Some popular cosmetic dental treatments to improve your smile.
Although it may be hard to believe, given the recent almost Siberian weather, Spring actually started in the UK on 1st of March, using the meteorological method. If you use the astronomical method however, today (20th March) is the first day of spring.
With that in mind, we thought we would take a look at the smile makeovers that we provide at our Streatham practice; a great way to give your smile a boost for the sunnier months ahead.
The ‘smile makeover’ is not a specific treatment, but a combination of cosmetic dental procedures that are designed to bring out the best smile for each individual patient of the Confidental Clinic.
Below are some of the treatments most commonly used during a smile makeover treatment:
Where there are tiny chips missing from the visible front teeth, these can often be restored to their natural shape using cosmetic bonding. This requires no surgery and the bonding is simply applied to the teeth and shaped accordingly.
Rather than use the dark coloured amalgam fillings that are highly visible, our Streatham cosmetic dentists are able to use a tooth coloured filling that blends in with the natural colour of your teeth. These now offer a similar strength to amalgam and can be used in the majority of fillings.
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Simple ways to reduce the risk of damage to your teeth and gums.
Having a healthy set of teeth means that you can eat, laugh and smile with confidence. Once damage starts to occur though, you may find yourself avoiding certain foods because they are difficult to chew, and may well become more self conscious about smiling.
Good overall care will help to reduce the risks of any damage, and our practical list below may give you a few additional pieces of advice which our Streatham patients may find useful.
Brush your teeth
The boring, but essential stuff first. Cleaning your teeth both morning and the last thing before you go to bed is absolutely essential if you want to maintain healthy teeth. Failing to do so will allow sugar, acid and bacteria to accumulate on the teeth and it probably won’t be long before you require an emergency appointment for toothache at the Confidental Clinic.
Use dental floss
Many people dislike using dental floss because they find it tricky, but it is actually quite easy to use once you have learned how. If you don’t know how, please ask us to show you. Using dental floss removes food and bacteria from between the teeth, a common place for dental problems to start.
Visit the dentist regularly
Allowing a dentist to examine your teeth every six months or so means that, barring accidents, you should be able to minimise any treatment that is needed, as problems can be detected at an early stage. Skipping appointments means that the period of time between checks is much longer and is likely to lead to the need for more extensive treatment.
See the hygienist
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Consuming some popular drinks can have a significant effect on our teeth.
What we drink on a daily basis can have consequences for our teeth. Whilst there is no need to avoid the worst culprits altogether, although our teeth would be healthier if we did; it is important to be well informed so that we can make a choice based on knowledge.
Of course, we need to drink in order to live. Whilst water is the best way to do; for most of us, other types of drinks help us to get through the day and may also serve a social purpose too.
Here is our rundown of common drinks and their potential consequences for our Streatham patients.
Let’s get the good one out of the way first. Water is excellent for your overall health and for your teeth and gums. Not only will drinking water flush away bacteria and food particles, but also helps to prevent the dry mouth which increases the risk of gum disease. There is no doubt that staying hydrated is important.
Tea isn’t bad for our teeth although any sugar put into it may have an effect. Regular tea drinkers though, may well notice that their teeth become stained. Fortunately this does not damage the teeth as such and can usually be reversed with teeth whitening at the Confidental Clinic in Streatham.
Again, red wine is notorious for staining teeth. Some, even have an almost instant effect. It should not be forgotten that wine also contains sugars which can lead to tooth decay.
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Why don’t our teeth remain white for life, even with regular brushing?
Most of us like to think that we look after our teeth, and generally brush them both morning and night. Whilst there is often room for improvement, especially surrounding the problem of gum disease, wouldn’t it be logical to think that this brushing would, at least, keep our teeth clean and white?
The reality is that, whilst brushing will certainly help to keep our teeth looking good, there are many other factors that come into play at various stages of our life.
Once our grown up teeth have come through, it is very important that we look after them. Being a child though usually means that we see no further ahead than our next play time. At this stage, parents need to take responsibility for looking after their children’s teeth, whilst encouraging them to also do so themselves, under supervision.
The biggest threat regarding discolouration at this age is the damage to the enamel of the teeth caused by a high sugar diet, and especially where drinks are concerned. Generally, discoloured teeth are not a real issue at this age, although some of us, of course, are naturally blessed with whiter teeth than others.
The teenage years are where the problems really start. Teenagers are largely responsible for their own oral health care, and, at this time of life, it can seem that there are so many more important things to do than to see one of the dentists at our Streatham practice for a regular check up. At this age, the enamel of the teeth is often under threat from poor care and, quite often, the introduction of teeth staining habits such as smoking.
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The last in our series of terms that you might hear at your Streatham dentist.
We hope that you have found this series useful. Today, we conclude with dental terms, from S to Z. Remember, if you hear your dentist use a term that you are not sure what it means, we are always happy to tell you.
S – Smile Makeover
A smile makeover is not a single treatment, although it can be. It is a term used to refer to treatment or treatments needed to restore your smile to an attractive state. For some patients of the Confidental Clinic, it may just mean a straightforward teeth whitening procedure. Others may require a combination of this, along with orthodontic treatment and white dental fillings for example.
T – Teeth
Whilst our first set of teeth are naturally replaced with our adult teeth; once we have these, they have to last us for a lifetime. With good home cleaning and the skills of our Streatham dentists, there is every chance that this is achievable.
U – Understanding why oral health is important
Like many aspects of our health, we sometimes take things for granted. It can come as a shock then, when we are told that we have a problem such as a root canal infection or gum disease. Although most of us live a busy life, it is well worth taking a little time to understand more about the anatomy of our teeth and why certain problems occur. Sometimes, a little understanding can help us to change teeth damaging habits.
V – Veneers
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A further list of words and terms you might hear at our Streatham practice.
Continuing our series of blogs on this subject, today, we look at some dental terms, starting with ‘O’.
O – Oral Cancer
Oral, or mouth, cancer, is one of the things that we check for when we examine you during your regular check up at the Confidental Clinic. Smokers especially are at an increased risk of this potentially fatal disease. Early diagnosis and treatment is important to help with a positive outcome. If we detect anything that may indicate a problem, we will refer you to your GP for a more detailed check.
P – Porcelain Veneers
Veneers are very fine layers of porcelain which are used to replace damaged or heavily discoloured enamel from the front of your visible teeth. This procedure is generally used where a teeth whitening procedure would not produce sufficient improvement in the colour of your teeth. They can also be used where the teeth are cracked or chipped and can also sometimes be used to reduce the appearance of a diastema, or gap between the front teeth.
Q – Quality Care
When you come to our Streatham dentists, you can be sure that you will be in good hands. Our team are friendly and supportive, especially of nervous patients. Our fully equipped dental surgeries help us to provide high quality dental care and we also offer evening and weekend appointments.
R – Root Canal Treatment
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Continuing our blog of common dental terms.
In today’s Confidental Clinic Streatham blog, we continue to take a look at some of the words and phrases that you may have heard in our practice from time to time. Today, we start at ‘I’.
I – Incisors
The incisor teeth are designed for cutting our food. They are what we most commonly refer to as our ‘front teeth’. These are not really used to chew our food, but to bite it from its original source. Problems most likely to occur with incisors are broken or damaged teeth caused by an accident, and enamel erosion caused by excessive exposure to acidic food or drink.
J – Jawbone
We probably don’t think about our jawbone a great deal, unless it becomes damaged. This bone though is essential for strong healthy teeth. Problems such as bone re-absorption following the loss of a tooth, or periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease, can cause the bone to degrade, potentially leading to loose teeth or even the loss of teeth.
K – Knowledge
Learning about how to look after our teeth and gums correctly is essential if we want to have good oral health well into our old age. Our Streatham dental team are always happy to discuss any aspect of your oral care with you, and our hygienist is an excellent person with whom to discuss the best way of taking care of your teeth and gums.
L – Local anaesthetic
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Dental terms which our Streatham patients may have heard mentioned.
Today, we start a series of blog posts, looking at some common, and some not so common, terminology that you may have heard at the Confidental Clinic.
We hope that you find this useful and are always happy to discuss any of these with you in more detail.
A – Abscess
If you have ever been unfortunate enough to have an abscess, you will know how painful these can be. It is quite likely that you would need an emergency appointment at our Streatham practice so that you can start to reduce the pain as well as start any treatment as soon as possible. If an abscess is discovered prior to a root canal procedure, the abscess will be treated before the root canal treatment can start.
B – Braces
Dental braces are not what they used to be. To replace the old styled metal braces, the Confidental Clinic in Streatham are able to offer patients modern alternatives such as Invisalign to enable you to straighten your teeth in a more discreet manner.
C – Checkups
We can’t emphasise enough, how important it is to see the dentist for a routine check up at least twice a year. Hopefully, no treatment will be needed, but if it is, early treatment will usually be less complex and more likely to retain more of the natural tooth.
D – Dental Bridge
Used as a means to replace a missing tooth; a bridge consists of one or more artificial teeth that are held in place by attaching crowns either end of the bridge, to the previously prepared natural teeth at either side of the gap.
E – Endodontics
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Some simple steps to minimise the need for fillings.
Although, at the Confidental Clinic in Streatham, we are able to restore decaying teeth with either white dental fillings, or in more severe cases, a crown, it probably goes without saying that our patients would rather avoid the need for these procedures in the first place.
Whilst some factors, such as the depth of the crevices in our teeth do mean that some people are more prone to decay than others, by and large, we can reduce the need to have our teeth filled by following some simple steps.
Watch the sugar
Sugar is responsible for the high level of tooth decay in children especially, but adults are also not immune, and in general, we consume far too much of this common foodstuff. It may be almost impossible to avoid altogether, but cutting out sweets and high sugar fizzy drinks especially is a good start to keep your teeth healthy.
Clean your teeth
The basics of good oral health care is to brush your teeth both morning and evening. You should do this for at least two minutes each time, using a toothbrush that is no more than three months old. Using a fluoride toothpaste is also essential to protect the enamel of your teeth.
Use dental floss
There should be no more ‘it’s too difficult’ if you want to keep your mouth healthy. The reality is that even the best toothbrushes can’t reach all of the areas between your teeth. It only needs a small quantity of either food debris or bacteria that isn’t removed to begin the process of tooth decay. Flossing is also an excellent way to help avoid other problems such as gum disease.
See your dentist regularly
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However young or old you are, you should not ignore the dangers of gum disease.
We probably tend to think of gum disease as something which generally affects older people. Whilst there are specific reasons why this age group may be more at risk, gum health problems hold little respect for age, and gingivitis and periodontitis can occur at almost any time.
The bacteria that is in our mouths is there at all ages and this is not a problem as long as it is kept under control. In today’s blog, our Streatham family dentist takes a look at gum disease at the various stages of our lives.
Babies tend to have very few problems with gum disease. You should still make sure that you keep their gums clean though, even before any teeth develop. We advise any new mums to bring their baby to us at around one year old for an initial check. Although problems at this age are rare, it is good to monitor from an early age.
Providing that you make sure to either clean their teeth for them, or to supervise their teeth cleaning, toddlers should also have relatively few problems. Tooth decay from too much sweet eating is more likely to be an issue here.
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