Tooth Smart Snacks for Kids

August 12, 2014
With the schools going back after the summer holidays, comes, for many parents, the return to preparing packed lunches for their children.  Getting kids to eat a balanced, healthy diet can, for some, be a challenge and trying to provide tasty foods that are also 'tooth kind' can be especially difficult.
There are a number of lunchbox staples that are high in sugars, and if eaten regularly, can lead to tooth decay.  Certain types of bread can be high in sugar (as well as salt) and it is worth checking food labels to find breads with the lowest sugar content.  Wholemeal bread tends to be the best choice when thinking about sandwiches.  Crisps, too, can be a source of hidden sugars.
Yogurts and Smoothies can also be very high in sugar, as can fruit juices.  Some supermarket smoothies can contain up to 7 teaspoons of sugar in a 250ml serving, and while much of the sugar is found to be naturally occuring, these sugars can still have damaging effects on the teeth.

'Tooth kind' snacks include vegetables such as carrot sticks or cucumber, low fat cheese with crackers, eggs, cooked meats and natural popcorn.  Fresh fruit in moderation is also a healthy choice, as the sugars in fresh fruit are not as accessable as they are when fruit is broken down to make a smoothie.

It is very hard to provide snacks for children that are free from, or very low in sugar all the time, and ultimately sugary snacks will be encountered.  The most important things that we, at Jackson and Gillies dental recommend, are:
  • Seek low sugar options when choosing bread, crisps etc.
  • Try to provide children with water to drink as often as possible
  • Save "fun" unhealthy snacks like sweets and chocolate for special treats
  • Encourage sugary foods to be eaten at meal times (the increased saliva will help to clean the mouth and fight decay)
  • Watch out for naturally occuring sugars, especially in healthy snacks such as fruit juice
  • Ensure teeth are brushed twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste suitable for the age of the child 
  • Make sure children attend regularly for dental check-ups to have their dental health regularly reviewed.

Dry Mouth - An increasing problem

November 14, 2013
Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is not a disease in itself, however for many people, it can can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms.  The risk of developing this condition tends to increase with age, and can be usually be associated with a change in composition of the saliva or a reduction of the flow rate of saliva.  However, a small number of cases have no identifiable cause.

Causes of Dry Mouth

  • Dehydration
  • Anxiety
  • Mouth breathing - this can cause the mouth to dry out, especially if this occurs at n...

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Would straighter teeth improve your smile?

August 27, 2013
For many adults, the appearance of their teeth can have a big influence on their confidence, their willingness to engage socially, and to smile for photographs.  According to a survey carried out by the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, a third of the population (32%) are concerned by the look of their teeth, and that apporximately one fifth of people (18%) usually conceal their teeth in photos.
Crooked or crowded teeth can be a major cause of unhappiness for people, especially as the tee...
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Don't rinse your mouth after brushing your teeth!!

November 1, 2012

Spit don't rinse is the advice we give to all patients to adopt when brushing their teeth. Put simply, we encourage everyone to brush for 2 minutes with a fluoride toothpaste, and when finished to spit out, but not rinse or drink directly after brushing.
There was a time when the advice was to rinse with water or mouthwash after brushing, to flush out all the plaque, however, the most up to date evidence recommends not rinsing out, so that a film of toothpaste is left on the teeth after brushi...

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Sensitive Teeth

October 23, 2012

As winter approaches, and the weather turns noticeably colder, we find that tooth sensitivity starts to become a more common problem for our patients.  Tooth sensitivity is defined as pain affecting the teeth, usually in response to hot, cold or sweet foods, drinks or air.  The pain is usually sharp in nature, and will in most cases, resolve quickly after the stimulating factor is removed.  Most people will experience some tooth sensitivity, for example, when biting into ice cream, or from dr...

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