Maintaining a healthy smile this Autumn in Kent

30th October 2023

Maintaining a healthy smile in Autumn

Our Indian summer is over and autumn has officially arrived. It’s the season of early sunsets and colder evenings. With Halloween around the corner, autumn is filled with an abundance of traps for our oral health.

At Dartford Road Dental Centre we welcome patients of all ages who wish to protect their teeth while enjoying sugary treats and hot drinks. It is no secret that coffee, tea, and sticky candy often cling to our teeth, increasing the likelihood of discolouration and cavities.

Luckily, our Dentists and Hygienists at Dartford Road Dental Centre can provide helpful tips to maintain good oral health throughout this colder season.

Read on for tips to a healthy autumnal smile at Dartford Road Dental Centre.

 

Moderate your intake of coffee and tea

Tea and coffee are great beverages and they are best enjoyed hot in the autumn. Black tea and coffee can stain the teeth, and the high temperatures of these beverages can accelerate the staining process.

But do not fear if like our team, you enjoy several cups of strong tea and coffee throughout the day. Our hygienists at Dartford Road Dental Centre can easily remove this staining with a procedure called ‘air flow’ so rest assured you can safely continue to enjoy your hot beverages (sugar-free of course!)

 Visit https://www.drdc.co.uk/treatments/general-dentistry/hygiene/ for more information on our hygiene appointments.

 

Stick to drinking water

If you are planning to make sport and fitness your goal for this autumn, be conscious of the sports drinks you consume as these often contain extremely high levels of sugar. Drinking these regularly will highly increase your risk of tooth decay.

Water will not only help you stay hydrated but will also act as a buffer to remove traces of food and debris from your teeth. Instead of bottled water, drink fluorinated tap water, which studies have proven can help prevent cavities.

 

Avoid Halloween Candy

We usually tend to see a lot of emergencies at our Dartford based practice around Halloween from patients eating sticky toffees and sweets and accidentally pulling off their crowns and onlays.

Sticky candy tends to cling to your teeth, creating an ideal breeding ground for plaque and bacteria. Instead, try sugar-free sweets which are now widely available at Dartford supermarkets and health food shops in the town centre.

 

The season for Autumnal food

Autumn is the season that rewards us with food that helps facilitate our oral hygiene. Pears and apples, for instance, are very nutritious and help clean the surface of the teeth and the gums naturally.

 Autumn provides us with glorious low-sugar root vegetables such as parsnips, beetroot, and carrots. Winter squash and pumpkins are also harvested during this period. Crops such as apples, pears, squash, and leeks are nearly ready for harvesting and Kale also grows well in colder weather.

Enjoy this wonderful season by making some low-sugar vegetable soups and enjoy with crusty bread.

 

Maintaining a healthy diet

After such a glorious summer, a change in the weather can also bring about a change in our habits, such as the way that we dress and what we eat.

The cold and damp weather means that we are more likely to eat foods that are particularly challenging for our teeth and gums.

Instead of going out socialising in the sunshine with friends, we are more likely to wrap ourselves up in our cosy homes watching our favourite tv series, regularly snacking unhealthy food.

Not only are many of these snacks likely to be high-sugar, but the constant ‘grazing’ of this type of snack means the mouth doesn’t have sufficient time to ‘recover’ between each snack. Due to this, our saliva won’t have time to flush away the bacteria and sugars that it normally would and therefore the risk of tooth decay and gum disease increases too.

 We know that many of our Dartford patients will forgo their usual summer salads and healthy meals for heavier meals that offer comfort and warmth in this damp weather.

Although some of these are OK, such as the soups we mentioned earlier, others are more likely to be comforting desserts which are often laden with hidden sugars.

 Another area of diet that changes is what we drink. We are more likely to turn to comforting warm drinks such as hot chocolate and sugar-laden coffees from the local Kent coffee shops to keep us warm whilst we’re out and about. Try to avoid consuming too many of these and instead opt for white coffees, green teas, or sugar-free beverages.

 For more information on maintaining a healthy diet please visit https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-to-eat-a-balanced-diet/how-to-cut-down-on-sugar-in-your-diet/

How can I prevent cavities?

Tooth decay is often caused by having too much sugary food and drink and not thoroughly cleaning your teeth and gums. Early diagnosis and dental treatment will prevent cavities from getting bigger. This is why check-ups are so important to attend.

Tooth decay (cavities) are associated with a variety of factors, including your dietary choices and dental hygiene routine. Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes and flossing daily are the most effective ways to remove plaque build-up from between the teeth and below the gum line.

Maintaining a well-balanced low-sugar diet and avoiding acidic food and beverages can prevent caries from forming.

 

Bonfire night treats

Bonfires and marshmallows are a match made in Autumnal heaven, but be conscious of your sugar consumption as marshmallows and sweet treats can wreak havoc on your teeth. Enjoy them as part of your meal rather than a snack.

Baked potatoes are often eaten on Guy Fawkes Night. Traditionally they were often baked in the glowing embers of a bonfire. Try consuming healthier snacks along with your baked potatoes, such as breadsticks, vegetable crudités and hummus.

 For further information of Dartford central parks annual Bonfire night, please visit https://www.dartford.gov.uk/events

 

 

Sensitive teeth

When the temperature drops, more patients notice sensitivity in their teeth and gums. Worn tooth enamel is a major cause of this, along with cracked or chipped teeth.

Our Dartford dentists will monitor and check any issues at your next check-up and will be able to recommend the most appropriate way forward to reduce this problem.

 

 

Can I spread the cost of my treatment?

Yes, as well as offering pay-as-you-go at our practice, we offer Interest-free finance for up to 18 months and ‘7.9% finance for up to 3 years for your treatment plan.

Please visit https://lead.tabeo.co.uk/dartford-road-dental-centre/finance

How do I book an appointment at the practice?

The team at Dartford Road Dental Centre hopes that you make the best of the autumn months and make sure to get some fresh Kent air when there are some more pleasant breaks in the weather. 

Above all, remember to take care of your teeth and gums and brush and floss daily.

Keep your regular check-ups and hygienist visits to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

We have an amazing team of dentists and hygienists at our Kent-based practice to cater to all your oral hygiene and cosmetic needs.

Booking has never been easier!

Call our reception team on 01322 223 927 to book an examination or if you have any more questions for our fantastic reception team!

Book now https://uk.dentalhub.online/v1/view/organization/2790/index.html#/perspectives/3

Get in touch

We are happy to help if you have any questions or concerns - get in touch today with our easy to use contact form. Our friendly team is waiting to hear from you!

Visit the Practice

39 Dartford Rd, Dartford, Kent DA1 3EG

When to visit

We have early opening hours!
Mon - Thurs 8:15am - 5:30pm
Friday 8:15am - 1:45pm
Saturday 9:00am - 1:45pm (appointment only)

By Bus: Bus numbers 96 and 428 stop directly outside the practice.
By Car: There is ample street parking nearby.