Your End Of Year Dental Quiz!

A little festive fun to see how much our Wickford patients have learned about their oral health this year.

As this will almost certainly be the last Cygnet Dental Practice blog until 2019, we thought that we would have a little change, and, rather than provide further insight into oral health issues, we would see how much you have learned so far. This is, of course, just for fun and there are no prizes other than perhaps serving as a reminder about how you can care better for your oral health. After all, a great looking smile is a real winner.

So, without further ado, here are your questions, with the answers at the bottom of the page … no cheating please 🙂

  1. How long does the Six Month Smiles orthodontic system take to work?
  2. What is the sometimes ‘controversial’ material used in amalgam fillings?
  3. Name the disease that can very occasionally occur in patients that have dental implants placed, and which can cause them to fail.
  4. What is it called when there is a gap between the front teeth?
  5. Why are fruits, such as oranges and lemons, potentially harmful for your teeth?
  6. Why do teeth discolour specifically with age?
  7. Aside from leaving a gap, name the three available options for replacing a missing tooth
  8. Name the dental instrument that we use for removing a fine layer of enamel from your teeth when dental veneers are being fitted
  9. How long, after eating, should you leave before cleaning your teeth?
  10. When should you change your toothbrush?


  1. OK .. perhaps it was a bit mean starting with a trick question, but the Six Month Smiles orthodontic system CAN take six months to work, but it can also take less or more time, depending on your own individual situation. The name comes from an approximate average of the time taken to straighten teeth with this system.
  2. The answer is mercury. This is a toxic substance generally, but has been deemed safe for use in amalgam fillings. Steps are being taken, Europe wide, to reduce its use though, due to environmental concerns. Anyone seeking a more natural looking filling can have a tooth coloured filling at our Wickford dental practice.
  3. The answer is peri-implantitis. This is very similar to periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease. Whilst anyone can have periodontitis if they don’t take care of their gums, only those with dental implants can suffer from peri-implantitis.
  4. This is a diastema. It can be closed using orthodontics, and, in some situations, even dental veneers can be used to rectify it.
  5. Both of these fruits are highly acidic and will damage the enamel of your teeth if eaten too regularly. Like most things, eating them in moderation should be OK, but if, for example, you drink a ‘healthy’ morning drink such as hot water and lemon, you could be causing enamel erosion on a daily basis without even being aware of it.
  6. Whilst some foods and drinks can stain the surface of our teeth, it is internal staining that is more difficult to remove. Ageing is a significant factor in this as the dentin layer beneath the enamel starts to darken as we get older. This darker colour then shows through the enamel, making our teeth look discoloured.
  7. The available options are a) dentures, either partial or a full arch b) a dental bridge and c) dental implants
  8. A dental burr is the instrument used. This in effect, ‘shaves’ off a fine layer of the compromised enamel and allows an equivalent thickness of porcelain, in the shape of a dental veneer, to be attached to replace it.
  9. If you read our last blog, you will remember this. The answer is approximately half an hour. Although it may be tempting to brush your teeth straight away to freshen your mouth, the enamel is slightly softer immediately after eating and this makes erosion more likely. Allowing around half an hour before brushing allows time for your teeth to remineralise and be more protected.
  10. You should change your toothbrush, or the head of an electric one, every three months or so. Worn bristles are less effective at removing plaque from your teeth and gum line. Irrespective of how old your brush is, you should also replace it following a viral infection to prevent becoming reinfected.

We hope that you enjoyed this quiz and perhaps even reminded yourself about some ways to improve how you look after your teeth. From all at the Cygnet Dental Practice, we wish all of our patients from Wickford, Basildon, South Woodham, Runwell, Shotgate and any other nearby locations, a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year and we look forward to seeing you again in 2019.