Bristol dentist Cornelius Krause, like most other dentists, spends much of his time at work advising patients to avoid sugary foods and drinks, because of the damage that sugar can do to your teeth. Heeding this advice, many people switch to ‘diet’ or ‘sugar-free’ options, in an effort to improve their dental health.

Unfortunately, however, new research has uncovered that these sugar-free products are often nearly as bad for your teeth as the sugar-laden alternatives, as it is not just sugar that causes tooth enamel to be eroded.

The research

The study was performed by a team of researchers at the University of Melbourne’s Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre.

The team tested 23 different beverages, including fizzy drinks and so-called ‘energy’ drinks, and found that drinks with low pH levels and containing acidic additives can cause damage to tooth enamel, regardless of the sugar content.

Thirty-two different types of sugar-free confectionary (sweets and lollipops) were also tested, with similar results. Interestingly, they found that fruit-flavoured sweets caused more damage than other flavours.

Why does erosion matter?

The thing most people are concerned about when it comes to their dental health is tooth decay, so it’s easy to overlook erosion as a problem. Sadly, however, as the tooth enamel gets eroded away, the tooth becomes more vulnerable to bacterial infection, which in turn can ultimately lead to tooth decay.

“Many people are not aware that while reducing your sugar intake does reduce your risk of dental decay, the chemical mix of acids in some foods and drinks can cause the equally damaging condition of dental erosion,” professor Eric Reynolds, one of the study authors and the CEO of the Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre, said in a statement.

What can we do to avoid tooth decay?

According to the scientists, citric acid and phosphoric acid are the worst culprits when it comes to dental erosion, and these are commonly used in fizzy drinks or fruit-flavoured sweets to add ‘tanginess’, so avoid products containing these ingredients.

Here at CK Dental practice in Bristol, we advise our patients to avoid all sweets and fizzy drinks as much as possible, whether or not they contain sugar. If you can’t cut them out of your diet all together, try to drink water immediately afterwards, being sure to swill it around your mouth in order to wash the acids off your teeth, and brush your teeth half an hour later – any earlier could cause more damage to the tooth enamel.

We all know they do it – how else would they all have such perfectly straight, gleaming white teeth – but cosmetic dental work is not something that celebrities tend to shout about.

Even Botox gets talked about more than teeth whitening, in the celeb world, so the team here at CK Dental has decided to put together a list of famous people who have obviously had something ‘done’ to their teeth, and hazard a guess as to what that might be:

The Artist Formerly Known As Cheryl Cole

Whatever her new married name is, we all know her as Mrs Cole, so we’ll stick to that here. Back in the days when she was plain old Cheryl Tweedy, her gnashers were less than pearly white and there was a definite jut to her canines – not the perfectly even set she flaunts now.

Our Bristol dentist team thinks she has definitely had tooth whitening, and almost certainly had them straightened too – probably using something along the lines of the Invisalign invisible braces system, as no one remembers her sporting train tracks on The X Factor. Another option could be dental veneers.

Simon Cowell

Another X Factor judge and Cheryl’s mentor (maybe it was he who suggested she have the work done?), Mr Cowell is no stranger to cosmetic work. Again, we’re pretty sure he’s had his teeth whitened on numerous occasions, and with his penchant for beauty treatments, we wouldn’t be surprised to learn he’d had a lot of other cosmetic dentistry treatments too.

Tom Cruise

You wouldn’t know it to look at him now, but if you hunt down old photos of Tom Cruise before he was famous, he had some real issues with his teeth. His front teeth were seriously wonky and one of them was distinctly brown. It wasn’t until he’d had some pretty complex cosmetic dental work done that he really hit the big time.

The team here at CK Dental practice in Bristol reckons he’s at least undergone tooth straightening with something like Invisalign, but possibly had a full set of dental implants to create the flawless set of gnashers he sports these days.

It just goes to show that cosmetic dentistry can have a big impact on the way you look, and – for Mr Cruise at least – can even help you to get ahead in your career.

For more information about cosmetic dentistry in Bristol, please contact us.

It’s easy to think that a kissable mouth is all about the lips, but while a plump, sexy pout might well get you that first kiss, good oral health is what will bring them back for more. The team here at CK Dental practice in Bristol have come up with some top tips to ensure that you are as kissable as you can be this Valentines Day:

Pay a visit to the dental hygienist

Of course, brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing and using mouthwash regularly will all help to ensure that you maintain a good standard of oral hygiene, but if you want to make extra sure that your teeth are sparkling clean and your breath as fresh as a daisy, it might be worth making an appointment to see the dental hygienist at our Bristol dentist practice.

The hygienist can give your teeth a thorough clean and offer advice as to what foods you can eat to help avoid gum disease and tooth decay.

Make sure your breath is minty fresh

Bad breath can be the most off-putting factor when it comes to kissability, so make sure yours is as fresh as can be by brushing your teeth and gargling with mouthwash before that big date.

If you’re a smoker try to quit now, to ensure the smell has well and truly gone by Valentines Day, and on the night itself avoid foods that are heavy in garlic.

Consider whitening

If your teeth are severely stained – whether that be from smoking, excessive tea or coffee drinking or just general wear and tear – then tooth whitening in Bristol might be a good option for you.

Here at CK Dental, we offer a personalised, home-use whitening kit that promises to whiten your teeth in just two weeks, so if you start now, you can have a full set of pearly whites just in time for the big day!

Initially, you need to come for an appointment at our Bristol dental clinic, where our dentist, Cornelius Krause can assess your suitability for teeth whitening and make an impression of your teeth, which will be used to create your personalised whitening tray.

You will then be given this tray to take home, along with the whitening solution and instructions on how to use them.

It may seem hard to believe, with recent news stories about us Brits being too ashamed of our teeth to smile in photos – not to mention the longstanding belief that Americans, with their beautiful sets of pearly whites, are horrified by our stained, wonky gnashers – but a new cross-pacific study has shown that people Stateside actually have significantly worse teeth than we do.

What did the study show?

The study, which was conducted by teams from University College London, the National University of Colombia and the Harvard School of Public Health, looked at data from thousands of men and women aged 25 and over, in both the UK and the US.

The findings showed that the mean number of missing teeth was significantly higher in the States (7.31 teeth missing) than in the UK (6.97). It was also shown that in the US, incidence of missing teeth and edentulousness (complete lack of teeth) was highest amongst those aged 25-64, whereas in the United Kingdom it was higher amongst older people, aged 65 plus.

Why would this be?

One major finding of the study was that people of a lower socioeconomic background – that is, poorer people – were far more likely to suffer from oral health problems than in the UK. One possible reason cited for this is that most dental work in the UK is available on the NHS, whereas in the States, dental healthcare, like all medical care, needs to be covered by personal health insurance, which is not always affordable to those on lower incomes.

Does private dental care have to be expensive?

Not at all. Here at CK Dental practice in Bristol, we have teamed up with DenPlan to offer all our patients affordable dental work on an easy payment plan. Even on the NHS, you have to pay for dental treatment – albeit at a reduced rate – and you may well have to wait for treatment.

At Bristol dentist practice CK Dental, patients who sign up with DenPlan pay affordable monthly payments, meaning they can rest assured that not only are all their check-ups and hygienist visits paid for in advance, but in the event that they should suffer a dental emergency, that will be covered too.

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Telephone: 0117 9059 866

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