Looking After Your Teeth At University

Young people with nice smiles

Don’t let hard work and too much fun ruin a healthy mouth!

It’s that time of the year when many students will be going to university for the first time, possibly promising their parents that they will be good and won’t do anything that their parents wouldn’t!

Of course, no parent really believes this even if they want to hear it, and going to university, especially away from your home town, can be a great and life building experience.

In all the excitement and initial confusion of finding your way initially, it can be all too easy to forget some of the basic things that we do at home, and some standards may slip a little as we find our way into a new world.

We hope that any of our younger patients from the Wickford and Rayleigh area that are starting university will remember to look after their teeth and gums, but just in case, here is a reminder of some of the potential pitfalls to look out for.

Basic oral health care

Above everything else, make sure to brush and floss your teeth well on a daily basis. Hopefully you do this at home and will continue to do so at university. We know that there are likely to be times when social events mean that this might be more difficult, but you should make sure to find those few minutes each day to do so.

Toothbrushes

We have mentioned before about keeping your toothbrush renewed every few months to keep the bristles healthy and effective. Whatever you do though, if you attend a party and stay over the night, please don’t share anyone’s toothbrush, however well you feel that you know them. This is a very risky thing to do and can lead to problems like gum disease and even more serious viral infections. If you don’t have access to a toothbrush, use some rough tissue paper, or even just your finger rather than share a brush. Make sure that you return to you regular cleaning regimen as soon as possible.

Alcohol

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Sensitive Teeth – Causes And Solutions

Teeth pain

Advice for our Wickford patients who suffer from this uncomfortable problem.

Although most of us probably associate dental pain with a toothache, for thousands of people, a usually less intense form of discomfort in the form of sensitivity, is a more common problem.

Patients who suffer from sensitive teeth often find it difficult to consume very hot or cold food and drinks. At the more severe end, even opening the mouth on a cold day can cause significant discomfort.

This problem isn’t inevitable, and even if you do suffer from it, there are solutions available at the Cygnet Dental Practice that can help to restore your teeth to a more comfortable state.

Causes and treatment of sensitive teeth

There are three main issues that might lead to sensitive teeth. There are others too, but these are the most common ones that we tend to see at our Wickford practice.

Cracked teeth

This is one of the more serious potential reasons for teeth that are sensitive to extremes of temperature. Not only is this problem in itself uncomfortable, but it will almost certainly lead to tooth decay or possibly breaking of the tooth unless it is treated. Especially if you notice this occurring in an individual tooth, or you are aware of it being affected by a blow to the mouth, do make sure that you ask one of our dentists to examine it as soon as you possibly can. Not only will this help us to stop the sensitivity but prompt treatment will also help prevent further deterioration of the tooth.

Treatment

If the tooth is cracked, it is likely that this will need to be filled. A surface crack may be sealed using a composite material, but where the crack is deeper, and especially where the dentin layer of the tooth is affected, a deeper filling may well be necessary. There is no need for concern about this being visible if it affects a front tooth, as here at the Cygnet Dental Practice, we now have white dental fillings available for a great aesthetic result.

Receding gums

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Repeating A Dental Implant Procedure At A ‘Failed’ Site

A dental implant in the jaw

If an implant fails, can another be placed in the same area?

As with any dental or medical procedure, there is always at least an outside risk that it may not work as hoped. This applies to dental implants too, and although their success rate is very high, it isn’t unknown for them to fail and to either fall out or have to be removed because they are failing.

This can be a devastating blow to a patient who had set their hopes on having this popular and effective tooth replacement method and was looking forward to their new found confidence and ability to eat as they want.

In today’s Cygnet Dental Practice blog, we take a look at the possibility of repeating this procedure where the initial implant placement was unsuccessful.

Why do implants fail?

Before we look at whether a ‘repeat’ procedure is possible, it is worth looking at why not all dental implant placements are successful. In the early days, this was a relatively unknown procedure and the technology was not as developed as it is now. Because of this, implant failure would have been more common. With modern 3D imaging and scanning, along with the availability of more refined tools and implants, this procedure is rarely unsuccessful when it is performed by an experienced implant dentist.

There are a few main areas where implant failure may be more likely to occur.

The first of these is where a ‘cheap dental implant’ offer is taken up without due diligence. Simply trusting a random advertisement without investigating further is asking for potential trouble. We have covered this is more detail in a previous blog but, briefly, it can be difficult to ascertain the level of skills and experience where procedures are carried out abroad. There is also a risk that a few corners may have been cut to save money. One area in particular that can affect the outcome, is where cheaper and inferior implants are used. These may bond less well with the bone and subsequently fail.

Another area is where the patient has failed to follow the guidelines for looking after their new implant, especially in the first three month period where the implant and bone start to bond. General poor oral hygiene and continuing habits such as smoking, against the dentist’s advice, mean that dental implant failure is significantly higher.

Very occasionally, a person may simply reject an implant but fortunately these failures are quite rare.

Repeating the implant procedure

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Dental Care Is Not Expensive When Compared To The Cost Of Neglecting Your Teeth

Cygnet Dental Wickford Logo

Affordable tooth care at our Wickford dental practice

Many of our blogs focus on damage and potential harm to your teeth, often associating it with the pain and discomfort that can be experienced. This is obviously the main reason why our Cygnet Dental Practice patients should try to keep their teeth as strong and healthy as possible. But there is another factor – cost.

It isn’t unusual for people to tell us that treatment is expensive. We actually don’t think that it is for the value that people get, but we do understand that it can have an impact on your personal budget. The fact is though, that in most cases and accidents aside, much of the treatment needed is down to patients not looking after their teeth as well as they could have.

Preventative vs Restorative

Using our prices at the date of this blog, if we take a look at the comparative costs, we can see that a private examination is around £45 and an NHS one £22.50. Add to this, the cost of seeing a hygienist every six months for a scale and polish and you will be spending somewhere in the region of between £100 and £200 per year on preventative dental care. All in all, we think that this is a small price to pay for healthy teeth and gums.

If we take for example, someone who perhaps doesn’t look after their teeth quite as well as they should, and has say two fillings done during the year, on top of check ups and hygienist appointments you could be adding an extra £125 to £150 to your dental costs. Remember that these are for relatively minor treatments and there is no guarantee that if you neglect your teeth, this is all you will need. More significant treatment such as a root canal procedure and say a single tooth extraction, could add in the region of £300 upwards, on top of examinations and hygiene cleans.

The point we are making is not that having dental treatment at our Wickford dental surgery is expensive, but that this type of cost is largely avoidable if you take a conscious decision to take better care of your teeth.

Taking personal responsibility

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White Spots On The Teeth – What Does This Mean?

Dr Suky Ghuman

Dr Suky Ghuman explains what causes this and how to treat it.

Tooth discolouration is common, especially in those who eat or drink teeth staining foods and drinks, and also in older patients as the teeth start to yellow with age.

Understandably, many patients who suffer from this will come to the Cygnet Dental Practice to have their teeth whitened to alleviate the problem.

There is also another condition which causes patients to feel unhappy about the appearance of their teeth, and that is when the surface enamel appears to have a number of ‘white spots’ on them. This can be caused by a number of things, which we will take a look at now.

Causes of white spots on your teeth

Some of the causes of this particular problem are preventable, while others are not. Some are specific to young children, whilst others can happen at any time in our lives. Below are some of the most common causes of this problem.

Fluorosis

This specifically occurs in young children whose teeth are developing. It is not harmful to the teeth but it does leave them looking an uneven colour. By and large, this is preventable and reversible as it is caused by exposure to too much fluoride when they brush their teeth. Whilst using a toothpaste that contains fluoride is a good thing, it is important that they don’t use too much of it as this can lead to uneven discolouration of the tooth enamel.

For babies and toddlers, you only need to use the smallest smear on the toothbrush. For young children, an amount roughly equivalent to the size of a pea is ideal.

Demineralisation

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Your Local Wickford And Rayleigh NHS Dentists

Big family of people

Essential dental care from the Cygnet Dental Practice.

Although more and more people are focussed on cosmetic dental procedures to improve their smile, it is important not to forget that even the nicest looking teeth should be healthy teeth too.

Whilst a wider range of treatments are available for private patients, we still believe that good quality dental care should be available for all, and not dependent on their financial situation. With this in mind, we are pleased to be able to take on new NHS patients at our Wickford practice.

Due to budgetary restrictions for NHS patients, the procedures that are available fall predominantly into the ‘essential’ category. All cosmetic treatments, with the occasional exception of dental implants in certain, but rare, circumstances, are not included in the NHS treatments and will have to be paid for privately. Where patients wish to have treatments such as veneers or teeth whitening, we are able to offer payment plans to help you to spread the cost.

Essential family dental care

NHS dental treatments are designed to enable all family members to have dental treatments that are designed to keep their teeth and gums in good health. It also includes regular check ups which are an important part of everyone’s regular oral care regimen.

The main categories of treatments available are:

Fillings

NHS fillings are of the darker amalgam variety. Anyone wishing to have a tooth coloured filling will be required to pay for this privately.

Extractions

All necessary extractions are available on the NHS.

X-rays

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The Electric Toothbrush – A Winner

Dentist doing examination

New study finds that electric toothbrushes are better for your teeth and gums than a manual one.

An eleven year long study has concluded that those who use an electric toothbrush are less likely to have tooth decay and gum disease, and are likely to keep most of their teeth for longer.

This has been considered to be likely for some time by many dentists, but this study now provides evidence that this is the case.

We know that there are still many of our Cygnet Dental Practice patients who currently use a manual toothbrush, probably simply out of habit, so we thought that we would take a look in today’s blog, at why you might now consider changing.

Plaque removal

The key to keeping teeth healthy is to control the amount of plaque that collects on the teeth and the gum line. This plaque causes damage to the enamel on the teeth, making them considerably more vulnerable to tooth decay than those with strong and healthy enamel. The bacteria can also contribute to gum infections like gingivitis and periodontitis, the latter potentially leading to eventual tooth loss.

Whilst a manual toothbrush can remove much of the plaque, it has been shown that electric toothbrushes are much better at this, especially those with oscillating heads which rotate in both directions.

Gum recession

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Should Children Floss Their Teeth?

teeth and gum cleaning

Encouraging the next generation towards a healthier mouth.

The number of adults using dental floss on their own teeth is only around 20%. Unfortunately this is far too low and means that around 80% of us are exposing ourselves to a higher risk of dental issues, including periodontal diseases. It is never too late to start flossing though, and even though some damage may have already been done, it will help to reduce the future risk.

We have also been asked a few times about children, and whether they should use dental floss. The straightforward answer to this is ‘yes’ they should. That is a simple position perhaps, but food and bacteria that gets stuck will damage young teeth just as much as older ones. In addition to this, we believe that  our younger Wickford dental patients will benefit greatly from starting this early and will hopefully continue to do so throughout their adult life.

Be a good role model

The first thing that we would say to anyone who asks this question is to be a good role model for your child. The vast majority of us are aware of this in our daily lives, perhaps making sure to hold doors open, say ‘thank you’ and generally being pleasant to people, partially in the hope that these habits will be picked up by our children.

The same thing should apply when it comes to your own oral care. If, for example, your young child hears you say that you can’t be bothered to clean your teeth because you are too tired, there is every chance that they will use this excuse too. Similarly, they will often pick up on the way that you clean your teeth. If they never see you use dental floss, then they are unlikely to do so themselves.

Especially when children are very young, it is a good idea to brush your teeth at the same time as them. By doing so, they will be able to observe the correct way to do it. If you are not sure about this yourself, you might find it useful to have a chat with our friendly hygienist who can offer advice on the best way to do this.

But what about flossing?

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Getting Married? Here’s How We Can Help Make Your Special Day, Extra Special!

Invisalign braces

Wickford dentist, Dr Krupa Thakrar looks at how a smile makeover can help provide long lasting memories.

Getting married is a major event for most people. It can be incredibly stressful for those doing the planning and also an expensive event too, with even a relatively simple wedding costing several thousands of pounds.

In the middle of being very busy and probably quite anxious about getting things right, some things sometimes get put aside that could actually make a real difference to your wedding day.

We may sometimes spend a lot of time paying attention to small details such as the seating name labels, but often forget ourselves in the middle of all this.

Memories will be important

Although your wedding may seem to fly by on the day, you will almost certainly be looking at photographs of the big day for many years to come. You will probably have spent a small fortune on your dress, makeup and hairstyle etc, but will you have forgotten how important a fantastic smile is on your wedding photos, especially as they are likely to be widely shared on social media platforms?

If your smile has ‘flaws’ such as crookedness or discolouration, this will be immortalised forever when you look back at your photographs and wedding videos. It doesn’t have to be this way though, and the Cygnet Dental Practice can offer you a selection of cosmetic dental procedures that can really give you a wedding ready smile.

For the purposes of this blog, we will presume that all of your visible teeth, when you smile, are present. If they are not, please talk to us about replacement options including dentures and dental implants. Both of these will successfully cosmetically and functionally replace missing teeth, though dental implants do offer a more secure solution.

Unsightly Crooked teeth

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How You Can Minimise Your Risk Of Oral Cancer

Wickford Principal Dentist Dr Pabari

A Wickford Dentist looks at this serious and growing problem.

We occasionally get asked by patients to give guidance and advice on the subject of oral cancer. In particular, how to minimise the risk of being diagnosed with it.

Oral cancer is defined as including cancer of the lips, tongue, cheeks, bottom of the mouth, both soft and hard palates, sinuses, and throat – and it can be life-threatening if not identified and treated early.

According to Cancer Research, one in 55 males and one in 108 females in the UK will be diagnosed in their lifetime, although the charity also highlights that 46% of cases in the UK are preventable.

The leading dentists at our practice have put together hints and tips, to ensure that patients and blog readers are better informed about the main risks and how to minimise them in everyday life.

What are the main causes of oral cancer?

According to the NHS, the main causes in the UK are alcohol and tobacco. This is due to the carcinogenic impact of both substances, which means that they contain certain chemicals that damage the DNA in cells, increasing the risk.

How common is oral cancer in the UK?

NHS statistics indicate that around 6,800 people are diagnosed with some kind of oral cancer annually in the UK, which is roughly 2% of all the cancers officially diagnosed. Furthermore, most of these cases in the UK occur in older adults aged between 50-74, according to research and figures from the NHS.

What are the risk factors that can increase the chances?

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