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It’s ok not to be ok

It’s not very often that I hear a piece of news that stops me in my tracks but on Saturday I read on social media about the sudden death of Caroline Flack and it did just that, I even had to check from another source that this tragic news was correct, and sadly – it was.

Caroline was young, beautiful and talented, she had achieved so much, outsiders would say she had the perfect life until just late, she had a story but it’s a story we’ve all heard about via the press. Nobody knows her real story other than her nearest and dearest.

Caroline’s death has affected the whole nation because her life shouldn’t have ended this way, I am mourning for someone that I don’t even know on a personal level, someone that I know very little about in reality, yes, I’ve seen her on social media, I’ve seen her in the press, but these are just snippets of a person, yet I’m deeply saddened by her death.

Caroline’s life had taken an unexpected turn of events, there is no doubt about that. We don’t have the evidence and we cannot judge nor can we change what sadly happened to Caroline, but we can change our approach so that history doesn’t repeat itself.

You never know what people are hiding behind their smile and Caroline was hiding a whole world of pain. The emotions that come with that pain can be very much up and down, how she was feeling at her darkest hour may have been very low compared to how she may have woken up feeling the next day.

Through tough times it seems things will never improve but they will, they may even get worse before they get better but sometimes you have to ride the waves to reach the shore and some of the toughest problems will get fixed eventually. It is sad when people feel there is no other way out than suicide and it breaks those around you who must live with the aftermath and the unanswered questions. I’m sure many of Caroline’s friends will be questioning their actions, could they have done more, could they have prevented it by being there more? We all know life takes over, it doesn’t mean that we aren’t thinking of our friends and plan to give them a call, but would their call have changed anything? The sad truth is, sometimes people don’t want to be helped, you can offer support, you can listen but if they won’t accept your help then you cannot force them. I always try to tell my friends going through a rough time to focus on the positives, because there are always positives, Caroline was beautiful, she had friends who cared and her boyfriend loved her, but her darkness inside overshadowed all of that, to the point that she felt taking her life was the only option.

I find it very sad that the death of Caroline means the world has become a little wiser on the importance of being kind, but it shouldn’t take a life to make us realise this. I have always tried to be a kind person because I have been at the receiving end of unkindness and I wouldn’t want to make anyone feel how that felt for me.

I plea for anyone feeling pain, feeling their lowest, feeling alone, that they seek help, this can be off a group like Samaritans, a friend or a healthcare provider and this includes us.

A dental practice wouldn’t spring to mind as a place that you can talk about your feelings, but we care. We would urge our clients to open up because we may be the only people you feel you can turn to. At each appointment we will ask you how your doing, and do you know what? It’s ok to not be ok.  We regularly see clients going through tough times who spill their hearts to us, we show empathy, we listen, and we don’t make judgement, we have even cried with our clients (we really have).

Please don’t ever feel alone, there is always someone to turn to, the pain that you are in now will improve, you just need to ride those waves and if you accept help, you won’t sink.

Lemon Water & Tooth Damage

Chloe Kardashian, Jennifer Aniston, Lauren Conrad, Giselle Bundchen, Miranda Kerr and are just some of the celebrities who have said they enjoy fresh lemon juice squeezed into hot water as a healthy drink. It has been claimed that warm lemon water can help you to lose weight, boost the immune system and aid digestion. But at what cost? Could this drink be damaging to your teeth?

Although lemon juice is a great source of vitamin C, it is also very acidic and over time can cause acid erosion of your tooth’s enamel. Lemon water sweetened with sugar increases the risk of tooth decay still further. So how can you take part in the lemon water trend without causing damage to your teeth?

Here are some tips to keep your teeth healthy whilst still enjoying this trend:

  • Brush your teeth before drinking the lemon water.
  • Use the juice from a fresh lemon, rather than the concentrated, commercial lemon juices like Jif.
  • Drink through a paper straw to minimise contact with your teeth’s enamel.
  • Drink it quickly, rather than sipping.
  • Rinse your mouth with still water after drinking your lemon water, please note do not use carbonated water as this is also acidic as it contains carbonic acid.
  • Wait one hour before you brush your teeth after drinking to allow the calcium in your saliva to remineralise your teeth.

All acidic beverages have the potential to erode the enamel on your teeth, such as:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Fruit juices
  • Soda, including diet soda and sparkling water.
  • Some wines

To prevent potential damage to your teeth, consume these drinks occasionally instead of daily and follow the above preventative tips.

We look forward to seeing you at your next preventative appointment.
Contact Christchurch Dental on 01473 250977 to book.

What acts of kindness have taught me

During the lead up to Christmas, we carried out daily random acts of kindness to spread some festive cheer.

I learned a lot during this period and what better way to share it with you then in a follow-up blog.

I discovered that kindness is very much like a boomerang, when people benefitted from the random acts of kindness they often did something nice in return. We have received many messages of thanks both in person and via email, the one that stood out the most was the very grateful and polite thank you that I received from a homeless gentleman that I gave a care pack to.

There is a general perception of the homeless. People consider them as scary and dangerous. In many ways, our ideas about homelessness are shaped not by direct experience, but rather are influenced by media reports or the stories that our friends tell us. These indirect encounters have an impact upon our views. When you next pass a homeless person on the street I urge you to smile at them, respond to them when they ask you for some change, even if it’s an apology that you don’t have any to give. My husband passed a homeless lady before Christmas and he didn’t have any spare change but he had just bought some lunch and gave her his bag of crisps. Any gesture, even if just a smile or a kind reply is better than walking by like you are above them. After all everyone has a story!

I also learned not to expect anything in return. When you perform a random act of kindness, you get a sense of fulfillment when your act of kindness is acknowledged but expecting to be praised every time will set you up for disappointment, sometimes the reaction from the recipient falls short of what you expected and this can lead to disappointment if you keep expectations low then the acknowledgments you receive are an added bonus.

You also need to be prepared for rejection, we contacted many charities during the month of December wanting to make helpful donations to their causes but we had several rejections as they had already received so many donations from others that they had no room for more. It is reassuring to know that others are giving to Charity but it was deflating to hear that your help is not required.

I found that if you are working as a team to perform these acts of kindness then you need several fully invested people to keep the momentum going, people who know me, know that I don’t do failure so would have followed this through despite my personal workload and time restraints but the fully invested team members made a task that could easily have failed a huge success and I owe it’s success to them. We really do have the best team at Christchurch and I’m so proud to be a part of it.

I think we would all benefit from being a little kinder, being kind doesn’t have to be spending your last £4 on a coffee for the person behind you in the queue, it can be a simple smile’.

‘A smile costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give’

New Years Resolutions

The New Year is a great time to consider making positive changes to your life. Common resolutions include weight loss, increased exercise, or stopping a bad habit. How about resolving to improve your Oral Health this year? Here’s a few easy changes you can make that will lead to a happier, healthier smile in 2020.

Timing is Everything.

Are you a quick brusher? A quick run over your teeth is not going to cut it in terms of keeping your teeth clean and strong for the years to come. Here is the Christchurch Dental suggestion for a new year’s resolution: brush for at least two minutes and twice a day. Start off the new year by trying to brush for the full time, brushing your teeth while listening to music can help as a song lasts roughly 2 minutes. Don’t brush too hard because vigorous, fast brushing can lead to lasting gum and tooth damage. Whether using a manual or electric toothbrush always pick a soft headed toothbrush. If using an electric toothbrush, let it do the work.

Drink Water, Lots of Water.

Replace sugary drinks with water (still water not the sparkling kind which contains carbonic acid) this year. Your teeth will benefit from water, as it helps to clean off some of the excess sugar and acids left from food and drinks. Water also increases saliva production, which is essential for maintaining tooth enamel. Drinking water can also aid a resolution to lose weight and achieve a healthier lifestyle. Make sure it’s part of your resolution too!

Floss

Recent polls show that only 30% of Brits are flossing daily. Flossing should be a part of your daily oral hygiene routine. We recommend changing your ways in the new year if you are one of the 70% of British people avoiding dental floss. Flossing is essential for helping limit your decay and for maintaining healthy gums. Floss the teeth you want to keep! Our Hygiene Team are happy to help with flossing technique!

Come See Us.

The New Year is a great time to book your next visit to Christchurch Dental. Keeping up with regular visits helps us to keep your teeth in optimum health, picking up any potential problems early on where they can be rectified easily. Leaving any problems until they start to cause discomfort can be costly both for your overall health and your pocket. Prevention is always better than a cure!
Make 2020 the year you keep up with your dental work.

With the start of 2020, make a promise to look after your teeth.

Kindness is free, sprinkle that stuff everywhere!

I love Christmas, it’s my favorite time of year, however to some, the thought of Christmas fills them with dread and that can be for the most trivial of things like a hate for shopping and those busy shops during the festive season or it can be for greater reasons such as having lost a loved one recently, a poorly family member, or being homeless. Every one of us has a story and that story will have an impact upon how we feel towards the festive season.

I’ve already completed most of my Christmas shopping and we aren’t even into to December yet! My daughters’ advent calendars are at the ready for the opening of the first window on Sunday and they are bursting with excitement for the early morning chocolate hits that are only ever acceptable at this time of year, but what they are more excited about is the ‘random acts of kindness’ advent calendar that I’m running alongside it. This idea came from a friend who had found it in a kid’s magazine and shared it in our ‘Mummyhood’ WhatsApp group. I love the concept and it’s all my girls keep talking about, they have said after their random act of kindness they will then reward themselves with a chocolate from their advent calendar and they cannot wait to get started. What better way to teach your children to be kind than to show them first-hand how good it feels doing kind things for others.

But why should these random acts of kindness stop at my children? We have decided as a practice to run random acts of kindness during the working days of advent and we would like you to follow us in our journey as we share each random act of kindness that we perform daily on our social media.

For me personally, it has made the lead up to Christmas even more exciting, I get great pleasure from seeing people’s reactions to the gifts I buy for them at Christmas but the thought of lighting up a strangers day especially when their story could be quite dark, that for me, is what makes the world go round. Helping others is what we should all strive to be about. The more we help one another, the more we help the world, treat everyone with respect and they will treat you with respect and this revolving door approach to kindness is what we need to see each day. Kindness takes shape in many forms; it can be an action that surprises a stranger, or it can be a smile sent across the room.

How great are our team going to feel carrying out kind gestures not just for our clients but for the wider population of Ipswich? We might only have an impact on a handful of people during the lead up to Christmas but imagine if this idea inspired others to do the same and the kindness spread further afield.

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