It’s not too late to join Fizz Free February!

Over the past few decades, drinking fizzy beverages has become an inseparable part of a daily routine for many people. We all know that sugary drinks are a well-known cause of weight gain, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, but did you know they also affect your teeth?

Fizzy drinks contain high amounts of sugar that interact with the bacteria in your mouth, forming acids that attack your teeth. You might well be thinking, ‘I only drink sugar-free fizzy drinks. Isn’t that okay?’ – unfortunately not! Both regular and sugar-free fizzy beverages contain other harmful acidic ingredients like citric acid, phosphoric acid, and tartaric acid, which can be extremely detrimental to your dental health.

If you haven’t already started, it’s not too late to join Fizz Free February and enjoy a healthy challenge this month with us. Don’t forget to spread the word and get your friends and family to join too!

Fizzy Risks

The two most harmful effects fizzy drinks have on teeth are erosion and cavities. Our teeth have a hard outer protective layer made up of minerals, enamel, which is destroyed by the acids contained in fizzy drinks. When enamel erodes the sensitive layer of teeth-dentine, is exposed, which can lead to cavities, tooth pain and sensitivity. Tooth enamel and does not regenerate itself, which is why maintaining it is so important!

Fizz Free Benefits

Removing fizzy drinks from your diet will not only help you reduce the amount of sugar you consume every day but will help you prevent erosion and could save you from pain and complex, expensive dental treatment in the future. Reaching for a glass of water instead will not only help you avoid those problems but also keep you hydrated.

Managing your Fizz

Committing to a month free of fizzy drinks can help you limit the consumption of them or maybe even eliminate them from your diet. If you decide to go back to drinking those beverages, here are some top tips to reduce the damage they cause to your teeth:

  • Confine consumption to a mealtime – this reduces the number of acidic attacks on your teeth. Drinking through a straw will help keep the acids away from the teeth and limit the damage.
  • Finish a meal with cheese or milk – this helps to neutralize any acids in your mouth.
  • Chew sugar-free gum after eating– this produces more saliva to neutralise acids
  • Brush twice a day – brushing your teeth twice a day, just before bedtime and at one other time during the day with a fluoride toothpaste will help protect your teeth. When you brush spit out the excess toothpaste- do not rinse your mouth. This allows the fluoride in the remaining toothpaste to protect your teeth.
  • Wait at least one hour after eating or drinking anything acidic before brushing your teeththis gives your teeth time to recover
  • Get regular dental checkups – regular dental health checks will help spot the problem before it’s too late.

Remember – it’s never too late to take control of your dental health! If you need advice, or are in need of a dental health check, contact Kennett Road Dental today to speak to a member of our team.

Making Baby’s First Trip to the Dentist a Positive Experience

At Kennett Road Dental Practice, we are all about families. There is nothing more important in the world than your family, whatever form that comes in. We see parents everyday worrying about their baby’s first trip to the dentist. Will they scream? Will everyone look at us? Will the people in scary masks frighten him or her and what if something is actually wrong with their teeth? We’ve heard every possible anxiety and worry new parents experience when approaching the issue and we’re here to provide helpful, comforting advice on how to make your young child’s visit to the dentist a good experience for everyone.

When should your baby go to the dentist? Your baby should ideally visit the dentist before they are one year old. Although they may not have many teeth at the time you bring them, it is very beneficial to get them used to the lights, sounds and smells of the dental practice. This will make things go smoother later on when they have more teeth to examine. The NHS suggests you “take your child to the dentist when their first milk teeth appear. This is so they become familiar with the environment and get to know the dentist. The dentist can advise you on how to prevent decay and identify any oral health problems at an early stage.”

What if something IS wrong? At this stage it’s very unlikely there could be anything wrong that won’t correct itself in time. On the off chance we can identify a dental issue, it’s best to know about it sooner rather than later and to be proactive to protect their future adult teeth

How can you prepare your child for their first visit? There are many books and television programs aimed at preparing young children for their trip to see the dentist. Peppa Pig has a good book which we used to keep in the waiting room before the onset of the pandemic, but you may be able to borrow it from the library now they are open again.

CBeebies has an episode of ‘My Very First’ about visiting the dentist. Even ‘Sesame Street’ has a video about visiting the dentist which can be helpful in preparing your child. You should speak positively about going to the dentist and enforce this with older siblings too. Hearing negative things about visiting the dentist is likely to cause the child anxiety to some level before they even get to the surgery. Even if they aren’t talking yet, they are likely still able to understand a lot of what you say and pick up on tone of voice, so watch what they hear before your visit. You can also make a big thing of getting to “ride on” or “drive” the big dentist chair. This should make them feel more excited than resistant. Also, the idea of being able to see their own teeth on the television via a small camera should hold some level of curiosity for most children.

What should you bring with you? It’s a good idea to bring some calming toys and activities with you to the waiting room. It might be a good time to whip out a children’s book about visiting the dentist, so they can recognise some of the things they are seeing in the book nearby. Bringing a favourite teddy or doll with them is a grand idea because we can check their teeth too. Teddy bears are notorious for neglecting their dental health, so we’re happy to see to their toy’s teeth free of charge while your child visits the dentist!

If you would like to bring their pram or pushchair into the dental practice with you, it’s perfectly fine with us. There is plenty of manoeuvring room in the patient areas, so if they’re more comfortable in their buggy where they feel it’s safe, feel free to wheel them in. We only ask that you refrain from doing high-speed doughnuts in the waiting areas as it’s not really any one person’s job to clean up the tyre marks on the floor!

What we can do to help your child. We are invested in creating a comfortable and family-friendly atmosphere at Kennett Road Dental Practice. If for no other reason than that we hate to see anyone upset. If the child is upset, then so will the parent be and invariably the noise of a crying child will carry to the waiting room and cause a chain reaction of panic amongst our younger patients. We’ll go to any lengths to avoid that. We’re happy to use mirrors, toys, incentivising rides on our up and down chairs and stickers to create a positive experience. Rest assured that at one point or more in our careers every dentist has had to work around the arm of a parent holding a smartphone under their nose, playing ‘In the Night Garden’ at full volume to calm a nervous child. It happens and we’ll work around it as best we can. We’re all there for the same reason, we want the best for your child.

What you can do to help. One of the best things you can do if you have other children is to book back-to-back appointments for both of them. That way the little one can see their big brother or sister go first and they’ll feel more prepared for their turn, knowing what to expect. You could also sit your child on your lap if they are nervous and talk to them during the appointment. That way you get a free ride in the dentist’s chair too. We know you want to.

The first dentist trip is a learning curve for both parent and child, so don’t worry. Sometimes these things go well and both parent and baby leave with good behaviour stickers. That’s ideal, but sometimes it can feel more like trying to fold gravy as with any new experience with an infant. The best thing you can do is to remain calm and positive, be prepared with toys and Makka Pakka’s dance moves to distract your child. Above all it’s important for you to remember that visiting the dentist is not to be avoided on account of your anxiety or theirs. It’s really important that regular dental visits start now and remain consistent in your child’s life so they will be used to it and be less inclined to throw a tantrum later on.

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