Looking After Your Teeth When Playing Sports

Sore teeth

Taking part in active sports could spell trouble for your teeth!

Most of us are aware that taking part in some physical activity is good for us. It not only helps to keep our weight down and helps us to have a healthy heart, but can also help us to feel better about ourselves, especially if we get plenty of fresh air.

Some low level activities such as walking or relaxed swimming are quite gentle and should have no ill effect on the teeth. Particularly where people take part either in contact sports, or higher level competitions though, their teeth may be at risk. Indeed, studies have been done to show that quite a lot of top athletes have poor oral health (ref 1 below).

What are the risks?

Patients of the Lighthouse Dental Practice who go for brisk walks or even casual swimming at their local pool are unlikely to be affected by most of these risks, but anyone competing at a higher level or playing sports such as rugby or football, should consider these risks very carefully.


This is the most obvious issue for anyone playing contact sports. The risk to tooth damage from an elbow, boot or even ball is significant in high contact sports such as football or rugby. Even the seemingly more gentle game of cricket can lead to teeth being knocked out.

Ultimately, if you play a sport such as this, you need to take steps to protect your teeth. The most effective way to do this is to wear a mouthguard whilst taking part in the sport and these should be custom made so that they are both comfortable and fit correctly. Our Ipswich dental team will make sure that your mouthguard fits correctly and comfortably by taking impressions of your teeth so that the dental laboratory can produce a custom made guard that will protect your teeth and gums from damage.

Sports drinks and fuel

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Local dentist Dr Tocca appears on Style & Decor blog

Dr  Tocca sat down with journalist and blogger Sarah Worswick to discuss the importance of good dental health and how to choose a great local dentist that offers treatment tailored to your needs. The entire interview appears on their Style & Decor blog however you can see most of the interview right here, right now!

Tell us more about Lighthouse Dental Practice

There has been a dental practice at 34 High Street in Ipswich for over 70 years. In 2007, I joined the local dental community as one of the dentists in Ipswich. I completed my dental degree at the Karolinska Institute, School of Dentistry, Stockholm, Sweden in 1994. Since then I have worked in general practice in both England and Sweden. I strongly believe in high quality dentistry; a personalised, respectful and gentle approach; as well as dental prevention. I am committed to the ongoing development of my professional skills. Consequently, I have regularly attended postgraduate courses in clinical subjects in both in the UK and abroad. My special interests are in Aesthetic and Minimally Invasive Adhesive Dentistry, Periodontology and Implantology. One of my favourite aspects of the job is getting to know my patients. I also enjoy showing them that dentistry can be gentle, aesthetic and constitutes an integral part of the body’s general health.

What is your aim?

We aim to provide the highest level of treatment and service to our patients. We pride ourselves on delivering optimal dentistry, rather than maximal dentistry. Furthermore, we always try to suggest treatments that suit our patients. Each patient is an individual, with individual needs; therefore we assess and treat each patient on an individual basis. One particular aspect that we are proud of is our patient and staff retention. Most of our staff have been with us long-term, and have delivered safety and comfort for many patients over the years. Currently we have several families of four generations amongst our patients. We believe we are an excellent choice for anyone in Ipswich looking for a local dentist.

Are there any particular treatments that you specialise in?

Firstly, despite the fact we are a local dentist, we also provide a wide range of treatments from general and cosmetic dentistry to more complex restorative procedures. That said, Lighthouse Dental Practice is well known for its experience and success with patients who suffer with dental anxiety. Our gentle approach goes a long way in treating most patients. However some need extra help to receive dental treatment in a relaxed manner.

We can offer dental sedation for patients who suffer from dental fear, dental anxiety or dental phobia. Our dedicated website Dental Anxiety Services explains more about dental anxiety and the sedation services we offer.

Which other treatments do you offer?

As a local dentist, Lighthouse Dental Practice also offers the highest standards of patient care in Ipswich to restore and enhance the natural beauty of your smile. We offer personalised and painless restorative and cosmetic treatments. We also offer facial aesthetic treatments for those who wish to have smoother and younger looking skin.

Tell us more about the new facial aesthetics procedure you’ve added to your portfolio?

We are pleased to announce a revolutionary new facial aesthetics procedure using the remarkable technology PRGF®-Endoret® technique. It is ‘Plasma Rich in Growth Factors’, which can be used to help reverse the signs of ageing.

PRGF can help with:

  • Anti-ageing
  • Skin rejuvenation
  • Hair growth
  • Nerve pain

It also promotes painless healing and bone regeneration.


  • 100% Autologous – it comes from your own body, so there’s no risk of rejection. You provide and receive your own growth factors
  • No external additives
  • Improved skin consistency
  • Wrinkle reduction
  • Better facial hydration
  • Increased brightness and luminosity
  • No facial expression changes



Why should we visit our dentist regularly?

Our local dental practice is only as good as our team. We have highly qualified staff that fit our dental practice culture, provide excellent customer service, and complete the highest-quality work possible. So visit us regularly, as often as we recommend (a big advantage of having a local dentist). Maintenance visits are vital to keep your teeth healthy and strong.

Prevention is always better than cure. Maintenance check-ups at your local dentist allow dentists to spot the early warning signs of potential problems before they get serious. They also provide a great opportunity to give guidance and advice and recommend the right treatment solutions.

Our friendly, expert staff, and the extensive range of treatments on offer, are just two great reasons to choose the Lighthouse Dental Practice as your regular Ipswich dentist.

Why is a great smile so important?

A great smile is important for many different reasons. Your teeth play a key role in your lives, so it’s vital you take good care of them. Without them, you can’t chew and digest your food, or even speak clearly. Then there’s the aesthetic aspect. A great smile can transform how you look. It can also have an impact on the way you feel. When you’re confident about your appearance, your self-esteem soars. So keeping that smile bright helps keep your mind-set positive too. But don’t despair if your pearly whites aren’t as radiant as you’d like them to be. There are lots of easy ways to improve your oral health, and achieve and maintain a healthy smile, from basic dental care to teeth whitening.

How would you describe the basics of brushing?

Bright, healthy teeth are clean teeth, so regular and individually adapted tooth-brushing is important. Use fluoride toothpaste and brush gently but thoroughly for as long as necessary to clean your teeth, without causing any damage. This helps to stop the build-up of plaque. Plaque is a sticky, bacterial film like a carpet of bacteria on our teeth surfaces. It forms constantly. If it’s not kept in check, it causes cavities and gum disease, and can harden into tartar. None of which is conducive to a healthy smile! So keep your plaque under control with regular brushing – and don’t forget to change your toothbrush regularly. A fresh brush will clean your teeth effectively without causing damage to the surrounding tissues. Applying the correct amount of pressure is also important. Too much pressure will simply wear off your tooth enamel and damage your gums.

Why should we watch what (and when) we eat?

Too much sugar is the enemy of strong, healthy teeth. Constant snacking isn’t helpful, either.

Give your teeth a 3-4 hour break between meals and avoid large or frequent amounts of fruit. Eat vegetables instead! They aren’t as acidic as fruit, so they won’t attack your enamel. They also contain less sugar, which will benefit both your teeth and your general health. Less than 5% of our energy should come from sugar, so try hard to avoid it, even in drinks or smoothies. In our opinion, fruit smoothies are far from innocent, since they are high in both acids and sugars. Unless your doctor recommends otherwise, we would suggest eating four portions of vegetables per day, and only one of fruit.

What are your thoughts on snacking?

Just say no to snacking if you want a bright, healthy smile! Drinking plenty of water can help to neutralise acid attacks, as can chewing sugar-free gum after eating. If you must indulge, try to avoid foods and drinks that are known to stain and discolour your teeth. Popular culprits include tea, coffee, red wine, beetroot and curry.

Should Dental Veneers Be Used On Healthy Teeth?

A white smile with veneers

Our Ipswich dental team takes a look….

Dental veneers were first used by the Hollywood industry to produce nicer looking teeth when actors were filmed close up and were designed to last only for a short while whilst the film was being made.

They are now much more widely used, not only by actors and celebrities, but increasingly by the general public too.

Moreover, modern veneers can now last for around ten years or more with appropriate care.

We use veneers for a number of purposes at the Lighthouse Dental Practice in Ipswich. They can be used to whiten teeth, where staining or discolouration is too far advanced for a teeth whitening procedure to be successful. They can also be used to cover up minor defects such as cosmetic chips and cracks in the teeth. Finally, they can also be used to protect a tooth that has suffered enamel erosion, and occasionally can also be used to close a diastema (gap in the front teeth) too.

A possible dilemma

Above, we have listed the problems that porcelain dental veneers can be used for. The question that both dentist and patients need to jointly decide is whether they should be used for these purposes i.e what are the pros and cons for each individual circumstance?

We take a look at some of the typical decision points below.

Whiter teeth

Preventative dental care is the best way to keep your teeth looking whiter for as long as possible, where diligent brushing and avoiding staining food and drinks will help to keep your teeth nice and bright. Eventually though, your teeth will gradually darken as they age and a teeth whitening procedure should be the first consideration as it is quite straightforward and also non invasive. However, you could also consider our porcelain veneers where staining is more advanced, but this will require an invasive dental treatment to prepare the teeth before the veneers are fitted.

So there is a balance here. Generally speaking, dentists prefer not to do any invasive work on a healthy natural tooth unless it is essential. On the other hand, badly discoloured teeth are unsightly and can have a negative effect on your confidence and general well being. There are no right or wrong answers here, and the best thing that you can do it to arrange a consultation with one of our Ipswich cosmetic dentists to discuss the options open to you.

Chipped or cracked teeth

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How to look younger with cosmetic & facial treatments

If you want to know how to look younger, you may find you’re in need of a cosmetic or facial treatment to give you a little helping hand. At Lighthouse Dental Practice, we are known for our work on various procedures, which can help you turn back time. So, if you are looking for ways in which to reverse some of the signs of ageing, you’ve certainly come to the right place. Our dental practitioner Dr Tocca at our Ipswich practice in Suffolk, explains how these all work:

Plasma Rich in Growth Factors (PRGF®)

We can now offer you a revolutionary new facial aesthetics procedure called PRGF®(Plasma Rich in Growth Factors). This uses remarkable technology, which has been developed by the BTI, (BT Bio-Technology) is called the PRGF®-Endoret® technique. However, this procedure is so versatile, it can be used to reverse the signs of ageing, it can help skin rejuvenation and hair growth, it can promote painless healing and bone regeneration and even reduce nerve pain.


How to look younger with the PRGF®-Endoret® technique

If you are concerned about what this new treatment involves, let us help to put your mind at rest. We simply take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, just as you would expect from a normal blood test. Then, we use a centrifuge to separate the blood into its components. As a result, we take clinically effective fractions from these components, which help to regenerate the tissues. Secondly, we will ask whether you would like them to numb the points where they will then inject the plasma into your skin. In fact, the treatment takes between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours so it’s a relatively quick procedure. So, you can ask for a time estimate beforehand as this will depend on how many areas or how large the area is to be treated.
If you need to choose specific areas to help you on your anti-ageing journey, you could for example pick facial and neck-lines, the scalp for hair generation and/or the back of your hands. However, you can also use the PRGF®-Endoret® technique for socket preservation in preparation for a future implant following tooth extraction.

The benefits

There is no risk of rejection, which can occur with other anti-ageing treatment methods, because this method is 100% Autologous (we use your own tissues) so you are providing and receiving your own ‘growth factors’. External additives are not used in this technique and there’s no need to worry about losing the character in your face as your facial expressions will remain. In addition, you can benefit from increased skin consistency and wrinkle reduction, so this could be the perfect solution, if you want to know how to look younger.

How does PRGF®-Endoret® work?

In fact, the actual procedure is not only relatively quick, but the results are too. So, you should find noticeable effects around 24 hours later, which will increase following further sessions. We tend to suggest more sessions with further maintenance treatments, within the first three months depending on your individual skin type and age.

We recommend three sessions in the first three months, however we initially provide you with a 15- minute consultation, which is free of charge You can expect to pay from £450 for one treatment (Therapeutic Process) or £1,200 for a course of three. Following this, treatment sessions tend to be between one to three per year, depending on your age and skin type. Our clinician will inform you our your most appropriate treatment according to your unique profile. In fact, we charge for each individual session on an appointment by appointment basis. O% finance is available however this is subject to status.

Dermal fillers

We offer these injections to fill wrinkles and creases in the skin. This is a popular method, which can also be used to increase the volume and definition of the lips and cheeks, for those who want a solution for how to look younger. In fact, the fillers are made from a variety of materials and the effects can be either temporary or permanent. But this will depend on the filler type. If you’re considering dermal fillers, we always recommend that you need to be certain about why you want them first. If you’re wondering how much money you may need to part with, you can expect to pay from £150 to £300 per session for facial fillers, which depends on the amount of product used.

 What to expect & what it involves

Our dentists or nurse can provide a local anaesthetic cream or injection first. We will then inject the filler in a series of small injections and we may massage the area. So, you may find that each treatment feels uncomfortable but it won’t be painful; this can take from 30 minutes to one hour. You’ll find that most fillers aren’t permanent. In addition, there is no guarantee that you will achieve the desired effect. Also, you’ll need to bear in mind that the ageing process will still happen in areas we are unable to inject, such as the eyelids. Afterwards, the area may be a little swollen, feel tender and look red for 24 hours. In addition, during that time, we may advise you to avoid coffee, alcohol, hot drinks and the sun.

Are there any risks?

We believe that risks will depend on whether the procedure is carried out correctly (which is why it’s important to ensure you check your practitioner’s credentials) and the type of filler, which is used. In fact, we know that permanent fillers carry the highest risk of developing problems and some practitioners feel they are best avoided.

How to look younger with muscle relaxing injections

This wrinkle reduction treatment can work on a whole host of areas on the face. From frown (glabellar) and forehead lines to nose and mouth (nasalabial) lines, not forgetting smile lines, crow’s feet and lip enhancements, these are a number of areas, which are perfectly suited to this treatment. However, if you’re considering these injections, which contain botulinum toxin, we want you to be certain about why you want them.

What are they?

Injectable anti-ageing treatments are a quick and convenient way to smooth out those lines on the forehead and around the eyes and mouth, without the need for surgery. At Lighthouse Dental Practice, your dentist/nurse will inject small amounts of anti-aging solution in the area of the wrinkles. This way, it works by temporarily relaxing the facial muscles that are responsible for producing the wrinkling of the facial skin. Therefore, you can achieve a more youthful appearance with smoother, flatter skin. So, you will benefit from less obvious crow’s feet and frown lines. In fact, muscle relaxing injections can temporarily alter your appearance.

How to alleviate any concerns

Although this method can achieve fantastic results, the effect isn’t permanent and there’s simply no guarantee that your desired effect will be achieved. Please bear in mind that the ageing process will still occur elsewhere. Sagging eyelids are one such example as previously mentioned because these injections can not fix this issue. In addition, for those of you who may have safety concerns, botulinum toxin is a prescription-only medicine. Basically, this means that only an appropriately trained healthcare professional should prescribe and provide this method. So, you can expect treatment from a doctor, dentist, pharmacist, prescriber or nurse prescriber. However, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, we will not administer botulinum injections. This is because the effects on a baby are unknown. It tends to cost from £150 to £350 per session for botulinum toxin injections, however this price depends on the amount and brand used.

What the treatment involves

Firstly, we must stress that the importance having a face-to-face consultation with your dentist. After all, they will be administering the anti-ageing injections. Secondly, we will want to discuss your medical history with you. This will include any medications you have or are currently taking so we can understand your health background. We will also want to know why you want this treatment before we go ahead. We believe it’s important to discuss your expectations, too. Thirdly, we don’t tend to use local anaesthetic. Instead, we will clean your skin. Then, we will inject small amounts of botulinum toxin into the facial muscles, earmarked for treatment. We tend to carry out several injections at different sites, which takes around ten minutes. These injections can be a little painful, however most people tolerate the discomfort well.


You’ll find the results are not instantaneous although some patients may experience treatment effect in 48 to 72 hours. In fact, most patients do not notice the full treatment effect till 7 to 14 days have passed. We always advise on a 30-day wait if you desire additional treatment. Also, we recommend that you avoid rubbing or massaging the treated areas for up to three days. Then, you can enjoy the effects for around four to six months. In terms of the results, this will depend on your skin type, thickness and degree of wrinkling. Then, if you want to maintain the effect, you’ll need regular, follow-up injections.

What’s the best way to achieve natural-looking rejuvenation (not fake/frozen)?

You can only suffer from a frozen look when you have too many anti-aging injections in one area. However, we work under the strictest regulations in the UK, exceeding all mandatory and voluntary requirements. So, our Lighthouse Dental Practice dentists and nurse are qualified to prescribe the correct dosage and treatment frequency. In fact, we target only the small, specific muscles responsible for unwanted lines and wrinkles. So, this means your normal facial expressions will remain unaffected.

We will discuss the best plan for you to achieve your desired look.


The Long Term Implications Of Gum Disease

Gum disease

Ipswich dentist, Dr  Tocca, explains why diligent gum care is essential.

You will probably have seen various adverts on TV  extolling the virtues of toothpastes that claim to prevent gum disease.

In many of these, the patient brushes their teeth and spits into the sink and notices there is blood amongst it. This is one of the more obvious symptoms of gum disease, but unfortunately a little blood isn’t the only consequence of periodontal problems.

At The Lighthouse Dental Practice, we have a duty to make sure that our patients are aware of the reasons why they should keep their gums clean. In this blog, we look at what the effects might be if you don’t look after them properly.

Unpleasant symptoms

Before we look at the effects of gingivitis and periodontitis (stages of gum disease), let us take a look at some of the possible symptoms you might exhibit if affected by this problem. In themselves, they can be quite uncomfortable, or, in the case of halitosis, socially unacceptable.

The most common symptoms are, as mentioned earlier, spitting blood following brushing. You may also find that your gums are sore, red or inflamed. Other possible symptoms include receding gums, persistent bad breath and potentially, teeth that are loose.

It should be noted that just because you don’t have any of these symptoms doesn’t mean that you are necessarily free of gum disease. You should always have your oral health monitored on a regular basis, no matter how trouble free you think your teeth are.

Dental consequences

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Perfect your posture with Pilates

There’s no doubt that exercise in all its forms, from running and swimming to walking and badminton, is important to keep in shape and stay healthy. In fact, at Lighthouse Dental Practice, we enjoy taking regular exercise, from running in Christchurch Park, Ipswich, to local Pilates classes. It’s so important when the NHS advices that adults, aged between 19 and 64, should try to be active every day. Their physical activity guidelines include a whole host of recommendations you can follow. And one piece of advice is to do strengthening exercises that work all the major muscles, for two or more days a week.


So, if you’re looking for a way in which to strengthen and realign your body, we think Pilates classes could be just what you’re looking for. After all, this form of exercise has been popular for decades, for men (including footballers and athletes) and women. From correcting posture and soothing aching muscles to energising the body and mind, it seems this particular workout is steeped in benefits.


Tailor Your Holiday is a dynamic company based in Ipswich, Suffolk, which offers a whole host of Pilates and yoga workshops and retreats or even bespoke holidays. So, we caught up with the co-founder, Pilates instructor Asimina Kourouni, recently to find out what they can offer and why Pilates should be top of your to-do list. Here’s what she had to say:


 Tell us about your background?

Well, I have more than 15 years’ experience in the fitness industry and I hold a University degree in Sports and Exercise Sciences. My qualifications include EREPS Level 6 health and exercise specialist, aerobic dance, prenatal Pilates, rehabilitation of the spinal cord and related musculoskeletal conditions, and Body Balance certification. Along with my Pilates studies, I have become an accredited 2nd Degree Reiki therapist of the Usui System of Natural Healing. So, the combination of my studies makes my teaching approach more holistic.

Do you remember your first training session?

When I attended my first Pilates class, I felt that it fitted my body perfectly. The way I moved during this session felt so natural. In fact, the following morning, it was that feeling, which made me fall in love with Pilates. I remember I ached in parts of my body that I had never ached before. However, that ‘pain’ was ‘sweet’. It was the result of the effort I had put in, without feeling exhausted at the end of the session.

How has your health and exercise experience altered your perception of wellbeing?

Our motto at Tailor Your Holiday is: “Train your body, free your mind and feed your soul”. After 15 years’ practicing, training and coaching, you get to a point where every detail makes a difference. In fact, the experience gives you a better perspective of the human body and your approach becomes more holistic. After all, everything is connected; the body, mind and spirit. So, you cannot be strong if your mind is weak and you cannot achieve mentally without the physical strength. Hippocrates of Kos, the Greek physician who is well known as the ‘Father of Medicine’’, once said: “A healthy mind is a healthy body”. Yes, this is my greatest belief.

What makes Tailor Your Holiday different?

Well, we connect with the communities where our activities take place. In fact, this ingredient is essential to create a blissful, well-being experience for you and a sustainable business strategy for us.  We have carefully curated only small and medium-sized, family-run businesses who employ local experienced staff as our partners. So, this way, we can deliver a truly authentic local experience during your bespoke holiday.

We also build long-lasting relationships with our partners based around respecting all our cultural diversities, protecting the surrounding ecosystems and the need to preserve local traditions, trades and professional activities. This way, we can offer a comprehensive collection of well-being workshops workshops coaching  and retreats or you can consider a bespoke holiday plan at home or abroad – the choice is yours…

Tell us more about your Pilates classes?

We separate our Tailor your Holiday Pilates classes into levels: Pilates for beginners, intermediate and advanced. You can use the Pilates reformer machines for compound exercises that really focus on balance and stability. However, if the Pilates reformer is not for you, we offer mat Pilates classes, too. My classes on the Allegro Reformer Machine with a hands-on approach are hosted at Pulse Pilates  & Fitness Studio in Ipswich. Meanwhile, I hold mat Pilates classes at Quay Place Heritage and Wellbeing Centre, Ipswich.

Why should we take up Pilates?

  • It restores your posture and you learn how to breathe properly, so any pain related to the spine gradually decreases.
  • Pilates increases flexibility and balance, giving you a feeling of being faster and lighter.
  • It activates the muscles in a way that, after a couple of sessions, the body is firm and you look taller and thinner even if you haven’t lost a pound. It carves/shapes the body in a magical way.
  • Pilates teaches you strength and balance.
  • You will work muscles you didn’t know you had.
  • You will notice the difference in your arms. Pilates doesn’t seem like the sort of exercise to work your biceps and triceps, but it really does.
  • Pilates involves a lot of small, intricate movements working muscles that don’t want to work, so it requires a lot of concentration.
  • It also helps to relieve physical tension in your body, making you feel nice and relaxed.
  • It gives you a great sense of achievement.

Are Pilates classes more suitable for women?

No, Pilates is suitable for everyone.  For example, we help competitive cyclists, both female and male, build Pilates into their regime, both on and off-season. Off-season, we can use it to help you build strength and improve alignment. However, during the season, it will help you to stretch and release tight muscles, whilst improving core strength.

Core strength, flexibility, balance and efficient movement patterns are highly relevant to men’s fitness. In fact, the integrative component of Pilates can be especially beneficial for men, whose workouts often emphasise a part-by-part approach to muscular development. Increasing flexibility is a goal that Pilates addresses in a way that men often feel comfortable with.



What activities can you take part in on a retreat?

Our retreats provide seaside or countryside accommodation, the meals are locally sourced and all-day healthy snacks and different activities, depending on the location. We customise every aspect of the Tailor Your Holiday experience to your unique needs. So, from the moment you contact us, we’ll make you feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible. We then provide everything you need to design and deliver a unique experience. We can offer cycling, running, trekking and hiking retreats combined with yoga, Pilates and nutrition.


We have teamed up Suffolk’s leading independent department store Coes to offer you the chance to win a £100 voucher for use on fitness clothing in their sports department. So, you’ll have no excuse not to get fit. With a new outfit, you could instantly feel more confident when you join a local Pilates class this summer!

To be in with a chance of winning, simply FOLLOW Lighthouse Dental Practice Twitter account (@LighthouseDent2) and Coes (@CoesIpswich). Them RETWEET one competition post on our Lighthouse Dental Twitter feed (@LighthouseDent2). The winner will be chosen at random, after the closing date [30.6.19] and will be notified accordingly. Good luck!

Terms & conditions

  • You are providing your information to Lighthouse Dental Practice and Coes not Twitter.
  • Entrants must live in the UK.
  • You must be aged 18 or over to enter this competition.
  • Closing date for all entries is midnight Sunday 30 June 2019.
  • We will select a winner at random by Tuesday 2 July. We will then notify the winner with a direct message.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Twitter or Facebook.
  • The prize is for sportswear only, it’s non-transferable and no cash alternative will be given.
  • Winner has 48 hours to respond to the notification that you have won. If we do not hear back from you, we reserve the right to choose another winner.

Do Charcoal Toothpastes Work, And Could They Damage Your Teeth?

Brushing teeth

An Ipswich dentist reviews the effectiveness of charcoal toothpastes.

The team at Lighthouse Dental Practice have been reviewing various ways of maintaining the health of patients’ teeth and discussing different options, including what does and doesn’t work.

The use of charcoal toothpaste is one option but is it actually effective and are there any downsides?

When it comes to effective oral hygiene, thorough brushing, a balanced diet, and regular check-ups with the dentists at our Ipswich practice may well be the best ways of keeping a healthy bright smile, but the toothpaste used can also help.

This blog post is going to examine the effectiveness of these toothpastes and if they can damage the health and strength of teeth over time.

What is charcoal toothpaste?

Charcoal toothpaste is an increasingly popular type of toothpaste being favoured by patients for the apparent cleaning properties of activated charcoal. Used in many water filters, activated charcoal is a type of carbon that has porous particles on the surface. This is thought to bind elements (such as tartar, staining, and bacteria) to it when used to brush teeth.

How are these toothpastes different to regular toothpastes?

The activated charcoal is the main differentiator between charcoal toothpastes and regular toothpastes. There have also been claims made in the past that these type of toothpastes work mainly by abrasive methods, and that the abrasion caused by activated charcoal could damage teeth, rather than strengthen them, over time.

Why use it instead of regular toothpaste?

Read more ›

How to achieve and maintain a bright smile

May is National Smile Month – the perfect opportunity to assess your oral health regime. A bright, healthy smile is so important, for many different reasons. Your teeth play a key role in your lives, so it’s vital you take good care of them. Without them, you can’t chew and digest your food, or even speak clearly. Then there’s the aesthetic aspect. A great smile can transform how you look. It can also have an impact on the way you feel. When you’re confident about your appearance, your self-esteem soars. So, keeping that smile bright helps keep your mind-set positive too. But don’t despair if your pearly whites aren’t as radiant as you’d like them to be. There are lots of easy ways to improve your oral health, and achieve and maintain a healthy smile, from basic dental care to teeth whitening.

The basics of brushing

Bright, healthy teeth are clean teeth, so regular and individually adapted tooth-brushing is important. Use fluoride toothpaste and brush gently but thoroughly for as long as is needed to clean your teeth thoroughly without causing harm to your gums or your teeth. This helps to stop the build-up of plaque. Plaque is a sticky, bacterial film like a carpet of bacteria on our teeth surfaces. This forms constantly on our teeth. If it’s not kept in check, it causes cavities and gum disease, and can harden into tartar. None of which is conducive to a healthy smile! So, keep your plaque under control with regular brushing – and don’t forget to change your toothbrush regularly. A fresh brush will clean your teeth effectively without causing damage to the surrounding tissues.  Applying the correct amount of pressure is also important. Too much pressure will simply wear off your tooth enamel and damage your gums.

Complement your brushing with daily flossing. This way, you can protect your smile and aim to dislodge any trapped food between your teeth. You can also reduce gum disease with flossing as it removes plaque that forms along the gum line. Healthy gums are the foundation of a bright, healthy smile, so never neglect them!

Watch what (and when) you eat

Too much sugar is the enemy of strong, healthy teeth. Constant snacking isn’t helpful, either.

Give your teeth a 3-4 hour break between meals and avoid large or frequent amounts of fruit! Eat Vegetables instead! They are not as acidic as fruit, so they will not attack your enamel and they contain less sugar which will benefit both your teeth and your general health. Research recommends that less than 5% of our energy should come from sugar, so try to avoid sugars even if it is in drinks or smoothies. In our opinion fruit smoothies are far from innocent since they are high in both acids and sugars. Eat 4 portions of vegetables per day and only one of fruit, unless your doctor specifically recommends you otherwise.

Contrary to popular belief, teeth do not need any extra Calcium to stay strong once they have grown through the gums.  They only need the correct amount of calcium as they are growing as tooth buds inside your jaw when you are a child. So, to keep your teeth and body healthy, you only need to follow the NHS governmental advice on recommended daily intakes of Calcium and minerals. Usually this does not mean that you need to take any extra supplements, just try to consume a balanced diet, packed with plenty of fresh preferably organic vegetables. Leafy greens, nuts, fish and dairy products are all great choices. Vegan options include soya beans, tofu and pulses. Making time for proper meals will help to protect your teeth. Day-long grazing on cakes, biscuits and sweets has the opposite effect. That’s because every single time we eat something, bacteria reacts with food to produce acid that attacks tooth enamel.

Similarly, pregnancy does not remove calcium from your teeth and does not weaken them. Pregnancy may influence your Calcium levels in your bones temporarily but the teeth remain unaffected by pregnancy itself since they have usually already been build up. What can affect your teeth during pregnancy is a diet rich in sugars and acids, so keeping a healthy diet during pregnancy will help you and your growing baby as well as both your and his/her teeth.

So say no to snacking if you want a bright, healthy smile! Drinking plenty of water can help to neutralise acid attacks, as can chewing sugar-free gum after eating. Lastly, try to avoid foods and drinks that are known to stain and discolour your teeth. Popular culprits include tea, coffee, red wine, beetroot and curry.


Teeth whitening

If you have badly stained teeth, you may need professional help to achieve a bright, white smile. DIY over-the-counter whitening kits seldom contain an effective level of whitening ingredients. In fact, they can cause real damage to teeth if used incorrectly.

Our expert team will assess your suitability for one of our professional teeth-whitening treatments. These are safe, easy to use and achieve visible results, fast. We take an impression of your teeth, in order to create a bespoke whitening tray. This is tailored to the shape and size of your mouth, for optimum results. You simply add the correct amount of whitening gel to the tray, then wear it in the comfort of your home. You should see full results – and enjoy whiter teeth – in around three weeks.

Cosmetic dentistry options

In addition to teeth whitening, we offer a number of advanced cosmetic dentistry options.

Most people are familiar with silver-coloured (amalgam) fillings. But white fillings are an increasingly popular choice for patients in pursuit of a whiter smile. There are several different types available. Two of the most common are glass ionomers and composites.

In addition to repairing cavities, white fillings can also be used to modify the colour and/or shape of a tooth. So they’re a great multi-tasking option if you’re keen to upgrade your grin.

If just one problem tooth is spoiling your smile, a dental crown could be the solution. This is an artificial cover or ‘cap’ that fits over an existing tooth, to camouflage it. A crown can improve a tooth’s shape, size, function and alignment. It’s also an effective way to disguise a discoloured tooth – perfect for a whiter smile. Crowns can be temporary or permanent. They are available in a variety of different materials, including porcelain and ceramic.

Veneers are yet another option for teeth that are stained, chipped or damaged. They are a great choice if you’re looking to enhance teeth brightness generally, or straighten your smile. Veneers are made of a restorative material (usually porcelain or composite) that is cemented onto your teeth. Properly performed, veneers can transform your smile. But they are a permanent, invasive treatment, so you’ll need to be sure they are completely right for you before you proceed.

Attend regular check-ups

Even if you don’t require any specialist cosmetic dentistry services, regular dental check-ups are vital to preserve your smile. They allow us to identify and treat any potential problems quickly. They are also a great opportunity for you to receive general guidance and advice.

To make an appointment this National Smile Month, call 01473 257379. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Keeping Your Kids Teeth Healthy This Easter

healthy smile on a child

Too much chocolate could lead to a sooner-than-expected visit to our Ipswich practice!

With shops and supermarkets now packing the aisles with Easter eggs, often at children’s eye level, it is almost impossible to avoid them. Children certainly won’t, and for many, Easter can be a feast of sugary ‘goodness’, which, if not controlled, can be particularly harmful to their young teeth.

We have no desire to be a killjoy at this time of the year, but our Lighthouse Dental Practice team have put together a few suggestions to help you to reduce any dental issues that might arise over the coming weekend when over-indulgence in sweet treats is commonplace.

Make sure they brush their teeth

Easter or not, children should continue to brush their teeth well, preferably supervised by their parents if they are younger. This particularly applies at festive periods when their sugar consumption can sky rocket. A good brushing routine should be the very least you insist on for good basic oral health care.

Minimise snacking on chocolate

Read more ›

Boost your wellbeing with gyms in Ipswich and more…

Read on and you can enter our competition to win a Fitbit Inspire HR fitness tracker…

You will probably already know that you should take regular exercise. After all, physical activity can dramatically improve your health and reduce the risk of developing many serious diseases. And let’s be honest – it can help you look better, too. In fact, many people use exercise as a key weight loss/management tool. And we’re lucky that there are a whole host of gyms in Ipswich to choose from. However, the gym may not be your thing. So we’ve come up with a variety of healthy local options, including the gym, which you’ll discover are literally on your doorstep.

How will exercise boost your wellbeing?

Squats and cardio can certainly help you look pretty good so no surprises there. But did you know that exercise can improve your mental wellbeing, too? Physical activity, such as a quick swim in a local Ipswich swimming pool, causes chemical changes in the brain, which in turn help to positively change your mood. Exercise can boost your self-esteem (when you look good, you tend to feel good, too). It can even ease anxiety, reduce depression and improve concentration.

Physical activity can also improve your sleep quality – a vital (and often overlooked!) element of health and wellbeing. In fact, if you’re physically tired, you tend to fall asleep faster and sleep much deeper. In turn, this helps to boost your energy levels, your mood, brain function and physical health.

Everybody – young and old alike – can benefit from staying active, so try to introduce some fitness to your whole family. We know it’s not easy to include regular exercise in today’s busy lifestyles, but the benefits make it so worthwhile. An added bonus? Children who participate in sport from a young age are far more likely to stay active as they get older. So get them exercising from the get-go then you can lay down healthy foundations for the rest of their lives.

Gyms in Ipswich

Many people equate exercise with going to the gym. Lifting weights and participating in group classes is indeed a great way to keep active. For example, David Lloyd offers a huge range of fitness classes. If you’re a family with different interests and you’re local too, joining an Ipswich sports club could be a sound investment. In this kind of venue, everyone gets to participate in the activity they enjoy – and try new things too. Most offer a crèche service – an excellent service for busy parents with young children.

If you’re after a more specialist approach, look for your local wellbeing centre. If you live locally, check out your Quay Place Heritage and Wellbeing centre. In fact, we rely on the Pilates classes there to keep us flexible, aligned and relaxed. Low-impact classes like these are a great way to improve core strength and practise mindfulness at the same time.

Walk the walk

If joining a local club or gym doesn’t appeal, there are plenty of other options available. Walking is a wonderful way to get more active and improve both your mental and physical health. Best of all, it’s simple, free and easy!

If you’re looking for somewhere to exercise in Ipswich, look no further than Christchurch Park. It’s one of our favourite al fresco spaces for a brisk, invigorating stroll. The facilities include tennis courts, a bowling green and a children’s play area. So it’s an ideal place for all the family to move a little more while enjoying some fresh air.

Dance classes Ipswich

Physical activity can take all sorts of different forms. Dancing is a whole-body workout so you can feel fit, while having fun. If you’ve always wanted to waltz like a pro on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, check out your local dance school. Ipswich School of Dancing offers lessons/classes for children and adults of all ages and stages, from beginners to advanced.

If latin and ballroom doesn’t float your boat, there are plenty of other dance styles to try, including Ceroc, ballet, tap and salsa. Most dance forms offer a great cardio workout, and have mood and mind benefits, too. If you’re not quite ready for ballroom shoes or a tutu, why not test the waters with Zumba?

 Ipswich swimming pool

If you’re looking for an alternative Ipswich exercise option, head to an Ipswich swimming pool. Swimming offers so many physical benefits, including fitness, weight loss, strength and stamina. But it results in huge health and wellbeing benefits too.

A report commissioned by Swim England last year found evidence that swimmers live longer, and stay fitter (physically and mentally). In particular, the report highlighted the benefits of swimming and aquatic activities for people with mental health concerns.

Keen to add a little aquatic action to your Ipswich fitness programme? Why not pay a visit to Crown Pools? The facility includes a leisure pool, competition pool, wave machine and aqua classes. And it offers swimming lessons that cater for children from six months through to advanced adults.

 Join the dream team

If you think swimming sounds too solitary, there are plenty of team sports to choose from. If you’re looking to improve your fitness in Ipswich, why not explore one of our local rugby clubs or the football academy? Ipswich RFC has been running in tries since 1870. In addition to developing physical fitness, team games like rugby give participants a valuable sense of belonging and purpose. If you’ve always fancied following in the footsteps of a Premier League footballer, check out Ipswich Town FC Academy. Famous alumni include Kieron Dyer and Darren Bent, although we can’t guarantee you’ll be selected for England too!

WIN A Fitbit Inspire HR, health and fitness tracker with heart rate monitor!

Need some inspiration to exercise? We have just the thing. WIN a Fitbit Inspire HR fitness tracker. So you can live a healthier lifestyle, by motivating you to hit your weight and fitness goals. By connecting your mobile, you can also keep up to date with any texts, calendar events or calls – directly from your wrist.

  • Track your resting heart rate, along with your fat burn, cardio and peak HR zones – all to optimise your workouts with the correct amount of effort
  • When running, biking or participating in a yoga session, you can set targets for calorie burn, distance and time – you’ll be notified as you hit them
  • This model is water resistant up to 50m, so there’s no problem about training in the pool or taking it in the shower after
  • Us the Fitbit app to observe your cardio fitness score to understand how fit you really are. You can also use the app to gain tips to improve your health

To be in with a chance of winning, simply FOLLOW the Lighthouse Dental Practice Twitter account (@LighthouseDent2) and RETWEET a competition post. The competition opens on Thursday 18th April. The winner will be chosen at random after the closing date [Friday 17th May 2019] and will be notified accordingly. Good luck!

Terms & Conditions

Your information is being provided to Lighthouse Dental Practice, not Twitter or Fitbit.
You must be aged 18 or over to enter this competition.
Entrants must live in Suffolk in the UK.

If you are not a resident in Suffolk (in the UK), you will be disqualified.
Closing date for all entries is midnight 17th May 2019.
We will select a winner at random on Monday 20th May 2019. We will then notify the winner with a direct message.
Twitter, Facebook and Fitbit are not associated with and in no way sponsor, endorse or administer this promotion.
This is a non-transferable prize and no cash alternative will be given.
Winner has 48 hours to respond to the notification that they’ve won. If we do not hear back from you, we reserve the right to choose another winner.