The British Dental Health Foundation has recently spoken out in support of proposed measures from the Royal Society of Public Health to change the way in which tobacco is sold and to extend smoking exclusion zones.

Everyone knows now that smoking is bad for you, but the effect that tobacco can have on your oral health is often overlooked. We have seen countless patients at our Bristol dental practice who have had to undergo extensive cosmetic or restorative dental work as a direct result of smoking.

Teeth staining

One of the most common treatments undergone by smokers at our Bristol dentist clinic – or, more commonly, ex-smokers, as continuing to smoke will render the treatment ineffective in the long run – is teeth whitening. Over time, nicotine will stain your teeth yellow, meaning everyone can see you are a smoker. Teeth whitening is a great way to deal with this, but stopping smoking is the best way to prevent the problem from recurring.

Gum health

It is not just your teeth that are involved in good oral health, however, and gum disease is one of the major effects that smoking can have on your mouth. People who smoke are more likely to produce a bacterial plaque that leads to gum disease, and smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, meaning the gums don’t heal as easily.

Mouth cancer

By now we are all aware that smoking causes lung cancer, and most people know it causes throat cancer too. But did you know that smoking is also one of the major causes of mouth cancer? The early signs of mouth cancer can be detected by a dentist – watch out particularly for mouth ulcers that don’t heal – so if you are concerned, book an appointment at our Bristol dentist clinic today.

Stopping smoking is one of the best things you can do for your oral health. The new recommendations include the sale of nicotine replacement products and e-cigarettes everywhere that tobacco is sold, so if you are a smoker, why not consider opting for an alternative next time you pop to the shops to stock up?

There’s been a lot of talk about children’s dental health in the media lately, since it was revealed that there was an 11% rise in the number of children admitted to hospital in 2013-14. However, it isn’t all bad news and a lot of the children we see here at our Bristol dental practice have very healthy teeth.

So, here are some facts to give you hope, as well as some that will help you to keep your kid’s dental health in check:

1. The earlier the better when it comes to visiting the dentist

Children should be taken to the dentist as soon as their first baby teeth appear, to get them used to the experience, and to help you as a parent find out the right things to do to keep your child’s teeth healthy. The earlier they have their first dentist visit, the more relaxed they are likely to be about it in future.

2. The number of children with plaque has decreased by 10% in ten years

This is great news and means that the majority of parents are paying serious attention to their children’s oral health. A good teeth-cleaning regime twice a day and regular visits to the dentist can do wonders – at this rate, plaque in children will be totally eradicated by 2079!

3. Many ‘healthy’ drinks contain more sugar than you think

OK, this isn’t quite such a positive one, but it’s good to keep on your toes when it comes to children’s sugar intake, and if you pay attention to the sugar content of their drinks it could keep you away from our Bristol dentist practice for all but the most routine of appointments! Some apparently ‘healthy’ fruit juices have been found to contain more sugar than the equivalent amount of Sprite, so it might be worth sticking to milk or water as much as possible.

4. Good dental health doesn’t cost the earth…

With a tube of toothpaste costing around a pound and lasting several weeks, and toothbrushes available at a price of £1.50 or less, even those families on a low income can afford to keep their children’s teeth healthy. And a little expenditure now can help to avoid costly dental work in future.

5. English children have the healthiest teeth in Britain

This is a cheerful thought to send you on your way – a recent survey found that children in England have healthier teeth than their Welsh or Scottish counterparts. Keep up the good work, mums and dads!

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Telephone: 0117 9059 866

CK Dental | Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital – The Chesterfield, 3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN