Winning Smiles! How to Look After Your Teeth When Participating In Sport


From the adrenaline-pumping thrill of competitive matches to the camaraderie built through team sports, engaging in athletic activities can be immensely rewarding. However, amidst all the excitement and exertion, it’s easy to overlook an essential aspect of overall health – your dental hygiene. Just like your body’s muscles and joints, your teeth require special attention to ensure they stay strong and healthy as you pursue your sporting passions. In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of dental care in sports.

Engaging in sports can inadvertently expose your teeth to various risks, making them vulnerable to damage and decay. Understanding these connections can empower you to take better care of your oral health while staying active.

Sports and Oral Trauma:

Contact sports often involve physical collisions, which could lead to direct trauma to the face and mouth. Even non-contact sports such as scootering and skateboarding have risks of impact on the mouth. A properly fitted mouthguard is critical protective gear that can significantly reduce the risk of broken teeth as well as injuries to the lips and cheeks. Dental trauma, especially at a young age, will commit you to a lifetime of expensive dental treatment. At Kennett Road Dental we can take a 3-D scan of your teeth to make your customised mouthguard- in any colour or combination of colours you want!

Dehydration and Dental Health:

Staying hydrated during physical activity is crucial, but some sports drinks can be full of sugars that cause tooth decay. Many of these drinks are also acidic which leads to enamel erosion if these are drunk frequently during sporting activities. Additionally, mouth dryness caused by dehydration can create an environment where harmful bacteria thrive, leading to cavities and gum problems.

So, how do we recommend you look after your oral health when playing sports?

  1. Always wear a mouthguard

Invest in a high-quality, well-fitted mouthguard to protect your smile. Custom-fit mouthguards from your dentist offer the best combination of comfort and safety and are the ones recommended by all UK sporting organisations.

  1. Drink plenty of water

Choose water as your primary source of hydration. If you use sports drinks, opt for those with lower sugar content but remember these are also acidic so drink them only occasionally- not frequent sips. After consuming sugary drinks, rinse your mouth with water to help mitigate the effects of acids on your teeth.

  1. Prioritise your dental hygiene routine 

Maintain a consistent dental hygiene routine, including brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and using floss and interdental brushes. Consider brushing your teeth after your sports session to remove any accumulated debris and bacteria.

  1. Consume a balanced diet

Consume a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals that support strong teeth and bones. Incorporate foods like leafy greens, dairy products, lean proteins, and whole grains. Foods that are beneficial for your overall health are also good for your dental health!

  1. Visit your dentist and hygienist for regular check-ups

Schedule regular dental check-ups to catch any potential dental issues early. You will not perform at your best if you have a toothache! Your dentist and hygienist can provide personalised advice on maintaining oral health based on your sports and lifestyle. After all, you will want that bright, winning smile when you achieve your sporting goals!

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a dental check-up, please don’t hesitate to contact your friendly Oxford dentists at Kennett Road Dental Practice. We’re always here and happy to help!

The Dangers of DIY Teeth Straightening

The Dangers of DIY Teeth Straightening

In recent years, the internet has become flooded with DIY remedies and techniques for everything, including teeth straightening. While the idea of achieving a perfectly aligned smile from the comfort of your own home may sound tempting, it’s important to understand the potential risks involved. In this blog post, we will delve into the dangers of DIY teeth straightening, answering your questions and highlighting why consulting a dental professional, such as Kennett Road Dental, is crucial for your oral health and overall well-being.

Can I straighten my teeth myself?

While there are numerous DIY teeth straightening methods available online, it is highly recommended not to attempt to straighten your teeth by yourself. Teeth straightening is a complex process that requires professional expertise and a thorough understanding of orthodontics. Without proper knowledge and guidance, you risk causing irreversible damage to your teeth, gums, and jawbone. It’s essential to consult a qualified dental professional who can assess your specific needs and create a personalised treatment plan to achieve safe and effective teeth straightening results.

Are home teeth straightening kits safe?

Home teeth straightening kits pose significant risks to your oral health. These kits often lack the necessary professional supervision and personalised treatment planning that is essential for safe and effective teeth straightening. Without proper monitoring and adjustment, the aligners or devices included in these kits may cause tooth and gum damage, misalignments, or even lead to more serious complications.

What is the danger of DIY braces?

DIY braces carry numerous dangers and risks. Firstly, DIY braces often involve using inadequate or ill-fitting materials, such as rubber bands or non-medical-grade wires, which can exert excessive force on your teeth and gums. This can lead to severe pain, inflammation, and damage to the tooth roots or gum tissues. Additionally, the lack of professional supervision and adjustment can result in misalignments, tooth extrusions, and other serious orthodontic issues. DIY braces can cause irreversible damage and may ultimately require more extensive and costly dental interventions to correct the harm caused.

What are the dangers of DIY teeth straightening?

Lack of proper assessment:

One of the primary concerns with DIY teeth straightening is the absence of a comprehensive assessment by a qualified dentist. When you choose to straighten your teeth under the guidance of a professional, they thoroughly examine your oral health, jaw alignment, and tooth structure. This assessment helps determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your specific needs. Without this evaluation, you risk exacerbating existing dental issues or overlooking potential complications that may arise during the process.

What are the dangers of DIY teeth straightening? Potential for irreversible damage

Potential for irreversible damage:

DIY teeth straightening often involves the use of online kits or generic aligners that claim to achieve remarkable results without professional supervision. However, these kits fail to take into account the complex nature of orthodontic treatment. Improperly applied force or misaligned aligners can result in irreversible damage to your teeth, gums, and jawbone. It’s important to remember that teeth straightening is a delicate process that requires the expertise and experience of a qualified dental professional.

Inadequate monitoring and adjustments:

Orthodontic treatment typically involves regular check-ups to monitor progress and make necessary adjustments. DIY methods lack this crucial element of ongoing care. Without the supervision of a dentist, you may not notice if the treatment is veering off course, potentially leading to unsatisfactory results or complications. A dental professional can closely monitor your progress, make necessary modifications, and ensure the treatment is proceeding as planned.

Unaddressed underlying dental issues:

DIY teeth straightening methods may appear to be a cost-effective solution, but they often ignore underlying dental problems. In some cases, teeth misalignment may be a symptom of an underlying issue such as gum disease, tooth decay, or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). A dental professional can identify and address these concerns, providing care and preventing further complications.

Safety and regulation:

Dentistry is a regulated profession for a reason. DIY teeth straightening techniques circumvent these essential regulations and standards of care. Qualified dentists are bound by ethical guidelines and possess the necessary knowledge and expertise to ensure your safety throughout the treatment process. Relying on DIY methods not only puts your oral health at risk but also undermines the integrity of the dental profession as a whole.

Do DIY teeth straighteners work?

While some individuals may claim to have achieved limited success with DIY teeth straighteners, it is important to consider the risks and limitations associated with these methods. Each person’s dental structure is unique, and a DIY approach cannot adequately address the complexities of orthodontic treatment.

While DIY teeth straightening may seem like a convenient and affordable alternative, the potential risks far outweigh the perceived benefits. By seeking professional guidance from a dental practice like Kennett Road Dental, you can rest assured that your oral health is in the hands of experts who prioritise your well-being.

Teeth straightening at Kennett Road Dental

Teeth straightening at Kennett Road Dental

Our Principal Dentist and Practice Owner, Mr Duggan, is Invisalign accredited and has cared for many patients using Invisalign aligners.

Invisalign consists of a series of transparent, medical grade plastic trays or aligners which are used in sequence to gradually move your teeth to the desired position. The technique can be used to correct a variety of problems, from straightforward to more complex. Invisalign is often accompanied by ‘edge’ bonding where white filling material is added to improve the shape and appearance of the final straightened teeth.

Remember, achieving a straighter smile is a journey that should be undertaken with the support and guidance of a qualified dental professional. Don’t compromise on your dental health; consult the professional and friendly team at Kennett Road Dental and let us guide you towards a confident, beautiful, and healthy smile.

Choosing the Perfect Toothbrush: Your Comprehensive Guide

Choosing the Perfect Toothbrush: Your Comprehensive Guide

Taking care of your oral health is essential, and selecting the right toothbrush is a crucial step towards maintaining a healthy smile. With numerous options available, it’s important to choose a toothbrush that suits your specific needs. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the factors to consider when selecting the perfect toothbrush for you.

When to replace your toothbrush

Over time, the bristles on your toothbrush will become frayed and worn, reducing their effectiveness in removing plaque and debris. As a general rule, it is recommended to replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head every three to four months. However, you may need to replace it sooner if you notice the bristles becoming frayed or splayed. Additionally, if you have been ill or have had an oral infection, it is advisable to replace your toothbrush immediately to avoid reinfection. By regularly replacing your toothbrush, you ensure optimal oral hygiene and help maintain a healthy smile.

Who is the toothbrush for?

Choosing the right toothbrush also depends on the age of the user. For infants and toddlers, soft-bristled toothbrushes specially designed for babies should be used. These toothbrushes have small, rounded heads and gentle bristles to clean delicate gums and emerging teeth. As children grow, they can transition to a child-sized toothbrush with age-appropriate designs and characters that make brushing more enjoyable. Look for toothbrushes with smaller heads, soft bristles, and easy-to-grip handles. For teenagers and adults, a wide range of toothbrush options is available. Consider individual needs such as orthodontic appliances, sensitive teeth, or specific oral health conditions. Remember, regardless of age, it’s important to maintain good brushing habits and replace toothbrushes regularly to ensure optimal oral hygiene.

Bristle Types

Toothbrush bristles come in different types: soft, medium, and hard. For most people, a soft-bristled toothbrush is recommended, as it effectively cleans teeth without causing excessive wear on the enamel or irritating the gums. Medium and hard bristles may be suitable for specific dental conditions, but consult your dentist and hygienist before using them.

Manual or Electric

Both manual and electric toothbrushes can be effective, but each has its advantages. Manual toothbrushes offer affordability, portability, and simplicity. Electric toothbrushes, on the other hand, provide automated movements for superior plaque removal and can be particularly helpful for those with limited dexterity or orthodontic appliances. Independent research has shown that electric rotating, oscillating brushes remove more plaque.

Toothbrush Head Size and Shape

Consider the size and shape of the toothbrush head. Opt for a head size that comfortably fits your mouth, allowing easy access to all surfaces of your teeth. A smaller head may be beneficial for reaching difficult areas, such as the back molars.

Toothbrush Handle Design

Ensure the toothbrush handle is comfortable to hold and provides a firm grip. Look for a handle with a non-slip surface or ergonomic design that suits your hand size and brushing technique. Remember, a comfortable handle promotes proper brushing technique and makes the process more enjoyable.

Eco-friendly Toothbrush Materials

If you’re looking for more environmentally friendly options, there are several eco-friendly toothbrush alternatives available. Bamboo toothbrushes have gained popularity as they have handles made from sustainable and biodegradable bamboo, reducing plastic waste. Some brands even offer replaceable brush heads, reducing the need to discard the entire toothbrush. Another option is toothbrushes made from recycled plastic or bioplastics derived from renewable resources. These toothbrushes help minimize the use of new plastic materials and contribute to a circular economy. Additionally, there are toothbrushes with compostable handles made from materials like corn-starch or other plant-based materials. These eco-friendly toothbrush alternatives allow you to maintain good oral hygiene while reducing your environmental footprint.

Oral Health Foundation Approved

The Oral Health Foundation evaluates consumer oral health care products to ensure that the claims made by manufacturers are clinically proven and not exaggerated. Currently there are more than 150 ‘Approved’ products on sale in 60 countries around the world. So when you next visit your supermarket, beauty retailer or pharmacy, look out for the toothbrushes that carry the Oral Health Foundation ‘Approved’ logo. Approved Products | Oral Health Foundation (

Personalised Recommendations

While this guide provides general tips, consulting your dentist is crucial for personalised recommendations. Your dentist understands your unique dental needs and can recommend the most suitable toothbrush based on factors like gum health, dental restorations, and any existing oral conditions.

Your dentist or hygienist may recommend a specific toothbrush based on your unique dental needs. For example, if you have sensitive teeth or are prone to gum recession, your dentist may suggest a toothbrush with extra soft bristles to minimize irritation. Those with orthodontic appliances like braces may benefit from a toothbrush with a specially designed head or bristle pattern to effectively clean around brackets and wires. If you have difficulty reaching certain areas of your mouth, your dentist or hygienist may recommend an electric toothbrush with oscillating or rotating bristles for improved plaque removal. Additionally, patients with specific dental conditions such as gum disease, enamel erosion, or dental restorations may be advised to use toothbrushes specifically designed for their needs, such as those with extra gentle bristles or specialized cleaning features. Consulting your friendly dental team allows for personalized recommendations tailored to your oral health requirements.

How much should I spend on a toothbrush?

Toothbrushes are available in a wide price range to accommodate different budgets and preferences. Manual toothbrushes are generally the most affordable option, with prices ranging from a few pounds to around £10, depending on the brand and features. Electric toothbrushes, on the other hand, tend to be pricier due to their advanced technology. Basic electric toothbrushes can range from £20 to £50, while more advanced models with additional features like pressure sensors, multiple cleaning modes, and Bluetooth connectivity can cost upwards of £100. Keep in mind that while electric toothbrushes may have a higher upfront cost, they often provide superior plaque removal and may be worth the investment for improved oral health. Ultimately, choose a toothbrush that fits your budget while meeting your oral care needs effectively.

Toothbrush Maintenance

Proper toothbrush maintenance is essential for ensuring optimal oral hygiene. After each use, thoroughly rinse your toothbrush with tap water to remove any remaining toothpaste or debris. Store the toothbrush in an upright position in a well-ventilated area to allow it to air dry. Avoid storing toothbrushes in closed containers or covers, as this can promote the growth of bacteria. Additionally, keep your toothbrush separate from others to prevent cross-contamination. Regularly check the bristles for signs of wear or fraying, and replace the toothbrush or toothbrush head every three to four months, or sooner if necessary. By maintaining your toothbrush properly, you can maximize its effectiveness and ensure a clean and healthy brushing experience.

Choosing the right toothbrush is a vital aspect of maintaining good oral hygiene. By considering factors such as bristle type, manual or electric, head size and shape, handle design, and Oral Health Foundation Approval, you can find a toothbrush that perfectly suits your needs. Remember to replace your toothbrush regularly and consult your dentist and hygienist  for personalised recommendations. With the right toothbrush in hand, you’re one step closer to achieving a healthy and beautiful smile.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch or ask the friendly team at Kennett Road Dental on your next visit!

What You Need to Know About Dental Implants: A Complete Overview

What You Need to Know About Dental Implants: A Complete Overview

Dental implants have become a popular option for people who are missing teeth or have severe dental problems to permanently restore their smile and improve their overall oral health.

Before getting dental implants, it’s important to have a thorough dental exam to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. You should also have a good understanding of the risks and benefits of this dental treatment. So if you’re considering dental implants, read on for our complete overview of everything you need to know.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are placed into the jawbone. They are made of titanium or a titanium alloy and are surgically implanted into the jawbone. Once they are in place, they can be used to support a crown, bridge or denture.

Why would I get dental implants?

There are several reasons why you might consider dental implants; they can be used to replace one or more missing teeth, to support a bridge or denture, to improve your speech and chewing ability and to improve your overall oral health.

Are implants for me?

This is an important discussion you should have with your dentist. Your gums need to be healthy and you must have enough bone in your jaw to support the implant although it may be possible to have  bone added (bone graft) to overcome this. You need to have good general health. Certain medical conditions and medicines can affect healing and mean that implants are more likely to fail.

Implants are also more likely to fail if you are a smoker.

What are the stages of dental implants?

The dental implant process typically involves several stages, including a consultation, a dental exam along with scans and radiographs (x- rays), implant placement, healing, and restoration. The exact process will depend on your specific situation and you should discuss this with your dentist.

Can I get dental implants on NHS?

Only in exceptional cases are dental implants available on the NHS. There are very strict criteria for funding of implants on the NHS.

How long do dental implants last?

With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime. However, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene and to visit your dentist regularly to ensure the health of your implants.Remember, implants can fail just like teeth if they are not properly cared for and the consequences of this can be expensive to treat.

What are the most common problems with dental implants?

The most common problems with dental implants include infection, implant failure, and damage to surrounding teeth or tissue. However, these problems are rare and can often be prevented with proper care and maintenance. Regular hygienist visits are essential for the long term retention of dental implants.

What are the side effects of dental implants?

Some common side effects of dental implants include swelling, bruising, and discomfort after surgical placement. However, these side effects are usually temporary and can be managed with medication and proper care.

How painful is getting a dental implant?

The implant placement process is typically done under local anesthesia, so you should not experience any pain during the procedure. However, you may experience some discomfort and swelling after the procedure as with any surgery, which can be managed with medication.

How do I care for and maintain dental implants?

Dental implants require proper care and maintenance to ensure their longevity and functionality. Here are some tips on how to care for and maintain dental implants:

  • Brush and floss regularly: Just like natural teeth, implants require daily brushing and flossing. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to clean your implant crown and surrounding teeth. Flossing and /or use of interdental brushes is essential to remove any food particles and plaque build-up between the teeth and implants.
  • Use a water flosser: In addition to regular flossing, using a water flosser can help remove any food debris or bacteria that may be difficult to reach with traditional floss.
  • Avoid hard foods: Hard foods such as ice, hard sweets, and nuts can damage your dental implants. Try to avoid these foods, or cut them into smaller pieces to prevent damage.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking can lead to implant failure and other oral health issues. If you smoke, quitting can improve the longevity and success of your dental implants.
  • Visit your dentist and hygienist regularly: Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are crucial to maintaining good oral health and detecting any issues with your implants early on. Your hygienist can also provide professional cleaning and maintenance for your implants.

By following these tips and maintaining good oral hygiene, you can ensure the long-term success of your dental implants.

In conclusion, dental implants are a safe and effective way to restore your smile and improve your oral health. If you’re considering dental implants, be sure to speak with your dentist to determine if they are right for you. With proper care and maintenance, your dental implants can last a lifetime.

If you’re considering dental implants or think they could be an option for you then get in contact with the friendly team at Kennett Road Dental to book a consultation.

The Dangers of Purchasing Teeth Whitening Products from Social Media

The Dangers of Purchasing Teeth Whitening Products from Social Media

Social media platforms like TikTok have become a popular avenue for advertising and promoting various products, including teeth whitening products. While these products may seem enticing and cost-effective, they can cause significant damage to your teeth and gums if used improperly.

Let’s discuss the dangers associated with purchasing teeth whitening products on social media and using at-home, non-professional teeth whitening methods. In this blog post, we’ll also discuss the benefits of professional teeth whitening and how it can help you get a brighter, more confident smile safely.

Lack of Regulation

One of the main dangers is the lack of regulation and oversight for the products sold on social media sites. Many of the teeth whitening products advertised on social media are not regulated by health agencies, and the manufacturers may not have undergone the rigorous testing required for safe and effective use. As a result, these products may contain harmful ingredients or have unreliable claims of effectiveness.

Counterfeit Products

Another danger of purchasing teeth whitening products from social media is the potential for fraudulent or counterfeit products. Many of these products are advertised by third-party sellers, which can make it difficult to verify the authenticity and quality of the product. In some cases, counterfeit products may contain harmful ingredients or have no effect at all.

No Professional Advice

Purchasing teeth whitening products from social media may not come with the same level of guidance and support as professional teeth whitening. Without the guidance of a dental professional, it can be difficult to determine the appropriate amount of product to use, how frequently to use it, or whether it is safe for your specific oral health needs.

Damage to Tooth Enamel

Many of these whitening products promoted on social media sites use harsh chemicals which can erode the tooth enamel and cause tooth sensitivity or even tooth decay. In addition, improper use of these products can cause damage to the soft tissues of the mouth, such as the gums, tongue, and cheeks.

Unrealistic Expectations

Purchasing teeth whitening products from social media can lead to unrealistic expectations of results. Many of the products advertised on social media promise dramatic and immediate results, but the reality may be less impressive.

Uneven or Spotty Whitening

Another danger of using at-home or non-professional teeth whitening methods is the risk of uneven or spotty whitening. Many over-the-counter products do not provide the same level of customisation as professional teeth whitening, and as a result, you may end up with uneven results. This can be especially problematic if you have existing dental work, such as fillings or crowns, which will not be affected by the whitening process and may become more noticeable against newly whitened teeth.

It is important to be cautious when purchasing teeth whitening products online for at home use. To ensure safe and effective results, it is best to consult with a dental professional and choose professional teeth whitening options. Avoid the potential dangers of social media teeth whitening products and prioritise your oral health.

What is Professional Teeth Whitening?

Professional teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that uses specialised techniques and materials to remove stains and discolouration from your teeth. Unlike over-the-counter teeth whitening products, which can be hit or miss, professional teeth whitening is a safe, effective way to achieve a brighter, whiter smile.

There are two main types of professional teeth whitening: in-surgery whitening and take-home whitening. In-surgery whitening is performed by a dental professional in a dental practice, while take-home whitening involves using custom-made trays and whitening gel at home over a period of several weeks.

What are the Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening?

A Brighter, More Attractive Smile

The most obvious benefit of professional teeth whitening is that it can help you achieve a brighter, more attractive smile. Over time, our teeth can become stained and discoloured due to factors like age, genetics, and lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking coffee, red wine or consuming acidic foods and beverages. Professional teeth whitening removes these stains and discoloration, leaving you with a more youthful, radiant smile.

Increased Confidence

When you’re proud of your smile, you’re more likely to show it off. This can help increase your confidence and self-esteem, both of which can have a positive impact on your personal and professional life. Whether you’re going on a job interview, meeting new people, or simply enjoying a night out with friends, a brighter, more confident smile can make all the difference.

Safe and Effective

As we have discussed many over-the-counter teeth whitening products available are not always safe or effective. Some can even cause damage to your teeth and gums if used improperly. Professional teeth whitening, on the other hand, is a safe, effective way to achieve a brighter, whiter smile. Your dental professional will use specialised materials and techniques to ensure that your teeth are whitened safely and effectively.

Long-lasting Results

Professional teeth whitening is not a one-time procedure, but rather a process that takes place over a period of several weeks or months. However, once you’ve achieved your desired level of whiteness, the results can last for several months to a year or more. To maintain your results, you’ll need to avoid certain foods and beverages that can cause staining, such as coffee, tea, and red wine, and practice good oral hygiene habits.

Customised Treatment

Professional teeth whitening is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Your dental professional will evaluate your unique needs and create a customised treatment plan that is tailored to your specific goals and needs. Whether you choose in-office whitening or take-home whitening, your treatment will be designed to help you achieve the best possible results.

It is important to consult with a dental professional before attempting to whiten your teeth, and to choose professional teeth whitening for safe and effective results. To learn more about professional teeth whitening and to find out if it’s right for you, schedule a consultation with Kennett Road Dental today.

Your Dental Health Review Explained

Is your regular Dental Health Review at Kennet Road Dental due?

This appointment is an opportunity for us to assess the current state of your dental health, discuss any concerns or issues you may have, and develop a plan for maintaining and improving your dental hygiene moving forward.

Dental health reviews are a crucial component of maintaining a healthy smile, and we encourage all of our patients to attend them on a regular basis. Read more below, or download and save this information as a PDF.

The Link Between Diet and Oral Health

The link between diet and oral health

January is the perfect time to focus on our overall health and wellness, and that includes paying attention to our oral health. Many people make resolutions to eat healthier and lose weight at the start of the new year, which makes this the ideal time to delve deeper into the link between diet and oral health.

Many people may not realise it, but the foods and drinks we consume can have a significant impact on the health of our teeth and gums. In this blog post, we will discuss how a healthy diet can help to promote healthy teeth and gums, as well as the foods and drinks that should be limited for good oral health. Additionally, we will also discuss the importance of oral hygiene practices and how they can contribute to maintaining a healthy smile so that you enter 2023 with confidence.

Food & Drink

One of the main ways in which diet affects oral health is through its impact on the acidity levels in the mouth. Foods and drinks that are high in sugar and acid can cause tooth erosion, leading to cavities and other dental problems. For example, frequent consumption of sugary or acidic foods and drinks, such as sweets, fizzy drinks, energy drinks and citrus fruits, can erode the enamel on the teeth, making them more susceptible to decay.

To maintain good oral health, it is important to limit your consumption of sugary and acidic foods and drinks. These include those mentioned above as well as sweetened coffee and tea. These foods and drinks can cause tooth erosion and increase the risk of tooth decay. It’s also best to avoid sticky or chewy sweets as they tend to stick to teeth and make it hard to clean.

On the other hand, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products can help to promote healthy teeth and gums. These foods are high in calcium and phosphorous , which are essential for the development and maintenance of strong teeth and healthy gums. They also contain vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for oral health, such as vitamin C, which helps to fight against gum disease.

Foods and drinks that can help to promote healthy teeth and gums include:

  • Fruits and vegetables that are high in fibre and water content, such as apples, celery, and carrots, can help to clean the teeth and stimulate the production of saliva, which helps to neutralise acid and wash away food particles.
  • Dairy products, such as cheese and plain yogurt, are high in calcium and can help to strengthen teeth.
  • Water is great for oral health as it helps to wash away food particles and neutralise acid.

Remember, it’s not just about what you eat, but also about how often and how much you eat. Eating sugary or acidic foods and drinks as part of a meal is less harmful than snacking on them throughout the day. It’s also important to pay attention to your overall diet and make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need for good oral health. And of course, regular dental health reviews are important to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Weight Management

Another important aspect of diet and oral health is the link between diet and weight management. Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of developing oral health problems, such as gum disease (which is linked with diabetes) and tooth decay. Additionally, people who are overweight may be more likely to have a diet that is high in sugar and processed foods, which can contribute to tooth decay and early onset diabetes.

It’s important to develop a healthy relationship with food as it is known that not eating can also have negative effects on oral health.

Skipping meals can lead to a decrease in the production of saliva, which can cause dry mouth. Saliva is essential for neutralising acid and washing away food particles, so a lack of it can lead to an increase in acidity in the mouth and an increased risk of tooth decay. Additionally, when we skip meals, we might be inclined to snack more on sugary or acidic foods, which can also cause tooth erosion. Skipping meals can also lead to weight loss, and in some cases, malnourishment. Malnutrition can affect the healing process of the gums and can increase the risk of infection. It’s important to maintain a balanced diet to ensure adequate intake of nutrients that are essential for oral health.


It is important to note that certain medical conditions and medications can affect oral health. For example, people with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing gum disease. People who take medications that cause dry mouth, such as antihistamines or antidepressants, may also be at a higher risk of tooth decay. You should discuss any concerns you have about any medications you are taking and their affects on your oral health with your dentist.

Chewing Gum

Chewing gum can actually be beneficial for oral health. Chewing sugar-free gum can help to stimulate the production of saliva, which can help to neutralise acid and wash away food particles. Chewing gum also helps to keep teeth in motion and prevent plaque buildup. However, it’s important to note that gum should never be used as a replacement for regular brushing and flossing, and it’s best to choose gum that is sweetened with xylitol to avoid the negative effects of sugar.

Best Oral Hygiene Practices

Here are some best practice oral hygiene tips:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day- last thing at night and at one other time during the day. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  • Floss and/or use interdental brushes at least once a day to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth.
  • Use an alcohol free mouthwash to kill bacteria and freshen your breath.
  • Visit your dentist and hygienist regularly for dental health reviews and cleanings.
  • If you wear dentures, be sure to clean them daily and remove them at night to allow your gums to rest.
  • Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption as these can increase your risk of oral health problems such as oral cancer.
  • If you have braces or other orthodontic appliances, take extra care to clean your teeth and gums properly.

By following these best practice oral hygiene tips, you can help to keep your teeth and gums healthy and reduce your risk of oral health problems. Remember, your diet and oral hygiene practices are closely linked, so it is important to pay attention to both for optimal oral health.

In conclusion, maintaining a healthy diet is essential for good oral health. It is important to limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks and to consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight and managing any medical conditions and medications that may affect oral health can help to keep your teeth and gums in great shape. Regular dental health reviews, hygienist visits, and proper oral hygiene practices are also essential for maintaining good oral health.

If you have any concerns about your diet and its impact on your oral health, please don’t hesitate to speak with your dentist.

Halloween Sweet Treat Alternatives to Keep Sugar Down this October

As we ease into Autumn with the pleasant sound of crunchy leaves underfoot, our minds naturally turn to the festivals that will soon be upon us. Although we know that many people do not celebrate or participate in Halloween festivities, there’s no denying that there are phenomenal quantities of sweets and treats on the shelves in the shops to keep up with demand of the season. Whether you do anything to acknowledge Halloween or Samhain in your household or not, you might find yourself with a higher amount of sugar in your system as you are tempted by the eye-catching candy and suddenly cheap prices of sugary treats everywhere you go. We wanted to help parents this year to make better choices for their little monsters and to draw the attention of mummies to some alternatives that are available which may be better for healthy fangs.

  • Bake with sweeteners. Baking is a common Halloween tradition for many families. It’s a good excuse to whip up some sugary, tasty treats in various novelty shapes but this year instead of measuring out the whole bag of sugar into the mix, you could substitute granulated sweeteners for all or a percentage of the sugar in the recipe. Many recipes already use sweeteners instead of sugar such as these peanut spider-shaped cookies, or these sugar free witch finger cookies which are totally spooktacular without the terrifying sugar content. This website helps you to figure out quantities of sugar substitutes for baking so you can make your favourite family recipes without the harmful sugar.
  • Go savoury. Halloween doesn’t need to be all about the sweets although it may seem hard to convince small sugar fiends of that. Then again, these cheese and pretzel witch broomsticks might just tip the scales. Also, Cheese Strings (now named Strings and Things) do pretty great Halloween designs on their packets with fun ideas of how to turn your cheese into a ghost or ghoul shape. While it’s not exactly nice to play with one’s food, there are few things more precious to parents than the means to keep their kids busy, quiet, and out of trouble for five minutes while trying to tie their cheese in knots. For one night a year, I think we can allow playing with food, especially calcium-rich foods like cheese which are better for teeth and bone health than sugary sweets. Matilda Ramsay’s scary goblin head recipes use whole peppers, cheese and rice to create a spooky, savoury treat for the dinner table or the party platter. These are not only nutritious but delicious and fun for small fingers to make.
  • Use the fruit. There are plenty of stunning, seasonal fruits available at this time of year, so it makes complete sense to us to utilise nature’s bounty for healthier spooky treats. These fearsome looking apple sun butter teeth bites are the best of both worlds. They look creepy enough for Halloween and take some creativity to make but they are made from fruit and sunflower seeds. What a clever way to encourage kids to eat more fruit at this time of year. If bananas are what your little ones like, try these banana ghost pops which use coconut, yogurt, and frozen bananas to make a tempting snack or pudding which is naturally sweet without adding sugar. Just be sure to check the yogurt you choose because many have absurd quantities of added sugar in them.
  • Make your own candy apples. Making creepy jaws aren’t the only use of apples for Halloween. We can think of at least three more. Candy apples are a traditional Halloween treat but you can easily make your own at home which will be a fun (albeit messy) activity for little monsters to enjoy. When you make things at home, you know exactly what’s in it and can cut out a lot of the sugar that way. One option is to use yogurt for a coating and a few sprinkles to make it more exciting, then freeze it for a few minutes so the yogurt coating hardens. You could also use your pumpkin carving skills to make spooky faces in the apples or smother them in reduced sugar chocolate which you can find in most supermarkets. The manufacturers have already substituted some sugar in the recipe for you without compromising on taste. Also, it’s common knowledge that children are more likely to eat fruit and veggies if they’ve had a hand in preparing or making them themselves. Apple donuts are also a great treat at Halloween or whenever your tiny monsters are feeling under the weather. Simply slice apples thickly and core the middle to make a donut shape. Then top with natural or vanilla yogurt, fruit, and/or sprinkles to make it look like an iced donut. Freeze for 30 minutes and let your mini vampires sink their teeth into them.
  • Go traditional. Not all Halloween activities need to revolve around sweets. Apple bobbing is seriously good fun to try with friends and families. Just don’t underestimate how messy it can get, and how difficult it is. Do assume you’ll need waterproof mascara, ladies, because you will. Also, pumpkin carving doesn’t involve any sugar. It’s a great traditional pastime and an opportunity for getting creative. Toasting pumpkin seeds in the oven with a little salt or cinnamon is also a very tasty option for an autumn snack. There are many recipes online which use pumpkin, so nothing goes to waste. Kids dig recycling now, so you shouldn’t have any trouble selling that to them. These gluten-free pumpkin pie snowball cookies, for example would make most kids light up like a jack-o’-lantern.

Whether you celebrate All Hallows Eve or not, you might find some of these autumn inspired recipes and ideas are fun to make and do together. We hope you find these ideas helpful in fighting off the scary sugar demon this October and we’d absolutely love you to send us pictures of your tasty creations or let us know how your wee ones liked them. Remember to keep up tooth brushing and enjoy all the season has to offer in moderation. Happy Halloween from our not-so-scary team at Kennett Road Dental Practice.

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