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Cutting out booze in January will benefit your mouth as well as your pocket!

If you're cutting back on alcohol for the New Year, or even taking part in Dry January, you'll probably be looking forward to feeling healthier in yourself and having a few more pennies in your pocket! But did you know that your oral health will thank you too?

Cutting back on booze will give you a more sparkling smile, give you a fresher feeling in your mouth, lower your risk of tooth decay and gum disease, and lower your risk of mouth cancer. Dr Henry Clover, Chief Dental Health Officer at Simplyhealth, explains why:

Enjoy a more sparkling smile this January

•There are many ways in which alcohol consumption can affect the colour of your teeth. If red wine is your usual tipple, you’ll be familiar with the magenta tinge that sneakily stains your teeth after a couple of glasses. For the self-conscious, this is not a desirable look, and can be pretty hard to avoid according to Henry Clover, Chief Dental Officer at Simplyhealth: “Tooth enamel isn’t perfectly smooth, and it’s common over time for micro fractures to appear, into which pigments from dark-coloured alcohol - such as red wine – can settle into. Staining is very common and the only way to reduce the effect is to limit your intake of red wine, drink plenty of water, and keep up a good brushing and flossing routine. Many types of alcohol, including prosecco and other wines, are also acidic which can erode the tooth enamel, revealing the darker dentine layer underneath if drunk frequently. Adjusting your alcohol habits, alongside a good oral health routine, can help to keep your smile sparkling.”  

Enjoy a fresher-feeling mouth

     .Have you ever woken up after a big night out and felt as though your mouth has been replaced by an arid desert? Alcohol has a diuretic effect on your body, meaning that you can quickly lose water and become dehydrated, according to Henry. “Saliva production is reduced when we’re dehydrated, resulting in an uncomfortable dry mouth, thirst, and bad breath to name just a few effects. Reduced saliva also means you’re at an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. By cutting back on alcohol, you’ll notice a difference in how fresh your mouth feels.”

Lower your risk of tooth decay and gum disease


“Alongside the aforementioned issues with reduced saliva flow and tooth decay, many alcoholic drinks are sugary and acidic, which can increase your chances of developing cavities and enamel erosion,” says Henry. “Your snacking habits often change after drinking alcohol, meaning you’re much more likely to nibble on unhealthy snacks under the influence, which is another major cause of tooth decay. Studies have also shown that excessive alcohol consumption can aggravate existing gum disease, and can also make you less likely to keep on top of your oral hygiene, such as regular brushing and flossing. Reducing your alcohol consumption can make a real difference to your oral health.”

Lower your risk of mouth cancer

According to Henry, people who regularly drink alcohol to excess are at an increased risk of mouth cancer and adjusting your habits will reap the benefits. “Cutting back on alcohol in January alone might not seem to make much of a difference to your mouth cancer risk in the short-term, but studies have shown that taking part in Dry January makes you more likely to adjust your drinking habits going forward, which will help to reduce your risk of developing the disease in the long-term,” he says. 

According to a recent survey conducted by the Oral Health Foundation and Simplyhealth , awareness of the links between alcohol and mouth cancer are low amongst UK adults. The survey discovered that just under half of UK adults (45%) don’t realise alcohol is linked to an increased risk of mouth cancer and, worryingly, only a third (30%) said they would reduce their alcohol consumption knowing that it put them at an increased risk of mouth cancer. “With cases of mouth cancer rising by a third in the last decade, it’s very important that people are aware of the risks that increase their chances of developing the disease,” says Henry. “By adopting a healthier attitude towards alcohol consumption in the long-term, your mouth will thank you.”

So, with so many oral health and overall health benefits of taking part Dry January, raise your cup of tea and drink to good health this 2018.

To find out more about taking part in Dry January or how you can make positive changes to your alcohol habits, visit the Alcohol Concern website. 

 

How to have fresh breath on National Kissing Day

Today (July 6th) is National Kissing Day which is now celebrating its 22nd year after being launched by Denplan in 1995

However, those hoping for a romantic encounter today may need to check their breath if they want to have any chance of a kiss.

Clearly your chances of love could be at risk if you go in for a kiss if your date takes a dislike to your breath. So what can be done?

Here are some tips:

1. Make sure your oral hygiene is good. First and foremost your current oral health has a huge impact on the freshness of your mouth. Bacteria can build up in the mouth and release unpleasant gases, so make sure you’re removing plaque- the white sticky deposit that collects on your teeth- by brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day. You also need to clean between your teeth every day to remove plaque and food particles as these will start to smell as food breaks down. Visit your dentist and hygienist regularly and follow their instructions for cleaning your teeth and gums. Gum disease and other infections in the mouth can cause very bad breath, so regular dental visits are vital to keep on top of things.

2.Food and drink

Avoiding strong-smelling food will help to keep your breath fresh. These include onions, garlic, and spices, and drinks such as coffee and alcohol. It’s also worth noting that crash-diets, not eating enough, and low carbohydrate diets can cause bad breath because your body starts to break down body fat to feed itself, which produces chemicals called ketones that can be smelt on your breath.

3.Smoking

Smoking stays on your breath a long time as well as your hair and clothes. It also increases your risk of gum disease, which is another potential cause of bad breath.

4. Staying fresh on your date

Feeling a bit nervous before an important date? Staying hydrated is important for fresh breath, as a dry mouth and lack of saliva, which can sometimes be caused by nerves, can cause bad breath. Drink plenty of water. Sugar-free chewing gum and mints will increase your saliva flow and give you extra confidence before and during your date.

This advice was issued by Denplan to mark National Kissing Day’s 20th anniversary.

Why not visit the hygienists page of our website to see our two videos demonstrating how to clean and floss your teeth correctly.

 

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Help your child stop thumb sucking!

Are you looking for an effective way to stop your child thumb sucking?

This very common habit can be a difficult one to break and can lead to youngsters needing complex orthodontic treatment if not stopped in time.

Moreton Dental Care dentist Dr Lucy Benbow has found a solution- the Thumbsie”.

The Thumbsie is a thumb sucking glove that your child can wear in bed at night or at any other time when thumb sucking is an issue, such as when they are tired, travelling in the car or watching TV.

The glove comes in a range of brightly-coloured fabrics that youngsters would be delighted to choose from.

Dr Benbow says her daughter, aged seven, has worn the glove at night for three months now but right from the start it stopped her sucking her thumb while she was asleep.

“It’s a fantastically simple idea and has really worked for us, said Dr Benbow, a mother of two.

The British Orthodontic Association says thumb sucking can permanently affect the position of the adult teeth, and that beyond the age of seven when the adult teeth start to appear, self correction is less likely to occur.

If a a thumb sucking habit is not stopped in time, it can cause a vertical gap to develop between the front teeth which can make biting certain foods difficult, upper front teeth may protrude and the upper jaw may narrow, causing the back teeth not to meet in the correct position.

The association says thumb sucking is very common in youngsters and can start as early as three months.  One in eight children are still sucking their thumbs or fingers between the ages of 7 and 11.

For more information visit the thumbs website www.thumbsie.co.uk. The company sells thumb guards and finger guards.

 

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A resolution you can keep

Some simple oral health resolutions you can stick to.

Each year many of us set resolutions with the best intention of sticking to them; yet come February we’ve already started to veer off-track, and by March our endeavours are completely forgotten. 

That’s why this year we’ve put together some simple oral health resolutions you can stick to, that will not only help to keep your teeth and gums healthy, but may also boost your confidence and improve your general well being. 

For a New Year’s resolution to be proud of, take your pick from the list below:  

  • I will remember to clean between my teeth every day 

Whether you choose floss or an inter-dental brush, cleaning between your teeth can be easy, and helps to remove bacteria that can cause tooth decay. 

  • I will spit after brushing and not rinse with water 

Rinsing your mouth with water after brushing removes the fluoride coating left by toothpaste, which if left can protect your teeth for hours after you brush. 

  • I will only eat sugary snacks at meal times 

If you’re going to eat something sugary, do so after a main meal to reduce the amount of time damaging acids remain in your mouth throughout the day. 

  • I will swap fizzy drinks with water 

Acids found in fizzy drinks can soften your tooth enamel, which, once lost will not regenerate. Replace them with water which helps to remove particles of food left in your mouth and keeps your hydrated. 

  • I will make regular visits to see my dental team 

If you can’t remember the last time you saw your dental team, chances are it’s time to visit them again! Regular visits will help to stop problems before they start, and give you the best chance of avoiding costly, invasive dental treatment in the future.

 

Taken from Denplan's MyTeeth blog

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Twenty years at Moreton Dental Care for Dr Tam Haque

Congratulations are pouring in for our delightful dentist Dr Tam Haque as he celebrates his 20th anniversary at Moreton Dental Care.

And he was overwhelmed when staff threw a surprise party for him at the practice to mark the occasion.

“Unbelievable! “ said Tam who joined Moreton Dental Care as a vocational trainee in 1996 after qualifying as a dentist at Sheffield University.

Tam is much loved and respected by his dental colleagues, dental nurses and patients alike, as the many comments on Facebook attest.

One dentist wrote: “What a fabulous achievement and a wonderful surprise. Clearly you are part of an amazing team that think a lot of you.”

A dental nurse added: “Congratulations to one of the most lovely dentists I’ve nursed for in 17 years.”

Many patients and friends also added their hearty congratulations.

Principal dentist Dr Paul Sherrard described Tam as an “incredible man, fabulous dentist and much loved by the whole team.”

Tam gave his sincere thanks to Paul and all the staff for the party and his anniversary presents. “Thanks to Paul Sherrard and everyone for the amazing surprise 20th anniversary party, and for the incredible gifts!” he said.

Tam was joined at the party by his wife Huma and their two children.

Huma said: “Thank you Paul and Anne for all the love , support and being there for us for the past two decades.

Tam was brought up in Liverpool and attended the city's Bluecoat School before winning a place at Sheffield University. While working at Moreton Dental Care he has continued his studies, gaining further qualifications in endodontics and orthodontics. He has also gained the MJDF and the MFGPD- both post-graduate dental qualifications awarded by the Royal College of Surgeons.

 

 

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