Some speculation about whether NHS dentistry will be a beneficiary from this money.
Leaving aside the contentious ‘Brexit dividend’, the additional money granted to the NHS on it’s 70th birthday is to be welcomed.
Although some argue that this less than makes up for lost revenue for the ‘capped’ years, it should certainly help to improve the current situation.
Although the details may not be known for some time, we thought that we would look at how this money may, or may not, benefit our Streatham NHS dental patients.
Will NHS dentistry benefit?
The details are not yet fully known how this money will be spent, but the focus, so far, has been on hospitals. The bad press about waiting times and delayed treatment are probably the issues that will be addressed first. Like all dentists that provide NHS care, we hope that it will also allow patients better access to essential dental care, but the decision is still not clear.
Will it keep NHS prices down?
We can only guess, but we doubt that patients will see a reduction in prices, although it is possible that some may be frozen. Some suggest that it is probably more likely that any money spent on NHS dental care will be used to enable more people to access it. In some areas, this is very difficult and we suspect that this may be the main focus of any improvements, but again no one is sure just yet.
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The hectic lifestyle of many workers now means that we often follow bad habits for our teeth.
Whether you are an office worker, or rushing around on your bike to make deliveries, the chances are that you very rarely get the chance to sit down to eat a leisurely meal during your lunch break.
In fact, although these were once commonplace, many workers now sit at their desk and eat whilst working. For some, this may be a choice and allow them to leave earlier whilst for others this may be a necessity due to employment arrangements.
If you live your working day this way, as many of us do, then there is every chance that you are eating and drinking in a way that is unhealthy for your teeth and gums. It may take a little extra effort to correct this, but our Streatham dental team have put a few suggestions together to help you to get through your working day without damaging your teeth.
Don’t reach for the highly acidic and sugar filled soft drinks. Water will quench your thirst much faster and causes no damage to your teeth. In fact, hydration is an important factor in good oral health care, both to wash away food debris and minimise the risk of gum disease.
Plan your snacks
Feeling peckish in the morning, perhaps because you skipped breakfast? If so, most of us will reach for the first thing available to satisfy our hunger. If we pop in to the local shop, there is every chance that this will be something very sweet. Mornings can be a rush, especially if you have young children too; so try to pack your snacks the night before, taking such things as cheese, nuts and perhaps some healthy crunchy sliced vegetable too.
Sugar free gum
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Could science help us to rebuild damaged tooth enamel in the not too far off future?
Every now and then a ‘good news’ dental story makes the news. One recent one is the claim that scientists have discovered a method that could regenerate the enamel on our teeth. They claim that this could both help to prevent tooth decay and sensitive teeth caused by damaged enamel. Researchers now claim that they have found a way to grow mineralised material that could pave the way for enamel to be regenerated in the future.
This is, without a doubt, an exciting possibility, but the time from research to practical application can be lengthy and we would advise our patients to look after their tooth enamel as best as they can, as this new process could be many years away, if at all.
What damages enamel?
At the Confidental Clinic in Streatham, we see damaged enamel caused by a number of different factors. The most obvious one of these is that caused by eating sweets or sugary drinks. The latter have been heavily blamed for tooth decay in children especially.
Whilst we might expect sugary drinks to be one of the leading causes of damage, it certainly isn’t the only one, and two of the other most common ones may come as a surprise to some of our patients.
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How the modern dentures offered at our Streatham practice now offer a better patient experience.
Dentures are one of those things that crop up from time to time in cartoons. Usually someone sneezes and the dentures fly across the room. As with many humorous topics, this is, of course, exaggerated, but most of us probably know someone who has dentures that occasionally work loose.
This does not mean though, that dentures are a thing of the past; far from it. Despite the advent of other options, dentures are still the most popular means of replacing a missing tooth. The good news too is that modern dentures offer a greater degree of stability and comfort than older types.
Types of dentures
Dentures come in a number of styles and some of these may be more suitable than others for specific situations, and an examination at our Streatham dental clinic will enable us to offer you the best option for your own particular needs. Acrylic dentures are one of the most widely used and are very cost effective. These are made in a shade that matches your natural teeth and gums and may have additional clips to help aid stability.
Cobalt chrome dentures offer a superior quality to the above and use a metal frame to provide the extra strength that makes these a popular choice. The metal will not be visible when you wear them, making them very discreet.
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Helping the nation to have healthier teeth and gums.
From the 14th May to 14th June is National Smile Month and across the country there are educational events encouraging people to take better care of their oral health.
The aim is not just to help people to avoid toothache, but to understand why it is important to look after your mouth for better overall health too. A number of studies have found links between gum disease and problems such as heart disease and an increased number of strokes.
At the Confidental Clinic in Streatham, we would also like to take the opportunity to help our patients achieve an improvement in their oral health care, and, in today’s blog, we look at some ways that you can do that.
For some people, losing an adult tooth is something that they expect to happen every now and then. Barring accidents though, there is no reason why you should not have healthy adult teeth throughout your life. It is true that, as we get older, the challenge may become greater, but with good home and professional care, it is more than possible to not lose a single tooth.
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And other Summer challenges to our teeth…..
The recent (short!) hot spell of weather will probably have reminded some of us of what Summer could be like if we are lucky. Our habits tend to change as the weather warms up, and whilst this can be pleasurable, it can also throw up a few challenges to our oral health.
It appears that, in recent years, the British have followed our Australian cousins in their love of barbecues and cold beer. These are obviously great fun, but there are a few dental challenges arise when we hold this type of event. Very often, any sauce used in barbecues is of the sticky variety and these sweet, sticky sauces that are high in sugar, can stick to our teeth for quite some time. It is especially important that you clean your teeth well if you have eaten this type of food, also using dental floss to remove any food that has become stuck between your teeth.
Cold beer will often be used to wash down the food but this also brings a number of potential problems:
Sugar – Many beers are high in sugar. This increases the risk of decay so make sure to clean your teeth well.
Dehydration – Drink plenty of water before going to bed. Dehydration increases the likelihood of gum disease as bacteria thrive in a warm dry environment such as a dry mouth.
Accidents – Unfortunately, alcohol consumption sometimes leads to accidents that could otherwise have been avoided. If this happens to you and a tooth is damaged, please call our Streatham dental practice to have it examined as soon as possible.
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How our Streatham patients can achieve whiter looking teeth by following a few simple rules.
Almost everyone would love to have teeth that are both even and white. This is achievable for most of us, with the help of some of the cosmetic dental procedures that we have available at our Streatham practice. Just taking some simple steps though, can help us on our way to having brighter, whiter teeth and most of these are things that can be easily fitted into our daily life at little inconvenience to ourselves.
To have really great looking white teeth, you may need to have a teeth whitening procedure at the Confidental Clinic. This is a non invasive and perfectly safe procedure, and we will be pleased to discuss this with you if you’d like more information about this popular cosmetic treatment.
In the meantime, here are our four ‘top tips’ to keep your teeth as white and bright as possible without the need for treatment.
Keep them clean!
We shouldn’t really need to say this, but, as well as removing bacteria and acids from the tooth surface, brushing your teeth will also remove some of the surface staining that you accumulate during the day. Make sure to brush correctly and don’t ‘scrub’ your teeth as this can cause damage to the enamel.
Smoking is harmful for many aspects of our health, including that of our mouth and gums. The tar in cigarettes is also very sticky and will stick to your teeth. It usually isn’t hard to spot a long term smoker by the yellow, or brown, colour of their teeth.
Cut down on tea and coffee
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With the ever expanding range of ‘targeted’ toothpastes available, it’s hardly surprising.
Anyone old enough to remember the time when buying toothpaste meant choosing between a handful of brands would be thoroughly confused if they looked at the range of toothpastes currently available on supermarket shelves. Whilst some traditional brands remain, even these have branched out into producing a wide selection of toothpastes designed to target specific dental problems.
Although choice is generally a good thing, it can also be very confusing for our Streatham patients who just want a toothpaste that works!
Below, we look at three examples of ‘targeted’ toothpastes and a general look at their use.
These are one of the most popular types of this new breed of toothpastes, but do they work? In the opinion of the team at the Confidental Clinic, we feel that you are unlikely to see any dramatic improvements in the colour of your teeth. The quantity of whitening ingredient allowed in these products is very restricted and are likely to produce only minimal improvements. They may help in extending the lifespan of a professional whitening treatment however. Do be careful though, some of these may remove surface staining by adding additional abrasives to the paste. This may lead to eroded enamel on your teeth if brushing is too vigorous.
Gum disease toothpastes
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A staggering number of young children are having teeth extracted, is your child at risk?
Report after report, in 2018, has indicated an ‘epidemic’ in tooth decay amongst children. At our Streatham dentists, we know that there is simply no need for this problem, and certainly not on the scale being reported. Our children’s dentists are here to help you to avoid the suffering of seeing your child in pain with toothache.
Looking at those under the age of 18, around 40,000 teeth had to be extracted between 2016 and 2017. This is an increase of around 20% from figures for 2012/13. Whilst older children would have been able to have the teeth extracted at a dental practice, younger patients would often have needed to have a general anaesthetic at a hospital to have theirs out.
Sometimes, of course, it is necessary to remove a tooth from a child’s mouth. Valid examples would include where there is overcrowding or where wisdom teeth have become impacted and these types of extractions are performed to enable the child to have a healthier mouth. Although decayed and rotten teeth do need to be removed, this is something that we would hope to see much less of. This type of problem can usually be reduced with a few improvements to diet and improved general care of teeth and gums.
The most obvious way to reduce decay in children is to cut down their sugar intake. Sugary, fizzy drinks are especially problematic here and should be reserved for special occasions only. Encourage your child to drink through a straw too, in order to reduce the contact of sugar on their teeth.
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How we can help to restore the smile of Streatham patients who have poor quality teeth.
Through good personal oral care and regular attendance at the dentist, the chances of maintaining strong teeth and healthy gums are increased. However, this is not always the case and unfortunately some people do neglect their teeth whereas others have a genetic make-up which leaves them more prone to dental issues. Consequently it isn’t hard to see why some people find that, by their late twenties and onwards, their teeth are letting them down badly, both aesthetically and functionally.
At the Confidental Clinic in Streatham, we would like to assure all of our patients, both present and future, that we do not judge our patients, especially for past habits which may have caused any problems. Our role is in helping you to restore your teeth to a level where they function properly and no longer cause embarrassment when you smile.
Restoring very poor teeth
Patients who attend our practice in this situation may need to be prepared for a number of visits to enable us to significantly improve their teeth. We will always try to find the least invasive way possible to restore them where possible and before any treatment can start, you will need to arrange a consultation with one of our dentists. They will thoroughly examine your teeth including taking x-rays to determine if there are any problems that are not visible below the gum line.
Although treatment will vary according to each patient’s circumstances, the following are potentially some of the ones that may be used.
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