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

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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.

Children

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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)

Ingredients

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

 

Method

  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)

Ingredients

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

 

Method

  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!

Ingredients

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

 

Method

  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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How to make your teeth feel stronger

January’s Golden Globes ceremony marked the beginning of the 2019 Awards Season. The 91st Academy Awards (aka the ‘Oscars’) will take place later this month. The familiar red carpet fashion show usually generates as many headlines as the winners themselves. But what is the one accessory almost every celebrity (male or female) shares? That’s right, a dazzling bright smile.

 

Most of us would love white, even ‘film star’ teeth, but we’re not always sure where to start. Did you know that white teeth are usually the result of strong, healthy enamel? So if you’d like an Oscar-worthy smile, there are steps you can take to build strong, healthy teeth. We can’t promise you Hollywood fame and fortune. But establishing excellent oral health habits can help you look and feel like a superstar.

 

Calcium consumption

It may be a cliché, but we are what we eat. It’s important to follow a good diet in order to be healthy and fit. Your teeth are no exception. And they need calcium to stay strong.

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. Together with Vitamin D and phosphorus, it plays a vital role in the formation of strong teeth and gums. It’s important that we eat a healthy diet, which contains plenty of calcium, to keep our teeth (and jawbone) strong. According to the NHS, adults aged 19 to 64 need around 700mg of calcium every day.

 

So what are the best foods to consume to achieve this? Dairy products, leafy greens such as broccoli, nuts, and certain types of fish, are all good sources of calcium. Tofu, soya beans, pulses and sesame seeds are excellent vegan alternatives. Some good news for carb lovers: did you know that brown and white bread contain calcium? In the UK, it’s added to both white and brown flour by law. So that lunchtime sandwich could actually be helping to strengthen your smile!

But consuming calcium alone isn’t sufficient, because it doesn’t operate in isolation. You need Vitamin D to regulate the amount of calcium in your body. Good sources include fatty fish, egg yolks, cheese – and natural sunlight.

 

Brush and floss

To stay strong and healthy, your teeth need to be clean. Practice good oral health by brushing gently but thoroughly at least twice a day. But don’t rush to brush straight after consuming all that calcium! It’s best to wait at least 30 minutes after eating. This is because if you’ve eaten anything acidic, brushing it straight into your teeth will weaken its enamel.

For best results, use a fluoride toothpaste, and brush for two minutes, to prevent plaque building up. Remember to change your toothbrush regularly. Most dentists recommend at least every three months, and more often if you’ve been ill. That’s because gems can lurk in toothbrush bristles. In addition, normal wear and tear means older brushes are less effective than new ones at removing plaque.

 

Daily flossing is another way to help keep your teeth strong. That’s because it helps to dislodge any food debris from between your teeth. Flossing also helps to remove plaque along the gum line. Strong healthy teeth can’t exist without strong, healthy gums, so do take the time to floss. Floss firmly but gently, or you’ll damage your gums. If you’re not a fan of floss per se, try dental tape or interdental brushes instead.

 

Drink sensibly

To keep your teeth strong and healthy, you need to avoid enamel erosion. So anything sugary and/or acidic is bad news. That’s why fizzy drinks (of the alcoholic and soft variety) can damage your teeth as much as sugary snacks.

Protect your teeth by keeping an eye on your liquid consumption. Dry January might be done and dusted, but cutting back on alcohol will help to keep your teeth strong. For context, it takes about an hour for your teeth enamel to remineralise after encountering acid and sugar. So if you’re constantly snacking or sipping on sodas, your teeth are in trouble. Switch to water instead. We all know how important it is to keep hydrated. But did you realise that water can protect your teeth too?

Water can help to physically rinse away any leftover scraps of food and bacteria that are lurking in your mouth. It can also neutralise the acid that erodes enamel, and subsequently weakens your teeth.

 

Resist the temptation to multi-task

Your teeth are not tools. Using them exclusively for chewing food will help keep them strong and healthy. Don’t risk cracks and chips, or weaken their structure, by using them for anything else. Resist the temptation to tear open crisp packets, nibble your nails or bite off sticky tape! Take extra care around hard foods too. Don’t attempt to bite open nuts with a shell. If you do indulge in the occasional beer, use a bottle opener to access it – not your precious pearly whites!

 

 

Visit your dentist regularly

The importance of attending regular dental check-ups can’t be overstated. Maintenance visits are vital to keep you teeth healthy and strong. They allow us to identify, and treat, potential problems before they get worse. They’re also a great opportunity to discuss different treatment options, and dispense guidance and advice.

Dentistry evolves all the time, so make sure you’re aware of everything the Lighthouse Dental Practice has to offer. There are lots of ways we can help you keep your teeth strong. To find out more, or to book an appointment, call us today on 01473 257379. If you’re on Twitter, follow us on @LighthouseDent2. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Are You Having A Fizz Free February?

healthy smile on a child

Our Ipswich dentists look at how patients might benefit from taking part.

There seems to be a trend in allocating specific months to certain health campaigns, usually when the name ties in, e.g. Veganuary. Whether you went vegan for that month or not though, there is still an opportunity to do something for your health this month too.

A new campaign, named ‘Fizz Free February’ has been started with the aim of encouraging people to cut down on the amount of sugary drinks that they consume. This is especially important for those who drink these regularly, but all of us could benefit from cutting them out, or at least reducing them.

Adding up the pounds

Before you are tempted to dismiss this as ‘just another health campaign’ and move on, it is worth looking at the the cost of these drinks, ignoring for now, the cost of any additional dental treatments you may well need because of them. Drinking just one fizzy drink a day will cost you around £500 each year, and obviously more if you are a more regular drinker. As the bulk of these drinks consist of water and sugar, that is a pretty large amount.

A more important factor in this campaign though, is the health aspect of it, both general and from an oral health perspective.

Your future health

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How to show your teeth love this Valentine’s Day

On Valentine’s Day, it’s traditional for us to show our affection for our loved ones. We send cards, flowers and gifts to each other. We arrange romantic nights out (or in). Also, we lavish time, attention and money on the people who are important to us. So this year, why not go one step further and show your teeth some love, too? After all, they’re a vital part of you that totally deserves some time and attention. And you’d certainly miss them if you lost them, through decay or disease.

Keep it clean

A kissable mouth starts with clean teeth and fresh breath. Excellent oral hygiene is a must all year round, not just on Valentine’s Day. So make sure you brush your teeth gently but thoroughly at least twice a day. Use a fluoride toothpaste and brush for at least two minutes, to help keep plaque and cavities at bay.

Above all, pay proper attention to your brushing technique. Effective cleaning means brushing ALL the surfaces of every tooth. To make this easier, why not treat yourself to a new electric toothbrush (or drop hints to a loved one)? It might not be as romantic as a bouquet of red roses, but it will last much longer. After brushing, don’t rush to rinse, as this will dilute the fluoride’s effect. And don’t forget to brush your tongue, because plaque and bacteria can lurk there too. And that’s definitely not what you want if you’re planning to get up close and personal.

Many people rush to brush their teeth straight after eating, but this isn’t necessarily a good idea. If you’ve consumed anything acidic, you’ll simply be helping to weaken your tooth enamel. Wait at least 30 minutes to be on the safe side.

Focus on flossing

Daily flossing is another way to show your teeth some TLC for Valentine’s Day and keep your breath fresh. It’s also a great way to safely dislodge any food or debris that’s wedged between your teeth. (Nobody wants the embarrassment of ‘spinach teeth’ on a hot date). Flossing also helps to remove plaque along the gum line. This means it can also reduce gum disease and the likelihood of bad breath. So there’s no excuse to not make the effort, in February or any other month!

If you are really struggling with flossing, do speak to your dentist, and we’ll be happy to help. We can demonstrate the correct technique and advise where you’re going wrong. Don’t forget that there are lots of alternatives to standard floss. So don’t be afraid to experiment with dental tape and interdental brushes instead.

It’s worth making an effort to use mouthwash too. It’s a fast, easy way to freshen your breath. But its effects are more than just cosmetic. Mouthwash can also help to prevent cavities, kill germs, prevent tartar build-up and desensitise your teeth. All that in under one minute! If you’re still worried about bad breath, chewing sugar-free gum after eating can help.

All white

There’s no denying that a bright, white smile is attractive, and enhances your appearance. It can also boost your self-confidence – very useful if you’re on the lookout for love this Valentine’s Day! Unfortunately, not all of us are blessed with naturally white teeth. And if you’re a fan of curry, coffee or red wine, you’re more likely to suffer from teeth staining.

However, help is at hand, in the form of teeth whitening or bleaching. This is a safe, effective way to achieve whiter, brighter teeth. Don’t risk a dodgy DIY kit that could damage your teeth. We create bespoke whitening trays that are safe and comfortable. We can also recommend the correct amount of whitening gel to use to obtain the required results. It’s never been easier to dazzle your beloved with your pearly whites!

A stunning smile

Stained or yellowing teeth are not the only reason that many people are unhappy with their smile. If your teeth are broken, missing or crooked, it’s difficult to beam brightly at your beloved. If that is the case, why not give yourself the gift of a great smile this Valentine’s Day? We offer a range of cosmetic dentistry services including white fillings, dental crowns, and dental implants.

We help if you suffer from dental anxiety or dental phobia. These are often the key reasons why so many people don’t visit their dentist regularly, and consequently have damaged teeth. We realise that dental anxiety can have serious consequences, and do all we can to help you overcome it. So you can be confident of obtaining the treatment you need without fear or discomfort.

Many people are anxious about visiting the dentist thanks to previous unpleasant/painful experiences, often as a child. We always take care to perform all necessary dental procedures with minimal discomfort. And we even offer a range of sedation services, for severely phobic patients.

A committed relationship

With most relationships, you get back what you put in. It’s no different with your dentist. So don’t play hard to get – be committed instead. Visit us regularly, as often as we recommend. Prevention is always better than cure. Maintenance check-ups are vital, as they 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.

For more information on how to enhance your oral health, follow us on Twitter @LighthouseDent2.

‘Deep Cleaning’ – Who Needs It?

Failure to receive regular professional teeth and gum cleaning could result in the need for more invasive treatment.

As regular patients of the Lighthouse Dental Practice will be aware, we put a great deal of emphasis on preventative dental care. This means not only brushing your teeth well and seeing the dentist every six months, but also, in our opinion, should include having your teeth professionally cleaned by a hygienist. This should not be seen as an ‘additional extra’, but as a key part of your regular oral health care programme.

Having your teeth cleaned by the hygienist, also known as a ‘scale and polish’  not only means that some surface staining is removed, making your teeth look nicer, but that hardened bacteria is also removed from the parts of our teeth and gums that even the best flossing can’t remove. Failure to remove this may result in the patient eventually suffering from gum disease.

Gingivitis

Before we move on to the main topic of this blog, it is worth distinguishing between gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis occurs at an earlier stage, and, whilst potentially creating some unpleasant symptoms, such as bleeding and soreness, is often reversible with better care at home and a course of professional cleaning. Failure to treat gingivitis is likely to result in it advancing to the periodontitis stage. This is a more serious form of gum disease where not only the gums, but also the root section of the tooth, and the surrounding bone tissue, may become infected. This can result in loose teeth, or even their loss.

A ‘deep’ clean

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