chains also now offer “shots” of flavoured syrups in their hot drinks – on average, a single shot is approx. 19g of sugar (nearly 5 teaspoons worth!).

With these flavoured drinks appealing to many younger people, it is worth stopping and thinking about the amount of sugar we add to their diets too……


Don’t forget Your Toothbrush!

It’s easy for your oral health to slide whilst you are away from home and out of your normal routine.

Here are a few hints and tips to help with your packing….

News flash! Electric toothbrushes are portable! And travel adaptors are available if required.

But if you are stuck for space a manual toothbrush would be perfect, no need for a fussy one, a medium firmness with a small head would be great. And toothbrush cases are available to keep your toothbrush clean on your travels.

For those of us that use interdental aids most of them come with tops and travel cases so there are no excuses there either.

Floss packs into small places and there are travel sized mouthwashes and toothpastes available too.

Some places you may be visiting the water that comes out the bathroom taps may not always be drinking water, if in doubt best to do your daily tooth cleaning routine using bottled water. The same goes for cleaning of any night guards or dentures too.

Another thing to consider is packing your toothbrush and some toothpaste in your carry on luggage especially if you are flying long haul, what better way to freshen up before landing at your destination.

The main thing is to keep up with your routine and a little extra effort can go a long way to keeping your mouth healthy.

Happy travels, and don’t forget to send us a post card.


Talking Teeth! With Harbertonford CofE Primary School students

It’s always beneficial to share the message of good oral health, even moreso to young people. Today was a great day!

Harbertonford Primary School invited me to share these main messages:

1)   brush twice a day

2)   watch out for hidden sugars

In the photo, the students are completing the challenge of matching bags of sugar with different food & drink products.

They were quick to spot some products were tooth friendly snacks which didn’t contain sugar e.g Babybel & houmous.

Using the ‘Change4Life’ app willing sugar detectives found out the answers.

The app shows you the amount of sugar, fat & salt in the product by scanning the barcode with your phone or tablet camera.

Water became more popular after they discovered a bottle of Coca Cola contained a whopping 13 sugar cubes & a small bottle of Tropicana orange juice had 6 sugar cubes.

The recommended daily maximum for a 7-10yr old is 6 sugar cubes!

One group thought dried fruit snacks were healthy because they contained natural fruit sugars. I shared with them that yes, they do contain natural sugars, but they are very sticky and will rot your teeth if eaten between meals. It is much better to eat fresh fruit and vegetables.

Here we are learning why we should brush our teeth with fluoride toothpaste, with an egg & vinegar acid eggsperiment!

As a reward, they were all given colourful tooth brushing charts to take home. The Tooth Fairy prefers to collect shiny white healthy teeth!

If you’d like to be your own sugar detective the ‘change4life’ app can be downloaded for free!

Christina, Dental Therapist.

North and South Dental health Divide Revealed

A new report has been published that reveals a stark difference between the dental health of children in the North of England compared to those in the South.

The report found that those in the South East have generally better dental health and for those in the North, it is generally poorer.

The report, published by The Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation also found that the divide between more deprived areas and less deprived areas is “huge”.

“As a nation, our dental health is improving, but it is shocking that your income or where you live can still determine your dental health, how likely you are to be hospitalised with dental problems and how easily you can access the dental treatment you need.” Says report author Prof. John Appleby, director for research of the Nuffield Trust.

“We know that poor oral health is linked to other health problems like obesity, alcohol consumption and smoking, so it makes sense to involve dentists more in plans to address these problems. But unless more efforts are made to tackle the inequalities we identify and embed prevention of ill health across dentistry, the progress made over the past few decades in improving the nations dental health could stall”.

Key Report Findings:

  • Children in Blackburn and Darwen local authority area were 4 times more likely to have missing, decayed or filled teeth than children in South Gloucestershire in 2015; just 44% of children in Blackburn were free from decay compared with 86% in Gloucestershire.
  • 83% of 5 year olds in the least deprived areas of the country had healthy teeth, compared to 70% in the most deprived areas in 2014/5
  • In Yorkshire, hospitalisation for tooth extractions in under 10’s was 5 times higher than in the east of England in 2015/6 (845 per 100,000 population compared with 160 per 100,000)
  • People from the most deprived backgrounds were twice as likely (14%) to be hospitalised for dental work than those that were better off (7%) in 2015
  • 18% of parents with children on free school meals found it difficult to find an NHS dentist in 2013 compared with 11% of parents whose children were not