It’s been a fantastic 2017 for everyone involved with Bamboo Dental, based in Cardiff. We’ve affiliated with some very worthwhile charities. We’ve seen some incredible smile stories born from our dentists hard work and to top it all off we were given two awards at the Dentistry Awards 2017.
We’re Proud to Have Been Voted Best Dentist in Wales!
Dr Dan and the team have been working incredibly hard this year to help hundreds of new patients achieve the straight teeth that would let them smile confidently amongst their loved ones. It’s a really humbling feeling when patients take the time to leave kind words and thankful reviews after receiving treatment here at Bamboo Dental in Cardiff. You can read some of what our patient’s our saying about us here.
Bamboo Dental Champions Children’s Dental Health
The recent news has been rife with reports of failing dental health awareness in children. Dr Dan and Bamboo refused to stand idly along side that and so opened up our doors for specific events aimed to encourage the education of good oral hygiene in children. But it’s not such an exciting subject to learn about so our dentists dressed up as super heroes for the sake of our future generations smiles!
As the children entered what was previously thought of as the ‘scary’ dental practice, they were greeted by Mr Incredible and Batman amongst others. Seeing an instant evolution in facial expression on the children’s faces let us know that they were at ease and this was going to be a successful event.
Staying in character, our dentists were able to provide the children with free dental health check ups as well as giving them some helpful top tips and knowledge along the way. A fantastic event that was well received took place that day and would be the first of many more similar events to come.
Dentist in Cardiff Makes New Ties With Local Charities
We’ve made some very worthwhile moves in the past year, affiliating with some great causes. Firstly we’ve spent time working with Tenovus Cancer Care. This Welsh charity focuses on cancer and helping those affected to pull through and move onwards as easily as can be. We’ve spent days with the charity educating at the dental practice in Cardiff as well as sponsoring some of their events such as the Ladies Lunch which focused on breast cancer awareness.
We’ve also been working with Buy One Give One, a global charity aiming to make positive impacts across the world as a collaborative effort. Bamboo Dental have pledged to give access to clean drinking water for a Malawian for an entire year whenever a patient chooses us for their treatment. We are massive advocates of this concept as it enables us to help others around the world by doing the dentistry that we work hard to perform every day.
To Round Off a Fantastic Year…
After working with all of these great people and renovating our dental practice we were awarded with the titles of Best Practice in Wales and Best Patient Care in Wales at the Dentistry Awards. We were so proud and humbled to win these awards and are grateful to all of our staff and patients for making it all possible.
We’re excited for another great year in 2018 and can’t wait to create some new smiles for our fabulous patients!
Imagine every trip to the dentist feeling like a walk in the park – but maybe not quite how you think. Long gone are the times of looking up at the dental surgery ceiling with anxious tingles as the dental instrument enters your mouth. Now you could be in a place of calm with the lapping waves moving along the white glistening beach. All thanks to virtual reality.
Is Virtual Reality the Next Big Thing for Dentistry?
The BBC has reported that UK scientists have conducted studies that show support for virtual reality in reducing anxiety levels in dental patients.
UK scientists found that putting patients in a virtual reality (VR) environment while being treated can reduce anxiety levels.
The scientists tested different types of scenery in the virtual reality experience given to the patients. They found that whichever scene the patient was placed into did make a difference to the overall anxiety levels. For example, those who were placed in a beach setting saw a decrease in anxiety where as those placed in more of an urban setting didn’t see a significant reduction in anxiety.
What Has Been Used So Far?
Dental phobia has been prevalent for as long as dentists have been around. That’s not surprising since the first dentists were often also blacksmiths and cobblers. Over the years many methods have been tried to help reduce the panic stricken patients entering the surgery. Some of the most used methods include tv screens on surgery walls and even the option for the patient to plug in their own music to listen to. There was even a dentist who successfully distracted patients way from those nervous tingles by sticking a Where’s Wally poster on the ceiling of his dental surgery. We discussed a range of anxiety reducing methods in a previous article.
It seems that distraction is a very worthwhile method in reducing dental anxiety. However, until now there has been nothing quite so distracting as virtual reality. Moving away both visual and auditory senses can really make a huge difference to how your brain perceives your time in the dental chair.
What Can You Expect?
As you enter the dental chair you’ll likely be handed a virtual reality headset. From there a selection of environments are at your fingertips. The glistening, sun kissed beach, a calming zen garden or a peaceful countryside location could be some of the options available to you. What would you pick?
Our wonderful team is the heart and soul of our dental practice. That’s why we invited one of our supported charities, Tenovus, into the practice for a staff health check day. The aim of the day was to work with Tenovus to spread awareness of the causes and preventative measures we can take against cancer.
Bamboo Dental Teams Up With Tenovus For Health Check Day
Late last month Bamboo Dental and Tenovus linked arms in a staff health check and awareness day. The day was split into two halves. The first involved a series of lifestyle questions that created a profile of the current health situation of each person as well as looking into potential risks of developing cancer in the future. The profile was built around numerous questions involving diet and family history. The questions based around diet were crafted to get an idea of the types of foods we ate and the amount and frequency of alcohol we drank. We were also quizzed about family history to check for anything of higher risk. After this, sun exposure was explored as well as each of our exercise regimes.
Once this was completed, each staff member had some time to spend one on one with a Tenovus cancer expert. They confidentially offered advice on how we can adjust our current lifestyle to minimise the risks of developing cancer. The day was very informative and if you would like to seek any advice about cancer care or prevention you can check out Tenovus here.
Some key take-home points involved using sun-cream very regularly and looking out for not only the protection factor but also the gold star rating on the bottle. Other key points were to limit alcohol, avoid smoking, to get regular check ups for anything that is in the family and to exercise often. Of course, these are just a few of the pointers that we were given. For more information please check out the experts, Tenovus.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Tenovus is is a charity that we work with regularly. Not only for the great work that they do in helping those affected by cancer but due to their impact on the local Wales area too. Next month is breast cancer awareness month and we’ll be showing our support by attending the Tenovus Ladies Lunch on the 19th of October.
Late last month, Bamboo held a special event with the aim of spreading awareness of great oral hygiene to local children. It has become common knowledge that statistically, the number of children with dental issues has an increasing trend year on year. Due to this, we feel that it’s the duty of dental practices everywhere to help educate our youngest generations about how they can best look after their oral health.
Super Dentist’s Tackle Dental Health Concerns in Cardiff!
On this day, Bamboo’s dentists woke up with a sparkle in their eyes for they were to become the super heroes that could inspire our youngest generations. What a transformation it was, Dr Dan and Dr Oli had become Mr Incredible and Batman. The only difference was that instead of batmerangs and super strength, they were armed with dental mirrors and excavators! This inspiring theme was carefully selected to bring excitement to the children. We wanted to create a new perception of the dental surgery for the local children who were due to visit. A place where they would feel compelled to learn. We felt that super hero dentists would be certain to light that spark.
As the day progressed each of the children was given a free check-up to see how theyre current dental hygiene shaped up. At the same time we were able to give the kids advice and information as well as answering any questions they had about all things teeth. The familiar faces delivering the check ups made the kids much more relaxed and happy to go ahead with their check ups. Some were even happy to pose for a photo in the dental chair!
In the meantime, other children were entertained by our friendly dental nurses with face painting, dental goody bags and a fun environment for all. This was all carefully designed to make the dental practice a fun environment for the kids to be in. After all, the dental practice should be a positive place for a person to visit.
An Incredible Success for All Involved
The whole day proved very popular amongst children and parents alike – many citing that they couldn’t believe how relaxed their little ones were to be at the dentist. The fun atmosphere and inspiring theme is something that we’ll certainly take forwards in future events aimed at helping children expand their knowledge on dental health.
The demand for dental implant treatments is one of the fastest growing in the industry. However, the predicted growth is perhaps even higher than expected by many in the dentistry market. A new report (Persistence Market Research) has come to the attention of Bamboo which states that there is due to be a compound annual growth rate of 9.7% over the next 5 years.
What do we Think is Causing the Increased Demand for Dental Implants?
Here at Bamboo Dental we believe there are a few different reasons that could be behind the rapid growth in the dental implants sector:
- Technological Advancement: New technology has meant that there are now so many more possibilities. For example, the uprising of 3D imaging has lead to new methods in which patients can view their new teeth before they have even been fabricated. Not only this but Computer Aided Design and the introduction of mini dental implants are giving the industry much more accessibility.
- Mobility of the Market: Known as ‘Dental Implant tourism’, patients are more commonly travelling to various parts of the world to have their implants fitted.
- Increased Overall Demand: It has been noted that the ageing population is demanding more cosmetic treatment from the industry as a whole. This will generally push up the demand for dental implant treatment too.
Will the Implants Materials Change?
It is expected that implants will still mostly be made from titanium. However that doesn’t mean that some other material may not be introduced a little further into the future as technology advances further.
It has been predicted that Europe is to be the market leader for dental implants in the world. The report claims that this is a culmination of increased dental health concerns, advancements in technology and a rise in the amount of cosmetic dental practices offering the treatment overall.
That being the case, Europe is actually not expected to see the fastest growth in the market. In fact, Asia is the continent that is due to see the most rapid growth in dental implants demand worldwide.
‘This level of growth is perhaps unsurprising for a treatment modality that is widely acknowledged as being the best replacement for a missing tooth dentistry can currently provide,’ said Guy Hiscott, managing editor of clinical implant journal Implant Dentistry Today.
‘It also speaks volumes about a growing awareness of what implant dentistry can achieve on the part of patients across the globe.
‘And that’s good news for everyone concerned: used appropriately, dental implant treatment has the ability to transform patients’ lives.
‘But it’s important for the dental profession to ensure that the pace of this growth is matched by a similar uptake in clinical education and patient understanding.’
What to Expect in the Future
The rapid growth can only mean that the treatment itself will become more and more advanced as market leaders work to specialise and accommodate for new patients aiming to embark on their third set of teeth. With this news, Bamboo can only look towards meeting this increased demand in the near future.
Everyone wants to find a good local dentist. The ideal is to find one close to home that you know is capable of keeping your teeth in great condition. However, the harsh truth of things is that you’ll often find yourself spending weeks on end ringing up dentists further and further away from your home only to be met with 6 months long waiting lists. Not so ideal. Let’s talk tactics on how you can cut through the hassle and find yourself the perfect local dentist as soon as possible.
How to Find a Good Local Dentist
Private or NHS?
The first thing you need to consider is if you would like to go for a private local dentist or an NHS local dentist. Both have their merits. Although private dentistry may be considered expensive you can actually join a plan such as the Bamboo Care Plan for as little as £13.38 per month. You will also find a big difference in availability across private and NHS dentistry. If you opted to join a private dentist then you are likely to be able to join right away. Yippee! However, if you choose to go with an NHS dentist then this is where the long waiting lists can start to appear. If you’d like to learn more about the pros and cons of NHS versus private dentistry you can check out a previous article here.
Make a List!
To save on time it is always best to make yourself a list of potential dentists. Getting an ordered list together at step 1 means that you can canvas the area with ease making sure that you don’t miss any options. A great way to do this is to use location as the key preference. You can use this tool to map out the local NHS dentists for you to choose from. As for private dentists, Google is your friend.
Once you have created a list of those dentists in close enough proximity to you, it is advisable to check out further details depending on what is most important to you such as…
Patient Reviews and Testimonials
When choosing any service the best way to find out on the quality you will receive there is to see what previous visitors have to say. There are a few different places you can go to take a look at these. Google reviews are always very telling and are easy for visitors to leave a review on. If a dental practice has no Google reviews then it may be wise to proceed with caution. Another key place to check out is Trust Pilot. These reviews are carefully verified adding much credibility to the review. Another key place to listen out for comments from patients is social media. If a dental practice is as great as it seems then you’ll see those patients shouting out about it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Consider both the overall practice and the dentists
It can be easy to get sidetracked when checking out the credibility of a dental practice. It’s advisable to not only look at what people are saying about the overall practice but also how each of the key dentists are perceived. You may also consider what kinds of treatments you are looking to go for in the future. If you are thinking about some form of cosmetic treatment such as invisible braces or dental veneers then you may end up having to visit a private dentist after all. It is often the case where people prefer to stick to just one dentist and so going to the private dentist from the start may be something to consider. You will be able to find out the range of treatments offered at any given dentist on their individual websites.
Convenience and Parking
Can you get to the place easily? This may sound like an obvious question but one that is often overlooked. If it becomes an effort to get yourself to the dental practice then you will tend to find excuses at to why you shouldn’t bother going in for check ups. If you end up avoiding check-ups then this is where dental problems can start to worsen and become a wider problem for your overall health.
Some things to look at when making sure the dental practice is accessible are as follows. If you don’t drive then is there some form of public transport close to the dental clinic? If you do drive then is there a place for you to park? And if you have some form of disability then is the dental clinic accessible to you?
You may end up with more than one dental practice available to you. This is where you need to look at the pros and cons of each local dentist. One person will value different things with a different amount of weight and so it’s really down to preference at this point. Knowing what is most important to you is the first step you need to take so that you can then find the best local dentist for you.
I hope that this article has been helpful in your search for a new dentist. If you would like to read further into the dental plans available at Bamboo then you can find them here. And if you’ve any questions or want to find out more about Bamboo Dental then feel free to get in touch with us!
People can have the same local dentist for their entire lives. There are many benefits to seeking out the perfect local dentist and sticking with them. Of course, you do need to make sure that you have the right one to begin with.
Your Local Dentist is Part of Your Life
It may sound cheesy but you should be seeing your local dentist multiple times a year and this means that they will be a part of your life. It is very important for you to feel comfortable around your dentist, especially as he will be in close proximity examining your teeth. You will find that there are probably a few dentists close to your proximity whom you could make your regular. Here are some key things to take into consideration when choosing who your local dentist should be.
Do You Trust Your Local Dentist’s Expertise?
You really need to have faith in your dentist’s ability. If you don’t then you won’t value visiting for regular check ups and this can lead to the neglect of your oral hygiene. As an add on to this, if you don’t believe your dentist is good enough then there is likely something to be creating that belief and so it is probably true.
When seeking out a new dentist a great way to gauge on their ability is to check out what others are saying about them. If there are no reviews online from patients discussing recent visits to the dentist then you can suspect that this dentist has little to shout about.
Some great places to check out your local dentist’s reviews are; Google reviews, Facebook reviews and TrustPilot reviews. You are putting your health in the hands of your dentist and so you need to be confident that they are capable to handle this responsibility.
Ease of Access
This is something that patients often overlook. An ideal dentist will be easy to travel to, have available parking and be in close proximity to public transport (if needed). Anything that makes it more difficult to get to your dentist will put you off going in for your check ups as well as making it difficult for you to attend your appointments. It is often a stressful time to visit then dentist and so any environmental conditions that are controllable should certainly not be adding to the stress.
Before enrolling at your local dentist you should check their opening hours. Here at Bamboo Dental we are open 7 days a week as well as closing late on week days. We do this as many people struggle to get time off work. We therefore make ourselves as available as possible to our patients by opening at times when they won;t be hindered by trying to get the time off work.
Range of Treatments
Finding out down the line that your local dentist does not provide a certain treatment that you need is a real pain. It means that you have to find another dentist who you are not familiar with and who is not familiar with your dental history. This not only makes the whole experience more of an ordeal but it will often prolong the treatment time that you require. Finding a local dentist who offers a full range of treatments is the answer to this. Even better is if there is some form of loyalty system in place that rewards you for staying with your dentist. This not only gives you an added benefit but shows you that your dentist sees you as a valuable patient and is willing to give you added benefits to thank you for choosing them.
Private vs NHS Local Dentist
Another key objective to research is whether you are looking for an NHS dentist or a private dentist. Check out this article on the benefits of private vs NHS dentists to understand which is going to be the right choice for you.
You will find that many dental practices operate with two arms to their practice covering both private and NHS dentistry. You may be surprised to know that private dentistry is actually not expensive at all. You can join a private practice for much less money than you would pay for your mobile phone contract each month. With private dentistry, you will be able to rap many more benefits than if you had joined an NHS dentist and so it is definitely worth checking out.
Regardless of which you choose, the first thing you will need to do is to call up to find out if there are waiting lists and if there are spaces for you to join the dental practice on either an NHS or a private list.
Why Should You Stick With Your Dentist?
Assuming you have gone through all of the steps to find the perfect dentist it is beneficial for you to then stick with them. They will get to know you and get to know your teeth. This means that they will understand exactly the situation of your teeth in detail. On top of this, they will know you as a person. This is especially helpful if you struggle with dental anxiety. You will feel more at ease with a familiar face and your dentist will know your limits and know what they can do to keep you calm should you become anxious whilst in the dental chair.
It is clearly important to not rush into anything when deciding on who should be your local dentist. You should not just go for the first dentist that will take you. It is imperative to think about the long term. Choose a dentist who you feel comfortable with and who you are happy to look after your teeth for the foreseeable future.
In a country where many are looking to save money it is understandable that most people are seeking ways to get what they want for less money. Sadly, this can sometimes be taken advantage of. In the world of beauty, one of those services is teeth whitening.
Only Dentists Should Administer Teeth Whitening Treatments
Many beauty salons and hairdressers have noticed a demand in the market for cheap teeth whitening and that is exactly what they provide, but at what cost? There is a reason why under law, only dentists are legally allowed to give treatment for teeth whitening. This is because your teeth must be in good condition for you to safely be administered the treatment.
Beauty salons and hairdressers do not have the expertise or knowledge to be able to accurately tell you if your teeth are in acceptable condition for the teeth whitening solution to embed deep into your teeth without causing you harm. This means that many of you are putting yourself at unnecessary risk by visiting them as discussed in this article by BBC News.
What Can Go Wrong if I Visit a Beauty Salon?
There are several reasons that a dental professional should be the only person to treat you with teeth whitening. Below are just a few of the most crucial reasons why.
1. Severe Pain if Your Teeth Aren’t Ready for Teeth Whitening
When you visit a dentist to have your teeth whitened you will have an impression taken of your teeth which subsequently will be forged into a clear mould. You will then place the teeth whitening solution into the mould which then slots onto your teeth.
If this mould is created by someone lacking the technical skills then it may be loose and ill fitting. As a result, some of the teeth whitening solution is likely to leak out of the mould and make contact with your gums and the inside of your mouth. If this occurs then you will feel blistering and sensitivity in the affected areas. This can pose a threat to your dental health and can cause you a lot of discomfort.
The second reason that your teeth need to be dentally fit in order to safely be administered a teeth whitening is due to cavities. They must be treated before you undertake a teeth whitening. This is because the solution used in the whitening process can pass through the decayed areas of the tooth into the sensitive inner parts of the tooth.
If you happen to have tooth decay or receding gums then this can result in a very sensitive mouth after having your teeth whitened. This can leave you in much discomfort and so needs to be addressed before you are offered any teeth whitening treatment.
2. There is No Substitute for the Cleanliness of a Dental Surgery
Something else to think about is the cleanliness and clinical environment of a dental surgery. The surgeries and dental equipment are cleaned meticulously between patients with state of the art appliances. This means that when the dentist is taking a mould of your mouth or applying any treatment, there is no chance of any infection spreading from the previous patient.
Beauty salons and similar do not have access to these types of cleaning appliances and simply do not have the funds to keep the area as clean as it should be. This results in an unnecessary risk to yourself. With all of this becomes an increasingly worrying question when getting ready for teeth whitening treatment at a beauty salon. Who was being treated before you?
3. Where is the Teeth Whitening Solution Sourced From?
Due to the low costs offered at beauty salons and hair dressers there is an incentive to attempt to cut costs wherever possible. Sadly, one way of doing this is with the materials and solutions used. For just a little extra money you can have the peace of mind that the solution going into your mouth has been sourced reliably and safely from a qualified professional dentist.
4. You May Be Left With Different Coloured Teeth!
Whitening does not work on ceramic or porcelain crowns and veneers. Some beauty salons will not be able to understand what your veneers and crowns are comprised of and so will not be able to give you accurate information about the possible outcome of any teeth whitening treatment that you have.
If you go ahead with a teeth whitening treatment without having this checked before hand then the ceramic or porcelain crowns and veneers will stay at their current colour leaving you with different coloured teeth! Hence, it is important that a dentist looks at your teeth before you go ahead with any treatment.
Teeth Whitening at the Dentist’s is Not Expensive!
Time to bust a myth here. It is not even expensive to get your teeth whitened professionally from a dentist. In fact, the price of a teeth whitening at Bamboo Dental in Cardiff starts from just £105. That is not only affordable but comes with the peace of mind that a professionally trained dentist has consulted you about the condition of your teeth and has made sure that the teeth whitening treatment will have no adverse effects on your dental hygiene.
In a world where so many strive to replicate the famous smiles of TV dwelling folk, it is rare to get an honest insight into how such a desirable smile came to be. We caught up with Miss Wales 2015 winner, Emma Jenkins, to find out exactly what it takes to achieve an award winning smile.
Emma’s smile has been a trademark that helped her win the much coveted title but she wasn’t blessed with the perfect smile through genetics. In fact, she has worked extremely hard to keep her teeth healthy and like many others, has sought out ways to take her smile to the next level. Luckily for us, Emma was happy to share some of her experiences and her beauty regime that has been instrumental in the acquisition of the beautiful smile that she has today.
What is the secret to achieving the perfect smile?
1. Let’s start with your smile maintenance. Could you tell me about your daily routine?
I brush, floss and mouth wash every day and night. I don’t feel clean unless I do all three!
2. Great! Sadly, many people avoid using floss, has it always been a part of your routine?
I never used to, but when I had my first whitening treatment I was told what a difference it would make. It’s a whole new clean feeling when you floss, and it definitely helps with keeping my teeth white.
3. Do you avoid certain foods with your dental hygiene in mind?
I’m ashamed to say I don’t! I work in television so I drink a lot of coffee, but I always make sure I take care of them. I think it’s paid off!
4. Going back to your younger smile, were you on top of looking after your teeth as a child?
I think like every child, I hated brushing my teeth! My mother has amazing teeth and always made sure mine were looked after. I thank her for that now.
5. Were you always blessed with such perfect teeth?
No, not at all! I had braces for 3 years in secondary school. I hated having braces so much, but all the pain was definitely worth it!
6. Had you ever felt self conscious about your smile when growing up?
Yes, I used to either hide my smile in pictures, or pull ridiculous faces so that if I looked bad, I could always blame the silly face! I think it’s hard to like anything about yourself when you’re a self conscious teenager. Luckily I grew up to realise how little all of that really mattered. I think when you grow up you realise that it’s not about how you look, it’s about how you feel! I try and preach this message to so many young girls who tell me they feel ugly or not good enough. I felt that way too! It’s just something you grow out of when you find yourself.
7. Have you accumulated any advice that you could give others trying to maintain a healthy smile?
I think as long as you stick to the magic 3 then you are on your way to a healthier smile.
8. In your industry image is vital but how important to you is your smile?
Posing for pictures comes with the territory really, so it’s very important that my teeth look perfect in pictures. Not only that, but our smiles are our way of showing happiness and love without having to say a word. I always notice when someone’s smiling, and people always comment on how I constantly smile.
9. Being the current Miss Wales, you have to have a certain confidence, how much of this do you think could be attributed to your smile?
Having the perfect smile is considered very important in the world of beauty, and knowing that my teeth are in good condition definitely helps me shine a little brighter on stage and on TV. I think taking pride in your appearance, (and smile,) does amazing things for your self-worth and confidence. It’s definitely worth investing in your smile.
10. Do you often get compliments about your smile?
I do, yes. I think my teeth is the first thing people notice about me because I am constantly smiling. I’m very proud of my teeth. Having braces as a youngster, I never wanted to smile in pictures. It was all worth it in the end!
11. Have you recently had any dental treatment to help maintain the smile that you have today?
I have whitening treatments now and again, just to keep my smile at its best. I usually do this before big events so that my teeth look perfect in pictures.
12. What would you say to somebody contemplating dental treatment to help restore their smile?
People always tell me I’m silly for whitening my teeth, because my teeth are white anyway. They may not see the difference, but I do. You should never consider treatment if you’re doing so to make someone else happy. Ask yourself how YOU will feel? Will you walk a little taller and smile a little brighter if you go ahead with it? If the answer is yes, then DO IT! Give yourself the treatment you deserve, and you will feel full of confidence and ready to take on the world. It sounds dramatic, but it’s very true. Confidence is everything.
13. As a whole, what do you think a well looked after and beautiful smile says about a person?
A beautiful smile communicates friendliness, happiness and love! It’s our way to communicate without saying a word, so it’s very important that we keep our smiles in tip top shape. It’s our most important and influential asset.
In summary, it is clear to see that a stunning smile is rarely a gift from birth but more a reward for those who look after their teeth. It is calming to know that even Miss Wales 2015 once wore a brace and that her teeth are now appreciated by many!
Dentist in Cardiff Shares Opinion on Sugar Tax
As a dentist in Cardiff, we often see the adverse effects excessive sugar consumption can have on your teeth. So when David Cameron decided not to rule out the possibility of introducing a sugar tax, our interest was peaked.
Could this tax be the birth of a new era for dental hygiene, or will its launch create new difficulties for your oral health?
How Would the Sugar Tax Work?
Public Health England recently produced a much anticipated report outlining the current effects that sugar is having on our health. The report concludes by stating that our unhealthy sugar consumption is leading to health issues and obesity.
A proposition of what can be done was outlined by Public Health England. Amongst various suggestions lay a key idea that is causing a stir in the food and drink industry:
“A tax on sugar between 10-20%.”
If implemented, the sugar tax should force up the price of the affected foods and drinks. In theory, this will lead to consumers buying less of these products and thus decreasing sugar consumption in the economy.
What Does Less Sugar Mean for Your Teeth?
Our Dentist in Cardiff often treats patients for tooth decay (causing cavities). This is certainly a consequence arising due to excessive sugar consumption.
Cavities are formed due to bacteria living in the mouth. These organisms digest small pieces of carbohydrate debris that is stuck to the teeth after you eat. This excess debris is often left after eating foods such as; cookies, sweets and fizzy drinks.
As these bacteria progress with digesting the excess carbohydrates, an acid is formed in your mouth. This acid reacts with your saliva to form your tooth’s arch enemy – plaque.
This plaque starts to accrue in your mouth every time you eat. If you fail to brush your teeth properly and regularly, the plaque remains. Consequently, this leads to the erosion of your tooth enamel. As this worsens, the plaque begins to attack the deeper layers of your teeth resulting in cavities that can cause intense tooth pain.
So, although sugar is not the direct cause of cavities, it certainly acts indirectly in a way that leaves you set on the dreaded path to tooth decay.
The Case of Substitute Goods
Although, in theory, the sugar-tax will greatly reduce consumption of sugar in the United Kingdom. This is certainly not the end of the story. As sugary products become more expensive for the average consumer, what will they consume instead?
This is a key concept for us to consider. Our dentist in Cardiff knows first hand, that sugary foods are not the only culprit of poor dental health. If our consumers end up replacing their excessive sugar consumption with increased purchasing of something equally damaging or even worse, then the tax on sugar would be ineffective.
For example, if sugary snacks become too expensive, some people may start to snack on foods such as pickled onions or gherkins. These foods are drenched in highly acidic vinegar which can cause damage to your teeth.
What about fizzy drinks? The increased prices for these may lead to people choosing to consume higher amounts of coffee as a replacement. The tannic acids in coffee can result in the wear down of your enamel.
On top of this, too much coffee can cause your teeth to become discoloured. Although this can be rectified with the use of a professional teeth whitening treatment.
What if Producers’ Try to Cut Costs?
Sugary treat producers will see a dramatic fall in profits as a result of the implementation of a sugar tax. Naturally, they will look for way to bring their sales back up. One way of doing this is to cut the costs of production in an effort to counteract the tax. If successful, the company can offer their sugary snacks at the original price and still make the same amount of profit as they used to before the tax!
In an effort to cut costs, the quality of these sugary snacks will inevitably drop:
- Cheaper, less healthy ingredients may be used.
- Unhealthy additives may be bolstered on to the ingredients list in an effort to increase shelf life.
- Forms of sweeteners may be developed that could be even worse for us than sugar is.
These are just a few of the ways our sugar rich snacks could be adapted following the introduction of a sugar tax, and just some of the reasons why our Dentist in Cardiff believes that the bigger picture must be assessed when discussing the tax.
So, What Can Be Done?
It has been suggested that any money generated through the tax should be reinvested into other healthier food industries.
This will help with the development of new healthier snacks and could lead to the rise of a new healthier food industry. If these types of healthier snacks could be subsidised by the Government then sugary-snack producers may have a strong enough incentive to move away from their old products and start producing those foods and drinks that will give us better nutrition.
Some of the funds generated from the tax should also be used to provide information to the public. Over-consumption of these sugary foods can be greatly reduced if we work to getting more and more information and knowledge out there that explains to consumers what they are putting into their mouth.
Is Your Dentist in Cardiff in Favour of the Sugar Tax?
Bamboo Dental, our dentist in Cardiff, believes that the introduction of the tax can potentially have incredible health benefits for your teeth. From a dentist’s point of you, this is great and would be warmly welcomed.
Of course, there would need to be other strategies put into place that can help shape the snack industry in the right way if the tax is introduced. But, all said, it’s introduction is very likely to have a positive effect on the nation’s dental health.