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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Helping our Streatham patients regain confidence in their smile.
We hope that you have all had a good Christmas and New Year and are looking forward to the year ahead. No doubt, we will be writing more blogs advising you on how to look after your teeth, but, in today’s blog, we take a look at a cosmetic dental treatment that is especially popular at this time of the year.
The new year is a good time to make some changes in our lives. In most cases, these are often relatively small changes, but ones that make our lives better. At the Confidental Clinic, we often see an increase in the number of patients seeking cosmetic dentistry and many of them will be interested in having whiter teeth. Having your teeth whitened is one of the most straightforward ways of giving your appearance a boost and discoloured or stained teeth can be a thing of the past thanks to our professional home whitening kits.
Unlike whitening kits which can be bought at the chemists, or even online; these are specifically designed for each patient, making the procedure both more effective, but also safer, as the custom made trays minimise any risk of the bleaching agent leaking onto the soft tissues of the mouth. This can cause unsightly and painful burns.
How effective are they?
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How this stocking filler can help keep your teeth and gums healthy (plus other Christmas tips!)
If you are struggling for last minute Christmas present stocking filler ideas, you could do worse than consider an electric toothbrush.
Whilst a manual brush is reasonably effective, many dentists now prefer patients to use an electric toothbrush.
At the Confidental Clinic in Streatham, we feel that there are two particular advantages to be gained by using these.
Firstly, these are especially good for children who tend to be more willing to brush their teeth with an electric brush. They require less ‘elbow grease’ and generally feel more fun for kids. This could help them to clean their teeth much better.
Secondly, many of us brush too hard, albeit with the best of intentions. This can not only damage the enamel of our teeth but may also cause gum recession. Many electric toothbrushes now have a pressure sensor to stop you pressing too hard.
Whether you have an electric or manual brush though, make sure that the bristles are no older than three months, and replace the brush or head if they are.
Other Christmas ideas
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Our team of friendly Streatham dentists will help to put you at ease.
Dental anxiety is relatively common, with most patients exhibiting at least some minor symptoms such as increased heart rate or sweating.
For most patients, these symptoms might be unpleasant, but they accept the necessity of good care if they wish to avoid problems with their teeth.
For a small percentage of patients, their anxiety is so great that almost nothing would persuade them to enter a dentist’s surgery, or at least, not until they were in very severe pain from a toothache.
We are here to help
At the Confidental Clinic in Streatham, we are here to help you. Over the years, we have seen many anxious patients at our practice. For some, the anxiety is so great that they break out in a sweat, even when they know that they will not have a procedure that day, such as during their six monthly NHS dental check up.
If we are realistic and accept that dental treatment is not perhaps the most pleasant experience, then we need to look at why we still need to face our anxieties and keep our appointments. The fact is that our oral health is important, and problems such as gum disease are also increasingly being linked with other serious illnesses such as heart disease, strokes and Alzheimer’s. It makes sense therefore to face our fears in order to keep our teeth and gums healthy.
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With snow and black ice widespread, the risk of accidents is increasing.
Although the snow looks beautiful when it settles on the landscape, it can present many difficulties for a lot of people. It is often not the snow itself that causes accidents, but the icy temperatures that follow, freezing the roads and pavements where the snow has already melted. When these conditions exist, falls are much more common.
Unlike when we fall, under more or less normal circumstances, a fall on ice can happen so quickly and so uncontrolled that we simply don’t have time to put our arms out to protect ourselves from a heavy fall. This can mean that the face can receive a heavy blow if we are unlucky.
Are you OK?
If you do suffer a fall where you receive a blow to the face or head, you should first ask yourself if you are OK. You should never take a chance if you have received this type of injury. Any dizziness or other similar symptoms, such as blurred vision, means that you should have yourself checked at the nearest A&E before you do anything else.
If you have received a blow to the mouth, and all else is well, then, even if you don’t appear to have lost or broken a tooth, you should make an emergency dental appointment at our Streatham practice. Our experienced team are aware of the type of injuries that can be received in this way and will make a thorough check of your mouth, using x-rays where we feel this to be appropriate.
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What are your options when a front tooth breaks?
Because they are the most exposed, our front teeth are the most vulnerable when it comes to damage through accidents. If you play sports, you may wish to consider wearing a mouth guard, for the duration, to minimise this risk. Unfortunately, many accidents happen away from sports activities and can occur at any time; for example, with winter coming, the chances of falls from slipping on ice are a real possibility.
If you do break a front tooth, you will want to have this treated as soon as possible, and the dentists at the Confidental Clinic are here to help you to do just that.
Before we discuss the different types of restoration, it is important to say that you should call us to see an emergency dentist as soon after the accident as you possibly can. We will always try to see you the same day where at all possible, and an early phone call will help us to achieve this.
You should also consider whether you need to visit the A&E at your local hospital in instances where head trauma may have been involved.
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Early intervention and adult braces.
In an ideal world, we would all have perfectly white, and perfectly straight and healthy teeth. As we know, it very rarely works out this way and most of us will have teeth that are discoloured and, to some degree, uneven.
There are many good reasons to want to have straighter teeth, including ease of cleaning, but it is probably fair to say that, for the majority of people, it is about the way that they look.
With the wide range of almost invisible braces now available at our Streatham dental practice, it is now possible to have teeth straightened both comfortable and discreetly. Today, we take a look at the various ages when orthodontic treatment might be considered.
Although it may seem a little premature, we generally recommend that children are evaluated for orthodontic treatment at around 7 years old. Whilst any treatment at this age is unlikely, it is useful to anticipate any orthodontic problems that may lie ahead. In rare cases, where poor teeth alignment is causing difficulties with eating or speaking, early treatment may be considered.
The teenage years
With more and more children having their teeth straightened, the stigma that once surrounded this treatment has started to disappear. In addition to this, dental braces are now more refined and less visible than they used to be. By the early teens, and often before, a child will have all of their adult teeth and the jaw will be sufficiently strong enough for orthodontics to be used. This is a good time to correct the alignment of the teeth, enabling them to enter adult life with great looking teeth.
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Smelly breath in the morning, and what you can do about it.
If your partner turns the other way when you try to kiss them in the morning, and even your children hide when they see you approaching, you may have to acknowledge that your breath may not be as sweet smelling as you think.
This is not an uncommon problem, but is one that can be quite unpleasant to those in your nearby environment.
Bad breath can happen at any time of the day, but mornings are more common. Our helpful Streatham dentist explains why this is the case.
Whilst other factors will come into play, and we will discuss these later, it is saliva flow that is critical in how our breath smells. A healthy saliva flow means that much of the ‘bad’ bacteria that produces the gases that smell, are washed away, even whilst we sleep. It is always a good idea to make sure that you are well hydrated before going to bed, especially if you have been drinking alcohol, and to keep a glass of water at the bedside.
Older people especially, may suffer from this, but even younger people may do so too. Occasionally, it can be caused by an illness or side effect of medication, but very often it is caused by things that are within our direct control.
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A look at how our teeth discolour over time and whether we can halt or slow down the process
It would not be unreasonable to think that, providing we look after our teeth well from childhood, there is no reason why our teeth should not stay white throughout our lives.
Unfortunately, it really isn’t this simple, and even if we clean our teeth well and avoid staining food and drinks, our teeth will still darken as we age.
In today’s blog, our Streatham dentists take a look at why teeth discolour, and what we can do to help slow down this process.
When we are young, our teeth tend to be whiter than when we are older. Even when children eat things, such as liquorice, which turns their teeth black, they will return to normal once brushed well. But even at this young age, if we neglect our teeth we can start the processes which discolour them faster than if we’d taken more care with our routine brushing and check-ups.
Predominantly, there are three reasons why our teeth get darker as we get older.
We will take a look at deeper surface staining in a minute, but it is fair to say that some food and drink products do stain teeth by sticking to the surface. The tar from cigarette smoke will also do this and leave the teeth looking yellow. Generally speaking, this type of staining can often be removed both by better brushing at home, along with a scale and polish procedure by the hygienist at the Confidental dentist in Streatham.
Deeper surface staining
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