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“Brush DJ”

There is a multi-award winning and free, NHS-approved app on the market called ‘brush DJ’. The app has already been downloaded by millions in 171 countries!
It has been created by a Dentist called Ben Underwood with the intent to help and encourage people with their daily oral hygiene routine and to improve oral health. Dr Underwood hopes that his app will help towards reducing the estimated £1.5 billion of NHS dental budget in England that is spent on the treatment of preventable disease. He also hopes Brush DJ will ultimately make cleaning and flossing your teeth fun!
The app motivates its users to brush for two minutes whilst listening to songs taken at random from their device. It also includes animated videos showing how to floss and brush your teeth using interdental brushes and a manual toothbrush.
We have had our nurses try it out;
“Everyone loves a gadget and this app is a great way to promote oral hygiene. You get to choose what colour you would like to have as your background along with a choice of what songs are played. You can either have the songs selected at random from your device or choose from one of your playlists. It also has a skip button to enable you to change the song at any point if you’re not quite in the mood for the song chosen! The ‘how to’ videos are very clear and easy to follow and there is also written information which is categorised into age specific sections, again which is very clear and easy to understand. The app also has a section which allows you to set yourself daily reminders when to brush your teeth, even having a separate weekend section to give you that long awaited lay in! You can also set appointment reminders for when your next dentist or hygienist appointment is, as well as when you last replaced your toothbrush/toothbrush head, reminding you when to change it next. I personally think this app is brilliant. It does make tooth brushing fun and is very informative. I will definitely be recommending Brush DJ to all my colleagues, friends, family and most certainly patients who you can see need a little helping hand when it comes to oral health.
To find out more visit www.brushdj.com where dentists also can download posters for their waiting rooms.

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brush dj

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“Sugar is not the only culprit”

frozen man 2

We’re all taught at a young age by our parents and dentist that sugar is very bad for your teeth and will cause tooth decay if you eat and/or drink too much. However there is a new culprit around!
A frozen body of a 5,300 year old man, now known as Otzi, was found by scientists in the Alps in 1991. It was discovered that he had gum erosion and deep tooth cavities. Sugar was not available in those times and when an analysis of his digestive tract was performed it showed the man ate a lot of wheat and barley.
Dr Pearson has visited Otzi, who can be seen in a refrigerated museum in Bolzano, Italy.
A report in the European Journal of Oral Sciences concluded that food made from grain contributes to decay. This is because as our diets move towards more starchy foods, our saliva and bacteria balances may have changed allowing different bacteria to take hold. It’s the build up of saliva, food and acids from bacteria that create plaque. Plaque then gradually wears through your teeth causing them to erode, leaving you with tooth decay.
As a result from all this research and study, we can no longer say that it’s all the fault of the sugar in our diets. Complex carbohydrates can now be blamed for tooth decay too! Try to cut down on sugary and starchy food and fizzy drinks and remember to brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste and floss at least twice a day as well as using a fluoride mouthwash once a day to minimise the build up of plaque.

>sugar blog

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Are you too attractive to become ill?

will and kate
Does a perfect smile bring better health?

A New study carried out at the University of Cincinnati in the USA has concluded that attractive people are less likely to suffer from certain illnesses. They believe that the more physically attractive men and women are rated the more unlikely they are to suffer from a wide range of health problems such as high cholesterol, asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure and depression.

This research was based on 1,500 men and women aged between 24 to 35 who had been followed since they were ten years old. They undertook numerous questionnaires and interviews as well as having an analysis of their health data. These men and women were then put into five categories; Very unattractive, unattractive, about average, attractive or very attractive. It was found that there were direct links between attractiveness and a number of health conditions and that the more attractive the person was rated the lower the risk of ill health.

Men that were seen to be more attractive had a 13 per cent reduction in the likeliness of developing high cholesterol, a 20 per cent drop in the risk of high blood pressure, a 15 per cent reduction of being diagnosed with depression, a 23 per cent decrease of having ADHD and had a 21 per cent lesser chance of stuttering.

Women who were seen to be more attractive had a 21 per cent less likeliness of developing high blood pressure, a 22 per cent less likeliness of having diabetes, a 12 per cent reduction of being asthmatic, a 17 per cent decrease in suffering from depression, a 18 per cent reduction of having ADHD, were 18 per cent less likely to have a stutter and had a 13 per cent drop in the likeliness of suffering with tinnitus.

Furthermore the study suggested that attractiveness may be a marker of good genes, which could also signal good health, as well as increasing the likelihood of having healthy offspring.
However Dr Viren Swami from the University of Westminster proposes that there may be other non-evolutionary explanations for links between health and beauty. That ” attractive people are perceived as having all kinds of wonderful, positive qualities, and seen as being happier, more popular, more successful and so on.” He put forward that attractive people are treated more positively than less attractive people concluding it’s possible that the health benefits of being attractive are the result from this better treatment.

This got us thinking, could there then be a link between ‘the perfect smile’ and better health. Perhaps if you had lovely straight, healthy and white teeth, aiding you to be classed as more attractive, could it then decrease the risk of all the illnesses and health problems mentioned above?

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Overjet vs Overbite

These two orthodontic terms are used to describe incisor relationship and are often confused by both patients, parents and sometimes general dental practitioners.

overjet vs overbiteOverjet is the measurement (usually in millimetres) between the upper incisal edge and the labial surface of the lower incisors. The normal value is considered to be approximately 2-3 mm but this is increased in Class 2 Division 1 malocclusions and reduced in Class 3 malocclusions. It is dependant on both upper and lower incisal angulation and skeletal dental base.

Overbite is essentially the coverage of the upper incisors over the lower incisors and this is sometimes measured in millimetres but more usually described as reduced, normal or increased. A reduced overbite can often result in no incisal contact at all producing an ‘Anterior Openbite’ this may be the result of a soft tissue interface or Skeletal discrepancy. An increased overbite is where the lower incisors bite on the palatal gingivae (gums) or mucosa.

Overjet in excess of 6mm will qualify for orthodontic treatment within the NHS. Increased overbite with trauma will also qualify.

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Making a 19th century Bristle Toothbrush….

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1. Thigh and buttock bones from oxen were boiled to remove fat and grease to start making the handle. (1)

2. ‘Fashioners’ roughly shaped the bone to make a handle using wood planes. (2)

3. They continued using a variety of files to work the bone into its finished shape, using a sharp knife to scrap the surface smooth. The brushes came with a variety of head sizes and handle ends. (3)

4. Holes were drilled for the tufts of hair. This was done by hand with a small bow-drill but towards the end of the 19th century by foot-operated drills. (4)

5. The backs were then engraved with thin channels, which connected the holes and held the wires that kept the tufts in place. (5)

6. The brushes were tumbled in large revolving drums to give them a smooth surface and polished by hand.

7. The brushes were bleached – originally in strong sunlight and later by soaking in hydrogen peroxide.

8. The ‘knots’ (each bunch of horse or pig hair), were drawn into holes by wires in the back of the brush.

9. The bristles were trimmed with a pair of shears and the groves filled with a resinous wax. (6)

These brushes were only sold to well-off clientele.

(Taken from the BDA dental journal Oct 13)


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A brief history of braces….

You may not believe it, but ‘braces’ date all the way back from ancient times, as far back as the Egyptian times.

It was around 400-300 BC that Hippocrates and Aristotle, (Greek physicians), contemplated about ways to straighten teeth.

Archaeologists have come to discover numerous mummified ancient individuals with what seems to be a resemblance to metal bands wrapped round their teeth. They believe that a cord made from catgut, a type of animal intestines, was used around their teeth to close up gaps between their teeth. A Roman tomb was also found with a number of teeth bound with gold wire, documented as a ligature wire, a small elastic wire that is used to affix the arch wire to the bracket, which we use now in orthodontics, however we do not use gold!

It was not until the 17th century that detailed research into braces began.

During the 18th century a French dentist Pierre Fauchard who published a book called ‘The Surgeon Dentist’ mentioning a method of straightening teeth. He created the first ‘orthodontic appliance’ called a ‘Blandeau’, which was a horseshoe shaped piece of iron that helped expand the arch.

Another French dentist Louis Bourdet perfected the ‘Blandeau’ and was the first dentist on record to recommend extraction of the premolar teeth to alleviate crowding and to improve jaw growth.

Orthodontics as a science of its own then began in the mid 19th century, when several important dentists started to design dental braces with specific instruments and tools to adjust braces.

In 1819 Delabarre introduced the ‘wire crib’, which marked the birth of contemporary orthodontics! Along with Maynard inventing gum elastics in 1843 and Tucker being the first to cut rubber bands from rubber tubing in 1850.

In the early 20th century Edward Angle devised the first simple ‘classification system’ for malocclusions, such as class 1, class 2, class 3. We still use this system today to describe how crooked teeth are, what way they are pointing and how they fit together. Angle also founded the first school and college of orthodontics in 1901 which then became the American Association of Orthodontics in 1930s.

Brace design has changed a lot since then becoming smaller, more comfortable and much more’ invisible’ to keep up with the times and market.


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diastema     A Diastema is an open space between the upper incisors (front teeth). This occurs when there is an unequal relationship between the size of the teeth and the jaw. A Diastema can also be caused by a larger than average, more attached labial fraenum (the piece of tissue connecting the lip to the gum).

A Diastema is often regarded as being attractive and in some cultures a sign of fertility, luckiness and wealth.

However if you dislike your own Diastema it can be closed with the use of traditional braces, lingual braces or Invisalign. Unfortunately there is always a strong possibility for relapse following treatment. This can be prevented with the use of retainers, particularly a fixed/permanent retainer placed on the inside of the teeth.

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Have you heard of ‘incognito’ braces before?

Here’s a bit more about them……


Incognito braces are an advanced generation of brace that is hidden discreetly on the back of the teeth, not on the front like conventional ‘train tacks’. This allows people to go about their daily routine without feeling self-conscious because their braces are virtually invisible from the outside.


  • Invisible
  • Designed individually for each patient using the latest computer technology
  • No risk of decalcification on the front tooth surface
  • Suitable for all ages
  • Visible success in a short amount of time
  • Made from gold alloy, to aid comfort

Prices start from £2775, all inclusive with no extra cost. This includes the brace itself, every appointment, together with any emergency appointments needed, your retainers at the end of treatment and two follow up appointments whilst you’re in retention.

We offer various payment options which are all interest free, so if you’re interested why not book a consultation with us today when we will be more than happy to go through the fine details of this brace or any other brace that might interest you.

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Electric toothbrushes Best for braces

Good oral hygiene is a very important part of orthodontic treatment,  Although  it can become a challenge due to food being trapped around the brace,  as well as the brace itself being an obstruction to mechanical brushing.

A randomised controlled trial was carried out to access the efficacy of toothbrush treatments on plaque removal in orthodontic patients. This was carried out on 45 adolescent and young adult patients wearing  fixed orthodontic appliances,  using 3 toothbrushes;  an Oral B oscillating-rotating electric toothbrush with an orthodontic head, the same electric toothbrush with a standard head on it and a regular manual toothbrush.

The results of the trial showed that both the electric toothbrushes removed more plaque than the manual toothbrush. However the electric toothbrush with the orthodontic head removed significantly more plaque than the electric toothbrush with a standard head on it.

Thus showing that  the Oral B Triumph  oscillation-rotating electric toothbrush with a specially designed orthodontic brush head is far superior  and the most effective method of removing plaque, helping patients maintain good oral hygiene throughout their  orthodontic treatment.


A, orthodontic brush head; B, regular brush head; C, manual brush


AJO Vol 143, Number 6,  June 2013

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Make flossing fun!

New product on the market!

As I’m sure many of you already know, flossing is a very important part of your oral hygiene routine and should be done daily. It removes food and plaque from in between your teeth which  a toothbrush isn’t always able to reach.

Doing this as part of your daily oral hygiene care will help prevent gum diseases, dental caries and even bad breath!

A few of us have started using the new Philips Sonicare Airfloss. This product is said to remove 99% more plaque than normal flossing.

It works by pressing one simple button, generating a short blast of air and water, which jets in between your teeth. We have found it much simpler and quicker to use compared to floss and with its long angle nozzle it is able to reach right to the back of your mouth which you might not necessarily be able to do with conventional floss.

From a orthodontists point of view we would strongly recommend this product to anyone wearing a fixed brace or fixed retainer, or even someone that  has crowded teeth where your not able to get floss to fit. The Airfloss is able to get around the wires and brackets without problem.

For more information on this product visit the Phillips website.


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