Mon - Fri 09:00 - 17:00Sat - 9:00 - 14:00020 8428 3769[email protected]197 Headstone LaneHarrow HA2 6ND

Stay up to date


Latest news and articles from the Headstone Lane Dental team. If there’s something you think we should cover please email us at [email protected]


Everyone wants a white smile. Unfortunately though, many of us have stains on our teeth that prevent us from having the smile we want.

Not all stains are equal however. First, there are extrinsic stains, which are the stains on the surface of the enamel. Your dentist can easily remove them with a scale and polish. Then there are intrinsic stains, which in contrast are generally caused by an illness or a long-term medication, and cannot be removed.

In this post, we’ll be sharing a few tips with you on how to take care of extrinsic stains so that you can get a sparkling white smile. So to prevent future stains and maintain a white smile, follow these simple tips.

1. Maintain a good dental hygiene routine

The key to most oral problems is good brushing. By using a good brushing technique and by brushing twice a day, you can remove most stains and keep your teeth nice and clean. You should also floss and use mouthwash regularly to clean away any food particles that could cause stains.

2. Limit your intake of staining drinks

Limit your intake of drinks that cause stains. These drinks include tea, coffee, cola, and red wine. If you do want to have one of these drinks, then you can limit the stains by having a sip of water afterwards. Drinking with a straw is another good idea to prevent stains.

3. Limit your intake of staining foods

Limit your intake of the foods that stain, such as beets and spices. As mentioned before, it’s also a good idea to have a sip of water after eating foods that stain.

4. Eat fibrous foods

It’s a good idea to include fibrous foods in your diet because they have a cleaning action on your teeth. Examples of fibrous foods are apples and celery.

5. Don’t smoke

Stay away from tobacco and smoking as they cause a lot of dental stains.

6. Use at-home whitening products

Many products exist to help you whiten your teeth at home. For example, there are whitening mouthwashes, which not only whiten teeth and prevent stains, but also have the added benefit of freshening your breath.

Then there’s whitening toothpaste. These types of toothpaste can remove surface stains to give you a brighter smile while also protecting you against cavities. However, take care not to use them over the long-term because they can prematurely wear down your enamel.

7. Get a scale and polish

Last but not the least, one of the best things you can do to whiten your teeth is to get your teeth cleaned by a dental professional. This is called a scale and polish, and getting one every six months will give you a perfect gleaming white smile.

In summary…

Many foods and drinks can stain your teeth, including tea, coffee, red wine, and spicy foods. However, a dentist can remove the stains, so it can be reversed. You can also help remove stains and whiten your teeth at home with the use of whitening products.

That’s all about stains for now. Hope you always have a stain-free smile!


“You are what you eat”. When it comes to your dental health, this saying couldn’t be truer. Many foods, especially those high in sugar, can contribute to cavities and tooth decay. What’s more, when your diet is bad, the teeth are one of the first areas of your body that gets affected.

So, if you want to improve your dental health through your diet, then read on, as this blog post will provide a list of healthy food choices.

1. Apples

Will eating an apple a day keep the doctor away? Probably not, but apples are beneficial for your teeth. For example, apples are high in fibre, which stimulates your gums. They’re also high in water, which neutralises acidity and washes away any food particles. Finally, the act of munching on an apple produces saliva, which kills bacteria.

2. Celery

Celery is known as a good food to lose weight with because it contains few calories. However, it’s also a good food for your teeth too. That’s because it’s very fibrous, which makes it bit like a natural toothbrush: the fibrous strings scrape bacteria away from your teeth and gums. And as if that wasn’t enough, celery is also high in vitamins A and C, which are both needed for healthy gums.

3. Carrots

Another food high in fibre is carrots, making them also act like a natural toothbrush. What’s more, they’re high in vitamin a, an antioxidant needed for good gum health. So act like Bugs Bunny and eat more carrots!

4. Almonds

Almonds are beneficial for the teeth because they’re high in calcium, which is a mineral needed for strong bones and teeth. Almonds are also very low in sugar. Why not eat almonds as a snack or add some to a salad?

5. Leafy greens

Leafy greens, such as kale and spinach, are great for your oral health. That’s because they’re packed full of vitamins and minerals. For example, they’re high in folic acid, which is believed to promote gum health.

6. Cheese

If you love eating cheese, then you now have another reason to do so: cheese has been shown to reduce acidity in the mouth, thus reducing your risk of cavities. The way it does this is unclear, but it’s thought that the act of chewing on cheese produces a lot of saliva.

7. Yoghurt

Another great food to eat is yoghurt. It’s high in calcium, which of course is needed for strong teeth. Yoghurt also contains probiotics, which are good for your oral health because they crowd out the bad bacteria in your mouth. However, if you do eat yoghurt, then go for plain yoghurt with no added sugar.

8. Eggs

Finally, if none of these foods takes your fancy, then how about a good old-fashioned hardboiled egg? One reason eggs are good for your teeth is that they’re high in phosphorus, which is a mineral that your body needs to keep your teeth strong. Eggs are also high in vitamin D, which helps your body to absorb calcium.


Remember, a healthy diet is only part of a good oral hygiene routine. To keep your teeth healthy and strong, you also have to brush them twice a day, as well as see your dentist regularly for check-ups.


Looking after a baby can be difficult, especially if you’re a first-time parent. On top of all the natural worries and concerns that come with parenthood, you’ve also got your baby’s teeth to think about.

So, in this blog post, we’ll answer some of our patients’ most frequently asked questions about how to look after a baby’s teeth.

When should I start brushing my baby’s teeth?

Most dentists recommend starting brushing a baby’s teeth as soon as the first tooth starts to appear. This is typically around six months of age.

How should I brush my babies teeth?

  • Brush twice today. You should brush your baby’s teeth twice today, preferably in the morning and before bedtime.
  • Only use a very small amount of toothpaste. It can be dangerous if your baby swallows a lot of toothpaste, so only use a tiny amount. The amount of toothpaste you use should only be about the size of a grain of rice.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste. Many toothpastes for babies don’t contain any fluoride. However, this is a shame because fluoride helps to prevent cavities and strengthens enamel. So, check the packet of your baby’s toothpaste to make sure it contains fluoride.
  • Use a baby toothbrush. Toothbrushes for babies come with very soft bristles and a small head, which is perfect for the mouths of little ones.
  • Brush gently. Using the toothbrush and toothpaste, brush gently around each tooth. There’s no need to rinse the baby’s mouth afterwards since you’ll be using only a tiny amount of toothpaste.

At what age should a baby start going to the dentist?

Ideally, you should take your baby to the dentist within the first six months of the eruption of the first teeth or before the baby’s first birthday, whichever comes first. Even if there are no signs of any problems, it’s good to start taking children to the dentist early because it gets them used to the sights and sounds of the dental clinic.

Are there any foods that my baby should avoid?

Firstly, babies should avoid all foods containing added sugar because these can cause cavities. These are foods such as cakes, cookies, juice drinks, soft drinks, ice cream and some yoghurts.

In addition, you should be careful with foods that are naturally high in sugar. These include fruit, dried fruits, and fruit juice. Although fruit is healthy when eaten in moderate amounts, your baby should not be eating large amounts of fruit every day. Also, fruit juice should be off-limits for the babies under the age of one year because of the amount of sugar it contains.

Does my baby need fluoride?

Yes, your baby does need fluoride. This is because fluoride helps to prevent cavities, not just in adults but for babies as well. Fluoride is found in most brands of toothpaste as well as in drinking water in some parts of the UK.

However, while some fluoride is good for babies, too much fluoride is not, as it can lead to a condition known as fluorosis. With this condition, white spots will appear on your child’s adult teeth. This is why you should only use a small dab of toothpaste to brush your child’s teeth until your child is old enough to learn to spit the toothpaste out.

Call us for an appointment

If you’d like to make an appointment for your baby to see a dentist, then don’t hesitate to call us. One of our friendly receptionists will be more than happy to book an appointment for you!



Age brings wisdom, or so they say. Another thing age brings is your wisdom teeth. These are molars that erupt in your late teens or early twenties. However, sometimes wisdom teeth fail to erupt; sometimes they grow sideways instead, where they push against the adjacent teeth. This is called ‘impaction‘ and it’s one of the most common reasons for why people need their wisdom teeth removed.

If you’re undergoing wisdom tooth surgery, then we’ve written this post for you. We’ll discuss what you should expect from wisdom tooth removal surgery and the best ways to recover from surgery quickly.

What’s the procedure for wisdom tooth removal like?

First, the surgeon will give you an anaesthetic so that you don’t feel any pain. Usually, this will be local anaesthesia, which the surgeon will inject at the site of extraction. In some cases, however, you might be offered general anaesthesia. This is where you lose consciousness so that lyou won’t be awake during the procedure.

Next, your surgeon will make an incision into the gum to expose the wisdom tooth. The surgeon will then remove any bone blocking the tooth before removing the wisdom tooth from your mouth.

Finally, the dentist will clean the extraction site and may choose to stitch the wound closed.

What’s the best way to recover from wisdom tooth extraction surgery?

Recovering from wisdom tooth surgery isn’t a walk in the park. Follow these tips to help you recover as quickly as possible.

  • Activity: Once the surgery is over, you’ll be expected to return home to rest. It’s not a good idea to go immediately back to work because your body will need to recover from the surgery. You should be able to resume normal activities the day after the surgery. However, do avoid physical activity for a least a week, because any strenuous activity could dislodge the blood clot from the extraction site.
  • Drinks. Remember to drink lots of water after the surgery. However, don’t drink alcohol, coffee, tea, or fizzy drinks. It’s also advised not to drink from a straw, because this could dislodge the blood clot from the extraction site.
  • Food. Avoid eating hard foods for at least the first twenty-four hours after surgery as these could irritate your wound. Also, avoid chewy foods as these could get stuck in the extraction site. The best foods to eat are soft foods like applesauce and yoghurt.
  • Oral care. Although dentists normally recommend their patients to brush their teeth twice a day, those who have just had their wisdom teeth removed are the exception. This is because they should refrain from brushing their teeth for the first 24 hours after surgery, as it could dislodge the blood clot. So instead of brushing, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water, as this will keep your mouth clean without irritating the wound.

If you think you need a wisdom tooth extracted, then call us on 020 8428 3769. Our professional and experienced team are here to help you.


No-one likes morning breath. It’s an embarrassing problem that can make you feel self-conscious and depressed – definitely not what you want first thing in the morning! However, nearly everyone has had morning breath at some point in their lives and it can be fixed if you know what the cause is. So, read on to find out what’s causing your morning breath and take the first step towards a more pleasant morning!

Causes of morning breath

Morning breath has several causes. These include:

  • Poor oral hygiene. The most common cause of bad breath is a lack of proper oral hygiene. This is when you don’t brush your teeth enough, bacteria build up in your mouth and they release smelly odours.
  • Smoking. Tobacco is another common cause of morning breath. After all, everyone has heard of smoker’s breath, which is the unpleasant smell of chemicals and tobacco in a smoker’s mouth.
  • Dry mouth. Saliva helps to prevent bad breath because it kills bacteria and washes away food particles. However, our saliva production naturally decreases during the night, which is why so many people suffer from morning breath without an obvious cause.
  • Medications. Some medications cause dry mouth, which in turn leads to bad breath.
  • Alcohol. Another cause of morning breath is alcohol. All alcoholic drinks, like beer and wine, make your breath smell bad because they cause dry mouth.
  • Food. Of course, some foods can cause bad breath. Onion, garlic and spices can all give your breath a bad odour if you’ve eaten them the night before.

Solutions to morning breath

If you have morning breath, then don’t worry – there are a few simple things you can do to get rid of it.

  • Brush your teeth. The first thing you should do is brush your teeth. This will get rid of any particles in your mouth that are causing your bad breath. Also, many kinds of toothpaste are flavoured, which will help to mask the smell. Your mouth will be feeling fresher in no time!
  • Rinse your mouth with mouthwash. If you can’t brush your teeth right away, then the next best thing is to give your mouth a quick rinse with mouthwash. This has three benefits: it washes away any leftover food particles, it helps cover up the smell of bad breath, and it also kills the bacteria that cause bad breath in the first place. What’s not to love?
  • Drink water. As explained above, a common cause of bad breath is dry mouth. The simple solution to a dry mouth is to have a drink of water. It will instantly make your mouth less dry and slowly rehydrate you as the water makes its way through your body.
  • Chew gum. If you have any chewing gum handy, you’re in luck – it’s is the perfect thing to get your saliva flowing. But do try to use sugar-free gum if possible, as it’s better for your teeth than gum that contains sugar.
  • Chew parsley. Did you know that parsley can alleviate bad breath? A quick chew on a small sprig of parsley is a quick and effective way to freshen your breath.
  • Look after your teeth. If the cause of your bad breath is bacteria, then the solution is to simply improve your oral hygiene habits. This means brushing twice a day and flossing once a day.


What are dental cavities and how do they occur?

Dental cavities, also known as tooth decay, occur when bacteria in your mouth use sugars in food and drink as a source of energy. The bacteria produce acids, commonly called ‘plaque acids’. These plaque acids are dangerous as they can dissolve your tooth surfaces. Furthermore, plaque acids form each time you consume food or drink containing sugar, which is why frequent eating or drinking throughout the day puts your teeth at risk.

The bacteria also attack where the gums and teeth meet. The gums become red and swollen and a space forms between the teeth and the gums. This is called a pocket. The pocket then fills up with plaque and can damage the fibres which hold the teeth to the bone. The bone itself is then attacked and the pocket deepens. This is called gum disease.


How can I prevent decay?

  • Reduce the amount of food and drinks containing sugar, and more importantly reduce the number of times a day that you eat or drink sugary foods and drink.
  • Try to have sugary foods and drinks only at meal times.
  • Check the labels on foods, drinks and medicines, and where possible buy products which contain less or no sugar.
  • Artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes do not cause caries.


How else can caries be prevented?

Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day can remove the acid forming plaque. Remember though: spit, don’t rinse. Flossing or the use of inter-dental brushes can also remove plaque from in-between the teeth.

Brushing around crowns and bridgework can be extra difficult. The dentist or hygienist can advise you on this. It is a joint effort between the patient and dentist, it cannot be done without your co-operation.


What about fizzy drinks?

Fizzy drinks are extremely damaging to the teeth. They contain a lot of sugar and they are very acidic. Acids dissolve the surface of the tooth and the tooth wears away quicker than it would do if it was not exposed to fizzy drinks. This is called erosion. Even diet or low-calorie fizzy drinks still contain the same acids as other fizzy drinks and cause the same damage.


How can I prevent erosion?

Save fizzy drinks for special occasions. Low calorie or diet cordials and squashes can be an alternative but use with caution as they can still be acidic. Better still, drink water!


What are safe snacks?

  • Non-citrus fruit and vegetables. (Avoid oranges, apples and grapes as these are acidic)
  • Carrot and celery sticks
  • Bread, savoury muffins and bagels
  • Sandwiches with a savoury filling
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Unsweetened popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Water
  • Milk
  • Unsweetened tea or coffee


What is the role of saliva?

Saliva helps neutralise the plaque acids in the mouth and can prevent decay from occurring. Chewing sugar-free gum after eating stimulates saliva production and can help prevent decay. The flow of saliva is reduced when you are asleep. For that reason, you should never have fizzy drinks or sugary snacks and drinks at bed-time.


Teeth are a wonderful marker of your child’s progress in life.  Your child’s journey begins with teething in early infancy, progresses into the loss of baby teeth during childhood, and then advances into adulthood with the eruption of wisdom teeth. Teeth are a bittersweet way of knowing that your child is growing up.

To help you understand your child’s teeth better, here’s a timeline of when a child’s teeth start to appear and when they fall out. Keep in mind that this timeline is only general and will not fit all children. Some children won’t get their first tooth until after their first birthday. Don’t worry, as this is normal. Some babies are even born with their first teeth!



  • Birth. It’s a misconception that babies are born without teeth. The full set of twenty baby teeth are already there at birth, in the jaw. They just haven’t erupted yet.
  • 4-7 months. The baby’s first teeth erupt around this age. These teeth are usually the two bottom incisors. Teething can be uncomfortable for a baby, and she might chew plastic toys to alleviate their discomfort. Other signs of teething are dribbling a lot, flushed cheeks and crying. To soothe your teething baby, try giving them teething rings. These rings are made of plastic or wood and your baby will find comfort from chewing on them. Some rings can even go in the fridge before use – babies especially enjoying chewing on cold teething rings.
  • 8-12 months. The upper incisors usually appear around this time.
  • 9-16 months. At this age, the lower and lateral incisors (the teeth next to the middle teeth) appear.



  • 13-19 months. After your baby’s first birthday, the first molars usually appear! These teeth are large and flat, which makes them ideal for chewing and grinding food. If your child still hasn’t shown any sign of sprouting teeth yet, let your doctor know. Chances are that it’s entirely normal – some children don’t start teething until months after their first birthday.
  • 23-31 months. Around the time of the child’s second birthday, the bottom second molars appear.
  • 25-33 months. Just after the child’s second birthday, the top second molars come through.
  • 3 years. By three years of age, your child will have a full set of baby teeth!



  • 6-7 years. At this age, your child is becoming more independent and capable. Another sign of their growing maturity is that she begins to lose their baby teeth, which are quickly replaced by their permanent adult teeth. The first teeth to go are usually the incisors.
  • 7-8 years. The baby lower and lateral incisors are the next to go.
  • 9-12 years. Finally, the baby molars fall out and the adult molars come through. At this point, your child will no longer have any baby teeth left – they will all be adult teeth.



  • 17-21 years. At the age of eighteen, your child is officially an adult – don’t they grow up so fast? Another thing that happens around this age is that your child’s wisdom teeth will come through. This doesn’t mean they actually have wisdom though – it’s your job to give them that.


Parenting isn’t easy. Not only do parents have to think about their children’s education, future and happiness, they also have to worry about their children’s diets. Is fruit juice healthy? What about full-fat milk? There’s lots of information about what children should drink, which is why we’ve condensed it all down for you into two simple lists. So here’s our lists of what children can drink and what they should avoid.


Drinks to give

  • Water. The best drink for children is plain water. Water is pH neutral and helps to wash away leftover food in their mouths. As an added bonus, tap water is fluorated in some parts of the UK.
  • Milk. Another great drink for children is milk. Milk is high in calcium, which kids need for strong teeth. It’s also high in protein, which is just what children need to grow. However, keep in mind that babies should be at least twelve months old before you give them cow’s milk. Also, full-fat milk is better for young children than semi-skimmed milk because it’s more nutritious. Here’s a rough guideline of the best ages to give children milk:
    • 0-1 year – breast milk and formula
    • 1-2 years – full-fat milk
    • 2 and older – semi-skimmed milk
    • 5 and older skimmed milk


What to avoid

  • Pop. This should be obvious, but don’t give fizzy drinks to children. Many fizzy drinks are high in sugar, which increases the risk of cavities. And what’s not so obvious is that sugar-free pop isn’t good for teeth either. They contain acids that erode enamel.
  • Juice. You might think that fruit juice is healthy. After all, it’s high in vitamins and minerals, right? However, juice is also high in sugar (even unsweetened juices). What’s more, juice erodes enamel due to its acidity. Therefore it’s best to limit your child’s juice intake to just one small glass per day.
  • Bedtime drinks. Who doesn’t have fond childhood memories of drinking a milkshake before bedtime? Unfortunately though our parents were misguided, because the best thing to give to children at night is plain water. This is because our saliva production slows down at night and it’s when our teeth are most at risk. If you do give milk to your kids at night, then don’t add anything to it. That means no milkshake or hot chocolate.
  • Sippy cups. Sippy cups are a popular choice with parents of young children because they’re spill-proof. If your toddler knocks the cup over, then there’s no worries. However, we don’t recommend sippy cups because children have to suck the cup to get the liquid out. Sucking is bad because it forces your child to drink for longer, which in turn prolongs the amount of time the drink is in contact with your child’s teeth. Free-flow feeder cups are much better because the liquid flow is unrestricted.
  • Bottles after the age of one. Bottles have the same problem as sippy cups. Bottles require babies to suck for a prolonged amount of time, which means the drink is in contact with your babies’ teeth for a long time. For this reason, babies should begin to switch from a bottle to a free-flow feeder cup at the age of six months and ideally, babies should be completely off the bottle by the age of one.


Two-thirds of the Earth’s surface is covered with it, it’s essential for life and it makes up 60{f3cbf6ee4c2bf74284ff645d919e2d7444bc2ff84a9815f68a7ec3cea6db0d23} of the human body. We’re of course talking about water. But did you know that water is also one of the best things you drink for healthy teeth? Read on to learn the reasons why water is so good for our dental health.


Water decreases acidity in the mouth

When we eat acidic foods like lemons and cranberries, our mouths become more acidic. This is bad for our teeth because acidity damages enamel, which is the protective outer layer of our teeth.

Conversely, water helps restore the pH balance in our mouths by neutralising the acidity. This is good for our teeth because the best environment for our teeth is a neutral one.


Water cleans your mouth

The act of drinking water washes away any food left over in the mouth and helps prevents plaque. Of course, other drinks help wash away food too, such as juice, pop and sports drinks. However, these drinks contain sugar whereas water doesn’t. Furthermore, some of these drinks also contain acids (such as citric acid and malic acid) which damage enamel. So, when it comes to a natural mouthwash, water is the way to go.


Water prevents dry mouth

Saliva is a great natural defence for your teeth: it kills bacteria, neutralises acids and washes away foods. That’s why it’s important to avoid dehydration. When we get dehydrated, our body slows down its saliva production to conserve its water supplies. So, drink plenty of water to ensure there’s a healthy amount of saliva in your mouth.


Fluoridated water strengthens teeth

Depending on where you live in the UK, your tap water might be artificially fluoridated. The places where fluoridated water is most common are Birmingham, Staffordshire and Dudley .

If your water is fluoridated, that’s great news because studies show that fluoridated water decreases the risk of cavities. The process by which fluoride does this is known as ‘remineralisation’. This is where fluoride assists the rebuilding of calcium and phosphate ions onto the surface of teeth. Fluoride also helps prevent demineralisation, which is where calcium and phosphate ions are lost from the surface of teeth.


Water doesn’t stain your teeth

No-one likes having yellow or brown teeth, but this is what happens when you regularly drink tea and coffee. This is because tea and coffee contain staining pigments known as tannins. While stains aren’t harmful, they do detract from the appearance of your teeth. Water, on the other hand, never leaves a stain. So that’s just one more reason why water is the best choice of drink for your teeth.



Water really is the best drink for good health. So, if you have frequent problems with your teeth, consider drinking less juice, sports drinks and soft drinks and more water.

But remember that watching what you drink is only a part of a healthy dental hygiene routine. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily are also vital for the good health of your teeth.


Tooth decay has emerged as the “leading cause of child hospital admissions”, the Local Government Association (LGA) has revealed.

Every day, 160 children and teenagers in England have tooth extractions while under general anesthetic in hospital, according to the LGA.

The British Dental Association (BDA) has commented that these hospital admissions could be avoided as tooth decay is entirely preventable.

Dr Ben Atkins, a spokesperson for the BDA, told The Huffington Post UK about a six-year-old patient who had to have 13 teeth taken out while under general anaesthetic.

“It does break your heart when you think it is an easily preventable disease,” he told HuffPost UK.

“We investigated what happened and what had caused the holes and it was mainly fruit juice. She wouldn’t drink any water.

“As a parent you understand that, but I have a three- and five-year-old and in my house it’s milk or water.”

Atkins said he comes across some parents who put sugar in children’s milk to get them to drink it and don’t understand the damage it’s doing.

“That six-year-old was drinking cola, too, and smoothies. She was having sugar solution constantly in her mouth.”

However, according to Atkins this little girl is proof that it is never too late to start instilling healthy habits.

“Now she’s 13 and her adult teeth are spotless,” he said. “She brushes her teeth twice a day, reduced the frequency of sugary drinks just to mealtimes and has water in between.

“She’s one of the success stories, she’s so proud of her teeth now.”

So what can parents do to keep their children’s teeth healthy?

The BDA offered the following five tips:

Take your child to the dentist as soon as their teeth start to emerge, if not by one year. It means that any problems can be picked up and treated early.
Foods containing sugar should be kept to a minimum and are best given at mealtimes.
Children should be assisted to brush their teeth as soon as they erupt/ appear.
Brush teeth at least twice a day for at least two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Kids should be encouraged to spit out excess toothpaste and not rinse with water after brushing.
Supervise children brushing their teeth until they are seven.
Source from: