The Sugar Explosion And How It Harms Our Teeth

Can our Ipswich patients really cut down on this tooth damaging food product?

It is a well established fact that sugar is bad news for our teeth.

Increasingly, we read stories of children having to have teeth extracted in hospital due to neglect, and no doubt, a high sugar consumption. This can arise from eating too many sweets, but sugar is now present in a growing number of products that we might not even think about.

Although much of the blame for decaying teeth in children seems to be falling on fizzy drinks, it is worth remembering that even fruit drinks often contain high sugar levels. In some cases, it is added, but even pure fruit drinks contain high levels of sugar which occurs naturally in fruit.

How can we avoid sugar?

In truth, it is almost impossible to avoid sugar altogether, and most of us will not want to. Sugar should be seen as a treat, for special occasions etc and not treated as an essential foodstuff, which it certainly isn’t, especially in its refined state. As far as children go, sweets are sometimes used as ‘currency’, as a ‘bribe’ or to placate them when they are in a bad mood. Try to avoid doing this, and, where you deem it necessary, perhaps offer small toys or other non sugar treats as an alternative. If they are thirsty, give them water or very dilute juice, saving sugary drinks only for special occasions.

Negotiating the supermarket aisles can be tricky and it is no accident that they are designed to draw children in with bright colours and giveaways. Then, at the end of a weary shopping trip, even adults are drawn in by the chocolate bars so temptingly placed near the till for a quick sugar boost when we are feeling tired.

All things in moderation

Read more ›

Social Media, Search Engines And Your Teeth

Why you should avoid advice from sometimes unreliable sources.

We have probably all done it; watching TV with a laptop in front of us and suddenly thought ‘I wonder why my gums are itching’ or some other almost idle thought that pops into our head.

The first thing that many of us do is to search online for it, and for sure, there will be a lot of information that appears instantly on our screens. Whilst some of this may contain good advice, the reality is that some most certainly will not.

The same applies with social media. One of the biggest dangers there is that ‘fake news’ or sensationalist cures are quite likely to be shared around, often with the best of intentions. Unfortunately, many of these are what are called ‘clickbait’; their only purpose is to drive you towards the desired web page which may either be selling a product or providing information for propaganda purposes.

The risks of incorrect information

One of the most common searches related to dentistry is for ways to whiten teeth naturally. On the surface of things, that seems relatively harmless, and, if it’s natural, then it should be OK .. shouldn’t it?

Unfortunately, this is a good example of the type of information that is so misleading for our Ipswich patients. You will find a number of suggestions on how to whiten the teeth naturally. Many of these simply don’t work at all and those that do, will do so in a way that may produce some level of success, but will very likely damage your teeth in the process.

Let’s take a look at two of the most common ‘natural whitening suggestions’ that appear in search results:

Lemon juice (sometimes mixed with baking soda)

Read more ›

Reversing The Appearance Of Ageing Skin

Facial aesthetics treatment at our Ipswich practice for smoother looking skin.

Having a great looking smile, achieved through cosmetic dental treatments, is a great way to both look and feel younger. But what if our skin lets us down though? Ageing signs such as wrinkles and crow’s feet around the eyes are almost impossible to hide and can make us appear to be much older than we would actually like, irrespective of whether we have good teeth and a nice smile.

Thankfully, the facial aesthetics team at The Lighthouse Dental Practice here in Ipswich can help you to regain your looks through the use of anti wrinkle treatments and dermal fillers.

Younger looking skin

One of the first signs of ageing that we tend to notice is when lines and wrinkles start to appear on our face. Whilst these may be postponed, to some degree, with moisturising creams, appear they certainly will. Fortunately the anti wrinkle treatments available at our local clinic can help you to restore your skin to its more youthful self.

Common areas where wrinkles appear, such as on the forehead, the corners of the eye (crow’s feet) and frown lines can be treated using just a small injection of anti wrinkle serum into these areas, placed just beneath the skin. This procedure should cause no significant discomfort although you are likely to experience a small pricking sensation as the needle enters the skin.

The effect of the anti wrinkle serum will start to be noticeable within a week, with the full results being seen after around two weeks. This effect will last for many months and the treatment is repeatable should you so wish. This is a safe procedure when performed by experienced facial aesthetic practitioners such as those at The Lighthouse Dental Practice.

Dermal fillers

Read more ›

A Whiter Smile For Your Wedding Day

Fantastic memories and a great looking smile in your wedding photographs!

Now that winter is (allegedly) over, many brides to be will probably be thinking about starting to plan for their big day. Naturally, the most important things come first; venue, photographer etc, but sometimes, it is the ‘smaller’ things that can make a real difference, especially when it comes to to future memories.

One of the concrete things which last for many years after the wedding day, is the photograph album. Whilst a lot of thought will probably be put into the wedding dress and perhaps hairstyle too, it can be easy, with all the planning, to forget how important your smile will be when you look back at the wedding photos.

Your best smile

You will, hopefully, remember being happy on your wedding day, but will your smile in the photos really reflect those memories? A dull looking smile can detract somewhat when you look back at the photographs in your album. Just imagine though, how much happier you will look with a great looking, radiant white smile?

At the Lighthouse Dental Practice in Ipswich, we are pleased to offer brides to be, and anyone else of course, a straightforward way to whiten your teeth by up to eight shades. Please do not try any of the ‘natural’ methods you may read about on the internet. Even though many of these use natural products such as lemon juice, they are usually based on acidic products which will damage the enamel of your teeth, often quite significantly.

Our Ipswich cosmetic dentists can schedule your teeth whitening treatment so that your teeth are looking at their very best in time for your wedding.  Our treatment is effective and safe and will cause no harm to your teeth. It is also pain free and no discomfort should be experienced.

Continuing whiteness

Read more ›

Are You Looking For A Gentle Dentist In Ipswich?

Testimonials from our patients show that we really do care.

It is fair to say that the majority of people don’t actually look forward to receiving dental treatment. Understandably, many of us probably see it as more of a necessity than something to be enjoyed.

Of course, there are some treatments that are simple and comfortable and have immediate positive benefits, but many procedures do need to be performed using a local anaesthetic to minimise any discomfort.

Whilst modern local anaesthetics are powerful and you should not experience pain once they have taken effect, this does not mean that the dentist need not take care, and, at The Lighthouse Dental Practice, we firmly believe that patient comfort is extremely important.

Repeat visits

Some of us will probably have, at some point in our lives, received treatment from a dentist who we were not happy with. Perhaps their team was not overly friendly, or you may just have felt that they weren’t the dentist for you? Unfortunately, in some instances, this can lead to the patient politely making their follow up appointment with no intention of going. In some cases, this may mean that you don’t see a dentist for quite some time and what might have been fairly minor issues if treated promptly, over time become significant and potentially very painful indeed.

So it is very important to see the dentist regularly, around every six months or so and of course, with a dental team you can trust. With this in mind, here at Lighthouse Dental in Ipswich, we do all that we can to make sure that our patient’s visit is as pleasant as possible.

Friendly team

Read more ›

Gum Disease – An Early Warning

How gingivitis occurs and how you can restore your gum health.

Gum disease usually advances in two stages; gingivitis and periodontitis. Of these, periodontitis is by far the most serious and can lead to issues such as loose teeth or even tooth loss. Fortunately, this stage is preceded by gingivitis which is less serious, though it should certainly not be ignored.

At the Lighthouse Dental Practice in Ipswich, our dentists routinely check for gum disease during your regular check ups and will advise if any problems are detected.

Should you panic?

If you are told that you have gingivitis, you should acknowledge that you need to take action. There is no need for alarm though. Most of us will have gingivitis at some point in our life, often without even being aware of it. For example, if you have had the flu, which has been quite prevalent this winter, the chances are that your diet suffered and that you probably didn’t clean your teeth as well as normal. In addition, your immune system would be fighting the flu, leaving other areas of your body more exposed.

At times like this, gingivitis is quite likely, however, on resuming your usual lifestyle and cleaning routine, the gingivitis may well have cleared up, leaving you completely unaware of it.


Read more ›

Whole Mouth Care In Ipswich

Looking after teeth, gums and soft tissue.

Whilst most patients of the Lighthouse Dental Practice visit us so we can help them maintain healthy teeth and gums, it is also important to acknowledge that we need to take good personal care of the whole of our mouth too.

It is it an important tool for communication and eating and a positive smile has been shown to be beneficial in relationships, whether work or socially.

Given the mouth’s key role in all of the above, doesn’t it make sense to do our best to keep it in good health? In today’s blog, we take a look at why our Ipswich patients should focus not only on the teeth and gums, but the soft tissues too.

Tooth care

We have discussed this before, and will again. For the purposes of this post though, let us just say that regular home care, a sensible diet and regular monitoring by the dentist and hygienist at our Ipswich practice, is a good start to making sure that your teeth remain healthy.

Gum disease

Gum disease is sometimes underestimated by patients. As dentists though, we have seen the destruction that it can cause. Not only are sore and bleeding gums a distinct possibility, but tooth loss can occur if the disease is not treated as soon as possible. For those that currently don’t, we strongly recommend that patients see the dental hygienist regularly to have a gum health check.


Read more ›

Don’t Ignore Minor Dental Discomfort

It can be all too easy to put our head in the sand, where pain is relatively minor.

It is a fact that most people don’t enjoy having to visit their dentist. Even at the Lighthouse Dental Practice, where our staff are friendly and welcoming to patients, we can still sometimes sense the trepidation as a patient sits in the chair. This is understandable of course; and even some of our own dental team are not exempt from this anxiety.

It is probably no surprise therefore, to know that, even amongst patients who keep their regular check up appointments, there can be a reluctance to contact the dentist when they suspect that something may not be as it should, especially where the discomfort is relatively minor.

Dental emergencies

The type of symptom that we are talking about is not the raging pain that can come with a root canal infection and which is likely to see even the most nervous patient reach for the phone to book an emergency appointment at our Ipswich practice. Not all pain is this severe and sometimes we may notice, for example, a little extra sensitivity in a tooth or a slightly sore or inflamed gum. This type of discomfort can be easy to live with, and there is a strong temptation to wait until the next check up to have it looked at.

If the discomfort occurs on a one off occasion, it may have been caused by an external problem; perhaps the gum has been scratched for example. If the discomfort persists though, it is very likely that you are experiencing the early signs of a problem that will become worse if ignored.

Get it checked

Read more ›

‘Carb Rinsing’ – The Benefits And The Risks

A word or two of caution for athletes tempted to try this performance enhancement theory.

In ‘The Guardian’ today, we spotted an article which caught our eye. Apparently tests have shown that ‘carb rinsing’ may be highly beneficial to athletes who wish to improve their performances. It is generally thought that this works better in short ‘explosive’ sports rather than endurance ones.

What is carb rinsing?

The idea is that, just prior to a performance, the athlete ‘swishes’ a sugary solution around their mouth before spitting it out. The theory behind these apparent performance improvements is that the brain is tricked into thinking that the body has just been given a supply of fuel and can therefore perform better.

There is a lot more to this study which you can read more about if you so wish. From the perspective of our Ipswich dental surgery however, we can anticipate a rise in oral health problems if this simple technique catches on more widely.

Sugar consumption

Whilst carb rinsing will not really add to the obesity problem created by high sugar consumption, the fact is that this sugary solution will have been swilled around the mouth, coming into contact with, and sticking to, our teeth and gums. This wouldn’t necessarily be a huge problem if, following the performance, the teeth were cleaned straight away. The likelihood though is that it could be several hours before this happens, leaving plenty of time for the sugar to be converted by oral bacteria into the acids that damage the enamel of our teeth.

Long term risks

Read more ›

Treat Yourself To A Valentine Smile At Lighthouse Dental In Ipswich

white smile transformation

Make the day even more memorable for your partner with a brand new smile!

It can’t have escaped your notice that, where the Christmas cards were a few weeks ago, there are now row upon rows of Valentine’s cards taking their place? This has become an increasingly popular occasion in the UK, with couples constantly seeking ways to improve the experience of Valentine’s day.

Although we don’t wish to play the role of Cupid, why not let our our Ipswich dental practice improve the occasion by helping you to have a whiter smile? Modern teeth whitening treatment is safe and very effective and will last for many months before starting to wear off.

Why not toothpaste?

Given the increasing number of advertisements on TV for teeth whitening toothpastes, it is not unreasonable to ask why you shouldn’t just take this route. The reality is that these will have a very limited, if any, effect on your teeth. Whilst they may contain ingredients that aim to lighten the inner part of your teeth which become darker with age, these are in such small quantities, due to safety regulations, that unfortunately you will probably see very little difference.

Those that aim to whiten the teeth by removing surface staining may do so by adding extra abrasive elements to the toothpaste. Whilst this may work to some extent, if used excessively, it can damage the protective enamel on your teeth, leaving them more prone to tooth decay.

Leave it to the professionals

Read more ›