Category Archives: Dental Health

Government Announces 2018 UK Sugar Tax

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2018 UK Sugar Tax

Big news today as Chancellor George Osborne has announced a 2018 UK Sugar Tax. We asked just over a month ago whether it was time for a UK Sugar Tax, and it now appears that the Westminster government agrees with the many campaigners, experts and organisations that a tax on sugary drinks should be introduced.

Soft drinks are being targeted as they often consumed on a daily basis and are seen of less of a luxury item than cake or chocolate. They are also excessively high in sugar, with some products containing up to nine teaspoons of sugar. An average fizzy drink can contain as much as a third of child’s daily sugar, and they are currently teenager’s number one source of sugar intake.

For adults and children alike, sugar is a main contributor to the obesity epidemic, and a huge factor in tooth decay and poor oral health.

There may be challenges by the soft drinks industry to the government’s plans as 2018 approaches, but this announcement shows that serious action is needed.

Sugar Tax: How Will it Work? [via The BBC]

What Causes Discoloured and Stained Teeth

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Discoloured and Stained Teeth

Knowing what causes discoloured and stained teeth helps to keep your smile whiter for longer. You are also highly encouraged to avoid staining consumables if you have had teeth implants, teeth whitening, or significant cosmetic dentistry work. If you’ve noticed your teeth becoming discoloured, or have just had a cosmetic dental procedure, then bear in mind the following elements which cause discoloured and stained teeth:

Age – Enamel on teeth wears down with age. Erosion can lead to crevices where stains and discolouration can occur. A good dental care routine can help slow down the erosion process, but if the problem with discoloured and stained teeth persists and even gets worse, then restorative dental procedures such as enamel restoration or implants could be a consideration.

Smoking – As we pointed out previously, not only is smoking a main cause of bad breath, it can also stain teeth. Along with the health benefits, quitting smoking gives your teeth a break from exposure to a discolouring habit, as well as being a benefit to the rest of your body

Food – Berries (including cherries), beetroot, curries, tomato sauces and pickles are either acidic or staining. If you can’t live without blueberries or borscht, then rinse your mouth with water shortly after eating them.

Drink – Tea, coffee (both especially when drunk without milk), red wine and acidic fruit and fizzy drinks are full of staining tannins and also acidic, which affects the integrity of your teeth’s enamel. White wine is not as bad for discolouration, but contains an equally damaging amount of acid.

Condiments – Ketchup, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar are either acidic or highly staining. If it stains fabric, then it can stain your teeth!

Artifical and natural colours – It may seem obvious, but colourings in food and drink are often overlooked. Especially bad for causing discoloured and stained teeth are products like sweets (if it turns your tongue an unnatural colour, your teeth are equally at risk) and frozen ice products. If it had added colours, then they could end up on your teeth.

Causes and Treatments of Bad Breath

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Causes and Treatments of Bad Breath

From poor oral hygiene to diet to medication, the causes and treatments of bad breath are wide and varied. Clinically known as halitosis, about one in four people are affected by bad breath at some point in their lives. We’ll be breaking them down to help give a wider understanding of the condition and how to treat it.

First, check if you have bad breath

The first step in tackling bad breath is knowing whether you have it in the first place. Residual smells from recently consumed food or drink which fade in a short space of time are different from a persistent, unpleasant smell. It can be difficult to judge whether you have bad breath for yourself, and people are often uncomfortable with telling others that it is a problem. Bearing this in mind, there are a few ways you can find out if you have bad breath:

  • Ask – If you are uneasy with asking another person about your breath, you can always ask either your dentist or your GP. Sometimes bad breath can be a sign of an underlying medical condition, so don’t let embarrassment prevent treatment.
  •  Test – A quick way to check your breath is to lick the inside of your wrist and smell it once the saliva dries. Remember to do this either before or a time after eating or drinking something odorous for accuracy.
  • Taste – If you have a foul taste in your mouth, then this may also be mirrored in your breath. If the taste does not dissipate with rinsing your mouth or cleaning your teeth, then your breath may also be affected.

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Is it Time for a UK Sugar Tax?

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2018 UK Sugar Tax

A UK Sugar Tax could be on the cards if the evidence regarding its relationship to obesity, health and dental complications continues to pile up.

A former Westminster government obesity expert has also drawn attention to the relationship between the sugar industry and the role of marketing high-sugar products. Professor Geof Rayner said “The sugar people have a lot to lose and therefore a lot of time and money to spend on lobbying and influence-seeking.”

However, the time for sugar to be taxed may have come. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver recently launched a campaign for a tax on sugar in soft drinks in a bid to tackle rising rates of obesity. Cancer charity Cancer Research UK has also warned about the potential rise in cancer rates if obesity rates remain on their current trajectory.

Call from these various official agencies and third sector organisation combined with statements from Prime Minister David Cameron showing a softening in resistance to a tax on sugary drinks. All signs point to the fact that the time for a UK sugar tax could be coming.

Sugar, especially in fizzy drinks, is one of the main contributors to poor dental health. In the UK, the reason most children between the ages of 5 and 9 to be admitted to hospital is tooth decay. 28% of children have tooth decay by the time they reach age 5.

Is it Finally Time to Tax Sugary Drinks? [via The Guardian]

How to Brush Your Teeth Correctly

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brush your teeth correctly

Knowing how to brush your teeth correctly is an important way to protect your dental health. We can all be guilty of being a bit lazy or letting good habits slide, so it’s worth refreshing yourself on best practice for caring for you teeth.

1. Mix it Up

Most people brush their teeth in exactly the same way, starting and finishing in the same spots. A bit of awareness of your habits can lead to a better cleaning routine. Remember- the whole point of brushing your teeth is to make sure all your teeth get a through cleaning. Starting in a different part of your mouth or even brushing with your least-dominant hand can give you fresh perspective and a fresher smile.

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