Monthly Archives: August 2013

7 Shocking Sources of Secret Sugar

black-29755_12801) Tomato sauce

Sugar is often added to tomato products to counter their acidity. This is especially true when tomatoes are picked too early. Everyone’s favourite condiment, tomato sauce is one of the greatest culprits when it comes to hidden sugar. According to figures from the United States Department of Agriculture, up to one-third of the content of tomato sauce can be sugar. A popular SA brand of tomato sauce contains 27g of sugar per 100g.

We all love a generous dollop of tomato sauce with our favourite snacks, but next time you grab the bottle, keep in mind that a tablespoon of tomato sauce equals one teaspoon of sugar.

2) Fruity yoghurt

You may be surprised to find that a small grab-and-go container of yogurt with fruit in it has 110 calories, and 20 grams of carbs. And there is zero fibre listed on the label, even though you’re eating a yogurt with strawberry “pieces” in it. But back to the carbs: 20 grams doesn’t sound like a lot, until you compare it to the plain version of the same yogurt, which has just 5 grams. Next time, slash the sugar by opting for naturally-sweetened yogurt.

3) Peanut butter

There’s nothing better than a slice of toast with peanut butter. One of the reasons it’s so delicious is the high amount of added sugar. The sugar content various by brand, so it’s a good idea to compare labels. The sugar content is mostly listed under carbohydrates (“of which sugars”) and listed in grams. Divide the number of grams by four to calculate the teaspoons of sugar per portion.

4) Salad dressings

You’d be surprised to find how much sugar ready-made salad dressings contain. The biggest culprits are the low-fat versions – the manufacturers remove the fat of the salad dressing but add extra sugar and salt to improve the taste. The healthiest option is still to make your own salad dressing by using a small amount of olive oil, fresh lemon juice or Balsamic vinegar and adding some fresh herbs.

5) Breakfast cereals

Have a look at the ingredient list of your favourite breakfast cereal. Most breakfast cereals are loaded with sugar to make it more palatable. The classic cornflakes contain about 5 to 7g of sugar per 100g, meaning a 50g portion will contain half to one teaspoon of sugar. The “healthier” high-fibre, all bran flakes contain up to 11g of sugar per 100g or around one and a half teaspoons of sugar. The sweeter flavoured cereals that kids (and many adults) love so much contain up to 34g of sugar per 100g. That’s a whopping four teaspoons of sugar per 50g portion! Add to that the extra sugar that we sprinkle on our cereal, and you’ve got enough sugar to put you on a high all morning long.

6) Canned vegetables

Many brands of canned vegetables contain hidden sugars that are used during the manufacturing process to make their shelf life longer. Have a look at the ingredient list to see whether any sugar has been added and, if you must have sweetened veggies, choose a brand with the lowest sugar content. The best option is still to cook fresh vegetables and add a sprinkling of sugar at the end to satisfy your taste buds.

7) ‘Health’ bars

If you think that “health” and granola bars are a good choice for breakfast or snacking during the day, think again. Most of these bars are loaded with sugar. They may contain healthy fibre, nuts and raisins, but they also contain many different types of sugar. The low-fat health bars are the worst offenders, with some of them containing up to 3 teaspoons of sugar per 30 gram bar.

For a healthy snack, rather eat fruit, a piece of cheese or a handful of nuts and raisins.

Four Facts to Make Your Smile Flourish this Summer

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During Summer our thoughts automatically shift to carefree days spent at the beach or enjoying a summer barbeque.  Along with many of our summer activities comes food – most of it sweet, sticky and delicious.  From ice cream cones licked sauntering down the beach promenade  to  candy floss at the local fun fair, many of our summer favourites can wreak havoc on our teeth.  In addition to all of these seasonal treats comes the fact that summer is a time when we tend to drink more, and unless our drink of choice is water, the sugars in fizzy drinks, juices and sports drinks can harm our overall  oral health.

So, how do we go about maintaining a healthy summer smile without having to give up many of our favourite activities and foods?  The key to optimal oral health is in how we care for our teeth and gums, despite what types of foods and drinks go into our mouths.  Of course, visiting the dentist for our dental health check is also important, if it’s time for a regular visit.  But aside from that, here are a few tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy this summer…

Brush, brush, brush! – We always recommend that people brush their teeth at least twice a day – once upon waking and once before bedtime, to keep their teeth free from harmful bacteria that can cause decay.  It’s also a good idea to brush after meals and snacks, especially when what you’re eating is sticky or sweet.  Of course, we know proper tooth brushing is hard to do if you’re at the beach and you’ve just eaten an ice cream, but if you can’t brush your teeth, at least give your mouth a few swishes of water to try to get rid of anything that’s stuck to your teeth or chew sugar-free chewing gum.

Don’t forget to floss! – It’s always important to floss, but when what you’re eating is likely to get stuck between your teeth – like ribs and corn on the cob at a weekend barbeque – it’s especially important to get rid of any food particles that are stuck between teeth.  And even if you don’t have access to brushing your teeth after meals and snacks, it’s easy to carry along some dental floss with you so you can at least clean between your teeth after eating.

Whoa!  Take it easy! – This tip doesn’t mean you should relax when it comes to oral hygiene, rather it means that you should try to limit how often you eat.  We know you’re probably not going to avoid the delicious foods associated with summer altogether, but try to limit how often you eat them, and even how often you eat anything.  So rather than snacking all day long while out at a fun fair or theme park, try to limit the number of times you pop something into your mouth, even if you’re not going to limit how much you consume.

Water is your friend!  – Not only is water the best way to hydrate on a hot summer day, it’s also a friend to your teeth.  Drinking water instead of sugary drinks (yes, even sports drinks have loads of sugar!) is better for your teeth because it does not provide a breeding ground for bacteria to thrive.  Water is also your friend when you can’t manage to brush.  Just a few sips of water swished around your mouth can help rid your teeth of some of the particles that eating leaves behind.

Of course, summer is an extremely important time to keep to your regularly schedule preventative maintenance dental appointments, so be sure to take time out from all the fun and relaxation to take good care of your teeth and gums.  That’s sure to keep you smiling all summer long!



Let Shrik Get Rid of Your Dental Dilemmas Once and For All

We are privileged to share this recent testimonial with you:

 My entire experience with Dr. Shrikesh Kotecha and his staff at Smile Essential has been wonderful!

The staff are very welcoming and friendly. I felt so at ease each and every appointment Dr. Shrikesh Kotecha made sure I was comfortable and pain-free during visits.

I had a lifelong fear of the dentist. This changed when I met Dr. Shrikesh Kotecha and his amazing staff. Their professional and caring approach to care really makes a difference!

If only I’d met Shrik years ago, he has taken all my fears away.

It is a rare thing to find a dentist who is a pleasure to see. But Dr. Shrikesh Kotecha is patient and an excellent communicator. I can honestly say that he is one of those rare exceptions.

Until my treatment, I hated my teeth. They were in poor condition – very broken, cracked and yellow. I put up with my ugly teeth. I told Dr. Shrikesh Kotecha  I wanted a Hollywood smile and that’s what I have now got plus healthy gums too.

I cannot thank Shrik enough as he listened to me & my needs and all his hard work to achieve the look I wanted. Plus I really appreciated all of the aftercare of his calls and his staff’s friendliness made all the difference.

So thank you for my new smile! And it really does give me a confidence boost when people comment on my lovely, white smile! My teeth & gums have been transformed and my confidence in dentistry restored. It no longer seems a chore to go to the dentist but an absolute pleasure and an experience in itself!”

So thanks to Dr. Shrikesh Kotecha and all the staff at Smile Essential , this has been the best dental practice I have visited & I will highly recommend Smile Essential & Dr. Shrikesh Kotecha to all my friends and family.

Ms J.C, Leicestershire

Dr. Shrikesh Kotecha (Shrik to his patients) combines education, experience and a gentle touch to provide his patients with exceptional cosmetic and restorative dental care. Shrik truly cares about his patients, placing their comfort…continue reading-

The BDA Good Practice Scheme – What does it mean for you?

Smile Essential is a founder member of the British Dental Association (BDA) Good Practice Scheme and has recently been awarded Gold Membership. We are honoured to be within an elite group of 200 practices nationwide to achieve Gold Membership. Our commitment to excellent patient care and compliant practice management has been audited and approved by the BDA.

Shrik Kotecha has worked as a dentist at the practice for almost 10 years and has seen the practice evolve and grow to ensure that on top of the national regulations and protocols that are expected to be followed by all Healthcare Dental Professionals – including the CQC Guidelines – Smile Essential always goes the extra mile by following the BDA’s Good Scheme Code of Practice.

One question that his Leicester dental patients often ask him when they come to see him at Smile Essential is ‘what does it mean for me?’ A very valid question which Shrik thought would be useful to include in our regular blogs.

Good Practice Scheme members are committed to supporting patients towards achieving and maintaining good oral health. Achieving the best possible outcomes for patients depends upon the skills and professionalism of the whole dental team. Here is a statement that sums up what Good Practice Scheme membership stands for:

1. We will work with you to provide care that meets your needs and wishes. We will explain what we are proposing to do and tell you about any significant risks. We will explain options and cost so that you can make an informed choice about your care and we keep all information about you confidential

2. We look after your general health and safety whilst you are receiving dental care by undertaking risk assessments and managing any potential hazards at our premises. Infection control and cleanliness is also essential for safety and we follow current guidelines on preventing cross infection

3. All our staff are given training in practice procedures, staff members responsibilities are clear and staff take part in continuing professional education to keep their skills and knowledge up to date

4. Our practice working methods are reviewed regularly and we ask patients for their views on our service in order to identify any opportunities for improvement.


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Smile Essential Celebrates Gold Membership

Smile Essential is celebrating after receiving Gold Membership of the British Dental Association’s Good Practice Scheme.

The BDA scheme is designed to recognise high standards of care, excellent teamwork and commitment to providing a positive patient experience and the gold standard represents 10 years of adhering to the high standards set out by the British Dental Association.

The practice is one of around 200 surgeries across the UK to receive the honour and one of the first dental practices in Leicester to have acheived this accolade. President of the BDA Dr. Barry McGonigle said “Gold Membership is a symbol of a decade of commitment, hard work and dedication; all practices honoured with the award should be very proud.”

Dr. Niket Patel, Dr Shrikesh Kotecha and Dr. Lina Kotecha would like to thank all the team members for their continuous support, determination and compassion to make the practice a success and provide patients with the best possible standards of care.

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