A decades-long debate has finally been settled: a study has confirmed that English citizens have better teeth than their US counterparts.

In the study, published in the British Medical Journal, researchers in the UK and the US examined data from English and American dental surveys.

The results showed that the average number of missing teeth was 6.97 for English participants, but 7.31 for those in the US.

Additionally, people were more likely to suffer poor dental health in the US because of socio-economic factors.


Smile conscious Brits

Dr Sameer Patel, clinical director of Harley Street practice Elleven and member of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, commented on the findings: ‘It has long been a stereotype that Americans have much better teeth than those in the UK.

‘However, in recent years the UK has grown increasingly “smile conscious” and as a nation our oral hygiene has come on leaps and bounds.

‘This can in part be attributed to the preventive and prospective visions of the British dental community, which we have seen filtering into the mindset of the general population – effectively leading to healthier teeth and gums around the country.

‘Additionally, the cosmetic dentistry industry has seen an increase in minimally invasive treatments and a boom in demand for orthodontics, which in the long term, actually helps to prevent tooth decay and oral health issues.










Patients at St Stephens Dental Practice will be aware that principal Martin Southon has tried hard to make his practice welcoming and relaxing by  making it seem less clinical.

Martin is a great lover of art and both of the surgeries and the waiting room feature original artwork.

Many patients have complimented the surgery on the pictures on show and have commented that they contribute to the relaxed atmosphere.

Most of the pictures are from Martins friend Lin Broadley. She is an extremely skilful artist painting using all mediums. The surgery has just had a new delivery of paintings and they can be viewed here but are best seen “in the flesh” at the surgery.

Martin is extremely pleased and proud to be able to feature this lovely artwork. Most of the pieces are for sale and are very reasonably priced. Lin will also consider private commissions.











If you are interested in the featured paintings or a commission please either contact the surgery on 01227 452668 or contact Lin direct on 01227 700003.

New patients are of course welcome at St Stephens and appointments can be booked by phone on 01227 452668 or online at

St Stephens Dental Surgery where we will give you the confidence to smile.


How can I make you smile?

The most common way I do this is after a check up, by telling patients they are healthy and that no treatment is needed. But that’s just the beginning!

I can make you smile by simply cleaning your teeth or removing unsightly stains and tartar. After relieving your tooth ache and after I reassure you that the pesky ulcer is nothing sinister.

You will smile after you realise the treatment you were dreading isn’t as bad or as painful as you thought. I can make you smile by whitening your teeth or changing the tooth shape and appearance.

You will smile after I fill any gaps with dentures, bridges or implants. And after I splint your wobbly tooth, making it sturdy again.

The best smiles are that of patients who have something far more sinister… cancer. Until I advised them they had no idea about the problem, but now they could get treatment and continue to enjoy their life with loved ones. They didn’t smile when they were diagnosed, but 6 to 12 months later they look back and smile.

In my career I have helped 6 or 7 people in this way and I must admit this especially makes me smile.

Come and see us at St Stephens Dental Practice and we will make you smile.


Hello, Martin Southon Principal Dentist at St Stephens Dental Surgery here.

The job of my dental team is to look after and maintain the health of teeth and mouths. A rather obvious statement but our modern life is making this more and more difficult for patients and dentists alike. The TV celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver has been making it his mission to try to help the public at large eat more healthily. A few years ago his campaign was to fight obesity with a more sensible lower fat diet. This year his new programme and campaign is called Sugar Rush  highlighting the danger of sugar in our diet.
WE all know that sugar in our diet is the enemy of teeth and can cause other systemic problems like diabetes.
With our teeth, what many people do not know is that the problem with sugar is not the volume of the sugar but the frequency of sugar exposure to our dentition.
Sugars are a necessary part of our diet providing energy and they are a part of our metabolisms running normally and correctly. Dieticians say a reasonable intake is about 7 teaspoons of sugar a day…It sounds quite a lot doesn’t it?
This includes direct application of sugar such as in tea,coffee or on cereal  but must also include the hidden sugars within foods!


Eating supposedly healthily meals these days can boost sugar intake quite surprisingly and dramatically
How about this?…A healthy sounding days food intake;

Breakfast; Bran flakes and a lemon yoghurt

Lunch; Tomato soup with bread

Snack; Flavoured water such as Volvic and a special K bar

Dinner; Chicken with Lemon and Ginger stir fry.

With the hidden sugars in this group of meals sugar intake is an astonishing 36 teaspoons!

Obviously this level of sugar exposure to your teeth can dramatically increase risk and incidence of decay.
But it can also lead to systemic disease such as Type 2 Diabetes,  and 10% of the yearly NHS budget is now spent on dealing with problems caused by this type of largely avoidable Diabetes.
These problems range from obesity and its own bunch of related troubles to poor circulation. This can lead to blindness, gum disease general increased susceptibility to infections and at worse,a loss of limbs, especially legs.
At St Stephens Dental Practice we understand these hidden sugars are difficult to spot. If you need dietary advice please come and talk to us.
Book an appointment by phone on 01227 452668 or book online via our website.
St Stephens Dental Practice where we will maintain your confidence to smile.

CLICK HERE to Watch Jamie’s Sugar Rush


We understand that having a perfect white smile is one of the top beauty ideals and we also understand how tempting it is for a lot of people to try and whiten their teeth with over the counter products, especially with many products claiming they can whiten teeth up to 5 shades whiter!

The truth is, that these products rarely work and they certainly don’t last, more worryingly is the danger of reacting to the chemicals in these products and the damage it could do to your teeth, mouth and gums!

We always recommend only having your teeth whitened by professional dentists who can make sure that your mouth is healthy and that there is no risk of damage being done to your teeth,mouth or gums.

Take a look at a recent article which shows an example of how these products have led to serious life threatening complications…BEWARE CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGE THEY MAY BE UPSETTING FOR SOME!

click here to read the full article!


At St Stephens Dental Surgery the team consists of 3 dentists,myself the owner Martin Southon and associates Karen Leadbetter and Tom Buckland, as well as 6 nurses and receptionists including Dawn and Nicola, the senior nurses. I have been working at St Stephens since I qualified in 1987 and Karen has been here a year longer. Tom and his family have been in Canterbury for 12 years and he is going to settle here now. Not to mention that Nicola has been working for me for 21 years and Dawn since 1997.

So what does this mean to you as patients?…Continuity of care!

Patients will see the same dentist and nurse for successive checkups and treatment. Karen and I have been seeing some patients for over 20 years, plus this usually means less treatment.
Generally if you see a new dentist they have to make a snap shot decision on what they see right then. Some dental conditions, especially beginning decay can be monitored as there is a good chance the condition is static. This is especially true if the same dentist is monitoring them year on year.If you see someone different each exam rather than monitoring there is a good chance these conditions will be treated, and maybe unnecessarily.
This lack of continuity of care is especially likely at corporate dental companies which are taking over many local dental surgeries. The companies owning these practices move the dentists around so you end up seeing someone different each visit.
So for continuity of care and less treatment come and see my team at Stephens Dental Practice where we will give you the confidence to smile.


Hello I am Martin Southon, owner of St Stephens Dental Practice in Canterbury.

There are at least 20 dentists in Canterbury all providing a decent service of maintaining and fixing mouths and teeth…So why choose me and my team?

We have the most positive Google reviews for dentists in Canterbury and we also collect feedback from our patients after treatment via an anonymous service and the follow words have all been used in feedback;





Up to date

Well informed



Cutting edge equipment


So if you, your family or friends need anything dental then please contact the team at St Stephens Dental Practice. We will make your dental experience memorable for all the good reasons and you too will want to leave us positive feedback!


At St Stephens Dental Practice we can and will give you  the confidence to smile.




I am Martin Southon, Dentist and owner of St Stephens Dental Practice.

My dental Surgery is bang up to date using the latest techniques and materials, with a few exceptions. One is glue, the dental adhesive I use. These adhesives are big business in dentistry with huge research into them and new ones seemingly coming out each week. I use the same one I have used since Dental school. 25 years or so.

Why?…Because it works! I know how it works and I can see it is working at each of its 3 stages. It is called Gluma from the 2 active ingredients, Glutaraldehyde and Methacrylate. New ones may be quicker but you cannot see they have worked and the reps cannot explain to me how they work. I like to know how things work.

dental glue

This week I have used this “glue” to repair the front teeth of two youngsters. One tried to eat a cricket bat, the other a badminton racquet! Quite common sports incidents at this time of year. In both cases their parents had the foresight to bring in the broken piece of tooth. These fragments can then be bonded back as good as new and nearly as strong as ever with the adhesive. My GP had 4 teeth repaired this way about 10 years ago following a close encounter playing squash.

So that’s the team at St Stephens Dental Practice performing minor mouth miracles and using common sense in choosing products to maintain your confidence to smile.


St Stephens Dental Surgery in Canterbury, a family run surgery who can look after your families dental health. St Stephens Dental Surgery is owned by me, Martin Southon. The practice is long established, being in its present location since the early 1970’s!

I have lived in Canterbury all my life, I went to the Simon Langton Grammar school and then attended Kings College in London to study dentistry and I was offered a job back here 2 years before I qualified. My father was the dental technician for St Stephens until he retired, and I met my now retired ex -partner George owner then of the surgery through this contact. George was keen to employ someone local. My CV is I arrived at St Stephens in 1988, and I’m still there.I met my wife Lucy, a dental nurse at the practice on my first day of work… 3 years later we were married! Plus my associate dentist KarenLeadbetter met her now husband, Lucys cousin Michael at our wedding. Although Lucy no longer works full time at the practice she can occasionally be seen covering for staff holidays.
My newest dentist Tom Buckland, used to be my Saturday dental nurse whilst he was in sixth form. His mother Linda was a dental nurse at another practice I used to work at.Tom started working for me last September and has received fantastic feedback from patients for his treatment and approach to patients. And now Linda, Toms mum has joined the staff at St Stephens Dental Practice as a nurse for us. She is extremely chatty and welcoming and I am very glad to welcome her into my team. Linda has been nursing for 16 years and so is extremely competent.
And whilst they are not related to me two of my staff feel like family as they have worked for me for so long. Nicky Martin has been working at St Stephens for over 20 years and Dawn Eyers has been with us since 1997.
St Stephens Dental Practice, most definitely a family run practice who will give all families a very warm welcome and the brightest confidence to smile