Monthly Archives: January 2015

Pop! It’s a good dental snack…

POP (1)

Nothing goes better with a great blockbuster than freshly popped popcorn. But, popcorn can become a nutritional nightmare once it is drenched in butter, salt and sugar! But now a chemist called Joe Vinson and his team at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania have been looking at the neglected health benefits of plain, unadorned popcorn.
In a recent article it was explained that according to Vinson’s research, one serving of popcorn contains high levels of healthy antioxidants called polyphenols. “You’re getting about 200 milligrams of antioxidants per serving size, and for comparison purposes, an average person eats about two grams of polyphenols per day,” explained Vinson.
Fruits and vegetables are also high in this antioxidant, but because of their high water content the healthy antioxidants are diluted.
“So on a weight basis, popcorn is high in antioxidants because it doesn’t have water,” said Vinson.
In fact, the new study found that the amount of polyphenols found in popcorn was up to 300 milligrams per serving compared to 114 milligrams per serving of sweet corn and 160 milligrams per serving in any fruit. In addition, one serving of popcorn could provide 13 percent of an average intake of polyphenols a day per person in the U.S.
Polyphenols may combat deadly diseases like cancer and heart disease, but none of popcorn’s great health benefits are found in the white fluffy part of the food
“If you want the maximum benefit to your health – the fiber and the antioxidants – then you need to eat that little kernel, despite the fact that it sticks between your teeth,” Vinson said.
Researchers also said that microwaving, or air-popping, popcorn does not affect its antioxidant levels.
Despite its health benefits, popcorn cannot replace fruits and vegetables in a healthy diet because they contain other essential vitamins and minerals that are absent in popcorn.
Just remember to keep your popcorn sugar free and sprinkle it with things like cinnamon or ginger and if you must have a bit of sweetness than perhaps try a little sweetener like xylitol or stevia.

Are you afraid of the dental chair too?

leicester dental team

I have been a patient at Smile Essential Dental Practice for several years now and I have been extremely satisfied with all the treatment I have received.

Shrik is by far the best dentist I have ever had, he is kind, gentle and always aware of my slight fear of the dentist’s chair! I would without doubt recommend this practice to anyone looking for a dental practice.

Ms M.K, Leicestershire

We do, do you?

flossing advice from leicester dental clinic

I brush my teeth well so why should I floss?

A question you probably hear at every dental health check is ‘are you flossing?’ usually followed by a pause, then a confession.

But why floss? Proper flossing removes plaque and food particles in places where a toothbrush cannot easily reach like under the gum line and in-between your teeth. Not flossing is thought to be the equivalent of not brushing your teeth for 2 full days a week! It’s important because plaque buildup can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, daily flossing is highly recommended if you want to keep your teeth for the rest of your life.

How do I floss?

Starting with about half a metre of floss, wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving about 3-4cm to work with Holding the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up and-down between your teeth Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth making a C shape, making sure you go beneath the gum line. Never force the floss, as this may cut or bruise delicate gum tissue, after each tooth roll the dirty floss on to the finger and move on to the next tooth using using a clean section of floss. Continue to do this as you move from tooth to tooth until you have done all of the teeth. It’s quite likely that your gums may bleed during the early stages of flossing. Don’t let this deter you! This is a sign that you should definitely floss and any bleeding should resolve after 3-4 days.

You may have heard of dental floss and dental tape but what is the difference?

Dental tape is wider than floss. It’s good for getting into wider spaces between the teeth and removing larger food particles. Some people find it easier and much more comfortable to use than regular floss.
It’s also good for people who tend to “snap” dental floss between the teeth and for people who break or shred floss when flossing. Tape is generally thicker than floss, at Smile Essential Dental Practice we tend to recommend that our patients start and continue with dental tape as opposed to floss.

What if flossing is too tricky?

For a few flossing can be really tricky, medical conditions like Parkinson’s or arthritis can mean that flossing is just not possible.
But there are now many alternatives to flossing: floss sticks can be a great alternative to floss if your fingers are a little too big to fit inside your mouth or you find the floss a bit fiddly.

The dentists at Smile Essential Dental Practice often recommend tepe brushes which are a type of interdental cleaning brush. There are also fancy tech gadgets so if you love your electric toothbrush you might like to try using the Philips Sonicare Airfloss it sends pressurised air and microdroplets shooting in-between your teeth.

Remember if you have any questions about cleaning or are unsure if you should floss then speak to your dentist at your next dental health check.

Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth dental symptoms

Do you wake up in the morning with your tongue stuck to the roof of your mouth? Do you feel the urge to drink lots of water? Perhaps you could be suffering from dry mouth known as the condition xerostomia.

Dry mouth affects about 10% of all people and is more prevalent in women than men. Disorders of saliva production affect elderly people and those who are taking prescription and nonprescription medications most frequently.

Why do you need saliva?

Your mouth needs saliva to be able to work properly. Saliva keeps your mouth moist, it helps to break down your food and helps you to swallow. It also acts as a cleanser, constantly washing around your mouth and teeth, fighting decay and helping to keep your teeth clean.

What are the symptoms of dry mouth?

Dry mouth like your mouth is full of cotton wool.

Thick and sticky saliva making it difficult to speak or swallow.

Sometimes people experience a prickly or burning sensation.

Sensitivity to certain rich, spicy or acidic foods.

Soreness of the mouth or it may look red and shiny

What causes dry mouth?

Dry mouth can be a symptom of many different problems. Most commonly it’s associated with medication, particularly heart, blood pressure and depression tablets. Sometimes it’s a direct result of a medical condition such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, alcoholic cirrhosis, lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome or blocked salivary glands.

What problems can it cause?

Saliva helps to cancel out the acid that can attack your teeth and is a very important part of your dental health. Having less saliva can increase your risk of oral health problems. Saliva helps to break down food while you are chewing, allowing you to swallow more easily. Having less saliva can also affect the taste of food and makes it harder to eat drier foods. Sometimes it can affect your speech and it makes people more likely to have bad breath.

How can you ease the symptoms?

Frequently sipping on room temperature water.

Avoid fizzy and sugary drinks.

Only drink caffeinated drinks occasionally, as caffeine can help to dry the mouth out more.

Chew on sugar free gum to stimulate saliva flow.

Don’t smoke or drink alcohol.

If you’re concerned about dry mouth please contact us- 0116 2891317

Good Dental Health at Local School

dental team school visit braunstone

It’s well publicised that Leicester has the highest dental decay rate of children in England. So we at Smile Essential Dental Practice take part in various activities across Leicester to help educate others in the importance of dental care. Our most recent trip out in the community was to help educate the young children aged around 5 in good dental health. The photos above show Claire and Emilia visiting a local Braunstone Primary school.

This was Smile Essentials second visit to the school and the children seemed to really enjoy themselves, partaking in activities to increase their awareness on the importance of brushing and limiting sugary foods/drinks.

figures on childrens dental health in leicesterFive year old children living in Leicester have the highest experience of dental decay observed in England.

The 2012 results show an increase in the proportion of children with dental decay in
Leicester from 48.7% in 2008 to 53.2% in 2012, equating to a percentage point
increase of 4.5%.
• At age 5, children normally have 20 primary teeth. On average, 5 year old children in
Leicester had just under 4 teeth (3.88) that were decayed, missing or filled.
• The average number of decayed, missing or filled teeth in the whole sample taken in
Leicester (including the 46.8% who were decay free) was 2.06. This was more than
double the national rate of 0.94.

There is a strategy now in place in Leicester with the NHS and Leicester City Council. The aim of the strategy is to support coordinated activity across Leicester City to improve oral health, reduce oral health inequalities and lay solid foundations for good oral health throughout life.

Their objectives are:

• Optimising exposure to fluoride
• Gain multi-partnership support in order for everyone to play a role in improving oral health
• Improve preventive and routine dental attendance
• Improve parental skills on caring for children’s oral health

How you can help?

• Ensure that your child brushes 2x a day with a fluoride toothpaste
• Limit or eliminate the amount of sugary foods and drinks your child consumes
• Regularly attend for your dental care and treatment/prevention appointments
• Improve your child’s understanding of the importance of having healthy teeth and gums.

To find out about our preventative treatments available to all of our registered patients children click here


The Wand Dental Injection: magical and pain free

Dentist Nik Patel talking to one of his leicestershire patientsI had Nik as my dentist at another practice in Leicester, but when he left I simply had to find him. After some investigation I found him! I gave him a call at Smile Essential and arrange to go in.

The dental team made me very welcome and were friendly. The practice is clean, has a relaxing atmosphere and the new technology! At my last visit I had the ‘wand’ to give me an injection, it was magical- no pain.

Their appointment reminder service is fantastic as we all lead busy lives.

I would definitely recommend Smile Essential Dental Practice to my friends and family.

Ms, E.G, Leicester

Teeth Whitening at Leicester Dental Clinic

images1-5A lifetime of eating and drinking can have a detrimental effect on your teeth. Food and drink contains colouring that over time penetrates the tooth enamel and makes the teeth lose their original colour. Certain substances are particularly bad for causing staining such as red wine and coffee. Tobacco is also very bad for causing discolouration of the teeth.

When the teeth are discoloured they can look very unattractive and it can also add years to your appearance. Yellow or discoloured teeth can therefore cause a great deal of emotional anxiety and self-esteem issues for many people. However, there are a number of ways you can improve the appearance of discoloured teeth. One of the most popular is a cosmetic procedure called teeth whitening.

This involves applying a peroxide based gel to the teeth in specially designed trays. The gel seeps into the tooth enamel and stains it white, returning the enamel to a more natural and healthy colour of white. Tooth whitening is more effective for some people than it is for others but in most cases it will produce noticeable results and in some cases can even whiten teeth by up to ten shades.

Leicester dentists offer teeth whitening as a standard procedure. This is in contrast to about ten years ago when tooth whitening was a relatively exclusive treatment that was very expensive. Greater demand and developments in technology over recent years have made tooth whitening more available and more affordable to the extent it is now considered a standard cosmetic treatment, such as a hair cut or nail appointment.

There is little or no risk involved with teeth whitening if carried out by a dentist. They can use the necessary safety equipment to protect the soft tissue areas of the mouth. The worst most patients experience is a slight feeling of sensitive teeth for a day or so during the treatment.

Need a New Smile for the New Year? Our Top 5 Tips When Choosing a Dentist…

fire works

With the start of a new year comes the chance to reflect over the past years accomplishments, highlights, falls and failures. It’s time to ask what you can continue doing well next year and a chance to do something exciting and make changes to anything that is holding you back.

We see lot’s of changes at Smile Essential dentist in Leicester. Changes in how we communicate with our patients e.g. we now send SMS messages and email reminders as we understand our patients prefer this over a phone call. We connect through facebook and twitter. This exchange of information and fun facts is a great, less formal way of keeping up-to-date. It’s a much more convenient way that we are all getting connected. All of a sudden we are not the scary dentist; we are people, people using our expertise to help other people to smile more confidently.

Your smile plays a major role in how you perceive yourself and the impression you make on those around you. It’s long been known and many surveys show that your smile is what both men and women find most attractive above any other physical feature. It can gain people’s affections, reassure somebody and it can create confidence. But it can also hold you back if you’re not confident with your smile due to dental problems.

For many people a trip to the dentist can be terrifying. With up to 75% of people experiencing some kind of dental phobia and rightly so (you may be surprised to hear us say!). But here at Smile Essential dentist in Leicester we have heard some unfortunate tales from patients of what has happened to them in the past. The school dentist being one at the top of the list! Nowadays though new stories like this are thankfully rare and the patients at our dentist seem very happy.

If you’re not happy with your smile then perhaps the new year offers you a chance to visit a dental practice and create yourself a confident new smile.

Here are our top 5 tips when choosing a dentist-

  1. Check them out online. Look for dental reviews, check they are on the GDC register. Look at their website- do they look professional, friendly, what does their dental surgery look like? Will you feel comfortable there? Do they have any dental awards that prove their credibility?
  1. What are your specific fears around dentists? If you’re scared of injections- do they offer anything to make it more comfortable? Many things can be done nowadays to overcome this problem one thing we do is to apply a numbing gel to the gum beforehand so it’s much more comfortable.
  1. Where are they? You need somewhere you are able to get to easily either for treatment or routine care. Traveling to far afield can lead to further anxiety. Perhaps look at one close to home or work. If you have to travel for more than 30 minutes it could cause further anxiety, so try to stay local.
  1. What are their prices are they affordable? Do they have a member’s plan that enables you to budget for your routine dental care and receive discount if you do require treatment. A dentist should always give you a full treatment summary involving any costs when you go for your dental health check. Nobody likes surprise bills!
  1. Give them a call and see if the receptionist is friendly, are they helpful and can they answer your questions? A good dental practice and customer experience starts with that first phone call. Dentists should be aware that potential new patients will be anxious and cater for this. Sometimes this phone call is an indication of how well their dental practice is run.

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