The Long Term Implications Of Gum Disease

Gum disease

Ipswich dentist, Dr Codrin 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.


Choosing The Right Dental Practice For Your Needs

Family with great teeth

Why we believe that the Lighthouse Dental Practice is a great choice for residents of Ipswich.

If you are new to the area, or perhaps have been seeing the same dentist for a long time out of habit, you may feel that now is the right time to change to a new dentist?

Once upon a time, this choice was relatively straightforward, with most practices offering a smallish range of treatments. These days though, the treatments that are on offer are both wide ranging and diverse.

One way to choose a new dentist is to search for it on the internet, or perhaps use a paper directory and use a pin to randomly select. Others will use locality to choose, often opting for the one that is closest to home, or to work. Whilst this is understandable, it often isn’t the best way to choose a dentist that is most suited to your needs. Unless you are very unlucky, you will probably only need to visit the dentist two or three times a year, so a little extra effort in travelling is worth it, to find the best services and treatments for you.

Ask a friend

Recommendations are a common way of choosing a dentist, and a very valid one in as much as discovering what the team at the practice are like. Rude dentists or receptionists are likely to put people off, however good they actually are at their job. This is something that we are very aware of, and even on a challenging day, we make sure that we greet and treat patients in a friendly and welcoming manner when they come to  our Ipswich dental clinic.

Safety first

Thankfully in the UK, there are strict regulations regarding health and safety for patients, and members of staff. At the Lighthouse Dental Practice, we have a dedicated room where our equipment is sterilised. This, combined with the wearing of masks and gloves during treatment, and the general cleanliness of our dental clinic, means that the risk of cross infection is kept to an absolute minimum.


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Help protect your teeth with low-sugar recipes

These days, we should all be thinking of ways to be more sugar smart with low-sugar recipes. However, there’s no way to sweeten what might for some be an unpalatable truth. In fact, eating too much sugar is one of the main causes of tooth decay. It can also lead to weight gain, which in turn increases the risk of many health problems. As a result, these can include heart disease, some cancers and type 2 diabetes.

However, the solution should be simple: eat less sugar. But the problem is that there is a lot of ‘hidden’ sugar in everyday food and drinks. Most adults and children in the UK consume too many ‘free sugars’. To simplify, these are any sugars that are added to food and drinks. So that includes sugars in biscuits, breakfast cereals, chocolate, flavoured yoghurts and fizzy drinks. It even includes sugars in foodstuffs that are often considered ‘healthy’, such as honey, fruit juices and smoothies.

In fact, too much sugar is especially bad for children. As a result, it can lead to the build-up of harmful fat on the inside of their bodies, which we can’t even see. Also, the implications for tooth decay are just as worrying. In fact, according to Change4Life, every ten minutes a child in England has a tooth removed in hospital. So it makes absolute sense to consider low-sugar recipes for you and your family.

But just how much sugar is too much? For children aged 4-6 years, the maximum daily amounts of added sugar are 5 cubes – that’s just 19 grams. However, for children aged 7-10 years, it’s 6 cubes (24 grams). And for children aged 11 and over – and adults – the guidelines are 7 cubes (30 grams).

Make clever choices

As a result, trying to cut down on sugar, when it seems to be everywhere, is daunting. But there lots of easy ways to consume less. For example, drinks are an easy win. So you can say goodbye to sugary sodas, energy drinks, flavoured milks and sweetened juices. In fact, plain water is the best, no-sugar thirst quencher. Lower-fat milk and sugar-free sodas are also good alternatives. Fruit juice on the other hand can be OK, but in moderation. It does count as one of your five a day (but only one!) no matter how much you consume. However, it often has added sugar – even the pure fruit juices contain large amounts of naturally occurring sugars. So limit yourself and your kids to 150ml a day.

Snacking can also be a sugar-laden minefield. So try to avoid temptation in the form of sweets, chocolate and biscuits. Therefore, choose healthier options such as fruit, unsalted nuts and low-sugar cereal. And don’t assume yoghurt is a safe option – lots of brands are packed with sugar! Switch to a low-fat version instead and jazz it up with some berries or chopped fruit.

Of course, life is busy and sometimes a fast, packaged snack is the practical option – especially where hungry kids are concerned! A handy tip is the ‘100kcals, two-a -day max’ rule, to help you make healthier choices with low-sugar recipes. Good options include sugar-free jelly, plain rice cakes, a malt loaf slice, chopped vegetables and lower-fat hummus.

Read the small print

Food labels really do matter, and can help you make healthier choices for the whole family. Sometimes called nutrition labels, they show how much sugar, saturated fat and salt are inside what you’re buying. Traffic light labels can be useful as they use simple red, amber and green colour coding, to speed up your selection process. As you’d expect, green is good! So, go easy on anything amber, and try to cut down on those reds for low-sugar recipes you can enjoy.

Perfect your packed lunches

You might think that giving your child a packed lunch is a good way to reduce their sugar intake. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to create a lunchbox that’s laden with ‘hidden’ sugar. So ditch the juice drink, sweetened yogurt and cake bar, and serve up these low-sugar recipes from Change4Life instead.

Spicy chicken and salad wrap

(37.9g carbohydrate of which sugars 6.1g per 225g serving)


1tbs low-fat Greek yoghurt

¼ tsp curry powder, to taste

Large pinch of chilli powder, to taste

85g cooked chicken breast, chopped into small pieces

1 large wholemeal bap

Small wedge of lettuce, to give 2 tbsp when shredded

3 slices of cucumber, chopped

1 slice of pepper, chopped



  1. Mix the yoghurt and spices to taste and add the chicken.
  2. Spread the chicken mixture on the wrap, then sprinkle on the lettuce, cucumber and pepper.
  3. Fold opposite edges of the wrap, to keep the filing in, then roll up and cut in half.

Tuna and bean salad

(23.2g carbohydrate of which sugars 3.3g per 241g serving)


3 tsp olive oil

Juice of ½ lemon

Large pinch of each: mixed dried herbs, mustard powder, black pepper

1 slice of pepper, chopped

2 spring onions, sliced

2cm piece of cucumber, chopped

1 heaped tbsp canned mixed beans in water, drained

½ x 160g can of tuna in spring water, drained

To serve: 1 thick slice of wholemeal bread and lower-fat spread



  1. Mix the oil, lemon juice, mixed herbs, mustard powder and black pepper.
  2. Add to the salad vegetables, beans and tuna and mix gently.
  3. Serve with the bread and lower-fat spread.

Filling family meals

Cutting down on sugar doesn’t mean existing on a diet of deprivation. There are lots of tips and tricks to make low-sugar recipes from hearty family favourites. Why not try this healthy fish and chips recipe from Change4Life? It has just 56g carbohydrate (of which 3g sugars) per serving!


4 potatoes, scrubbed, each cut into 8 wedges

1 tbsp vegetable oil

75g dried white or wholemeal breadcrumbs

1 egg, beaten with 2 tbsp cold water

4 fillets skinless haddock or cod

300g mushy peas

1 pinch ground black pepper



  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan oven 180°C/gas mark 6. Lightly grease a baking sheet with a little vegetable oil.
  2. Put the potato wedges into a roasting tin. Add the remaining vegetable oil and toss to coat. Season with black pepper. Transfer to the oven to bake for 35-40 minutes, turning them over after 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, sprinkle the breadcrumbs onto a large plate. Season with a little pepper. Dip each fish fillet in the beaten egg, then coat in the breadcrumbs. Place on the baking sheet, then transfer to the oven when you turn the potatoes, so that it cooks for 15-20 minutes. To check that the fish is cooked, it should flake easily when tested with a fork.
  4. Heat the mushy peas in a saucepan, then serve with the fish and ‘chips’.


Saving your teeth from sugar

Consuming less sugar is one of the best ways to prevent tooth decay. Maintaining excellent oral health habits – and visiting your dentist – is another. So regular check-ups are a must. Our experienced team can identify signs of excessive sugar consumption, and offer appropriate treatment, guidance and advice. We can also help you make changes to your diet, to help protect both your and your family’s teeth.

You can also follow us on Twitter @LighthouseDent2 for regular updates on how to keep your teeth healthy.





How to pamper yourself for spring

It’s been a long time coming, but spring is just around the corner! So, the days are longer and lighter and the temperatures are higher. Now, the birds are starting to sing, flowers are beginning to bloom, and all seems well with the world. In fact, spring symbolises hope, regeneration and a much-needed fresh start after the rigours of winter.

In short, spring is a time to celebrate and consider how to really pamper yourself. And what better way is there to welcome the new season? Now is the time to emerge from hibernation and restore and rejuvenate body and soul with some indulgent self-care.

Perhaps, the easiest – and most enjoyable way – to participate in some spring pampering is a luxury spa escape. After all, professional spas offer the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. In addition, tranquil environments and relaxing treatments are always a wonderful combination. But all is not lost if you don’t have the time or budget to pack your bags and abscond! There are lots of ways to treat yourself without even leaving home.

The beauty of bathing

Enjoying a soak in the bath can make you feel better. After all, warm water dilates blood vessels, relaxes muscles and soothes the mind, too. So, if you’re looking for ideas on how to pamper yourself this spring, start with your tub.

Before you begin, why not treat yourself to some indulgent lotions and potions? Then you can experiment with some scented bath oils or bubbles. Or simply soak in some cheap and cheerful Epsom salts for an intense detox experience. In fact, they’re an excellent way to boost blood circulation and alleviate muscle tension.

In addition, you can elevate your soak with a thorough scrub to aid exfoliation. Or why not try some pre-bath dry body brushing? It’s a fabulous way to combat dry skin, stimulate lymph flow and improve the appearance of cellulite. After bathing, massage in some hydrating oils to lock in all that lovely moisture.

Setting the scene

Your bathroom environment is just as important as the pampering products you use. After all, it’s hard to relax and emulate a spa setting if your room is cold and brightly lit!

So, create a soothing atmosphere with some soft lighting, or scented candles. Then make sure your radiator in on high and set up a playlist of relaxing music; anything you find calming or comforting will do. Some freshly-laundered towels and a fluffy bathrobe are the perfect finishing touches, too.

Put your best face forward

If you’re looking for ways to pamper yourself, you can’t go far wrong with a facial. And it’s much easier than you think to replicate a spa-style treatment at home. All that lovely scented bath steam will have opened your pores and loosened any dead skin. So, the next step is a thorough but gentle cleanse, to remove all traces of makeup and any other impurities.

Don’t forget to double cleanse

This is where double cleansing really comes into its own. In fact, it’s very common for months of central heating and little fresh air to leave skin feeling dull and dehydrated. So treat it to a double cleanse with a rich balm, cream or milk. Simply massage your chosen product gently into your skin and remove every trace with a warm, wet flannel.

Afterwards, follow your double cleanse with some exfoliation to restore your skin’s natural glow. A gentle scrub with fine grains is perfect. Or if you prefer, try a chemical exfoliant, such as an acid toner, instead.

After you’ve cleansed and exfoliated, it’s time to introduce a nourishing product. In fact, sheet masks have taken the beauty world by storm in recent years. It’s all thanks to their hydrating and radiance-boosting properties. Then, for the finishing touch, massage in a few drops of facial oil for complexion perfection!

Don’t forget to hydrate your skin

After you’ve cleansed and exfoliated your skin, it’s time to introduce a nourishing product. Did you know sheet masks have taken the beauty world by storm in recent years. It’s all thanks to their hydrating and radiance-boosting properties. Then for the finishing touch, simply massage in a few drops of facial oil for complexion perfection!

Aesthetic treatments

Cosmetic enhancements can make you feel really pampered, once you discover the results they can achieve. Follow in the footsteps of more and more celebrities and consider dermal fillers to enhance your natural beauty and help to reduce wrinkles.  Although the treatment won’t take place at home, this will be where you’ll really see some fantastic benefits.

Be more hands-on

Another great way to indulge in some springtime pampering is to give yourself a manicure. So, if your hands have been hidden away in gloves for months, they’ll be in need of some TLC.

Start by cleaning your nails thoroughly and getting rid of any old polish. Then trim and shape your nails into your desired shape. ‘Squoval’ remains one of the most popular choices, as it’s both practical and flattering.

Next, you should condition your cuticles. So, soak your fingers in a bowl of warm water to soften, and then apply cuticle remover. Gently push back your cuticles, or trim (never tear!) any excess skin. In fact, cuticles are delicate and very easy to damage so, in this case, less is always more. Then prep for polish with a protective base coat, before applying your colour of choice. Afterward, finish with a quick-dry top coat – and don’t forget to apply hand/nail cream regularly.

Consider your diet

When you’re thinking of ideas about how to pamper yourself this spring, don’t forget about diet. In fact, yet another advantage of a spa stay is the nutritious but delicious food on offer. But this is another thing you can enjoy at home too, with a little thought and forward planning.

So think about meals you enjoy, but don’t indulge in every day. Then set a pretty table, with fresh linens and candles. Treat yourself to a glass of champagne, or a fancy mocktail, if you’re avoiding alcohol.

More food for thought

If the thought of slaving over a hot stove for hours is the antithesis of pampering, there are other options however. And none of them need involve a greasy, calorific takeaway! You could stock up on gourmet goodies at your local deli counter or why not treat yourself to a weekly recipe box? There are plenty to choose from, such as Hello Fresh and Mindful Chef.

These companies deliver everything you need to put together a healthy evening meal. And there’s no tiresome food shopping or time-consuming prep to deal with. You can personalise your meals and tailor them to accommodate vegetarian and vegan diets. So, they’re an easy, simple way to nourish your body – and you’ll look and feel great this spring.

WIN! A Bannatyne spa day for mother & daughter


As this month marks Mother’s Day (March 31st), we just couldn’t resist offering you the chance to enter our new competition. If you win, you can enjoy an indulgent Bannatyne spa day for mother & daughter. It’s the perfect way to relax your mind, soothe your soul and lift your spirits for spring! You can simply unwind and recharge in a Bannatyne spa, which aims to provide the perfect antidote to modern day life.

This spa day prize includes two treatments: a relaxing Swedish Back, Neck & Shoulder Massage and a rejuvenating Bannatyne Energising Facial. You’ll also be able to use the swimming pool, sauna, steam room and spa pool, and participate in a gym class. Complimentary spa bag hire (which includes a spa robe, towel and flip flops) is also included.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply FOLLOW the Lighthouse Dental Practice Twitter account (@LighthouseDent2) and RETWEET our competition post. The winner will be chosen at random, after the closing date [31.03.19] and will be notified accordingly. Good luck!

Terms & conditions

* You are providing your information to Lighthouse Dental Practice and not Twitter or Bannatyne
* 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 31st March 2019.
* We will select a winner at random by Tuesday 2nd April. 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 mothers and daughter 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.

What Do You Know About Wisdom Teeth?

dentist surgery

Ipswich dentist, Dr Tocca explains more about these sometimes problematic teeth.

Wisdom teeth are so named because they are the very last teeth that we develop as adults. Because they often erupt during our late teen years or early twenties, they are considered to come through at an age when we should have a certain amount of wisdom, hence the name! In some cases though, these teeth do not erupt as they should, or even not erupt at all.

You may have heard, perhaps from older relatives, that your wisdom teeth are the most difficult to remove if there is a problem with their development. Modern dental surgery means that this is now much more straightforward than in the past, but a problematic wisdom tooth can certainly be more challenging to extract than a tooth further towards the front of the mouth.

Wisdom teeth problems

Because the wisdom teeth develop at the back of the mouth and often have little space into which they can erupt, they can sometimes cause problems as they develop. In some instances they may become trapped under the gum line, only partially erupt, or come through at an angle which can cause a number of issues. These situations are what are often referred to as impacted wisdom teeth.

When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it can result in a number of problems, including potential infection, gum swelling and bite issues, and also potentially painful facial swelling. When this happens, it is possible that the wisdom tooth will need to be extracted from the socket.

Extracting a wisdom tooth

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