Three Reasons To Visit A Dental Hygienist

Not already seeing our Streatham dental hygienist? Here’s why you should consider it.

Thanks to better general understanding of oral health care, most people now know to brush their teeth regularly, and, slowly but surely, an increasing number now also floss between their teeth too.

This is excellent news, but there is a further step which can be taken which plays a significant role in keeping your mouth in excellent health.

At the Confidental Clinic in Streatham, we encourage our patients to see the dental hygienist on a regular basis. Today’s blog helps to explain why.

Education

One of the most basic ways in which people benefit from hygienist visit is that it allows them the opportunity to discuss with a professional, better ways of looking after their oral health. Whilst most people brush their teeth, they may not do so as efficiently as they could. The dental hygienist at our Streatham practice can show you the correct way to do this and also offer advice on how to use dental floss correctly.

In addition to the above, dietary advice and how your general health may have an impact on your teeth and gums, may be discussed.

Scale and Polish

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Posted in Hygienist

7 Ways To Take Better Care Of Your Teeth

A few simple changes to your daily habits can make the world of difference to your teeth.

At the Confidental Clinic in Streatham, we have both the skills and technology available to restore most cases of damaged or infected teeth. Even where teeth have deteriorated to a point where they can no longer be saved, we can advise patients about the options available to replace any that need to be extracted.

Alongside regular dental checks, we encourage our patients to look after their teeth at home, in order to prevent the need for procedures as far as possible. In line with this, below we have suggested a few things that you can do to help keep your teeth for a long time and as healthy as possible.

Brush your teeth correctly – Hopefully, you already brush your teeth regularly but are you doing so correctly? If your brush is over three months old, it will no longer be efficient enough to remove residual food deposits and bacteria from your teeth and gums. Make sure too that you use fluoride toothpaste and take the opportunity to check with our Streatham dental hygienist that you are using the correct brushing technique.

Floss – One of the simplest things you can do to boost your oral health is to use dental floss. This will remove food and bacteria from the otherwise hard to reach gaps between the teeth.

Reduce your sugar intake – It is no secret that sugar is one of the most harmful products for our teeth. Any reduction in intake is a good thing. Especially try to avoid sugary drinks and replace these with water or sugar-free drinks as much as you can.

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Posted in Advice

Using Dental Veneers To Restore Damaged Teeth in Streatham

An effective method to restore chipped teeth, at the Confidental Clinic.

When a tooth breaks significantly, most people will contact their local dentist as soon as they can, to have it examined and restored, possibly using a dental filling or a crown. More minor damage though may be ignored, with the patient feeling that the damage is purely cosmetic and can wait until their next check up appointment.

Although minor chips may not cause any serious problems, this does depend on the type and extent of the damage. Whilst some chips may simply break off a piece of the surface enamel, it is also possible that it may have broken in such as way as to expose the dentin layer underneath. When this happens, decay or even a root canal infection can follow. It is, therefore, best to have the tooth checked as soon as you can.

Discomfort

As well as the potential risk of decay or root canal problems, even the smallest chip can create a sharp surface that can scratch or even lacerate the lips, cheeks or tongue. Aside from any discomfort this may cause, this could possibly also become infected, especially if you are a smoker, as then, healing times tend to be slower and infections more likely.

If the damage has been done to a hidden rear or side tooth, there are a number of options available to treat it. The method chosen will depend on the diagnosis by your regular Streatham dentist.  This could include cosmetic bonding, a dental filling, or, for larger breakages, a dental crown.

The choice of method in this area will depend less on the cosmetic appearance of the restoration than the strength that it will provide for the damaged tooth.

Dental Veneers

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Posted in Dental veneers

The Route To Whiter Teeth – 5 Ways

Helping To Maintain Attractive Teeth Throughout Your Life.

Most patients of our Streatham dental practice will probably have noticed that their teeth lose some whiteness as they become older. There can be many reasons for this, but the good news is that discolouration can be delayed and even reversed with appropriate teeth whitening treatments.

In today’s blog post, we offer some thoughts on how you can delay any discolouration for as long as possible, and what we can offer, at the Confidental Clinic, when your teeth do finally succumb to a darker appearance.

Prevention

Ultimately, how well we take care of our teeth will have an impact on their colour. Poor or irregular brushing, for example, not only means the possibility of problems such as tooth decay, but may also result in a buildup of tartar on the teeth. This forms a rough surface that allows staining materials to stick to them more easily.

Avoid staining products

Some foods such as dark coloured berries are known to stain teeth. The main culprits though appear to be drinks, with tea and red wine being two of the worst for staining due to their high tannin content. Whilst cutting these out altogether may be a big ask for some people, you can reduce the effect of the tannins by swilling water around the mouth afterwards. Remember too, that smoking is one of the worst things that you can do, both for the colour of your teeth and your health in general, so it is well worth making the effort to quit.

Hygienist cleaning

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Posted in Advice

Why Drinking Water Is Good For Your Teeth And Gums

Our Streatham dentist explains why hydration is so important for oral health.

People are probably more aware of how to look after their oral health these days. Most people brush their teeth regularly twice a day and, hopefully, given its importance and our emphasis in previous blogs, more of our Streatham patients are starting to use dental floss as well.

These simple things, along with reducing sugar in your diet, can go a long way to improving the health of your teeth and gums. There is one other factor though, which is often ignored, but can play a significant role in having a healthy mouth, and that is hydration.

Why water?

Most of us probably drink when we are thirsty. It is far better though to make sure that we never feel thirsty, drinking water regularly. Staying hydrated is beneficial in many ways which you can see below. It is important to say at this stage, that we do mean water and not carbonated high sugar drinks which can damage your teeth.

Flushing – Drinking water regular will help to flush away sugars and small food particles which have become stuck between the teeth. Not only is this good for health, it also reduces the risk of bad breath from rotting food debris.

Bacteria – Our mouths are full of bacteria, some of which is bad if left uncontrolled. By drinking water, the number of bacteria are kept under control, helping you to have a healthier mouth.

Gum disease – Gingival bacteria can contribute to gum disease. Not only will drinking water help to flush them away, but these bacteria love a warm and dry environment in which to breed. This commonly happens whilst we sleep when our mouths become dry. To help avoid this, make sure that you are well hydrated before going to bed, especially after alcohol consumption.

Fluoride – Tap water especially, contains fluoride, a substance that helps to strengthen the enamel of our teeth, helping to protect them from decay. In the UK, most of us have access to perfectly good tap water and we recommend that patients take advantage of this to help boost the health of their teeth.

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Posted in Advice

How Long Can I Expect The Results Of Teeth Whitening To Last?

teeth whitening system

Our Streatham cosmetic dentist discusses this commonly asked question.

Our popular home teeth whitening system offers patients a chance to restore the whiteness of their teeth to a degree that they probably believed had gone forever. It is a simple, yet effective treatment that is performed in a non invasive manner and at a reasonable price. For this reason, many of our Streatham dental patients come to us time and again to have the treatment repeated.

First timers to this treatment though, often have a number of questions to ask and we are always happy to answer them during the patient consultation at the Confidental Clinic. One of the most commonly asked questions is how long the effects of the treatment will last.

Long lasting whiteness

The effects of a teeth whitening procedure can be seen for a long time following the treatment. Even three years later, many people can see the difference, and some even longer than that.

There are a number of factors here though and one is at what level is the patient no longer satisfied with the colour of their teeth. For example, after say two years, your teeth may still be whiter than before the treatment, but you may feel that this is not a satisfactory level of whiteness.

Patient choices also make a difference. Whilst you may not be able to slow down the internal discolouration of the tooth, which happens naturally, if for example, you return to previous habits such as smoking and red wine consumption, it is almost certain that your teeth will lose their new whiteness much faster than someone who doesn’t. Switching to a whitening toothpaste may also help to slow down the reversal process, but don’t expect too much from this.

Top ups and repeat treatments

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Posted in Teeth whitening

NHS Dentistry For Our Streatham Patients

Basic family dental care for healthy teeth.

Whilst cosmetic dentistry is becoming increasingly popular, most people’s priority is to ensure that their teeth are healthy and in good condition. To ensure that all of our patients in the local area have access to good quality dental care, irrespective of income, we are pleased to be able to offer NHS services in Streatham at the Confidental Clinic.

Essential treatments available under the NHS allow us to ensure that patients receive priority care that is needed to maintain a healthy mouth. Because funding is limited though, they do not allow us to provide cosmetic treatments such as teeth whitening or veneers. These are only available privately.

NHS prices

Dental treatments are priced in three bands, largely depending on how extensive the procedure is. There is also a fourth band which is for emergency dental treatment, currently £20.60 at the time of writing this blog.

There may be instances where a patient might wish to go private even for essential dental care. A prime example would be where a front tooth needed a filling. Only dark coloured amalgam fillings are available on the NHS, whereas natural tooth coloured fillings are available privately, allowing you to maintain a natural looking smile. Both types of filling are available and the final choice is down to patient preference.

NHS treatments

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Posted in NHS

Cleaner And Healthier Teeth

A simple trip to your Streatham hygienist can give your teeth a visible, healthy boost.

A visit to the hygienist is sometimes thought, by some, not to be an essential part of dental care, and to be an ‘add on’ rather than a necessity. The role of the hygienist is often misunderstood, but actually plays a very important role in keeping our teeth and gums healthy, whilst also giving them a simple yet visible boost.

The dental hygienists at our Streatham practice are very experienced and available for appointments with registered patients of the Confidental Clinic. Below, we look at some of the benefits of seeing a dental hygienist.

Health benefits

The most important aspect of hygienist appointments is for the health of your teeth and gums. In addition to offering advice about your lifestyle and how it may affect your oral health, they may also make suggestions as to how you might improve this. Even simple tips, such as how to floss your teeth, can make a big difference to your oral health. In addition to this, hygienists will regularly scale and polish your teeth and gum line. This removes any hardened bacterial deposits, known as tartar, which regular brushing and flossing can’t. The procedure itself is not particularly unpleasant and no local anaesthetic is necessary.

Children too can benefit from these appointments, and the non parental advice offered can help them to improve the way they look after their teeth and to understand the role that a low sugar diet can play in keeping their teeth in good condition.

Cosmetic benefits

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Posted in Hygienist

Treating A Chipped Tooth

Even a small chip should be examined by your Streatham dentist.

If a patient breaks a tooth, causing the loss of a significant part of it, they are almost certain to make an appointment to have it examined. In some cases, they may even make an emergency dental appointment if they are in some discomfort.

Where the damage only amounts to a small chip being broken off the tooth though, there can be a temptation to leave it until the next appointment here at your Confidental dentists in Streatham. We would recommend that our patients don’t do this, as a chipped tooth can allow destructive bacteria to enter, possibly leading to tooth decay and even root canal infection.

Restoration

Even where a chip is very small, it is usually wise to restore the tooth as sharp edges can prove uncomfortable and may cut the soft tissues of the mouth. Small chips such as this can often be restored by using a composite resin which is added to the tooth and shaped to give it a natural appearance. Composite however, is not the strongest material and is more likely to be used on teeth that are not subjected to lots of pressure when eating.

Where a larger chip has occurred, or where it has affected a tooth that is used for chewing, other options are available which provide a longer lasting and stronger solution.

Crowns and veneers

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Posted in Advice

Don’t Ignore Early Signs Of Dental Problems

Neglect may result in emergency dental care

If we break a tooth or are struck by a searing toothache, it is almost certain that most of us would arrange an appointment with our local dentist as soon as we possibly could.

Where problems are less obvious, or are not causing too much distress though, it can be tempting to ignore it, perhaps in the hope that the problem will go away.

Unfortunately, as we have seen too many times at our Streatham dental surgery, this almost never happens, and, what started out as a minor problem that could easily have been corrected, soon becomes a major issue that requires invasive dental surgery, possibly even including a tooth extraction.

Avoid a ‘head in the sand’ approach

Whilst very few people actually enjoy the thought of a visit to the dentist; making sure that you do so when you notice a minor problem is likely to mean that any treatment that you might need will be relatively minor. The friendly team at the Confidental Clinic will always do their best to make all visits as comfortable and relaxing as possible. Choosing to wait until your problem is more severe is simply taking a ‘head in the sand’ approach to dental care, and one that rarely pays off.

Treatments

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Posted in Advice