Are Sports Drinks Destroying Your Teeth and a Risk to Your Health?

Some recent research from the University of Cardiff showed that of the 160 children that responded to their survey 89.4% of them stated that they drank sports drinks with half of them drinking them at least twice a week. These drinks are intended to improve performance and keep athletes hydrated and are not intended to be drank as recreational drinks, especially by young people.

Drinking these drinks has been marketed as being fashionable, trendy and often healthy which has led to a surge in popularity amongst the younger members of our population.

The main reasons for consuming these drinks was attributed to the nice taste (90% of respondents) With 80.4% of respondents purchasing the drinks from local shops. 77.9% of boys came to drink sports drinks during physical activity whilst only 48.6% of girls claimed the same thing however, more girls claim to drink socially, 51.4% compared to 48.5% for boys.

Alarmingly, a study reported in the says that 55% of the sports drinks consumed at home rather than during any exercise at all!

The problem is not the sports drinks themselves, the problem is the fact that these drinks are formulated for enhanced exercise performance. The sugar in sports drinks is there to give fast absorption of carbohydrate so that the muscles can run at peak performance. Yet if these drinks are consumed with out the physical exercise then the body is not using the sugar in this way.

Lucozade sport, for example Contains 27 g of sugar or 7 teaspoons worth in a 750 mL bottle. The world health organisation recommends people consume a maximum of 50 g of added sugar per day, meaning one bottle of Lucozade sport is more than 50% of your daily recommended intake.

Obesity expert Dr Donal O’Shea says:

“If you’re a gold medal Olympian who’s burning 6,000 calories a day and can’t eat enough to replace that, maybe a sports drink is okay, but for everyone else they have no benefit,”

Credit: PHE

The government’s recent launch of their Change4Life campaign of the Sugar Smart app goes a long way to helping children understand how much sugar is contained in various drinks, because this is an app, children find it more interactive and a useful way to scan their favourite drinks to see how much sugar is included.

What are the risks to your dental health of too much sugar?

With written in other blog posts about the effects of too much sugar with regards to diabetes and obesity but there are also risks to your dental health.

Dental decay is caused by the acid excreting from the bacteria in your mouth, these bacteria feed prolifically on the sugar in your diet, the more sugar you have, the more they feed on the more acid they excrete.

In the most part your saliva neutralises this acid but it can only work to a certain degree, too much acid and it attacks your teeth and causes dental decay.

One of the biggest problems is that these bacteria lurk in between your teeth which is notoriously difficult to clean, this is why using an interdental brush or floss is absolutely vital for maintaining your dental health.

Bluecourt Dental Centre in Harrow, Middlesex can advise you on the best cleaning techniques and oral health advice in order to keep your teeth fresh and bright for life. They can also provide dietary advice and encouragement to children to drink healthy drinks rather than sports drinks designed for athletes.

Dry mouth? Here’s what you need to know…

It is very normal for people to occasionally have a dry mouth, this can be caused by dehydration or anxiety. If you have a persistently dry mouth then it may have an underlying cause which needs further investigation, your dentist may be able to help.

What are the causes of a dry mouth.

A dry mouth is caused by under active salivary glands which are not producing enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. This could either be because you don’t have enough water in your system and you are dehydrated or due to a medical reason causing the glands not to work as they should.

A few of the causes of dry mouth are:

  1. Medication. Some antidepressants and antihistamines can cause your mouth to dry out, if you are taking either of these medications take a quick look at the instructions and see if a side-effect is a dry mouth. Never stop taking prescribed medicines until you have spoken to your doctor about any potential side-effect.
  2. A common cold. If you have a cold and your nose is blocked it can cause you to breathe excessively through your mouth, this can dehydrate your mouth, particularly whilst you are asleep.
  3. Medical conditions. There are a couple of medical conditions including diabetes and Sjogren’s syndrome which cause dry mouth.

What problems can dry mouth cause?

Dry lips are very often associated with a dry mouth, as is halitosis. The saliva in your mouth keeps bacteria at bay, without the saliva the bacteria multiply and cause the bad breath.

Tooth decay and gum disease are also associated with a dry mouth. If they are not bathed in the saliva then the bacteria which secrete the acid are not neutralised, the acid can then become stronger and cause decay in your teeth faster than normal.

ID-10040609nixxphotography.How to treat a dry mouth

Before you know exactly how to treat a dry mouth you need to understand what is causing it. If you believe you are fully hydrated then medical assistance may be required, either from your doctor or dentist.

Some things you could try include:

  1. Staying hydrated by drinking as much water as you need per day.
  2. Stopping smoking.
  3. Limiting the amount of caffeine you drink as this can dehydrate you.
  4. Chewing gum to stimulate the flow of saliva, make sure this gum is sugarfree to avoid tooth decay.
  5. Visit a pharmacy and ask for some over-the-counter saliva substitute.
  6. Try to breathe through your nose rather than your mouth.
  7. Use a room humidifier at night if you think you may be mouth breathing.

Preventing tooth decay due to a dry mouth

One of the big problems of a dry mouth is maintaining good oral hygiene to prevent tooth decay. It is extremely important to regularly visit your hygienist and dentist if you have a dry mouth to ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy.

Gum disease can progress painlessly on the whole and only a dental health professional will be able to tell in the early stages if you have either gingivitis or periodontitis.

The general rule of thumb for good teeth cleaning is:

  1. Start brushing your molars and then moved forwards towards the front of your mouth.
  2. Brush from your gums towards the chewing surface and use little strokes to get your teeth clean.
  3. Make sure to clean all your teeth. Hold your toothbrush up and down to get behind them.
  4. Remember to brush your tongue.

Do all of this twice per day and use a fluoride mouthwash in between meals as a top up. Avoid using mouthwash after you brush as toothpaste has a higher percentage of fluoride than mouthwash, if you use a mouthwash immediately after brushing then you reduce the amount of teeth strengthening fluoride around your teeth.

For advice on dental health and dry mouth please give Blue Court Dental a call or request an appointment online.

Image source nixxphotography at

Survey reveals that 72% of men have used their female partner’s toothbrush

AID-100116377 by imagerymajesticccording to a new survey women change their toothbrush twice as often as men. The survey showed that, on average, women change their toothbrush every 92 days whilst men change theirs every 185 days.

The survey was carried out by Carisbrook dental in Manchester which asked 1000 patients about their oral health habits.”

“All our research shows that women take dental health far more seriously than men,”

Dr Tariq Idrees owner of Carisbrook dental said,

“Throwing your toothbrush out after three months might seem like a short time, but think of the germs, viruses and bacteria it is exposed to daily; new toothbrushes have been developed where the bristles change colour when they wear one out providing an immediate reminder of when to getting new one.”

 change your toothbrush after you have been ill

According to the survey electric toothbrushes are used by 57% of women and 32% of men. Another interesting fact was that women spend on average £42 per year on the dental healthcare, whilst men spend only £24 a year on the same dental healthcare including brushes, toothpaste  and other products such as mouthwash.

The survey also revealed that 7/10 men (72%) have used their female partners toothbrush whilst only 26% of women admitted to using their male partner’s brush.

“Women spend twice as much on their teeth and tend to have much healthier teeth and gums. They are almost 5 times more likely to have cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening.” Said Dr Tariq Idrees

At Blue Court Dental Centre in Harrow we have similar experience of women taking more care of their dental health than men. If you don’t look after your toothbrush then the bristles can become bent and frayed, this means they are not able to clean in between your teeth in those difficult to reach areas where the acid excreting bacteria lurk.

The spaces in between your teeth are particularly vulnerable to dental decay and if these areas are not kept clean on a daily basis your oral health care can suffer.

We have also written in other blog posts about the further implications of not looking after your teeth and gums. Dental disease has been linked to other conditions such as diabetes and heart problems.

Using an electric toothbrush makes it far easier to ensure that your teeth are adequately cleaned and rinsing in between cleaning your teeth, particularly after meals with a good quality fluoride mouthwash is another step you can take to ensure your teeth stay dentally fit and healthy for life.

If you are at all concerned about you or your partner’s oral health then please do give us a call or request an appointment online.

Image courtesy of ImageryMajestic @

Five Tips for Fixing Stained Teeth

A clear, vibrant smile is among the most important aspects in looking and feeling your very best every single day. In cases where your teeth are yellow or stained it may affect ones self-esteem thus making you embarrassed to speak or smile for photos.

Fortunately, many instances of tooth discoloration have easy fixes. The technique you will decide on to whiten your teeth is dependent mainly on the cause of the stains, so below, we’ll review the most common causes and how to repair the unsightly damage they cause.

Whitening Plaque-Stained Teeth

 Plaque on teethBrushing alone cannot fully remove plaque from your teeth, so with time it may accumulate and cause surface discoloration. There’s a couple of steps you can take with plaque stains, and not one of them is remotely complicated! You can change to brushing with a whitening tooth paste, make use of a tooth-bleaching system, or visit a dentist for air abrasion which can gently remove these stains.

Getting rid of Drink and Food Discoloration

red whiteUnfortunately, it is a fact: certain meals stain the teeth. Coffee is probably the worst offender and the most obvious, but also think about  fizzy drinks, wine, sports drinks, pasta sauce, vinegar, and berries.  Tea can also be a culprit, you will find that black tea is worse than white tea. To combat food discoloration, get a jar of activated charcoal, an all natural product which lifts surface stains off teeth. Nowadays,  you can buy this type of charcoal in mint flavours.  You may also want to consider tooth whitening toothpaste.

Fighting Age-Related Tooth Discoloration

Most of us are quite familiar with the normal complaints of ageing, aching joints, memory loss and inability to use modern technology, we are joking on that last one by the way!

Did you also know that tooth discolouration can happen as we get older? Unlike the majority of the others in our list, age-related yellowing isn’t brought on by surface stains, but by worn-lower enamel and calcified tissue referred to as “secondary dentine.”

Secondary dentin starts to develop once our teeth are fully formed, and keeps growing gradually throughout adult life. Secondary dentine is darker and much more opaque compared to “primary dentine”  this means that it can show through the more translucent primary dentine.

There is no way you can reduce this at home, deep teeth whitening or perhaps some form of restorative treatment such as veneers crowns may be the only way to fight age-related tooth discolouration.

Eliminating Stains from Smoking

smokingIt’s well-known the most visible manifestation of a smoker may be the yellow or brown teeth that tobacco causes. If you are hooked on cigarettes or eating tobacco, it’s embarrassing to broadcast this every time you open your mouth. Fortunately, tobacco stains mostly affect the surface of the teeth instead of penetrating further in, so for example a whitening gel with peroxide might help  reduce the yellowing of tobacco.

Dealing with Discolouration Caused by Medication

IMG_6096An unwanted effect of tetracycline antibiotics is yellowing or graying on the teeth, and regrettably, because this happens from inside-out as opposed to outside-in, it is not as simple as  simply treating the surface and to.

A very similar situation arises if you have been exposed to an excessive amount of fluoride causing fluorosis. Fluorosis leads teeth to yellow and become mottled.

In some instances this discolouration can be treated with very precise bleaching techniques, perhaps using lasers. However, in most cases discolouration caused by medication will need to have some form of restoration over the top of the tooth is to completely cover the discoloured area. This would typically be a dental veneer or dental crown.


Dr Nishan Dixit is the founder and principal dentist of Blue Court Dental in Harrow. Patients enjoy his relaxed, friendly and gentle approach while experiencing his meticulous attention to detail. He has a special interest in providing smile makeovers, natural-looking white fillings and cosmetic braces, but also provides a range of treatments from preventative and general dental care to complex dental rehabilitation. It is important for him to provide care in a calm and unhurried manner, taking the time to make even the most nervous patients feel at ease and informed about any procedures they need.

Patients come from all across the country and even overseas to experience the outstanding treatment that Dr Dixit provides, and his record speaks for itself as many patients have been under his care for over 20 years. Building long-lasting relationships with patients is at the heart of Dr Dixit’s dentistry.

Images via Master-isolated-images @

How do you know which dental specialist to see?

In life we know that if things are particularly complicated then a specialist in that area is the best person to sort it out. Dentistry is no different. Understanding which specialist to see can often be rather confusing so in this blog post, our Harrow dentists takes some time to go through each of the specialist areas to help you understand which person can best solve your dental problems. The following definitions are taken from the General Dental Council specialist register.




The development, prevention, and correction of irregularities of the teeth, bite and jaw.

Many general dentists are now offering what are known as either short term orthodontics (STO) all limited outcome orthodontics, these treatments move teeth to a more cosmetic situation and include treatments such as Invisalign (clear braces), Six Month Smiles (tooth coloured brackets) and the Inman aligner (rapid orthodontics). These systems typically only move front teeth and don’t address more complicated biting problems.

A specialist orthodontist will typically use more complex techniques to move teeth greater distances. A specialist orthodontist can correct biting problems and even work with a growing jaw during the early teenage years to help move the jaw and bone into a better position.

If you have a child whose teeth don’t seem to be biting correctly then a specialist orthodontist may be the person to see, many children begin their orthodontic treatment at the age of 12, but it’s worth seeing an orthodontist sooner if you suspect they could be a problem.

Adults with crooked teeth could start with a general dentist, see if one of the short-term orthodontic techniques could work and have a discussion about whether a specialist orthodontist would be better suited due to biting problems.


The diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases and disorders (infections and inflammatory) of the gums and other structures around the teeth.

Gum disease can often progress painlessly, it can start as red inflammation with bleeding on brushing, this may be a sign of gingivitis. As this gingivitis and inflammation spreads it can move down the tooth towards the root at this point it becomes the more serious periodontitis which can lead to tooth loss.

At this point your dentist will probably refer you to a periodontist. The periodontist will then look at the extent of any disease and work with the treatment and help you prevent it happening again.

Prosthodontists are also the specialist which place dental implants. Their detailed knowledge of the gums and other structures surrounding the teeth makes them the perfect person to restore your missing teeth with implants.



The replacement of missing teeth and the associated soft and hard tissues by prostheses (crowns, bridges, dentures) which may be fixed or removable, or may be supported and retained by implants

A Prosthodontist will work extremely closely with a dental laboratory. It will be the dental laboratory which manufacture your crowns, bridges or dentures to replace any missing teeth. These restorative options are also offered by your general dental practitioner but in some instances the restoration of the missing teeth becomes extremely complex, perhaps combining crowns, bridges and dentures in complex ways. Understanding how these restorations perform together takes specialist knowledge, in this case a Prosthodontist will often help to restore your smile.

You may also find that a prosthodontist will work with a periodontist. The periodontist may place the dental implants (as in the example above) and the prosthodontist may work closely with the dental laboratory to make the denture on top. It is a close coordination of a specialist team to achieve the best result.

Endodontistanatomy of a tooth


The cause, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries of the tooth root, dental pulp, and surrounding tissue.

Endodontics is a specialist field which many general dentists do not offer themselves. It takes many years training to be able to work in the small environment which is the root of a natural tooth. Many people think that root canal treatments are painful, the reality is that this type of treatment actually gets you out of pain. The results can be quite immediate!

Working with an endodontist your general dental practitioner is able to save teeth rather than remove them. This is always the preferred option of treatment if at all practical.

Oral Surgery

The treatment and ongoing management of irregularities and pathology of the jaw and mouth that require surgical intervention. This includes the specialty previously called Surgical Dentistry.

There are times when, unfortunately, some form of surgical procedure is required, for example:

  • Simple and complex dental extractions
  • Removal of Simple and Complex Wisdom teeth
  • Removal of retained roots
  • Orthodontic extractions
  • Exposure and bonding of Unerupted teeth for Orthodontics

This is when an oral surgery specialist will step in and support your general dental practitioner in the more complex surgical procedures.

Restorative Dentistryrestorative dentistry


The restoration of diseased, injured, or abnormal teeth to normal function. Includes all aspects of Endodontics, Periodontics and Prosthodontic

A specialist in restorative dentistry works particularly with your natural teeth in order to restore them. This could be the complex combination of crowns, bridges, bonding, looking after the gums or treating complex problems with the teeth themselves. It involves a wide range of skills in order to save teeth.

You only ever get one set of adult teeth so it would make sense to restore them whenever possible, rather than have them extracted and be lost for ever. A restorative specialist helps you do this.

With so many specialists working to help save, restore and generate your perfect smile it can be a little overwhelming to know where to start. Our dental practice in Harrow works with resident specialists, in all areas, we can refer you to the right person for you, alternatively you could search the specialist register on the GDC website.


How to clean teeth properly

In this blog post we will be taking a look at everything you need to know about keeping your teeth clean and healthy for life. People in Harrow are often looking for ways to reduce the cost and time of visiting the dentist, one of the best ways to do this is to keep your teeth fit and healthy.

A healthy smile means your dental fees will be smaller, you spend less time at the dentist and can smile with absolute confidence.

How to clean teeth properly

In order to keep your teeth fit and healthy for life you must adopt an efficient and effective system for cleaning your teeth. Here’s what we recommend:

  1. Wait 20 min after eating before brushing your teeth, this gives your enamel time to harden again after that acid attack of eating.
  2. Use a pea sized amount of toothpaste
  3. Hold your brush at an angle
  4. Brush all of your teeth from front to back, the top and the bottom, remember to brush your tongue.
  5. Brush up and down and round and round.
  6. Try to keep the toothpaste in your mouth without rinsing, this leaves the maximum amount of fluoride in contact with your teeth for the longest period of time.
  7. Once a day use an interdental brush or floss to clean in between your teeth, this does not have to be at the same time as you clean your teeth.
  8. Once or twice a day rinse your mouth out with a fluoride mouthwash, typically a good time to do this is just after the meal. Avoid using mouthwash after cleaning your teeth, toothpaste has a higher percentage of fluoride than mouthwash does, if you rinse with mouthwash after cleaning then you actually reduce the amount of fluoride in contact with your teeth.


Cleaning teeth with an electric toothbrush

Whilst it is not 100% necessary to use an electric toothbrush most dentists recommend them. Modern electric toothbrushes offer a few advantages:

  1. an audible timer to ensure that you clean your teeth for the correct length of time
  2. a pressure sensor to ensure you do not press too hard and damage the sensitive gums
  3. an oscillating brush head to get into all of the tiny gaps

The combination of all of these features means that an electric toothbrush tends to be more efficient at cleaning your teeth.

You may also find with a manual toothbrush that you tend to press on some areas of your teeth harder than others. This can often lead to receding gums in this area, an electric toothbrush tends to be easier to clean with the same amount of pressure over your entire row.

How to clean teeth plaque at home

Plaque buildup on your teeth due to something known as biofilm. This biofilm is a sticky thin layer over your teeth. It is made up of bacteria which feed on the sugar in your diet.

Sometimes this biofilm builds up in difficult to reach areas, such as in between your teeth or on the tongue side of your teeth. As the biofilm gets thicker and thicker it turns into plaque, a hard substance which adheres to your teeth.

The plaque means that the acid excreting bacteria are in constant contact with your teeth, as they excrete acid whilst they feed on the sugar in your diet this can attack your teeth causing dental decay.

For this reason it is important to keep plaque to the absolute minimum.

The best way to do this is to follow a good oral hygiene routine, please see our previous section on how to clean teeth properly.

If the plaque build up significantly then you will need to see a dental hygienist who can remove it using an ultrasonic scaling device.

Plaque is extremely difficult to remove at home because it is so hard and stuck your teeth.

How to clean teeth with braces

tooth and mirror
Image courtesy of Cuteimage at

If you have dental braces it is just as important to keep your teeth clean as it is without braces. When you have the braces removed you want to be able to show off your brand-new smile!

Plaque can build up very quickly around braces so it really is important that you have a good oral hygiene routine whilst wearing them.

An electric toothbrush will help enormously if you have fixed orthodontics, using interdental brushes will also be important as you will probably not be able to get floss in between your teeth due to the arch wires.

Here are our top tips for cleaning teeth with braces:

  • follow the advice in our previous section on how to clean teeth properly, plus…
  • Use a mirror every time you clean your teeth, this can be really helpful to ensure you have cleaned all the way around your braces
  • ask your orthodontist for some special brushes which allow you to clean in difficult to reach areas, round ended bristle brushes seem to work best.

After brushing your braces should look clean and shiny and you should be able to see the edges of the brackets. Ensure you rinse with a good quality fluoride mouthwash at least once per day.

How to clean teeth stains at home

As with almost all of our advice we recommend avoiding getting teeth stains in the first place by maintaining a good oral health routine. If you find that your teeth stain then this may be because you have plaque which has built up, keeping this plaque to a minimum will help keep your teeth looking bright.

The best way to keep your teeth clean and free from stains at home is to visit the hygienist first, have a professional clean and polish and then follow our steps listed previously. This will allow your teeth to be cleaned to their maximum brightness, all you need to do after is to maintain them at home.

Some advice on cleaning teeth stains at home:

  1. try using a whitening tooth paste
  2. try using a whitening mouthwash

Your gums are very sensitive we therefore do not recommend you try any other stain removal technique at home.

Oral hygienists

A dental/oral hygienist is an important part of the dental team and could help you save lots of money at the dentist. Hygienists are specially trained to be dental health educators, helping you look after your teeth and carrying out deep cleaning which is not possible at home.

Your hygienist will also typically score your dental health on a scale from 0 to 4, this is known as a basic periodontal examination (BPE). Each tooth is rated on this scale which allows you to track your dental health across each visit. The hygienist will use a probe around each tooth to determine pocket depth around each tooth.

Scoring is typically

  • 0 No pockets >3.5 mm, no calculus/overhangs, no bleeding after probing
  • 1 No pockets >3.5 mm, no calculus/overhangs, but bleeding after probing
  • 2 No pockets >3.5 mm, but calculus/overhangs
  • 3 Probing depth 3.5-5.5 mm (indicating pocket of 4-5 mm)
  • 4 Probing depth >5.5 mm (indicating pocket of 6 mm or more) fifth

How much do oral hygienists cost?

Visits to the dentist are normally more expensive than visits to the oral hygienist, at our practice a oral hygiene program appointment costs from £48.

Teeth cleaning appointments

Teeth cleaning/oral hygiene appointments are best made at the same time as you visit your dentist. Typically a patient will visit the hygienist for 30 min and then go on to have a routine dental health check with the dentist for 30 min afterwards.

This makes best use of your time and is the most convenient way to make an appointment to have your teeth cleaned.

Did You Know That Talking Therapy Can Help Dental Fear and Anxiety

It’s not uncommon for people to feel quite anxious about visiting the dentist, recent research has shown that talking therapies can help and so we thought we would create this article to explain more. We’ve broken this article in to 3 section:

  1. Talking therapies to overcome anxiety
  2. Dental Sedation
  3. General tips to relaxing more

Talking therapies

talking therapyCognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) could help many people with a dental phobia overcome their fear of visiting the dentist and enable them to receive dental treatment without the need to be sedated, according to a new study by King’s College London. (1)

Patients with dental phobia were able to face doNickwn their fear after an average five sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a study found.

Professor Tim Newton, who led the King’s College team, said: “People with dental phobia are most commonly given sedation to allow them to become relaxed enough for a short period of time to have their dental treatment performed. However this does not help them to overcome their fear in the long term.

“The primary goal of our CBT service is to enable patients to receive dental treatment without the need for sedation, by working with each individual patient to set goals according to their priorities. Our study shows that after on average five CBT sessions, most people can go on to be treated by the dentist without the need to be sedated.”

Of all patients referred, four-fifths (79%) went on to have dental treatment without the need for sedation and 6% had their dental treatment under sedation. The average number of CBT appointments required before a patient received dental treatment without sedation was five.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave.

It is most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems.

CBT cannot remove your problems, but it can help you deal with them in a more positive way. It is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a vicious cycle.

CBT can help you to make sense of overwhelming problems by breaking them down into smaller parts. This makes it easier to see how they are connected and how they affect you. These parts are:

A Situation – a problem, event or difficult situation. From this can follow:

  • Thoughts
  • Emotions
  • Physical feelings
  • Actions

Each of these areas can affect the others. How you think about a problem can affect how you feel physically and emotionally.

In addition to talking therapies some people also want to consider dental sedation

What is Sedation?

ID-100341794tiveryluckyIntravenous Sedation is when a drug is administered into the blood system during dental treatment. Sedation induces a state of deep relaxation and a feeling of not being aware of the treatment being carried out. You remain conscious during intravenous sedation and you are still able to understand and respond to simple requests.

However, many people report that they do not remember much or anything at all about the treatment they had done as sedation can produce a partial or full memory loss (amnesia) for the period of time when we administer the drug until it wears off. This can result in you not remembering very much of what happened, some people remember nothing at all.

While the drug used during sedation will relax you and make you forget what happens, you will still need to be numbed as it is not a painkiller. If you have a fear of injections, the dentist will not numb the treatment area until the sedation has taken full effect. They will then wait until the local anaesthetic has taken effect before starting your treatment.

The sedation drug administered though a vein, usually in the hand. An extremely thin needle is put into a vein close to the surface of the skin on the back of your hand. The needle has a soft plastic sheath around it and as it enters the vein, the needle is slid out leaving the soft plastic sheath in place. The drugs are put in through this sheath, this stays in place throughout the procedure.

How will IV sedation in the surgery affect me?

You become drowsy and are not aware of having any treatment, but you are still able to co-operate with the dentist. The effects of sedative medicine take some time to wear off and your dentist will tell you how long the drugs will take to clear from your body. You won’t be able to drink alcohol, drive or work machinery during this time.

In addition to CBT we also recommend finding ways to relax…

Top Tips to Relaxing at The Dentist (2)

ID-10044145Ambro.Try Acupressure

Pressure to meet a deadline can be stressful, but acupressure can help release all that tension. Acupressure’s a kind of touch therapy that works by balancing the circulation of fluids and energies in the body. Use the thumb and forefinger to massage the soft area between the thumb and index finger of the other hand. Dab on some lavender oil for extra relaxation.

Sip Green Tea

Instead of turning purple with rage, get green with a cup of herbal tea. Green tea is a source of L-Theanine, a chemical that helps relieve anger . Boil the water, pour it out, and take a soothing sip.

Remember to Breathe

Is there any simpler way to relax? Slow, deep breaths can help lower blood pressure and heart rate . For the fancy noses out there, try pranayama breathing, a yogic method that involves breathing through one nostril at a time to relieve anxiety. The technique’s supposed to work the same way as acupuncture, balancing the mind and body (and possibly eliminating the need for a tissue).

Use Creative Visualization

The doorbell rings. It’s Ryan Gosling (or Elizabeth Banks), and he/she wants to know if you’ll marry him/her. “Yes!” you shout and then—sorry, time’s up. These little daydreams, also known as “creative visualization,” involve thinking of something that makes us feel happy. It’s an instant mood boost on hectic days when we’re feeling tense.

Find the Sun

Here comes the sun—and some stress relief. If it’s a sunny day, head outside for an easy way to lift your spirits. Bright light can be an effective treatment for people who suffer from depression, and can even cheer up otherwise healthy folks

Take a Quick Walk

“Now walk it out, now walk [stress] out.” When you’re feeling overwhelmed or having trouble concentrating, go for a quick stroll around the block. You’ll get the benefits of alone time, physical activity, and a few minutes to gather your thoughts!

Try Aromatherapy

It takes just a minute to drip some lavender, tea tree, or another essential oil into your palm and inhale. The soothing scents may help send stress and anxiety packing by stimulating smell receptors in the nose that connect to the part of the brain that regulates emotions


(1) ‘Oral health status of non-phobic and dentally phobic individuals; a secondary analysis of the 2009 Adult Dental Health Survey’ by E. Heidari, A. Banerjee and J.T. Newton was published in the British Dental Journal on Friday 13 November 2015

(2) Tips sourced from: site accessed 14/12/15

Image courtesy of Ambro, Tiveryluck & Stuary Miles at

Our Thoughts on the New Sugar Smart App

Image Credit:

It seems that, each day, many of us are eating too much sugar.

You may be surprised to discover the amount of sugar you are eating and how quickly the added sugar  that many of us consume can build up during the day.

The government are now advising that parents take action by installing a new app onto their smart phone which is able to read the barcodes on many food products giving them a visual representation of the amount of sugar a product contains.

The “sugar smart app”, from Public Health England (PHE), functions by checking bar code scans and revealing total sugar content of the food in either cubes or grams.

Authorities hope it can help combat tooth cavities, weight problems and type 2 diabetes and encourage families to select more healthy options with their daily diet.


Approximately 46,500 children and young people under 19 were admitted to hospital for a primary diagnosis of dental caries in 2013–14 according to The state of children’s oral health in England report by the Faculty of Dental Surgery – that’s more children than were admitted for tonsillitis.

As a nation, if we are going to reduce these hospital admissions for young people and we need to get dental disease under control.


Dental cavities arise when the bacteria in your mouth secrete acid. This acid secretion happens as they digest the sugar in your diet. This acid attacks the hard enamel of your teeth and can continue to penetrate deep into the tooth structure.

If this acid attack is left unchecked then the tooth can become seriously infected.

The only way to stop the dental cavity from continuing to grow is to visit the dentist, have the caries removed and then the hole filled. Advice on a good oral health routine can then be given as well as dietary advice.

It is this acid attack which can be limited if we control the amount of sugar that we have in our diets.

There are however other reasons to limit the amount of sugar.


Chris Askew, Diabetes UK Chief Executive, said:

“Diets that are high in sugar are fuelling the rise in obesity, and in turn the dramatic rise in Type 2 diabetes, a serious health condition that can lead to devastating complications such as blindness, amputations and stroke. This is unlike Type 1 diabetes which cannot be prevented and is not caused by being obese. With the average child consuming three times the recommended daily amount of sugar, the need for action has never been more urgent. The new Sugar Smart app will help parents to understand and take control of their children’s sugar intake.

PHE states that young people are eating 3X more sugar than is recommended in their new Change4Life marketing campaign. Their research indicates that normally children aged 4 to 10 years of age are consuming 22kg of added sugar annually. That equates to about 5,500 sugar cubes which is more that the average 5-year old weighs!

It’s all as simple as 3 easy steps:

  1. Get The App

  2. Start Scanning

  3. Reveal The Sugar


Credit: PHE
Image Credit: PHE
  1. Download the application through the Apple Store or Google Play.
  2. Based on how old you are, your everyday sugar allowance will differ. The application informs you on the maximum you should eat.
  3. Select the product that has a barcode.
  4. Open the application.
  5. Permit the application the use of the digital camera on your phone- a box will appear requesting permission.
  6. Line the barcode track up with the red-colored line and wait for a beep. If it’s doesn’t work, yo may be trying to scan too close up, so move the camera further away.
  7. The application will let you know just how much sugar there is in the product – however the application does not have every food item available yet as it is still in it’s development stage.
  8. After that you can share the end result together with your connections on FacebookTwitter, Google & other social media sites.
  9. Clicking the menu button gives you more about sugar content in meals, a scanning history and let’s you go to the app’s website.
Credit: PHE
Image Credit: PHE

If you have children we can highly recommend that they download the app and begins scanning food, this can be a fun way to educate your case about the amount of sugar in food.

More resources about sugar


How Much Sugar is Too Much?

Pre treatment
Do You Have a Higher Chance of Developing Tooth Decay?

The Sugar Factor

Image Source:



Bluecourt Dental is a Private dental practice in Harrow offering free dental health advice via their website, social media streams and regularly updated blog posts.

Mouth Cancer – Are You at Risk?

November 2015 is mouth cancer action month.

Mouth cancer action month was set up in 1998 to begin to combat the growing concerns about a significant increase in diagnoses of mouth cancer in the UK. The primary concern was that there seemed to be a lack of general awareness about the signs and symptoms of oral cancer, knowing what to look out for and being confident to report it to a healthcare professional. This year our dental practice in Harrow is doing its part to raise the awareness of mouth cancer.

Throughout this blog post we have placed several hyperlinks to additional resources, if you click on these you can find out more information about the subjects highlighted.

The causes of mouth cancer.


Most mouth cancers can be linked back to smoking cigars and pipes, there are also instances of habits such as chewing tobacco being a contributory factor to mouth cancer. Alcohol also gives an increased risk of mouth cancer, particularly if consumed at the same time as tobacco.


With a tendency for people to lay out in the sun more, over exposure to sunlight can also responsible for causing some cancer of the lips.

Sexual Preferences

Many recent reports have linked mouth cancer to the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the major cause of cervical cancer and affects the skin that lines the moist areas of the body. HPV can be spread through oral sex, and research now suggests that it could soon rival smoking and drinking as one of the main causes of mouth cancer. Practicing safe sex and limiting the number of partners you have may help reduce your chances of contracting HPV.

The signs of oral cancer

There are many different forms of oral cancer. However, the primary signs and symptoms may include:

  • A lump or thickening of the soft tissue in your mouth, including the gums, tongue and cheek.
  • Soreness and/or a feeling that something is caught in your throat.
  • Difficulty in chewing or swallowing.
  • Jaw pain.
  • Difficulty moving your tongue or jaw.
  • Numbness of the tongue or other area of your mouth.
  • Hoarseness.
  • White or red patches in the mouth the do not normally. (Typically these areas should heal within three weeks)
  • Mouth ulcers that don’t heal within three weeks.

Early detection of mouth cancer

The two best ways of detecting mouth cancer early are to be mouth aware at home and to have regular visits to your dentist. A modern dental practice should always undertake the mouth cancer check with every dental health assessment and this is a primary way of spotting the first signs of mouth cancer.

In order to be more mouth aware we have created a free guide, this goes through seven points for self-assessment at home. Looking at the risk factors for oral cancer and how you can lower them. You can download your 7 point mouth cancer self assessment guide here.

If your dentist believes they have found an early sign of mouth cancer than they will immediately refer you to the local hospital who can carry out more extensive tests which may include biopsies.

If mouth cancer is spotted early, the chances of a complete cure are good, and the smaller the area or ulcer the better the chance of a cure.


How to keep a healthy mouth

Mouth cancer awareness


Blue Lip Selfie Campaign – #bluelipselfie

Get involved with our Blue Lip Selfie campaign and show your support for mouth cancer!

This year, the British Dental Health Foundation have joined forces with main sponsors Denplan and created a fantastic new campaign to help raise awareness of mouth cancer.

They’re asking people to wear blue lips as a visible sign of support for mouth cancer and take a selfie. We hope this positive, interactive approach will significantly boost awareness of the disease and get everybody taking about mouth cancer, the risk factors involved, the signs and symptoms, and what we can do to help reduce our risk.

So what are you waiting for? Show the world your perfect pout and be part of something huge that aims to get everybody talking about mouth cancer!

Take your  #bluelipselfie and donate to mouth cancer

How to take part

Everybody can take part in the Blue Lip Selfie campaign; men or women, old or young, it doesn’t matter.

All you need to do is take a selfie of yourself or alongside family, friends or colleagues, and share it with the hashtag #bluelipselfie to help raise awareness get the campaign going viral and encourage others to show their support for mouth cancer.


Time to make that change

IMG_5815 IMG_5821 IMG_5825

Years of bad habits and irregular visits to the dentist caused this patient’s teeth to deteriorate very quickly.  Her top teeth were very uneven and heavily discoloured.  Close friends and family always commented on how her teeth looked, which over time, caused the patient’s confidence to drop.  She would never smile openly or laugh out loudly.  Meeting new people was impossible and having photographs taken was never an option.  This had a big impact on her life.  She wanted to become the person she was, someone who was full of life and confidence.

After careful thought and planning, the best course of treatment recommended by Dr Dixit was to replace the existing crown and provide new porcelain crowns for the heavily filled and discoloured teeth. The teeth were prepared to the ideal shape for the crowns using custom-made templates to minimise drilling. A soft-tissue laser was used to painlessly recontour the gums enabling the final crowns to be of the ideal length for her face. The new colour was matched to perfection using a special hand-held shade taking device.

IMG_7477 IMG_7481 IMG_7489

The patient was over whelmed  with the results.  Friends and family could not believe how confident it had made her. She was now able to hold her head up high and smile openly and laugh loudly.