Dental Health

Why is Dentistry so Expensive in the UK

Why is dentistry so expensiveWhy is dentistry so expensive?

We often get asked this question by friends as well as patients and so we thought it would be a good idea  to write a blog post which highlights the costs involved in dentistry and why it may sometimes seem expensive.

The first thing that is important to point out is that dentistry is NOT expensive,  it is NEGLECT which it is expensive!

If you manage to look after your teeth from a young age, maintaining your dental health to a higher level you should find (assuming you have no congenital reason for any problems) that your teeth and gums remain healthy your entire life.

The advent of dental health and maintenance plans such as Denplan have made dentistry far more accessible with monthly payments as low as £14 per month (Less than the price of a cup of coffee per day), meaning that dental health checks and hygiene appointments  often cost less  than a mobile phone contract…  Something which many people are happy to pay.

Let’s look at some of the costs involved in dentistry.

1. Advanced training.

Did you know that all dentists must carry out at least 250 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) every five years, with other dental professionals obligated to carry out 150 hours of CPD?

The General Dental Council recommend a variety of topics:

Those topics are:

  • Medical Emergencies
  • Disinfection and Decontamination
  • Radiography and radiation protection
  • Legal and ethical issues
  • Complaints handling
  • Oral Cancer: Early detection
  • Safeguarding children and young people
  • Safeguarding vulnerable adults

Carrying out this continuing professional development  ensures you have the most highly qualified and trained dental team looking after your dental health. If you want to know which causes your dental team have undertaken please ask to see them, many practices may also displayed clearly on the walls in the patient waiting areas.

2. Holistic dentistry

Dentistry of old was simply focused at looking after your teeth, we now know that bacteria which are involved in dental disease such as gingivitis and periodontitis are also involved in other health conditions such as diabetes and problems with your heart.

It also used to be the case that the dentist would look after each individual tooth as a problem arose. If there was decay in the tooth it would be filled or if the tooth needed to be removed it would be extracted. Modern thinking, materials and training now allows a forward thinking dentist to take into account your entire dentition whenever a single tooth is treated.

Teeth should not be treated in isolation and the complete oral system should always be taken into account including teeth, gums, the bite and oral cancer screening.

3. Using the best materials

A quick and easy way to make dentistry cheaper would be to cut back on materials and used cheap imports. In the UK we are required to use CE marked products.  This guarantees their quality and ensures that everything is traceable and trackable in the event of any future problem.

4. Using the best dental laboratory

Dental laboratory

If you are required to undergo any form of restorative treatment such as dental veneers, crowns, dentures or dental implants it is more than likely that the dental laboratory will be involved. It is possible to purchase dental crowns from overseas laboratories for as low as £15, however this means there is little control over the quality of the restoration all the materials used.

More information about the dangers of using a cheap dental laboratory.

High-quality dental laboratories, understandably, charge a higher fee for producing these restorations which are not only look great  but will last for many years. Using quality craftsmen will always come at a higher cost which ultimately will be passed onto the patient.

5. Cross infection and sterilisation control

In the UK dentists are required by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to run strict cross infection control measures. This very often includes a separate cross infection control area  from the main surgery in the dental practice.. Complying with these controls is absolutely the right thing to do  but having these separate areas and  advanced cross infection control equipment  clearly comes with additional cost.

How to Get Cheap Dentistry

The simplest answer to keep dentistry cheap is to look after your teeth. Brushing your teeth twice per day for 2 minutes each time, using an interdental brush or floss daily and mouthwash  in between brushing and after meals is the best way to keep your dental costs down.

If you enrolled on a dental maintenance plan (typically starting at around £14 per month) this will ensure you have regular dental health checkups and deep cleaning with your dentist/hygienist, coupling this with your excellent home oral health care routine will mean your dentistry costs are considerably lower.

Always remember…

Dentistry isn’t expensive, neglect is.

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Solihull Dental Centre and Implant Clinic are a family dental practice situated in the heart of the Midlands helping the local people maintain bright and healthy smiles.

Images courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Sweet Drinks Causing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

“Using sweet drinks to comfort a baby can be extremely damaging to the babies teeth”,

says our Solihull Dentist, Dr Zubair Sacranie.

There are some toddlers as young as 18 months old that are now losing baby teeth due to decay which is caused by consuming too many sugary drinks.

Whenever we consume sugar it feeds the acid excreting bacteria in our mouth is, what parents often forget is that just because a manufacturer puts ‘no added sugar’ on the label of their product it doesn’t mean that the product contains no sugar. Sometimes fruit juices can contain as much sugar as Coca-Cola!

It’s also not the quantity of sugar that’s a problem with babies, it’s the amount of time that the sugar stays in contact with the teeth. One of the biggest reasons for this is that very young children often drink using a bottle, this keeps the sugary liquid in contact with the teeth far longer than would normally be expected, this then leads to painful tooth decay, often on teeth that are not yet fully erupted.

Allowing your baby or toddler to fall asleep also exacerbates this effect as saliva production, which is the natural neutraliser for the acid, slows down when we going to sleep. This means that acid in the drink stays more acidic and isn’t neutralised.

It can be extremely tempting to use sugary drinks to comfort a baby  or toddler but beware,  you may be causing irreparable harm to their teeth. The modern trend of going for organic, no added sugar or natural is causing many parents to mistakenly believe that it is therefore okay to feed babies these sugar containing drinks.

Here are a few tips to help:

  1. Don’t allow your baby or toddler to fall asleep with a bottle  containing milk formula, fruit juices  or any other drink containing sugar.
  2. Substitute sugary drinks for water from the outset, your toddler will then become used to drinking water and not expect the sugary drink.
  3. Introduce your toddler to a sipping by their first birthday to get rid of the bottle teat which keeps the sugar in contact with the teeth for so long.
  4. Give water as the drink at mealtimes. Your toddler will then become used to drinking water rather than expecting or learning to like the taste of the sugary drink.
  5. Your baby oral health routine should start as soon as the first teeth cut through. Use a soft brush and a rice sized amount of child toothpaste in the early stages and then use a pea sized amount child’s toothpaste as their diet becomes more varied and they naturally consume more sugar.
  6. Bring your child to the dentist when they are between 6 and 12 months old, this will get them used to being at the dentist and we can also offer you any advice about looking after your baby’s teeth.

Do everything you can to get into these habits early on, habits are far easier to form than to break so adopting good habits at the start is certainly the easiest parenting option.

If you would like any more advice about looking after your children’s teeth then please request an appointment at our hygienist and we will be happy to help.

 

The Reasons People Want Straighter Teeth, Some of Them Might Surprise You.

We hear many reasons for people wanting straighter teeth here at our dental practice in Solihull, in the outskirts of Birmingham.  There is generally a desire in society to look as good as possible and research has shown that first impressions really do count, especially as a smile is seen as one of the most important aspects in those first impressions.

let’s look at some of the reasons and benefits of having straighter teeth.

 The benefits of straighter teeth

Improved Self-Esteem

553291_471240662887404_2144508923_nResearch by both Sonicare and the  American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry has shown that people tend to notice a great smile first when they meet you. This goes a long way to explaining why a straighter smile improves self-esteem.

Teeth Will Be Easier to Clean.

download (1)It is absolutely vital that you keep your  teeth clean. Each time you eat the bacteria in your mouth needs of of the sugar, as they do this they excrete acid which attacks your teeth.

Over time this acid attack can result in dental decay if not kept under control.

These bacteria have a tendency to hide in between your teeth so using interdental brushes or floss is one of the best ways to clean in these difficult to reach areas. The problem if your teeth crooked is that these areas can often be extremely tricky to get floss or brushes into.

For this reason straighter teeth can be healthier teeth!

Decreased Risk of Injury to Protruding Teeth.

2-div1If your teeth protrude then they are more likely to receive a direct blow in the event of an accident.

If you are unlucky enough to be hit in the face then a straighter smile will distribute the force of the contact across a wide area meaning you are less likely to sustain injury to any specific tooth.

Decreased headache and neck pain.

Source: training.seer.cancer.gov

The muscles of the face, head and neck are all connected. If your back teeth are not quite aligned then your jaw muscles may compensate for this throughout the day. You probably wouldn’t notice as your muscles get used to pulling the jaw into the correct position.

However, over time the muscles can become tired and strained, if they are pulling particularly hard then this can result in head and neck pain.

Straighter teeth can mean that your jaws line up in a more natural position relieving this pressure on the muscles and therefore relieving headache and neck pain.

 Preventing Abnormal Tooth Wear

When you eat your teeth grind from left to right as well as up and down. As your teeth move to each side they will glide over each other in a specific way, in dental terms this is known as a ‘lateral excursion’.

In a situation with straight teeth this lateral excursion (when you move your teeth to either the left or right) happens without any specific tooth getting in the way.  If a tooth gets in the way when you slide from left to right we call this an ‘interference’.

There are a few ways to remove these interferences during a lateral excursion and one of those ways is by moving the teeth into the correct position so that the interference doesn’t happen. This can also result in reduced headache and neck pain as the muscles around your jaws are not having to compensate for these teeth interferences.

 Improved Overall Health

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the bacteria in your teeth which calls periodontal disease have been found to be  involved in other processes around the body. Halitosis, heart disease, diabetes, respiratory problems and even erectile dysfunction have all been linked to periodontal disease.

As we have said before, because straighter teeth are easier to keep clean you will find it easier to keep the bacteria which cause periodontal disease at bay.

A straighter smile not only gives you a healthy smile but could lead to a healthier body also.

We offer a free consultation for any patient wanting to discuss straighter teeth, please contact us today.

TEETH CLEANING, everything you need to know

In this blog post we will be taking a look at everything you need to know about keeping your teeth clean and healthy for life. People in Solihull are often looking for ways to reduce the cost and time of visiting the dentist, one of the best ways to do this is to keep your teeth fit and healthy.

A healthy smile means your dental fees will be smaller, you spend less time at the dentist and can smile with absolute confidence.

How to clean teeth properly

In order to keep your teeth fit and healthy for life you must adopt an efficient and effective system for cleaning your teeth. Here’s what we recommend:

  1. Wait 20 min after eating before brushing your teeth, this gives your enamel time to harden again after that acid attack of eating.
  2. Use a pea sized amount of toothpaste
  3. Hold your brush at an angle
  4. Brush all of your teeth from front to back, the top and the bottom, remember to brush your tongue.
  5. Brush up and down and round and round.
  6. Try to keep the toothpaste in your mouth without rinsing, this leaves the maximum amount of fluoride in contact with your teeth for the longest period of time.
  7. Once a day use an interdental brush or floss to clean in between your teeth, this does not have to be at the same time as you clean your teeth.
  8. Once or twice a day rinse your mouth out with a fluoride mouthwash, typically a good time to do this is just after the meal. Avoid using mouthwash after cleaning your teeth, toothpaste has a higher percentage of fluoride than mouthwash does, if you rinse with mouthwash after cleaning then you actually reduce the amount of fluoride in contact with your teeth.

fluoride in toothpaste versus mouthwash

Cleaning teeth with an electric toothbrush

Whilst it is not 100% necessary to use an electric toothbrush most dentists recommend them. Modern electric toothbrushes offer a few advantages:

  1. an audible timer to ensure that you clean your teeth for the correct length of time
  2. a pressure sensor to ensure you do not press too hard and damage the sensitive gums
  3. an oscillating brush head to get into all of the tiny gaps

The combination of all of these features means that an electric toothbrush tends to be more efficient at cleaning your teeth.

You may also find with a manual toothbrush that you tend to press on some areas of your teeth harder than others. This can often lead to receding gums in this area, an electric toothbrush tends to be easier to clean with the same amount of pressure over your entire row.

How to clean teeth plaque at home

gingivitis

Plaque buildup on your teeth due to something known as biofilm. This biofilm is a sticky thin layer over your teeth. It is made up of bacteria which feed on the sugar in your diet.

Sometimes this biofilm builds up in difficult to reach areas, such as in between your teeth or on the tongue side of your teeth. As the biofilm gets thicker and thicker it turns into plaque, a hard substance which adheres to your teeth.

The plaque means that the acid excreting bacteria are in constant contact with your teeth, as they excrete acid whilst they feed on the sugar in your diet this can attack your teeth causing dental decay.

For this reason it is important to keep plaque to the absolute minimum.

The best way to do this is to follow a good oral hygiene routine, please see our previous section on how to clean teeth properly.

If the plaque build up significantly then you will need to see a dental hygienist who can remove it using an ultrasonic scaling device.

Plaque is extremely difficult to remove at home because it is so hard and stuck your teeth.

How to clean teeth with braces

Image courtesy of Cuteimage at freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Cuteimage at freedigitalphotos.net

If you have dental braces it is just as important to keep your teeth clean as it is without braces. When you have the braces removed you want to be able to show off your brand-new smile!

Plaque can build up very quickly around braces so it really is important that you have a good oral hygiene routine whilst wearing them.

An electric toothbrush will help enormously if you have fixed orthodontics, using interdental brushes will also be important as you will probably not be able to get floss in between your teeth due to the arch wires.

Here are our top tips for cleaning teeth with braces:

  • follow the advice in our previous section on how to clean teeth properly, plus…
  • Use a mirror every time you clean your teeth, this can be really helpful to ensure you have cleaned all the way around your braces
  • ask your orthodontist for some special brushes which allow you to clean in difficult to reach areas, round ended bristle brushes seem to work best.

After brushing your braces should look clean and shiny and you should be able to see the edges of the brackets. Ensure you rinse with a good quality fluoride mouthwash at least once per day.

How to clean teeth stains at home

As with almost all of our advice we recommend avoiding getting teeth stains in the first place by maintaining a good oral health routine. If you find that your teeth stain then this may be because you have plaque which has built up, keeping this plaque to a minimum will help keep your teeth looking bright.

The best way to keep your teeth clean and free from stains at home is to visit the hygienist first, have a professional clean and polish and then follow our steps listed previously. This will allow your teeth to be cleaned to their maximum brightness, all you need to do after is to maintain them at home.

Some advice on cleaning teeth stains at home:

  1. try using a whitening tooth paste
  2. try using a whitening mouthwash

Your gums are very sensitive we therefore do not recommend you try any other stain removal technique at home.

Oral hygienists

A dental/oral hygienist is an important part of the dental team and could help you save lots of money at the dentist. Hygienists are specially trained to be dental health educators, helping you look after your teeth and carrying out deep cleaning which is not possible at home.

Your hygienist will also typically score your dental health on a scale from 0 to 4, this is known as a basic periodontal examination (BPE). Each tooth is rated on this scale which allows you to track your dental health across each visit. The hygienist will use a probe around each tooth to determine pocket depth around each tooth.

Scoring is typically

  • 0 No pockets >3.5 mm, no calculus/overhangs, no bleeding after probing
  • 1 No pockets >3.5 mm, no calculus/overhangs, but bleeding after probing
  • 2 No pockets >3.5 mm, but calculus/overhangs
  • 3 Probing depth 3.5-5.5 mm (indicating pocket of 4-5 mm)
  • 4 Probing depth >5.5 mm (indicating pocket of 6 mm or more) fifth

How much do oral hygienists cost?

Visits to the dentist are normally more expensive than visits to the oral hygienist, at our practice a oral hygiene program appointment costs from £39.

Teeth cleaning appointments

Teeth cleaning/oral hygiene appointments are best made at the same time as you visit your dentist. Typically a patient will visit the hygienist for 30 min and then go on to have a routine dental health check with the dentist for 30 min afterwards.

This makes best use of your time and is the most convenient way to make an appointment to have your teeth cleaned.

Our practice also offers Denplan Essentials, this includes:

  1. Routine care from your dentist including dental check-ups
  2. Dental x-rays
  3. Hygiene treatment.
  4. Discounts on Restorative care.

Denplan Essentials is available from approximately £13 per month, this would include two checkups, x-rays and to hygiene visits per year, this ensures that you have regular access to teeth cleaning appointments with the most affordable payment method.

 

How Does Smoking Affect Your DENTAL Health? #nosmokingday

Most people are fully aware of the health risks of smoking, they are, after all printed on the side of most cigarette packets.

Jin Ling cigarette pack - opened - left sideIn addition to the most widely known conditions such as lung cancer and heart disease, smoking has a large impact on your teeth and gums also.

As ‘National No Smoking Day’ on 9th March approaches we thought that now was a good time to give you more information about the implications of smoking on your teeth and gums and provide some resources for when you give up.

What effect does smoking have on my teeth?

Discolouration

Everyone has a light buildup of biofilm over their teeth, this builds up naturally throughout the day and it is this layer which we attempt to remove each time we clean our teeth. If this biofilm is left in place is too long (typically in between the teeth) it can harden and become dental plaque.

The biofilm and dental plaque are far more susceptible to picking up stain than your natural tooth, the result is that smokers often have badly stained or discoloured teeth.

Smoking and chewing tobacco also stains dentures and restorations.

Tooth wear

According to the Action on Smoking and Health research report published in January 2012 pipe smokers and smokeless tobacco users are prone to excessive wear on their teeth, which often become flat. The eventual exposure of tooth dentine can lead to deep tobacco staining.

What effect does smoking have on my gums?

Your gums are a delicate surrounding the your teeth, they help protect the roots around the teeth where they anchor into the bone. If your gums become inflamed, or start to recede, then the bone around the teeth can also begin to recede. This could ultimately result in tooth loss.

It has been estimated that smokers have between a five and 20 times higher chance of developing periodontal disease, and with that, any treatment of periodontal (gum) disease is compromised in anyone that smokes.

You therefore get a double whammy! You are more likely to contract gum disease if you smoke and if you do it is harder to treat.

What effect does smoking have on my mouth and throat?

Halitosis

Tobacco, however it is consumed whether it be smoked in a pipe, cigar or cigarette or even chewed can cause halitosis. And if you choose to smoke stronger tobacco this effect can be heightened due to the concentration of sulphur which produces the bad breath.

Smokers have a tendency to suck mint sweets to overcome this effect, these in themselves can then lead to dental erosion due to the large quantities of sugar and citric acid contained in them.

Cancer

The link between smoking and cancer is well documented, some smokers believe that if they don’t inhale the smoke fully then they stand less chance of developing cancer. Unfortunately this is not true, you stand as much chance of developing mouth cancer whether you inhale or not.

What effect of smoking have on wound healing?

Through various research studies done smoking has been found to impair healing of wounds (1,2,3).

Smokers have decreased levels of salivary and serum immunoglobulin which affects wound healing in the oral cavity and the mouth’s ability to clear pathogens. They also have decreased blood oxygenation leading to decreased oxygen delivery to the tissues which also impairs healing following oral surgery.

The loss of the blood clot that follows the removal of teeth (referred to as dry sockets or localised osteitis) occurs four times more frequently in smokers than in non-smokers.

There is also evidence which suggests that smoking inhibits healing through the effects of decreased oxygenation in the blood and tissues, and constriction of blood vessels.

So even is you have an minor mouth injury, such as an ulcer or biting your cheek then smoking can have an effect here also.

Solihull Dental Centre & Implant Clinic are supporting people quitting

Smoking_Day_logo_D8OTe5F.width-500

To help you overcome nicotine cravings, we recommend following the “Four Ds”, aimed at reducing the urge to smoke:

  • Delay: Don’t act on the urge to smoke by opening a pack or lighting a cigarette because even after a few minutes this urge will reduce.
  • Deep Breaths: Take three deep, slow breaths in and out.
  • Drink water: Sip it slowly and enjoy the taste.
  • Do something else: Take your mind off smoking by doing some exercise, listen to music or go for a walk.

 

iStop Smoking Today have also produced a helpful video with a 10 step proven plan to quitting smoking.  The plan involves:

  • Step #1: Make a list of reasons.
  • Step #2: Watch your money grow.
  • Step #3: Set a date.
  • Step #4: Make your list of substitutes.
  • Step #5: Have those conversations.
  • Step #6: Reach Out.
  • Step #7: Start new activities.
  • Step #8: Shop.
  • Step #9: Wash and purge.
  • Step #10: Stop Smoking Today!

 #NoSmokingDay – countdown to the day you start to stop.

  1. Jones JK, Triplett RG. The relationship of cigarette smoking to impaired intraoral wound healing: a review of evidence and implications for patient care. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 1992; 50: 237-9.
  2. Silverstein P. Smoking and wound healing. American Journal of Medicine 1992; 93 (1A):22S- 24S.
  3. Rayner R. Effects of cigarette smoking on cutaneous wound healing (pdf). Primary Intention 2006;14(3):100-102,104.

Why is the Sugar Smart App so Good?

Credit: nhs.uk/change4life-beta/campaigns/sugar-smart/

Every day, without realising, we’re ALL having too much added sugar

You’d be surprised at the amount of added sugar lurking in everyday food and drink – and it builds up quickly over the day.

Parents are now being advised to enroll in a totally free application which informs them on the sugar content of drink and food.

The “sugar smart app”, from Public Health England (PHE), functions by checking bar code scans and revealing total sugar content of the food in either cubes or grams.

Authorities hope it can help combat tooth cavities, weight problems and type 2 diabetes and encourage families to select more healthy options with their daily diet.

Tooth Cavities & Dental Disease

Approximately 46,500 children and young people under 19 were admitted to hospital for a primary diagnosis of dental caries in 2013–14 according to The state of children’s oral health in England report by the Faculty of Dental Surgery – that’s more children than were admitted for tonsillitis.

As a nation, if we are going to reduce these hospital admissions for young people and we need to get dental disease under control.

hospitaladmissions

 

Dental caries is caused when the bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar, as they do this they excrete acid which attacks The outer surface of your tooth. This attack continues until the dental care is reaches deep inside your tooth. If the attack isn’t halted by a change in oral healthcare routine, diet and dental treatments then ultimately the tooth will become extremely painful, sensitive and could be lost!

This seems to be what is happening to these young people which causes these hospital admissions. Becoming more educated about cleaning one’s teeth and diet is the route to reducing this hospitalisation.

Type 2 Diabetes

Chris Askew, Diabetes UK Chief Executive, said:

“Diets that are high in sugar are fuelling the rise in obesity, and in turn the dramatic rise in Type 2 diabetes, a serious health condition that can lead to devastating complications such as blindness, amputations and stroke. This is unlike Type 1 diabetes which cannot be prevented and is not caused by being obese. With the average child consuming three times the recommended daily amount of sugar, the need for action has never been more urgent. The new Sugar Smart app will help parents to understand and take control of their children’s sugar intake.

PHE states that young people are eating 3X more sugar than is recommended in their new Change4Life marketing campaign. Their research indicates that normally children aged 4 to 10 years of age are consuming 22kg of added sugar annually. That equates to about 5,500 sugar cubes which is more that the average 5-year old weighs!

It’s all as simple as 3 easy steps:

  1. Get The App

  2. Start Scanning

  3. Reveal The Sugar

Here’s how to use the sugar smart app

The app's instructions Credit: Public Health England

The Sugar Smart app instructions Credit: Public Health England

  • Download the application through the Apple Store or Google Play.
  • Based on how old you are, your everyday sugar allowance will differ. The application informs you on the maximum you should eat.
  • Select the product that has a barcode.
  • Open the application.
  • Permit the application the use of the digital camera on your phone- a box will appear requesting permission.
Credit: Public Health England

Credit: Public Health England

  • Line the barcode track up with the red-colored line and wait for a beep. If it’s doesn’t work, yo may be trying to scan too close up, so move the camera further away.
  • The application will let you know just how much sugar there is in the product – however the application does not have every food item available yet as it is still in it’s development stage.
  • After that you can share the end result together with your connections on Facebook, Twitter & other social media sites.
  • Clicking the menu button gives you more about sugar content in meals, a scanning history and let’s you go to the app’s website.

If you have children we can highly recommend that they download the app and begins scanning food, this can be a fun way to educate your case about the amount of sugar in food.

Do let us know what you think.

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Solihull Dental Centre is a Private dental practice offering free dental health advice via their website, social media streams and regularly updated blog posts.

10 Ways to Give up Sugar #solihullsugarchallenge

Love food

You’ve probably seen in the press recently so many campaigns to help people give up sugar, there are clear health advantages for reducing the amount we consume… And those health advantages include your teeth!

Sugar is responsible for feeding the bacteria in your mouth, which secrete acid as they digests that sugar. This acid is what attacks your teeth and causes dental decay if left unchecked. Reducing the amount of sugar in your diet reduces the amount of acid produced and therefore keeps decay to a minimum.

Of course, we always recommend regular brushing and dental visits, but if you want to give up sugar, here are our top 10 ways we recommend.

Once you have looked at our top tips for reducing the amount of sugar in your diet, why not take our #solihullsugarchallenge, details at the end of this post

1 – Eat regular meals

Eat 3 balanced meals and 2 healthy snacks per day, this will help prevent your blood sugar levels dropping dramatically. The more hungry you feel the more you will stray toward sugary snacks and junk food.

2- Choose whole foods and read the label

Choose natural foods that haven’t been processed. Real food is fresh and can perish. Packaged, branded food is often processed and contains added and/or hidden sugars. Look out for hidden sugars such as sucrose, fruit juice, maltodextrin and honey. Food labels are listed by mass, some manufacturers can use many types of sugars in small amounts to fill out one product.

3 – Don’t start the day with sugar

Breakfasts containing high starch and added sugar will only lead to cravings later in the day as your blood glucose spikes and dives. Eggs, fats and whole grains (whole oats, wheat, brown rice) can help you feel fuller for longer, with slow-release energy.

4 – Fruit, not fruit juice

Fruit juice

The fibre in whole fruit helps us to balance out its sugar content. Smoothies and juices shred or remove the fibre completely which expose us to higher levels of fructose, which raises blood sugar. Stick to water if you’re thirsty.

5 – Spice up your life

Use spices and herbs to add a natural sweetness to foods. Add nutmeg, cinnamon or coriander to your food to kill off cravings.

6 – Keep busy

Filling your day with distractions, even a simple stroll can help you ignore the nagging need for a sugar hit.

7 – Get physical

Exercise improves your insulin sensitivity which helps with blood sugar levels. By increasing muscle mass you increase your body’s ability to use energy from food and reduce fat.

8 – Sleep and distress

Tiredness can tempt us to use sugar for extra energy. Aim to get adequate sleep. Look at the causes of stress or emotional issues that may be pushing you to find comfort in junk food.

 9 – What you don’t have, can’t harm you

Keep sugary snacks and junk food out of the kitchen and office. You then won’t have access to it when temptation hits. Try whole fruits and unsalted nuts and seeds when hunger strikes.

10 – Drink plenty of water

By keeping hydrated and drinking plenty of water you will reduce the likelihood of turning to sugar filled juices or fizzy drinks in order to quench your thirst.

By looking after your teeth with daily cleaning and following a responsible and healthy diet you are far more likely to be able to keep your teeth fresh and healthy life which is, after all what everybody wants!

The Solihull Challenge #solihullsugarchallenge

Can you reduce the amount of sugar you consume? We challenge you to try some of the tips, tricks and advice listed above and then let us know how you’re doing.

Why not tweet us and let us know your top tricks for cutting down your sugar intake, we will be constantly monitoring #solihullsugarchallenge and promise to pass on your top tips to other people. Sharing information together and supporting each other to cut down the amount of sugar, we consume will help us all stay healthier and keep dentally fit.

Solihull Dental and Implant Centre is a Solihull-based dentist with a passion to help the local people smile with confidence with bright and healthy teeth.

Toothbrush Exchange – Is Yours Too Old?

National smile month
All smiles for Solihull & Birmingham

National Smile Month is coming to Solihull and Solihull Dental Centre and Implant Clinic support this by a Free Toothbrush Exchange!

Free Toothbrush Exchange

Taking place from 18 May to 18 June, National Smile Month aims to promote and raise awareness of good oral health, and Solihull Dental Centre and Implant Clinic is getting involved in doing just that.

Staggeringly, one in six of us only change our toothbrush, or toothbrush head, once a year while one in five can’t even remember the last time it was changed.

The toothbrush exchange is an amnesty that we are running throughout National Smile Month and encourage patients to hand in their old brushes and replaces them with a new one free of charge.

How to take part

If you would like a new toothbrush free of charge then simply bring your old one into the practice and we will exchange it for a new one. Nothing could be simpler! We only have 100 toothbrushes to give away, so please call today while stocks last.

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Follow our Social Media Stream for Dental Health Advice

Throughout the month we will also be providing social media updates regularly on how to keep your teeth fresh and healthy. To stay up-to-date with your oral health please connect with us this using the most convenient method below.

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Dr Zubair Sacranie, the principal dentist at Solihull Dental Centre and Implant Clinic says:

“We are committed to offering you the highest level of care and our dental health updates on social media and toothbrush exchange program are a visible sign of this commitment. This helps us to ensure that you can participate in and understand all aspects of your oral health, providing you with quality assured dentistry and a healthy smile”

Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE said:

“I’m delighted that Solihull Dental Centre and Implant Clinic has joined the thousands of organisations in engaging with National Smile Month. It is a great reflection of local community spirit and an excellent way to promote good oral health.

“By making an event as fun and imaginative as possible, we hope it will inspire more people to join in the fun than ever before while delivering the British Dental Health Foundation’s three key messages for good oral health:

  • brush for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  • cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks
  • visit the dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.”

For more information please visit www.smilemonth.org

Facts and Figures