‘Tis the season to be jolly, and for many of us that means letting go of all our food (and drink) hang-ups and gorging on mince pies, mulled wine, chocolate and all manner of sweet and savoury treats.

While it’s nice to give yourself a break every now and again, it’s important to remember that your teeth don’t know it’s Christmas and they aren’t going to take care of themselves just because it’s the festive season. Here are some tips from the team here at Bristol dental practice CK Dental to keep your teeth healthy this yuletide:

If you’re going to snack, think savoury

Every household has a bowl of nuts on the coffee table at Christmas – why not reach for that instead of the chocolate box next time you feel the need to feed those cravings? Nuts are good for you in many ways – crammed full of essential nutrients and although (like almost all plant-based foods) they do contain some natural sugars, compared to chocolates and sweets their sugar content is so minimal as to be almost negligible.

Drink water

OK, so it’s probably unreasonable to expect that you’re going to steer clear of the mulled wine all together this Christmas, but think about interspersing your alcoholic or sweetened beverages with a few glasses of water – not only will this keep the festive hangover at bay, but it will also help to wash some of the sugar off your teeth, making those sweet treats just a little less heinous for your dental health.

Keep brushing

Christmas may be an opportunity to take a break from some of the more mundane tasks of daily life, but tooth brushing is not one of them! In fact, you may wish to think about brushing more frequently over the holiday season; especially if you plan on indulging your sweet tooth.

Here at CK Dental practice in Bristol our lead dentist, Cornelius Krause, recommends brushing after every meal if you can – try to leave it at least half an hour between eating and toothbrushing though, as if you brush too soon the enamel on your teeth may still be softened and you risk doing damage.

If you have any concerns, please do give us a call on 0117 906 4872 to book a post-Christmas check-up.

For now though, all the team here at CK Dental practice in Bristol wishes you a very happy Christmas.

OK, so it’s probably too late for this year, but for many of us the idea of having bright, white teeth – at Christmas time or any other – would be a dream come true. However, lots of people who secretly aspire to having their teeth whitened put of doing so time and time again because of rumours they have heard about the dangers.

Here, the team at CK Dental practice in Bristol set you straight about some of those teeth whitening myths:

Myth 1: You shouldn’t get your teeth whitened before you are 30 years old

This one stems from the idea that if you get your teeth whitened before your full set of adult teeth have come through, you can end up with teeth of varying shades, and some with whiter tips and darker bases.

For this reason, teeth whitening for teenagers is not always an appropriate treatment, but the procedure can be very effective for people in their twenties, who usually do have their full set of teeth.

A dentist will usually check your teeth before going ahead with treatment, to minimise the risk of colour variations.

Myth 2: Teeth whitening is dangerous

In the long term, exposing the teeth to bleaching agents can cause damage to the enamel. This is why it is so important to have your teeth whitened professionally, by a dentist, who will understand and follow the correct EU guidelines to ensure that the procedure is both safe and effective.

In the short term, teeth whitening can make the teeth more sensitive, but this usually resolves itself in time. Again, if you see a dentist for your tooth whitening, they will be able to explain all of this to you.

Myth 3: Anyone can perform teeth whitening

Legally, only qualified dental professionals can perform tooth whitening in a clinic environment. Although a lot of beauty salons do advertise and perform the procedure, this is when tooth whitening becomes dangerous.

So long as you see a qualified dentist, teeth whitening is a very safe and effective procedure. Here at Bristol dental practice CK Dental, we use the Enlighten system, which is the technology leader in the tooth whitening market and clinically proven to be both safe and highly effective.

‘Metal mouth’, ‘brace face’… most of us can remember the playground nicknames that brace wearers were called. However, increasing numbers of adults are turning to braces in their desire for the perfect smile.

The rise in demand for adult orthodontics is a reflection of the increased confidence that comes with having perfectly straight teeth and many men and women feel that a great smile brings social and professional advantages. There are also health benefits to having straight teeth, with a greater risk of plaque build-up with teeth that are misaligned.

Often these patients have undergone orthodontic work when they were children and require repeat treatment later on. Traditionally, you were advised to wear a retainer for a limited period after your braces were removed, usually just a year. Now we know that teeth can move back into their original position and patients are advised to wear a retainer for the rest of their lives.

Braces have also evolved in recent years and there are many more aesthetic options, including invisible braces in the form of Invisalign. Lead dentist at Bristol’s CK Dental, Cornelius Krause, will advise you whether traditional metal braces are more appropriate, which may be the case for those with severely misaligned teeth or a bite problem.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign or invisible braces are a series of clear aligners; each aligner is worn for a couple of weeks, progressively moving your teeth into the correct position. The amount of time the treatment takes varies from patient to patient, depending on the degree of misalignment, and it can take from a few months to two years.

Invisalign is not suitable for all patients, as they can’t correct differences in heights and can’t fix a severely overcrowded mouth. If you’re interested in finding out if Invisalign is suitable for you, then call 0117 906 4872 and book an appointment.

Leading dental charity, the British Dental Health Foundation, has welcomed the recent announcement by the Commons Health Select Committee that ‘bold and urgent’ action is needed to tackle child health issues, with a sugar tax as a key measure.

Compelling evidence was presented to the committee that a sugar tax would protect children from two growing health problems – tooth decay and obesity.

The chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, commented on the news: “The introduction of the tax is a necessity, currently child tooth extractions due to sugar-related tooth decay are the single biggest reason for children being admitted to hospital for quick and decisive action and ministers have to pay attention.”

The announcement by MPs follow a review by Public Health England which was published a few weeks ago. Recommendations from the review included a reduction in sugar in processed foods, limits to in-store price promotions and a ten to twenty per cent tax on sugary drinks.

Sugar is evil

It’s not just a question of cutting out the sweets and chocolates; many processed foods contain surprisingly high levels of sugar. Shop-bought pasta sauces have between six and twelve grams of sugar per serving and even a slice of white or wholemeal bread can contain half a teaspoon of sugar. Parents might buy an energy or granola bar for their children, thinking they are making a healthy choice, but these ‘healthy’ snacks often contain as much sugar as a chocolate bar.

Bacteria is always present in the mouth and most are beneficial to oral health. However, harmful oral bacteria will feed on the sugar, creating acid that destroy tooth enamel. Over time cavities form and without treatment develop into full-blown tooth decay.

At CK Dental practice in Bristol, our team advise all our patients that, as well as being careful about the amount of sugar your children are consuming, a good oral hygiene routine is essential, but also regular dental check-ups are key. To book your check-up, give us a call on 0117 906 4872.

Get In Touch

Get In Touch

Email: info@ckdental.co.uk

Telephone: 0117 9059 866

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