Recently the press have seized upon a report that there has never been a study that proves flossing your teeth reduces gum disease.This is quite unbelievable, irresponsible and frankly rubbish.
It is a bit like saying that there has never been a study that shows that washing your car windscreen makes it easier to see through!
Brushing your teeth only, whatever brush you use will not clean between your teeth where gum disease and tooth decay often start. Only flossing or interdental brushes will clean there. If these areas are not cleaned plaque and then calculus (hardened plaque) will build up causing gum inflammation and possibly initiating decay.
If you do not floss you run the risk of bad breath, bleeding gums and tooth loss through gum disease causing looseness. Tooth decay will also be thrown into the mix.
Gum disease is also linked to other conditions as wide as heart problems, Altzheimers and some cancers.
So proper study or not I can report that in my over 25 years of providing dental care I have found that flossing does work. People who floss have less decay and healthier gums than those who do not.
So keep flossing, it does work and will enable you to keep the confidence to smile.


I do not think a day goes by without a patient saying that they are my worst ever.

They are all wrong!

My Father in Law used to farm beef and lamb, now only beef animals. He introduced me to my most difficult and interesting patient about 15 years ago. At the time he was farming Bleu de Maine French sheep. These are large sheep with a bluish face and a very muscular body like a gym body builder.

He found a prize pedigree ram, normally as a show animal price sky high but it had a broken lower front tooth so it was worth only what is known as kill value, about £20 at that time. He bought it as a stud but the tooth needed removing as it was an infection risk as it had fractured down to gum level.

This is where I was invited to meet the patient!

We put the ram in a sheep “crush” to keep him still as much as possible and my Father in Law helped to steady him as well. I anaesthetised the sheeps mouth with standard dental local anaesthetic and removed the tooth. However the patient was most uncooperative! Both my Father in Law and I ended up covered in green half chewed grass and saliva and lots of bruises.

The ram recovered quickly though and went on to sire many hundred lambs.

These days I have limited my practice to humans and although some of them can be tricky, not as much as that ram!

The point of this story is that at St Stephens dental Practice we can handle most things tooth related!

So for all your dental needs, all you need is St Stephens Dental where we will give you the confidence to smile.


At St Stephens Dental Practice the team consists of 3 dentists, myself the owner Martin Southon and 2 associates Karen Leadbetter and Tom Buckland.

There are 6 nurses and receptionists including Dawn and Nicola,the senior nurses.

I have been working at St Stephens since I qualified at the end of 1987 and Karen has been there a year longer. Tom has been working for me for 2 years and his family have been in Canterbury for 12 years. Tom is looking to settle here.

Dawn has been working for me for 21 years and Nicola since 1997.

So what does this mean to our patients?

Continuity of care.

Karen and I have been seeing some patients for over 20 years.

Patients see the same dentist and nurse for successive check ups and treatment. This usually means less treatment.

Generally when you see a new dentist they have to make a snap shot decision on what they see right then.

Some dental conditions, especially starting decay can be monitored as there may be a good chance it is static.

This is especially true if the same dentist is monitoring them year on year.

If you see someone different for each exam then rather than monitoring there is a good chance these conditions will be treated with a filling possibly unnecessarily.

This lack of continuity of care is especially likely at the corporate dental companies which are taking over many local dental practices.

Often the companies owning these practices move the dentists around so you end up seeing someone different at each visit.

So for continuity of care and less treatment come and see the friendly team at St Stephens Dental Practice where they will give you the confidence to smile.