Is Your Child Endangering Their Dental Health by Drinking Sports Drinks?


We’ve just picked up on some recent research from the University of Cardiff which 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. What most parents and children don’t realise is that 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.

You will probably  have seen that 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.

When the researchers asked the children that responded why they drank these drinks, the main reason 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,”

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?

We’ve 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.

Here is, perhaps a more honest advert for sports drinks!

Ways to reduce sugar intake

It is fairly easy to limit the amount of added sugar that you put on food, more difficult is being aware of the sugar that you don’t know you are eating. It’s important to doublecheck  things like sauces, dressings, cereals plus  prepackaged food like soup and ready meals.

Fizzy drinks contain a huge amount of sugar, a 500 mL bottle of cola contains the equivalent of 17 cubes of sugar. Even  when you drink fruit juice you are still consuming a large amount of additional sugar.

Here are a few additional tips to reduce sugar intake:

  • Consider sweeteners in moderation instead of adding sugar.
  • Remove the temptation of adding sugar by not putting  it on the table in the first place. Remember, syrup and honey also contain sugar, so keep these safely in the cupboard also.
  • Enhance your food with spices instead of sugar, things like ginger, cinnamon or nutmeg can add interesting flavours without adding sugar.
  • Purchase sugarfree drinks or get into the habit of drinking water, perhaps with a slice of lemon or lime to give it a fresh taste.
  • When baking reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe by up to 1/2, often you won’t notice any difference.
  • If you purchase tinned fruit, make sure it is in water or natural juices rather than in syrup.
  • If you like sugary cereal, rather than add sugar, experiment with different fruits such as bananas, cherries, strawberries or dried fruits such as apricots, raisins or cranberries.

Dove Dental Care is a dental practice in Derby with a keen interest in helping patients, young and old improve and maintain their dental health.

10 facts About Invisalign


If you’re thinking that you would like to begin treatment to straighten crooked teeth but need a little bit more information about which treatment option is right for you then read on.

Invisalign is a tried and tested orthodontic system which now has 4 million cases to its name, it offers almost invisible orthodontics for a wide range of clinical situations. We’ve collated these 10 true facts to help you decide if Invisalign is right for you.

1.You must wear your braces.

One of the biggest reasons that Invisalign doesn’t work as intended is if you take the braces out continuously. You absolutely must wear the braces for at least 20 hours per day, only removing them to eat and clean them. The recommended daily wearing time is 22 hours and you should stick as close to this as you possibly can.

2. What will you do about drinking tea and coffee?

Tea, coffee and red wine can all stain the Invisalign braces. If you decide to drink these drinks then you will have to remove your braces and factor this in to the 20 hours each day that you must wear your braces. Also, you will need to brush your teeth before putting the braces backing, say you will have to remember to carry a toothbrush and toothpaste around with you all the time.

3. Do you carry a toothbrush and toothpaste with you at all times?

If you don’t, you will have to start if you have Invisalign braces. This will be particularly important if you decide that you want to continue with your morning coffee, afternoon tea or evening drink of red wine! Wherever you go, your toothbrush and toothpaste must go with you… Although, this is a good habit to get into any way!

4. Don’t clean your braces with toothpaste!

Toothpaste can often be a little bit too abrasive to use on Invisalign. The recommendation is that you clean your braces with a very mild detergent or so. Be particularly careful about toothpastes containing micro beads, these can lead to excessive wear on your braces which can mean they worked loose and don’t function as well as they should.

5. Be prepared for treatment to take longer than you might think.

The treatment time at estimated at the beginning is just that, an estimate. There are various factors which can influence this time that cannot be taken into account at the beginning. It’s worth mentioning again that in order to stick as close to the estimated timescale as possible you must wear your braces for at least 20 hours per day, ideally 22!

If you remove your braces and don’t wear them long enough treatment will almost certainly be longer than you expected.

6. Orthodontics is pain-free.

Whenever we move teeth there is often some slight discomfort, this is because in order to straighten your smile the teeth need to be physically moved. You will generally find that most discomfort is felt the day after you have a new aligner however this will subside after a couple of days.

7. Not everyone is suitable for Invisalign.

Invisalign is typically used for cosmetic treatments of the anterior (front) teeth. If your orthodontic problems involve back teeth or severe biting problems then you may find that Invisalign is not right for you. Many orthodontists can treat extreme biting problems far easier using conventional orthodontic systems. You will always be given all of your options prior to beginning any treatment.

8. Invisalign doesn’t involve metal.

InvisalignIf you don’t like having metal on your teeth then Invisalign is absolutely for you. Invisalign is made from a clear plastic material which blends in perfectly into your teeth. Other people will almost certainly not be able to spot that you are wearing orthodontic braces.

9. You get to see the projected result, BEFORE you start.

Invisalign comes with an amazing technique called a clean check. This is where our skilled orthodontic technicians digitise your teeth on their computer screen and then virtually move them to the new position. Prior to beginning treatment you can then see what are you will look like on a computer screen. This gives an amazing insight into the finished result prior to beginning!

10. It’s worth it, go for it!

Matthew’s Story

“I really admire the less invasive approach to teeth straightening, offered by Invisalign treatment and it was one of the reasons I opted for it. I can’t believe that something so thin has the capacity to move my teeth!”

It’s celebration time, 4 million people have now chosen Invisalign treatment to transform their smiles… Perhaps it’s time you joined them?


Dove Dental Care is a private dental practice in Derby offering a range of teeth straightening treatment including Invisalign. Request your new patient appointment here.

The Effects of Smoking on Your Dental Health

ID-100174023 - hin255Dr Daniel Murphy encourages patients to give up smoking, not only is the habit damaging for your overall body health it has serious consequences the teeth too. A recent study shows that smoking alters the oral biome,  creating high levels of bacterial species in the mouth.

Smoking is widely known to be linked to a range of dental problems including complications after  dental implant placement, root canal therapy and dental extractions  smoking also exacerbates cavities and periodontal disease. Whilst many of these complications are due to a result of the toxins in the smoke the most recent study published in the International Society for Microbial Ecology discovered that smoking also alters the oral biome.

The study evaluated the oral microbiomes of more than 1,200 American adults aged 50 and over. More than 100 were current smokers, and 571 were former smokers. Smokers had significantly higher levels of 150 bacterial species, including Streptococcus, and significantly lower levels of 70 other species, including those linked to breaking down the toxins linked to smoking.

Lack of Oxygen

A lack of oxygen is the primary cause of the complications following dental extractions and root canal treatments. The lack of oxygen in your bloodstream means the infected gums downhill as effectively.

Your blood is a vehicle for delivering oxygen to the various parts of your body as they need it. Your blood vessels are coated with a thin Teflon like layer of cells that ensure  smooth bloodflow. When you smoke this layer is damaged allowing fat and plaque to stick to the vessel walls, the narrowing of the blood vessels restricts the amount of oxygen that reach the disease, this is especially important during the healing phase after any form of dental treatment/surgery.

Tooth Staining

Image source

The nicotine and tar  in tobacco are responsible for the stains many smokers have on their teeth. Also, because the smoking  makes the teeth stickier the bacteria which form dental plaque find it much easier to adhere to the tooth. The double effect of this is that plaque stains more readily than natural teeth does, this  often results in heavily stained and plaque ridden teeth.

Oral Cancer

The links between smoking and cancer are well documented. It is a misconception to think that if you don’t inhale the smoke, particularly types and cigars, then you lower your chance of developing cancer. The truth is if you smoke at all, the smoke comes into contact with the kids use of your mouth and greatly increases your chance of developing oral cancer.

Former smokers had similar oral microbiomes as nonsmokers, which indicates that bacterial colonies do tend to return to a normal, balanced state once smoking stops.

Halitosis or Bad Breath and Smoking

Smoking causes bad breath in one of several ways:

  • Leaving smoke particles in the throat and lungs meaning the smell lingers for ages
  • 1968 report showed that  tobacco smoke contained more than 60 aromatic hydrocarbon, many are carcinogenic and convey s smell. These hydrocarbons, linger in your saliva.
  • By trying out your palate. As this happens anaerobic oral bacteria can thrive and produced the smell.
  • By leaving a thick layer of tar. This tar relay which covers your breathing passages sticks and has a rather distinctive smokers breath smell. How to overcome smokers breath

What is the advice for smokers from a dental health professional?

Of course, the first piece of advice is going to be quit smoking… But you knew that anyway didn’t you!

Visit your dental hygienist. Regular visits to the dental hygienist will help to ensure that you keep your teeth in good condition as possible. The hygienist can remove any built up plaque which will then make the teeth look brighter and healthier, feel fresher and may also remove some of the odour.

Clean your teeth regularly. Cleaning your teeth regularly, including cleaning between the teeth using a brush or floss will also help to keep down the amount of bacterial buildup in your mouth. We recommend brushing for at least 2 min per day, twice a day.

Use a mouthwash. Use a mouthwash in between brushing (not immediately after brushing as you reduce the amount of fluoride in contact with your teeth). Use them fluoride mouthwash in between meals and in between brushing to give your teeth a little extra freshness and protection.

Chew a sugarfree gum after smoking. This will help to stimulate the saliva in your mouth to start flowing again, this can then alleviate the dry mouth that smoking causes. The smell of the gum and the relief of the dry mouth will also help to reduce any bad breath.

Dove Dental Care are a general dental practice in Derby with a keen interest in helping local people improve their oral health.


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Smoking and Plaque Image source & hin255 at

Speaking up About The Dental Health of Our Children

child brushing teeth

There have been many damning reports recently in the press about the state of our children’s dental health. Some of these shocking reports from the Royal College of surgeons and the British Dental Association warned that thousands of children are being admitted to hospital to have teeth removed because of advanced decay, all of this costing the NHS millions.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre’s research shows these numbers have been increasing consistently for the past four successive years and that the rate of painful tooth extraction in some of the nation’s most deprived children is five times that of the children in better off areas.

Children with this level of dental decay find it difficult to sleep, eat  and speak, not to mention problems socialising with other children. This will inevitably affect their development as well as education.

The research goes on to show that many children have their  decayed teeth extracted under general anaesthetic, with 8362 children being admitted in London for the procedure.

The statistics are scary, yet 90% of this dental decay is actually preventable with a balanced diet and regular dental checkups with the dentist.

As adults in our society we make our own choices about whether we go to the dentist not, the problem is a five-year-old doesn’t have this choice, they are reliant upon their parent or carer to make the right choice for them and ensure their dental health remains good.

Many parents believe that children have two sets of teeth and therefore can afford to have the first set go rotten.  The problem with this theory is that as the dental decay takes hold the bacteria have an adverse effect on the rest of the body also, thereby impacting on the child’s overall health.

If a child is first set (deciduous) of teeth are left to decay then this oral hygiene routine can become a habit which then continues on to win the second (permanent) set of teeth come through. This can then spell disaster for the overall dental health of the child as they mature and grow into adulthood.

Baroness Benjamin talks about her concerns on this serious issue in a recent article in Politics Home, as does the BBC.

So what can we do?

The simple answer is twofold:

  1. Maintain a balanced and healthy diet
  2. Have regular visits to the dentist to ensure your child’s oral health care routine is efficient.

Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet is primarily focused around reducing the amount of sugar. Sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth and as they feed they secrete an acid which attacks the hard outer surface of your tooth. If this acid attack is left to continue then the decay becomes worse and worse until ultimately your child is left in pain and the tooth has to be removed. Reducing the amount of sugar in your child’s diet is one of the primary ways of preventing this happening, along with maintaining an adequate daily dental healthcare routine.

Regular visits to the dentist will also ensure that your daily dental health care routine is adequate. Here’s our advice for children.

Advice for looking after your children’s dental health

advice on brushing children's teeth

  • Take your child to the dentist from an early age this helps them get used to sitting in the chair, going up and down and generally being around a healthcare professional.
  • Start brushing your child’s teeth at soon as they appear, even as a baby. This gives your child time to get used to the feel of a toothbrush in their mouth as young as possible.
  • Use a child’s toothpaste. A children’s toothpaste has less fluoride than an adult toothpaste, fluoride is generally good when kept to the correct dose however it can in excess cause problems for children.
  • Use a pea sized amount of toothpaste when you clean your children’s teeth twice per day for 2 min.
  • Supervise your child’s brushing up until around the age of 7.

Many dental practices offer special children’s rates and care/maintenance plans to help look after your children’s teeth. Our dental practice in Derby offers children’s dentistry  with examinations starting from £7.50 to help you keep your child’s teeth and overall health as good as possible for life.

Image courtesy of photostock at

Is Your Mouth Making You Sick?


is your mouth making you sick

As many people know our bodies work as a complete system, with things working best when everything is in balance and order. Studies have shown that the bacteria found in periodontitis are also involved in many other diseases and problems caused around the body.

In this blog post we take a look at some of those conditions… Is your mouth making you sick?

Heart disease and gum disease.

Gum disease may increase the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.

Several studies have shown that periodontal disease is associated with heart disease. While a cause-and-effect relationship has not yet been proven, research has indicated that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease.

Scientists believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the association.

Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions. Patients at risk for infective endocarditis may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures. Your periodontist and cardiologist will be able to determine if your heart condition requires use of antibiotics prior to dental procedures.

Diabetes and risk of premature death.

It may sound sensationalist to say this, but it’s true. A study on Periodontal Disease and Mortality in Type 2 Diabetes showed that periodontal disease is a strong predictor of mortality from ischaemic heart disease and diabetic nephropathy.

The diabetic person with severe periodontal disease may be particularly susceptible to microvascular and macrovascular complications, these are primarily responsible for the increased morbidity and mortality associated with diabetes.

Gum disease and tooth loss may increase the risk of Alzheimers.

It is clear that periodontal disease is associated with numerous systemic diseases, it is however too soon to tell for sure if Alzheimer’s is on this list. There are however some plausible biological mechanisms linking periodontitis and Alzheimer’s disease.

These include mechanisms such as the spread of negative bacteria from the oral cavity to the brain, injury to the brain tissue from systemic inflammatory mediators produced in response to periodontal pathogens, periodontal disease increasing the risk of cerebrovascular injury to the brain, weight loss and wasting associated with periodontal disease may also contribute to cognitive decline conditions such as Alzheimer’s.

Gum disease linked to pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in America, it is extremely difficult to treat and little is known about what causes it. There are established links between pancreatic cancer, cigarette smoking and type II diabetes. A new study by the Harvard School of Public health and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found that periodontal disease was associated with an increased risk of cancer of the pancreas.

“Our study provides the first strong evidence that periodontal disease may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. This finding is of significance as it may provide some new insights into the mechanism of this highly fatal disease”


How to look after your teeth properly.

Looking after your teeth on a day-to-day basis really is quite simple, if you follow these guidelines you will be sure to keep the gum disease causing bacteria reduced to an absolute minimum.

Brush your teeth for 2 min twice per day.

Cleaning your teeth are 2 min using a good quality toothpaste which includes fluoride is the best way to start. Brush the 2 min, focusing 30 seconds on the top left, top right, bottom left and bottom right quadrants of your jaw.

If you don’t have an electric toothbrush with a timer, brush your teeth using a stopwatch or second-hand of a clock. Make sure you time it for 2 min.

Clean in between your teeth.

The acid excreting bacteria which cause dental disease lurk in between your teeth. The best way to clean them is to use an interdental brush or floss, you can do this any time of day, it doesn’t have to be at the same time as cleaning your teeth.

Use fluoride mouthwash after meals.

Rinse your mouth out with a fluoride mouthwash after meals, this will wash away any food debris and bring the enamel hardening fluoride into contact with your teeth in the middle of the day. Avoid rinsing with mouthwash after brushing your teeth, toothpaste contains more fluoride than mouthwash does, if you rinse with mouthwash the new actually reduce the amount of fluoride in contact with your teeth.

If all else fails, just listen to the Singing Dentist who will explain it all in song…

Dove Dental Care are a Derby dental practice offering a range of dental health treatments and advice to the local people around SW18

Ways cosmetic dentistry can boost the appearance of your smile

Cosmetic dentistry is the area of the profession that focuses on the aesthetic appearance of a smile. At Dove Dental Care in Derby, our team of cosmetic dentists offers a range of treatments large and small, all designed to give you a smile you’ll be itching to show off.

cosmetic-dentistry-derbyIf you have any issues with the appearance of your current smile, we invite you to come into our Derby practice for a cosmetic dentistry consultation. An experienced cosmetic dentist will listen to your concerns and aspirations regarding your smile, and will answer any questions you may have. They will then examine your teeth, gums and surrounding structures before talking you through all the relevant treatment options.

The cosmetic dentistry menu at Dove Dental Care in Derby is extensive, and whatever you require your dentist will create a bespoke treatment plan.

We’ve found that many people like to complement any cosmetic dentistry work they may have with options from our facial aesthetics team. Combining treatments in this way can leave you looking – and feeling – many years younger.

Among the popular options on our cosmetic dentistry menu are:


Porcelain veneers are micro-thin shells that are fitted over the front surfaces of the teeth, much like false fingernails. They are bonded in place with a strong dental adhesive, and can improve the appearance of a wide range of imperfections.

Replacing metal fillings

Silver or grey metal amalgam fillings can be replaced with either composite white fillings or porcelain inlays or onlays. Whichever option you choose, your dentist will closely match your restorations to the natural colour of your teeth.

Six Month Smiles

Six Month Smiles are cosmetic braces that quickly improve your smile by straightening the front teeth. They comprise tooth-coloured wires and clear brackets for added discretion.