As I finish the last hot cross bun and recycle the empty chocolate egg boxes, there is a silent promise to myself to be good, eat less, exercise more and all that! I know my neighbours are the same, we have started a WhatsApp group chat to try and encourage each other. If we are straying or losing motivation someone is there to help with either words of encouragement or words to diminish that bit of guilt. Amongst all that is going on with this pandemic, it’s lovely how people have come together to support each other in so many different ways. 
 
I have enrolled for the NHS volunteer responders so am looking forward to helping out whenever I can, it may be a telephone chat to someone who is feeling lonely and isolated, it may be delivering shopping or medication, I will wait and see and let you know how I get on. 
 
Hopefully you have had a lovely Easter, we were lucky enough to have some nice weather so I enjoyed doing some jobs in the garden and plenty of relaxing. I must say though, I am missing the loved ones I can’t see, it seems like such a long time ago that I saw most of them. 
 
However, I am learning to get on with it like millions of people out there. I know that during these last few weeks having some kind of routine some really helps me. I’m in danger of boring you now, but here goes….. 
 
I tend to get up early and go for a run (it’s definitely less than the hour I’m permitted because I’m not that fit yet), get home and showered, I don’t really do breakfast, so just a cuppa, catch up on emails and watch the news. 
 
Most days at midday Christopher, Denise and I have a video meeting to discuss work related topics. We share the latest news or developments in the dental world, especially those related to the pandemic and the best way we can provide an ongoing service for our patients. Changes are happening on a daily basis so it’s good to discuss these as a team and share what we have learnt through webinars and reading the latest guidance. 
 
I know the rest of the staff are working on their own continuing professional development and that is giving them a great deal of focus. We will all be armed with the latest knowledge when we return to the workplace. In the meantime, we are all working away behind the scenes. 
 
My afternoon may be a little more work based and then I start thinking about food! And what will I cook that evening? I have been enjoying cooking more and more and luckily having two sons in lockdown has meant the food is gratefully received. I am, however, trying to avoid baking sweet treats for obvious reasons, come on, I am a dentist! 
 
And this moves me nicely onto some diet advise! 
 
Many of us will have had changes in our routine and are spending more time at home. It’s much easier to keep snacking and reaching for sweet treats, and I know I have to work hard at stopping myself and my boys from doing. From an oral health point of view, sticking to eating at meal times will certainly lower your risk of tooth decay as you won’t constantly be changing the acid levels in your mouth. I understand many of you may prefer to have smaller more frequent meals. This is fine, however, it’s wise to try and consume the sugary foods in maybe one or two meals rather than space these out throughout the day. It’s all about reducing the frequency of acid attack on your teeth which will lower your risk of tooth decay. 
 
For those of you who suffer from a dry mouth due to a health condition or certain medications, it is particularly important to reduce your sugar intake. Having a reduced salivary flow means you are less likely to neutralise the acids that cause tooth decay. Taking regular sips of water can benefit you as well as having excellent oral hygiene and using a fluoride toothpaste. After brushing remember to spit out excess toothpaste but don’t rinse with water as the fluoride in the toothpaste will help protect your teeth. 
 
Even if you don’t have a dry mouth, the following advise applies: 
 
Between meals try and avoid fizzy drinks and fruit juices. Diluted sugar free drinks are not completely safe and if you do drink them make sure you dilute them one part fruit drink to 10 parts water. 
 
Sugar free chewing gum is a good way to stimulate saliva and neutralise acids in the mouth after eating. 
 
I think the link below is quite useful if you want to read a little more on the subject. 
 
 
 
Thank you for reading. I do hope you are keeping well and staying safe. We are always here for you. Just email us at patients@dental-clinic.co.uk. We’d love to hear from you, even if it’s to let us know how you are getting on. We really are missing you! 
 
If you need any urgent advice or care during normal practice hours, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, please telephone the practice on 01246 230230 where you will be given the emergency on-call dentist telephone number. It will be either Christopher or I on the other end, we would be happy to give you advice on any problems you may be having, or simply just have a chat. 
 
Keep safe and keep smiling. 
 
Anita 
 
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