Periodontal Problems And Their Impact On Our Lives

How we can improve our gum health care with just a little additional effort

root canal treatment the stepsLike many medical issues, a lot of dental problems could have been prevented by taking better care of ourselves. This isn’t always easy and some health issues can arise simply because of the type of work that we can do and situations that we find ourselves in. Some things may be largely out of our control but there is still a lot that we can do to help ourselves. This applies especially to dental care as what we eat and how we clean our teeth and gums is something that we can usually control as long as we remember to do so during our daily life.

Life these days can be busy and everything seems to be rushed. Unfortunately, for many people, this includes the way that they clean their teeth. A quick brush before bedtime and in the morning may freshen our mouths but is likely to be insufficient to keep our teeth and gums healthy. Our gums, in particular, are likely to suffer from this type of brushing and just a little more focus when we brush our teeth can make a big difference.

Brushing techniques

In addition to the ‘brush for two minutes’ guidelines, there are two simple things that can be done to make this part of our oral health regime much more effective. The first is to make sure that you have the right tools for the job. Take a look at your toothbrush. We would imagine that quite a few of you will be looking at a toothbrush that looks pretty worn out. As the bristles of a toothbrush become worn and softened, they are much less effective at removing food and bacteria. Make sure to replace your toothbrush every three months (or the head of an electric toothbrush).

Secondly, when you brush your teeth, don’t ‘flat brush’ them but make sure that you turn the bristles so that they reach beneath the gum line as well. This is an area where a lot of food particles and bacteria collect and neglecting it is likely to lead to decay and gum disease. It really isn’t hard to do and is just a case of getting into the habit to do this each time we brush.

Finally, and something we have discussed before; make sure to use dental floss to clean in the areas between the teeth. If you haven’t done this before, we think you will be surprised at how much debris this removes. You might find it a little tricky initially, but a little practice will find you doing this easily and routinely. If you do need help, there are numerous videos available online or you can ask the dental hygienist at our Wickford dental clinic to show you how to do this correctly.

Further protection

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Tooth Loss – Prevention And Replacement

How to reduce the chances of losing a tooth and what to do when it does happen

dental implant next to natural toothThe one thing we all dread will happen is that we will lose a tooth, especially if this is a visible one that will be noticeable when we smile or speak to others. Although there can be no guarantee against tooth loss as this can happen because of an accident, there is a lot that we can do to prevent it by making sure that we look after our teeth and gums well.

The Cygnet Dental Practice believes strongly in preventative dental care and, in addition to brushing and flossing on a daily basis, we believe that our Wickford patients should see both a dentist and a hygienist on a regular six monthly basis at least.

In today’s blog, we will remind patients how to keep their teeth for as long as possible and also, how we can help you if you do lose a tooth or a number of teeth.

Good oral care at home

Looking after your teeth involves a degree of taking responsibility ourselves. We all know that drinking too many high sugar drinks and eating too much sugary foods, such as sweets, is bad for our teeth and we would do well to cut down on those. We should also make sure that we brush our teeth twice a day, ensuring that our brush is still in good condition. We should also start to use floss for interdental cleaning, if we don’t already. It is important that we don’t neglect our gums when we clean too. Gum disease is responsible for a lot of tooth loss; a fact that may come as a surprise to some patients.

Professional care

Everyone should see a dentist every six months. This is important for detecting any problems at a relatively early stage and treating them appropriately. A small amount of decay that could have been restored with a small filling could lead to much more significant damage if left to advance. This could even cause a tooth to weaken and break beyond the point where it is possible to restore it. The same applies with seeing a hygienist. Most people should visit our Wickford hygienist every six months, and more often if you are at a higher risk of gum disease; being diabetic for example. This will enable your teeth to be professionally and thoroughly cleaned, reducing the risk of gum disease, and especially advanced gum disease which can lead to the loss of teeth.


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Minor Tooth Misalignment? See How Fast-Acting Braces Can Help!

A smile can be spoiled by quite small problems; fortunately there are some rapid solutions

Teeth braces in actionCrooked teeth are quite a widespread problem. They can cause all sorts of issues, from an incorrect bite that can lead to premature damage to teeth that overlap, creating a problem when cleaning and often leading to tooth decay.

For most people though, the most obvious issue with a crooked tooth is that, if it is one of the front teeth, it can really ruin what would otherwise be an attractive smile.

Understandably, people who are keen to have an attractive smile are reluctant to have dental braces, perhaps thinking of them in terms of ‘old school’ braces. These were traditionally made from a dark coloured metal and were highly visible. For these patients, it is often a case of finding the right solution that will straighten the affected tooth but in a less visible manner, and of course, as quickly as possible.

Cosmetic braces

‘Cosmetic braces’ is a general term for orthodontic devices that are designed for minor corrections where teeth have become crooked, or overlapping, usually at the front of the mouth. These teeth, sometimes known as the ‘social six’ due to their high visibility when we smile, are single rooted and therefore usually more easily corrected than the rear teeth which are double rooted. At the Cygnet Dental Practice in Wickford, we offer solutions to both of these problems, with the Invisalign system being most widely used for more significant corrections and the Six Month Smiles system for more cosmetic ones.

So, how do they do this? Unlike Invisalign which uses transparent trays that fit over your teeth, the Six Month Smiles system does use the more traditional method of wires and brackets. The advantage of this system for our patients is that the materials used are both less bulky and also made from a tooth coloured material. It is also a fast acting system and, although the name would indicate that the treatment takes six months, in itself quite fast for a teeth straightening treatment, it can in fact take much less time than that. The length of the treatment will depend on your situation and the dentist should be able to give you an indication of the treatment length during your consultation before the braces are fitted.

This treatment is designed to be as comfortable as possible, and in addition to their professional fitting by our dentist, it is worth noting that the Six Month Smiles system uses the minimum of pressure possible, making them more comfortable than some other types of orthodontics. It is important that teeth are not ‘forced’ into position too quickly by applying too much force as this could damage both the tooth and underlying bone structure.

How do I get this treatment?

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Emergency Dental Care

Our Wickford dentists will endeavour to see you as soon as possible when pain strikes

Teeth painIn today’s blog, we are going to take a look at dental emergencies; what they are and what you should do if you find yourself in that unfortunate situation. There are certainly quite a number of people who think that dental emergencies are only those where you are in very severe pain.

In fact, you may not even be in any discomfort at all for it to qualify as an ’emergency’, as we will explain a little later on.

At the Cygnet Dental Practice, we encourage our patients to attend their six monthly check ups. This will help to reduce the likelihood of urgent oral care being needed, but it won’t eliminate it altogether. Let us take a look then at what dental emergencies are and what you should do about them.

Painful emergencies

The most obvious type of emergency is when you are in a lot of pain. This could be from a toothache, a root canal infection or even an abscess. Equally you could have suffered a blow to the face, perhaps due to a fall, and damaged some teeth quite significantly. Naturally, if this should happen, you will want to see a dentist as soon as possible, and also, we want to see you as soon as we possibly can. Remember too that if you have received a blow to the head, you should have this checked at the A&E in case of any head injuries.

The most important thing that you should do is not delay contacting us. We ask that you call us as soon as you can, end especially as soon in the morning as you can during opening hours, and we will do our utmost to see you the same day. Where possible, we will give priority to emergencies of this sort and where this is not possible, we will be able to provide advice to help you keep as comfortable as you possibly can until we can see you for treatment.

Non painful emergencies

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Dental Empathy – Helping Nervous Patients

Contrary to what some might think, dentists do understand dental anxiety!

fear of the dentistSeeing nervous dental patients is part of our job. In fact, it is probably fair to say that the majority of patients that enter our Wickford dental practice, as with other practices in the country, have some level of anxiety about their visit.

This should be no surprise really. No-one is likely to claim that seeing a dentist, especially for a procedure, is great fun and it is not the reason that we exist. We are here to help you maintain a healthy mouth and teeth that allow you to eat comfortably, and increasingly, to help improve a patient’s smile.

It is quite possible that some patients think that dentists are ‘above it all’ and feel no empathy with the patient that is about to undergo a procedure. We can assure you that this is not true and at the Cygnet Dental Practice, we strongly believe in making our patients as comfortable as possible, both physically, and mentally.

The fact is that, although as fully trained dentists we understand the treatments in more depth than the patient, it is far from unusual to find a dentist that doesn’t have some level of anxiety about having treatment themselves.

Why are people scared of the dentist?

Some people are naturally more anxious than others, but even the calmest person might find their heart rate increasing and their palms becoming a little sweaty as they sit in the dental chair. There has been much research done into why this might be the case. It can only be generalised as everyone is different but there is a strong feeling that the main reason for this lies in the area of the body that is being treated.

For example, although you might not be overjoyed about it, the likelihood is that you wouldn’t have the same level of anxiety if it was your ankle that was being treated. The theory is that as this is nowhere near the part of your body where the main senses are located, you will be less aware of what is going on. Contrast that with even a straightforward dental filling and you can see that all the senses are likely to ‘kick in’ given how close they are to the procedure. You can hear the drill at close range, you can smell the aerosol spray from the drill, see the dentist at very close quarters and of course, your brain detects any discomfort or even unusual sensations that you might experience.

How can we help?

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Planning For Dental Implants In 2022

Could the new year be the time for you to discover a confident new smile?

Dental implant in placeAs we approach the end of this year with a degree of uncertainty, still hoping that we can get together as families for the Christmas festivities; some of us might be thinking further ahead into the new year; a time when we often look at ways of ‘renewing’ our lives.

In many cases, this will mean things like stopping smoking (a very good idea incidentally), losing a few pounds or just living a healthier life.

It is also a time when some people decide that enough is enough and are determined to do something to improve their smile.

Whilst, for some people, this might just mean having a straightforward teeth whitening procedure, for others who have missing teeth or who currently wear dentures that they find uncomfortable and inconvenient, it can be a time when they finally decide to choose to have teeth implants instead. This is a sure way to have stronger teeth that not only look natural, but greatly widen the range of foods that you can comfortably eat without difficulty.

If you fall into this category, now is a good time to call the Cygnet Dental Practice in Wickford. We can book you in for an initial consultation where we can discuss this in more detail with you. In the meantime, it is worth taking a few minutes to read some general dental implant information and key benefits below.


The benefits of dental implants are now well known. These natural looking and feeling teeth are a great way to replace missing teeth and provide a secure tooth replacement, allowing people to eat whatever they like without having to worry about their instability, as can be the case with dentures in some patients. They are also easier to keep clean and can be brushed and flossed as you hopefully already do with your natural teeth.


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Christmas Gift Suggestions For The Smile Conscious

Looking for last minute present ideas for friends and family? We offer some tooth friendly suggestions

Smiling couple with great teethIn what has been another difficult year for many, Christmas may have seemed to come almost out of the blue, leaving some of us scrambling around for ideas of what presents to buy for friends and family.

There is still time of course, and buying last minute presents doesn’t always mean a trip to the overcrowded shops anymore. With more and more people buying online, the options available are also wider and more varied.

But what to buy? There can sometimes be the temptation to go for obvious ‘treats’ such as boxes of chocolates and other sweet things. Inevitably, the vast majority of us will eat some of these over the festive period, but equally, some of us will find that we have been given far more chocolates and biscuits etc than we really want. All of this excess sugar is certainly not good for our teeth and gums.

With this in mind, the Cygnet Dental Practice team offers a few Christmas gift suggestions below that won’t damage your teeth, and in many cases, can benefit them.

Electric toothbrush

If you know anyone who still uses a manual toothbrush, why not ‘upgrade’ them to an electric one. We know that many people have certain habits and they may be unlikely to change unless you buy one for them. Whilst it is certainly possible to brush your teeth efficiently with a manual toothbrush, it is largely believed that an electric one is more efficient as the high speed rotation of the brush helps to remove plaque from your teeth and gum line. These are also an excellent present for older relatives who may suffer from arthritis and other mobility problems and find it difficult to brush their teeth well.

Herbal tea selection

Most of us drink either tea or coffee, but there is a world of very tasty herbal teas now available for people to drink as an alternative. Some claim to offer health benefits, but whilst we can’t really comment on that, what we do know is that most of these teas are less likely to stain your teeth than drinking large amounts of tea and coffee. These herbal teas are often attractively presented and friends and relatives of our Wickford patients might find them a refreshing change after the overindulgence of the festive period.

Cheese selection

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Teeth Whitening For The New Year

Helping Wickford patients with a brighter smile for 2022!

A beautiful smile using orthodontic treatment.Some of you may have only just realised how close Christmas is? As the shops fill up with tinsel and potential presents, there is no hiding from the fact that before long, it will be time for family and friends to get together in a Christmas that, for many, will be very different from last year. This can be a busy and sometimes stressful time of the year for some people. Even for those who enjoy it, it can also be quite nice to relax amd unwind once it is all over.

One way to cope with the additional stresses is to think ahead to the new year, especially planning a treat for yourself. Some people, for example,  book early holidays to unwind. Whilst you wouldn’t want members of our team flying your plane, there is something that we are very good at which is providing you with a much whiter and brighter smile using our teeth whitening treatments. A nice little treat just in time for the new year ahead!

New year blues

Whether you simply want something to kickstart your new year or if you are one of those people who finds January a bit depressing after the excitement of the festive season, giving yourself and your self confidence a boost is a great way to start the new year. Having your teeth whitened will really improve your smile and many also say, your self confidence too. Teeth whitening is a straightforward and non-invasive treatment that can make a real difference. It is also one of the most affordable cosmetic treatments that we have available at the Cygnet Dental Practice so you might even be able to persuade your other half to treat you to your new smile for Christmas!

Book your consultation now….

There is no time like the present and you will need to see us for a consultation before we provide the treatment. This is partially to discuss what you hope to achieve, but it also allows us to examine your teeth and gums beforehand. There is little point in having white teeth if you have tooth decay etc, so it makes sense to have any necessary treatment before the whitening procedure starts.

How does tooth whitening work?

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Dental Hygienist Appointments – Make Them Part Of Your Routine

If you don’t currently see a hygienist at our Wickford dental practice, there are many good reasons to consider it

flossing teethWith an increasing awareness of the importance of good oral health care, most people now do see their dentist for check ups and any essential treatment that might be needed.

Of course, there are challenges for some patients, such as those who suffer from dental anxiety, but by and large, most people do now understand the need for regular oral care.

Whilst this is good news, there are still a sizeable number of patients who don’t extend this to seeing a hygienist, perhaps deciding that this is an optional extra and not that important for their teeth. This is unfortunate as seeing the hygienist is an excellent way of helping to maintain healthy teeth and gums, as we shall see in a moment.

First of all….

We would like to briefly introduce you to the dental hygienist at the Cygnet Dental Practice. Sadie Rudgley is an excellent hygienist and not only that, has a very calm and understanding manner which helps to put patients at ease. Although there is no invasive dentistry involved when you see a hygienist; for those who have not yet done so, there may still be some concerns. These will soon dissipate when you meet this very calm and helpful member of our team. You can read a little more about Sadie on our ‘meet the team’ page.

Benefits of seeing a dental hygienist

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Avoiding The Dental Horrors Of Halloween!

Can we stop our kids from compromising their teeth on October 31st?

Big family of peopleEven though many parents now do their best to manage the amount of sweets and other sugary food and drinks that their children eat, there is one day of the year where this can be really difficult to achieve.

We are talking, of course, about Halloween, a festival that has grown in popularity in the UK over a number of years. Although Halloween itself dates back to a Celtic festival from nearly 2000 years ago, the thing it is now best known for by adults is ‘horror’ and by kids ‘sweets .. and lots of them’!

So what can our Wickford patients who have children do to protect those vulnerable young teeth at this time of the year? The Cygnet Dental Practice team offers a few suggestions below.

Choose sweets wisely

You might have to accept that your kids are not going to be eating healthy foods and will be putting as much sweet candy in their mouths that they can possibly get away with. Although this is not ideal, some choices are better than others. One example of this may surprise you, and that is it is better to choose chocolate, rather than a hard boiled sweet. The reason for this is that although the chocolate may perhaps have more sugar in it, it generally melts in the mouth and is swallowed reasonably quickly. Saliva will then wash away some of the remaining sugars. Hard boiled sweets and toffees on the other hand, are kept in the mouth for longer periods of time and the sugars will stick to the teeth for a longer period of time and are potentially more damaging.

Limit their consumption

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