Pop mogul Simon Cowell
Pop mogul Simon Cowell
A dentist gives his expert insight into news stories about Simon Cowell’s teeth, the link between a mother and child’s dental health and summer foods which holiday makers who care about their enamel should avoid!

Simon Cowell’s teeth

News stories about teeth often focus on speculation about celebrities trips to the dentist and this month has been no exception.

Despite it being a busy time for domestic and world news, the Daily Mail has found room for an article about how X-Factor producer Simon Cowell maintains his looks.

According to the Mail, veneers are the reason why Cowell’s teeth sparkle so much – the newspapers says they cost £1,000 per tooth; a little costly for such dental care. Putney dentist Ethicare offers veneers for as little as £450 each.

Dr. Glafcos Tombolis of Ethicare said: “Veneers can be used to make the teeth look absolutely beautiful.”

Perhaps Cowell could save a little money to put aside for his dental costs by giving up his 40-a-day smoking habit – it would also improve his oral health.

Tooth decay: like Mother like child?

Are Simon Cowell’s teeth similar to his mother’s teeth? New scientific research suggests that you can predict the future state of your teeth by studying your mother’s oral health.

A research project in New Zealand examined the oral health of children at the age of five in 1978 and the age of 32 in 2005. These findings were compared with the subject’s mother’s own self-evaluated oral health score in 1978.

At the end of the 27-year research it was found that almost half (45.1 per cent) of children whose mothers rated their own dental health as ‘very poor’ had suffered severe tooth decay.

Earlier work conducted in Sweden in the 1970s found that a child’s likelihood of decay was “determined by the amount of bacteria in the mother’s mouth and that this was passed from mother to child”.

Dr Glafcos Tombolis believes that a combination of nature, nurture and lifestyle factors often determine an individual’s vulnerability to decay.

He said: “Certainly there is a genetic influence but environmental factors play the largest role. For instance social deprivation often goes hand in hand with poor oral health and dental disease.”

Holiday Foods to avoid

It’s the time of year when many of us pack up our troubles in our old kit bags and head off on summer breaks abroad. But just because we’re on holiday doesn’t mean that our teeth should be on holiday too.

The British Dental Health Foundation has issued some new advice on which ‘holiday-style’ foods found in tapas bars, seaside cafes and restaurants have enough acid in them to severely impact your dental health.

It is not surprising that cola, wine, ice cream and seaside rock have a pH level which put them in the highly acidic column. But did you know that…

  • Vinaigrette salad dressing (pH level 2.0) and olives (3.8) have a highly acidic ‘bad’ rating
  • Pasta (3.0) is worse for your enamel than fish and chips (4.6 to 6.7)
  • Feta cheese (5.0) is better for you than the moderately acidic cottage cheese (4.1 to 5.4)
  • Hot dogs – a food not normally renowned for its health qualities – belong in the less acidic category
It might be worth packing the British Dental Health Foundation’s handy guide to holiday food in your suitcase!

So do patients ask their dentist for advice on which foods can be dangerous to their teeth’s health?

Dr Glafcos Tombolis said: “People do not ask for dietary advice. It does not stop us from giving it here at Ethicare Dental. Certainly acid erosion is becoming a bigger problem caused both by acids in the diet but also because of various causes of acid regurgitation.

The most common disease process though that we have to treat is dental decay caused by high sugar content in the diet.”

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