The Guardian recently published a very interesting article on the Sugar Tax that came into force this month. The statistics of children suffering from the consequences of incredibly high-sugar diets continue to make for depressing reading. Some of the facts the article states, according to Public Health England, are that:
- Every single day, 141 children have teeth extracted in a hospital environment…
- Which is the equivalent to a child having a tooth pulled out every 10 minutes.
- Decayed teeth is, in fact, the most common cause for a child aged 5 to 9 to be hospitalised.
- The time these children spend in hospital adds up to
over 60,000 missed days of school time, each year.
- At a cost of £3.4bn for the NHS per year!
The number-one cause of all of this decay is sugar-sweetened soft drinks. This is not just limited to the fizzy culprits that are so often discussed in the media, but other long-term offenders such as Ribena, or Fruit Shoots, or fruit juices like Tropicana.
Any drink with over 5g of sugar per 100ml are now subject to the new tax and have to pay a penalty of 18p per litre (those with higher levels, of over 8g are expected to pay 24p per litre).
This new legislation is undeniably a favourable move in the fight against childhood obesity and definitely a commendable step in the direction of improving children’s dental health in this country.
Many however, are complaining that this tax does not go far enough to penalize the manufacturers of such high-sugar products, nor will the slight increase in price do enough to put off consumers.
PHE suggests families should look at the advice on the Change4Life website on swapping to low fat milky drinks, water and low sugar drinks. Fruit juice and smoothies should be limited to 150ml a day. They may appear healthy but contain large amounts of natural sugars.
Experts, such as Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GP’s, have also championed the importance of family doctors in the fight against sugar. She encourages GP’s to not only explain more carefully the risks of high-sugar diets, but to offer patients simple, achievable alternatives, or at least point them in the direction of more information or help.
You dentist also plays a huge role in helping you and your family find alternatives to high-sugar foods and drinks. The more information you can give them about your lifestyle and dietary choices, the most tailored their advice can be and hopefully, the more manageable the changes for you.
Let’s hope the future only holds good things for the fight against sugar and the improvement of our children’s’ oral health!
It’s hard to avoid the recent conversation about the changes to the law regarding Data Protection. The new legislation has such far-reaching consequences that not many businesses or industries remain unaffected.
The way companies use your contact details will soon be in your hands, which we think can only be a good thing! It means that you can reduce the chances of being hounded by unwanted marketing tactics.
What is GDPR?
On 25 May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be enforced across Europe, including the UK. The law aims to give citizens more control over their data and to create a uniformity of rules to enforce across the continent.
How does it affect you?
You may begin to notice some differences in how businesses and organisations communicate with you. Privacy notices will be more transparent, consumer rights will be upheld and publicised, and news about any data breaches will travel faster and be harder for illicit businesses to cover up. (It may in fact seem that data is less secure after the change, simply because the volume of news on it will increase!)
We love to stay in touch with our patients and keep you up to date with our news via our email newsletters, however we, along with many many of the other businesses you interact with, will be asking for your active consent in order to communicate with you for any other purposes besides your regular appointment reminders, or any notifications regarding your appointments. Keep an eye out for an email over the coming months, asking for you to ‘opt in’ should you wish to continue hearing from us.
If you have any concerns about your data, or any questions about the way in which we will communicate with you following the introduction of GDPR, please do contact us on 01428 723179.
A huge thank you to all of our entrants for the Design a Bookmark competition!
We had a lovely time looking at them all and deciding on our winners was an unenviable task…but luckily one we could pass over to the marketing and design experts at Mzuri Design!
After much deliberation and head-scratching we were presented with the two winners, from Florence Lilley and Cecilia Langley (see their amazing designs below!)
Thank you both so much Florence and Cecilia for your beautiful drawings, we are very proud to include your bookmarks in the ‘goody bags’ we give out to the children who attend the practice (and all of the team at Oak Lodge have taken one home to use too!)
Jacquie is a familiar face for some of our longest standing patients. Over the past 15 years she has built up a fiercely loyal patient base, who often have to fight hard to reserve their appointments with her; with many patients taking great lengths to reserve their appointments a year ahead!
And it’s not hard to see why. Jacquie’s chair has often been likened to more of a therapist’s chair than a dental one (and that’s no commentary on the mental state of her patients!) She has a big heart and her attentive, kind nature has helped so many of her patients through so much more than removing plaque!
It is impossible to list the many ways in which Jacquie has contributed to the practice over the years. Her patience and loyalty, sense of fun and her unwavering dedication to the highest quality dental care, have all contributed hugely to the standard of care we can offer our patients.
We owe a lot to Jacquie and her 15 years of hard-work and we think we can speak for her patients in saying a great big thank you from all of us!
In longstanding Oak Lodge tradition, we’ve hired another member of our team with as similar a name as possible to our existing members. Already with two Debbie’s and two Emma’s, we’re now confusing things with a Hannah to go with our Anna!
Hannah came extremely highly recommended by our therapist Lisa, having tutored her throughout her degree at Portsmouth Dental Academy and been particularly impressed with Hannah’s clinical proficiency and excellent, bubbly chair-side manner.
Hannah’s clinical interests include facial aesthetics and cosmetic smile makeovers and her background of over 10 years of dental nursing, including within a clinic specifically for anxious patients, has made her extremely talented in helping nervous patients gain confidence in the dental chair.
Outside of the practice she can be found pursuing her passion for CrossFit, or snuggling up at home with her partner Carl and her two giant Maine Coon cats, Smokey and Lottie!
Hannah completes our team of three Dental Therapists (see our previous post for more information on what a Therapist is and how they can help you.) This means that Oak Lodge now has the capacity to help many more patients in the case of emergencies and have a team dedicated to paediatric dental care.
Having only worked at the practice for a few weeks, Hannah’s friendly and fun approach to her patient-care has already helped build a loyal patient-base of her own. If you would like to come in to see Hannah for your next hygienist appointment, or would like to learn more about how she can help your family with their oral health, just call 01428 723179.
Julia has been with us now for 10 years!
Our team are a hugely important part of the practice. We work together closely everyday and it takes a good deal of patience, a great sense of humour (and just a touch of lunacy) to fit into the Oak Lodge family!
Having qualified as a dental nurse in 1981 and joined Oak Lodge Dental Practice in 2007, Julia previously worked in both community practices and for special care dental services.
Julia is an integral part of our team. As our Clinical Lead, she has an encyclopedic knowledge of our clinical requirements; helping to keep us consistently compliant and safe. Her dedication to working at ‘best-practice’ and keeping Oak Lodge in shipshape, helps to keep the whole team working steadily to our ethos of high-quality, safe dentistry. Besides that, Julia has a wicked sense of humor and has kept us all laughing through the years.
Over the past decade, Julia has seen nearly half the lifetime of Oak Lodge’s 28 years of practice. She’s worked closely with Dr Bolton to constantly better our services and with a heart as big as her smile, she’s helped countless patients reach and maintain their oral health goals.
Julia is an incredibly important (and fun!) member of our team and we owe so much of our success over the past decade to her stalwart, forward thinking and prolific approach to her work and her dedication to our team and the future of Oak Lodge.
Thank you Julia!
Here’s to another decade..??
Dental Therapists have been in service now for over 15 years, but their scope of practice within dentistry is sadly still yet to be widely recognised.
A Dental Therapy degree has a heavy focus on ‘in-chair’ clinical training and Therapists graduate with an invaluable wealth of practical experience. Within practice, Therapists primarily deal with paediatric dentistry and helping to promote ‘direct access’ by seeing dental emergencies, such as broken or chipped teeth.
Therapists and Pediatric Care
Children can greatly benefit from seeing a dental therapist. As well as teaching good oral hygiene habits during hygiene education appointments, a therapist can also apply fluoride varnishes or place fissure sealants to help prevent tooth decay. They can fix broken or chipped teeth by placing fillings, take impressions for gum shields, take x-rays, place stainless steel crowns and extract deciduous (‘baby’) teeth.
They can also see a child in pain in an emergency situation and treat teeth with emergency root treatments. Generally, whatever your child can see the Dentist for, they can also see a Therapist.
Our Therapy Team:
At Oak Lodge Dental, we’re lucky enough to have 3 Therapists in our team and their expertise helps us to assist our patients, daily.
Lisa qualified at Liverpool University Dental Hospital in 2007. In addition to her work at Oak Lodge Dental, she has worked for Community Dental Services, treating children and patients with special needs.
Utilising her wealth of experience and knowledge gained in practice, Lisa now works as a Clinical Tutor for the University of Portsmouth Dental Academy and actually trained our other Therapists, Anna and Hannah. This means that, not only are we confident that our entire Therapy team have been trained in safe, knowledgeable hands, but that all 3 Therapists have the same strong focus on preventive, patient-focused dentistry and they all work to the same high standard as Lisa.
Anna qualified as a Dental Therapist and Hygienist from the University of Portsmouth Dental Academy in 2016. Having studied under Lisa’s tutelage, Anna is the perfect addition to our Therapy and Hygiene team, providing the same quality of care and treatment, with just as big a smile.Prior to working at Oak Lodge Anna was an Officer in the Royal Navy, making her our most disciplined and efficient team member. She works hard at keeping us all in order!
Hannah is the most recent addition to our Therapy Team, joining us this summer, following her graduation in 2017. Again, Hannah trained under Lisa and offers the same quality treatment, with a gentle and friendly chair-side manner.
Lisa, Anna and Hannah have a wealth of experience treating children of all ages. Now, with our dedicated Tuesday and Wednesday morning pediatric sessions we can offer children a speedier Therapist appointment for treatment or emergencies, rather than waiting to see a Dentist.
If you need any further information or would like to book an appointment with any of our Therapy Team, please call us on 01428 723179.
We know the feeling.
Staring at the toothpaste selection on the supermarket or pharmacy shelves in complete bafflement. So many functions, packages, added extras- who’s to know whether you need advanced cleaning, breath defense, high fluoride or whitening? And if so, do you need Truly Radiant White, Max White or White Glo…how white really is ‘Max White’?
With so many adverts, brands and purposes, as well as dentists recommending different preferred brands, buying toothpaste these days can be as baffling as buying car insurance!
Our advice with toothpaste is always to start with your personal needs. Remember, toothpaste’s primary function is to clean your teeth and help maintain great oral health. Try not to get distracted by flashy packaging or adverts and stick to what you need most for your oral health.
Want a brighter smile? (Does whitening toothpaste really work?)
Often the easiest and cheapest way to lighten your teeth is a whitening paste, containing peroxide. Just remember that there is only so much a toothpaste can help you with whitening. It is highly unlikely you will ever achieve the results that professional tooth whitening can give you. However, whitening paste has its place and can be very helpful and can effectively remove stains from enamel, therefore helping you maintain results following a course of teeth whitening treatment.
Plaque control (And the ‘fluoride question’…)
Plaque is the colourless, sticky deposit that builds up on our teeth after eating or drinking. Not removing plaque quickly can lead to the build up of calculus (or ‘tartar’, the hardened form of plaque).
Removal of plaque is the primary function of toothpaste and the reason why we’re not all brushing using just water. Although the use of fluoride is heavily debated, the function of fluoride is to slow down the decomposition of tooth enamel over time, caused by the negative effects of sugar and starch consumption. It has even been proven to reverse the early stages of enamel damage.
Patients with high decay rates can even be prescribed a high dosage fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash to help combat the effects of enamel damage.
Feeling sensitive (Protecting your enamel…)
Tooth sensitivity can be a blight for many. Sensitivity can range from not being able to enjoy a nice cool drink, or ice cream on a hot day, to finding it hard to go outside if it’s less than room-temperature outside because the air temperature causes sharp, nervy tooth pain. Teeth are generally protected by the enamel, but over time they suffer from wear and tear. As a result of this, your teeth can become sensitive and tender when eating cold or hot foods or by your oral cleansing products.
There are a huge range of sensitive toothpastes on the market and most of these come with full dentist approval, often dentists will start sensitivity treatment by recommending a ‘course’ of sensitive toothpaste.
A great tip is not to rinse! By rinsing off your toothpaste after you brush, you are effectively washing away all of the ‘good stuff’ you have just applied. Often, applying the paste directly to any sore areas with a finger and leaving it on can really help with sensitivity.
Children’s toothpaste (Fruity vs Minty)
Dental guidelines state that:
- Children under three years old should brush twice daily, with a smear of toothpaste containing no less than 1000ppm fluoride.
- Children between three and six years old should brush at least twice daily with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste containing more than 1000ppm fluoride.
So really, the common query of whether to go with a fruity or minty flavour is irrelevant, what is important is that your child’s teeth are protected by the correct amount of fluoride.
So, what’s the answer…?
Toothpaste fads come and go (yes, black toothpaste containing charcoal, we’re looking at you!) The thing you need to remember is what you’re using it for – to clean your teeth.
Beyond that function, it is a case of finding a suitable toothpaste to target your dental needs and using toothpaste to help you maintain healthy teeth on a daily basis. Your hygienist, dental therapist or dentist are always happy to help you find out what your specific dental needs are and help you to find a suitable toothpaste for you. Call 01428 723179 to book your next hygiene or examination appointment at Oak Lodge Dental.
We all know that too much sugar is bad for us, but going completely sugar-free isn’t easy. So, this September, we’re encouraging everyone to cut, not quit, their sugar intake for one month!
Our diets generally contain more than enough sugar from naturally-occurring sources such as whole fruits, vegetables and milk (these are intrinsic sugars) and we don’t benefit from eating the sugars that are added to our food and drink. A simple sugar swap can have a positive impact on your oral health, and you’ll feel better too!
So why not join us this September for our Sugar Swap campaign, and see how much better you feel? After a month, you may even adjust how much sugar you consume going forward, which can only be a good thing!
This month, we’re following in Denplans’ footsteps by challenging our patients to join us with their own September Sugar Swaps!
Our team, although we are extremely dentally-aware, have been known to sneak in the odd tin of biscuits, or box of chocolates into the staff kitchen on the “very rare” occasion!
So we too have pledged some sugar swaps for the month. We will replacing our biscuits or sugary treats with fruit or savoury snacks, we will be replacing any sugars in our hot drinks with sweeteners and our Practice Manager Christine has (somewhat reluctantly) agreed to forego her weekly hot chocolate treat for the duration of the challenge!
Sugar at work can be a sneaky danger, take a look at the video below for the facts…!
Our Office Manager, Emma has got married!
The ceremony and reception both took place at the Barn at Bury Court in the picturesque village of Bentley. After almost exactly a year of planning, the day went without a hitch and the weather kindly held out for the whole day.
The venue looked beautiful, decked out in bright, colourful lanterns and flowers, the couple spent the whole day smiling, surrounded by family and friends.
The stunning wedding cake was made by one talented aunt and the second, equally impressive cupcake mountain was made by another! (The team took minimal persuasion to tuck into both..!)
The happy couple enjoyed a mini-moon away in a beautiful cottage in Dartmoor and are eagerly counting down the days to their ‘main-moon’ to Thailand in October.
We wish The Coombers many happy years of marriage!