Archive for February, 2015

Tips and Advice For Good Dental Health

20th February, 2015

When Should I See a Dentist 

  • An infant should start seeing a dentist soon after their first teeth erupt
  • A child/adult should then see a dentist regularly – recall intervals will be judged by the dentist

Basic Principles on Brushing

  • Brush twice a day for at least two minutes
  • Brushing before bed time is the most important
  • If using a manual toothbrush, it is advisable to change it every two to three months
  • Electric toothbrushes aid in technique with brushing but are not essential


  • Use a fluoridated toothpaste. Please read labels.
  • Children up to three years: No less than 1000 ppm (parts per million of fluoride found on the back of the toothpaste)
  • Children age 3-6: 1350-1500 ppm
  • Adults: 1450-1500 ppm
  • Advised to spit don’t rinse after brushing


  • Preferably alcohol free
  • Contains fluoride
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Use separately to brushing

Dietary advice to prevent dental decay for children

  • From six months of age infants should be introduced to drinking from a cup
  • Babies over 12 months old should be discouraged from feeding from a bottle
  • Sugar should not be added to weaning foods
  • The frequency and amount of sugary food and drinks should be limited
  • Sugar consumed should be limited to mealtimes
  • Sugars should not be consumed more than four times per day

Dietary advice to prevent dental decay for adults

  • The frequency and amount of sugary food and drinks should be limited
  • Sugar consumed, limited to mealtimes
  • Sugars should not be consumed more than four times per day
  • Sugars (excluding those naturally present in whole fruit) should provide less than 10% of total energy in the diet or less than 60g per person per day which is equivalent to four tablespoons of sugar
  • Note that for young children this will be around 33 g per day which is equivalent to two tablespoons of sugar
  • Most sugars in your diet are contained in processed and manufactured foods and drinks
  • Potentially decay-causing foods and drinks include:
    • sugar and chocolate confectionery
    • cakes and biscuits
    • buns, pastries, fruit pies
    • sponge puddings and other puddings
    • table sugar
    • sugared breakfast cereals
    • jams, preserves, honey
    • ice cream
    • fruit in syrup
    • fresh fruit juices
    • sugared soft drinks
    • sugared, milk-based beverages
    • sugar-containing alcoholic drinks
    • dried fruits
    • syrups and sweet sauces.

It is important to recognise that honey, fresh fruit juice and dried fruit also contain decay-causing sugars.

Dietary advice to reduce risk of oral cancer

To lower your risk of developing oral cancer:

  • reduce alcohol consumption to moderate (recommended) levels
  • maintain good dietary practices
  • increase fruit and vegetable intake to at least five portions per day.

Dietary advice to prevent dental tooth wear (erosion)

  • avoid frequent intake of acidic foods or drinks – keep them to mealtimes
  • laboratory studies have shown that the following types of drinks, foods and medication have erosive potential:
    • drinks containing citric acid – e.g orange
    • grapefruit, lemon, blackcurrant
    • carbonated drinks
    • alcopops and designer drinks
    • cider
    • white wine
    • fruit teas (but not camomile)
    • some sports drinks which contain acid
    • acidic fresh fruit – lemons, oranges, grapefruit – that are consumed with high frequency
    • pickles
    • chewable vitamin C tablets, aspirin, some iron preparations.

Treating An Abscess In Sutton

5th February, 2015

An abscessed tooth is a painful and annoying one, and it can take awhile to clear it up. A Sutton dentist has advised his patients that extra care must be taken to ensure the infection doesn’t return. The problems arise not just when the tooth becomes infected, but afterwards, and especially when the patient is avoiding that particular tooth because it is sensitive. In extreme cases of reoccurring infections, a root canal treatment may be required and this isn’t a pleasant experience. At the first sign of an abscess the dentist will try to save the tooth, antibiotics are prescribed to get the infection down, and pain killers will usually be recommended as well. An infection can take over a week to completely be treated, and in the meantime the dentist can do nothing to the tooth. After that the tooth can be removed if it is in a bad way, but your dentist will try to save it. Taking the tooth out will usually stop further infections, as will a root canal treatment. Root canals Treatments are done where bacteria has managed to infiltrate deep down into the cavity of a tooth, the dentist will remove much of the inner part of the tooth and then clean it out. The hole will then be filled with an anti bacterial paste that hardens to replace the normal enamel of the tooth; this will leave no room for bacteria to accumulate in the future, and will usually cure the problem. Where the tooth is damaged by the abscess the dentist may find no alternate to an extraction, but as long as the jaw line is O.K. then a dental implant may be placed in the gap to replace the tooth, this will then take a few months to infuse with the bone, but the result is a natural feeling tooth and no more abscesses.

Beware Of Acid In Food and Drinks

Acidity is measured using the PH scale. This rates acidity on a scale from pH1, which is extremely acid, to pH14, which is extremely alkali and Neutral is rated as pH7.

Tooth enamel dissolves at an acidity below pH5.5. Dentine, which makes up the inside of the crown plus the root dissolves at pH6. So, if we start with the mouth being neutral and then change it to a pH of 3.5 by drinking an acid drink, the tooth surface can be dissolved because the tooth is bathed in something that’s a hundred times more acidic than needed to dissolve it!

An acidic diet, combined with abrasive whitening toothpaste will strip the enamel leading to a rough hollow in the tooth that will collect stains. The only sensible solution here is to clean away the stain and then fill the area in with white filling material. But the white filling material will eventually pick up stain itself.

Remember the cut off for safety is at 5.5 for enamel and 6 for dentine. And what happens if the tooth surface is eaten away is the teeth become very senstitive!