Am I Too Old To Have My Teeth Whitened?

How older generations can benefit from tooth whitening in Surbiton.

A beautiful white smile is often associated with younger people, and especially those with TV careers of one sort or another. But many young people these days have benefited from cosmetic dentistry to optimise their smiles and these types of treatments are no longer just for the rich and famous.

Although many older patients may wish that their teeth were whiter, they may not be aware of just how achievable this actually is. In many cases this is a treatment that they can carry out themselves, in their own home, with “at home” whitening kits from their local Surbiton dentist.

Why are older teeth more discoloured?

There are two types of tooth discolouration; surface staining and internal staining. Surface staining can accumulate over time and make the teeth look darker than before. This is generally avoidable if you look after your teeth well, with diligent, regular cleaning, supported by dental hygienist visits at our Surbiton practice. What is not preventable is the darkening of the inner part of our teeth and this is something that occurs naturally, the older we get. This doesn’t mean that we can’t do something to restore the whiteness though, and at the Confidental Clinic, we offer our older (as well as younger) patients, a way to do just that.

Easy teeth whitening

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Treating Persistent Headaches And Jaw Problems In Surbiton

sensitive teeth

Could bruxism be responsible for these painful conditions?

When we have a headache, we are often aware what the cause is. It may be due to stress, a hangover or even a migraine.

We can usually manage these with painkiller medication in the knowledge that it is likely to be temporary. For some of our Surbiton patients though, headaches may be an almost daily occurrence.

If you suffer from a persistent headache, you should first see your doctor to make sure that there are no serious underlying medical issues. If you have been given the all clear, it is time to have your mouth examined by one of the dentists at the Confidental Clinic.

Bruxism

A surprising number of headaches stem from a habit which many of us may not even know we have, and that is teeth grinding, or bruxism. As much of this tends to occur at night, whilst we sleep, we may be completely unaware of it. As we usually grind our rear teeth, which are relatively strong when healthy, they will withstand the pressure for some time before any significant damage, such as a breakage, occurs. They will wear down though, and treatment should be sought if you are aware of having this habit.

Headaches and jaw problems

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Is Your Child Afraid Of The Dentist?

Our friendly Surbiton dentists offer some useful advice.

Do you have to placate your child, or even offer them a ‘bribe’ when it is time for their dental visit? If so, now is probably a good time to try to address this issue.

If they are afraid now, there is every chance that as soon as you no longer have full control over them, they will simply stop going, except for when they have a severe toothache perhaps.

There are a number of reasons why children don’t like going to the dentist and a very common one is when the parent themselves is afraid.

Your legacy

If you are afraid of seeing the dentist, there is every likelihood that your child will pick up on this. Children look to us to see what is safe and what is not. If they see you in a bit of a panic when your appointment is due, it makes sense that they will see this as something to be afraid of and avoided if at all possible.

Overcoming dental anxiety is not always easy, but with the help of our patient friendly dentists at the Confidental Clinic, we can help you to challenge this. In the case of extremely nervous patients we are also able to offer sedation to help you undergo your procedure. Knowing that this is available can help patients relax more about their appointment, and help their children to avoid the related anxiety they may feel about theirs.

Start young

If you have a very young child who has not yet seen the dentist, now is a good time to take them. Early exposure to the surroundings of a dental practice will help to familiarise them and help them to become accustomed to some of the unusual sounds and smells associated with the dentist. This should help them to feel comfortable during any future visits.

Hygienist

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Gum Disease Home Remedies

The internet is awash with them, but do they really work?

Gum disease is a common problem in the UK, and most of us will probably have it, to some degree, at various stages in our lives. If we are ill, for example, and let our oral health care slip, bacteria are likely to multiply and potential problems start.

There are two main stages of gum disease; gingivitis and periodontitis. Most patients accept that when periodontitis takes hold, there is a need for professional treatment, but when mild gum disease is present, some turn to the internet for home solutions instead. But is this a good idea?

Homemade mouth washes

A quick search on the net will throw up a number of recipes for homemade mouthwash. These include lemongrass oil, tea tree oil and even sage, as ingredients. On their own, these are harmless, but will probably only have a minimal impact on your gum health. In fact, even adding a shop bought mouthwash to your regime may not be sufficient to correct the problem.

Oil pulling

The popularity of this treatment seems to be on the wane a little. The idea is that you swill the coconut oil around your mouth for several minutes before spitting. This should, so it is claimed, pick up bacteria from between the teeth, reducing gum disease. Some of our Surbiton patients have told us that they tried it but the taste and sensation made them feel sick. If you want to try something additional that has a similar effect, sugar free chewing gum should work just as well.

So, do they work?

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Can You Prevent Your Teeth From Discolouring?

Our Surbiton cosmetic dentists discuss how to maintain whiter teeth.

One of the most visibly obvious and common ‘defects’ of our teeth is when they lose their whiteness and start to become discoloured. This discolouration might range from a loss of the sparkly whiteness, to a very dark yellow, or even brown in the case of long term smokers.

Although we offer treatments such as teeth whitening or dental veneers, at the Confidental Clinic, that can restore your teeth to their former glory, it does make sense to prevent them from becoming discoloured in the first place; but is this possible?

Enamel quality

The first place to start in keeping your teeth looking white is to take good care of the enamel on your teeth. This should be done by brushing your teeth well, both morning and night. It is important though that you do so correctly and don’t brush so hard that you damage the enamel. Purchasing an electric toothbrush with a pressure sensor may help with this. You should also avoid enamel damaging food and drinks, including those high in sugar and/or acidic foods.

If the enamel becomes damaged, small pits will appear on the surface which will attract staining. It will also cause the enamel to thin, showing the darker layer below.

Staining

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Beautiful, long-lasting dental veneers available in Surbiton

white teeth

With appropriate care, veneers offer many years of great looking, beautiful white teeth!

If you have ever looked at your teeth and done a little research on how to whiten them, you will probably have come up with either a whitening toothpaste or a teeth whitening procedure as the best ways to achieve this.

We have covered whitening toothpastes in previous blogs, but a brief reminder that they are largely ineffective, having only a minimal impact on the colour of your teeth.

Our Surbiton cosmetic dentists do offer a more effective solution with our home teeth whitening kits. These are fast acting and safe and offer great results. Patients do need to be aware though, that although the effects do last for several months, your teeth will start to gradually darken again over time. The treatment can be repeated as necessary for those seeking longer term whitening, whilst others use it as a one off treatment for events such as weddings.

Consistency and longevity

Whilst a lot of our Surbiton patients are happy to have their teeth whitened as and when they feel it necessary, some patients prefer to have a one off procedure that can keep teeth white for much longer; in fact, for around ten years. Unlike the teeth whitening procedure, this does require minor invasive treatment as a ‘payoff’ for the convenience of only having to have the procedure once.

The treatment we are referring to is the fitting of dental veneers. Instead of attempting to whiten the natural teeth, as in a teeth whitening procedure, veneers are used to replace the front surface of the teeth. This is a popular treatment where the teeth are too heavily stained for a whitening procedure or are heavily chipped and cracked.

Dental veneer procedure

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The Use Of 3D Scans In Dental Implant Placement

Pre-planning and accuracy are essential for a successful implant surgery.

Dental implant placement is a precise procedure that needs to be carefully planned to make sure that it is a success.

Although, to the layman, it may seem that all it involves is screwing an artificial tooth into the jawbone, it is much more sophisticated than that.

At the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton, the use of 3D scans plays a critical part in making sure that patients have a safe and successful implant procedure.

Bone density

One of the most important factors that we look at when deciding whether a patient is a suitable candidate for implant placement, is their bone structure. Sufficient healthy bone is needed to place the implant into and using a scanner enables us to see the quantity and quality of this. Whilst some types of implant placement, such as the use of Zygomatic implants, means that less bone is necessary, many individual implant placements would need a prior bone graft or sinus lift where insufficient bone was present.

Implant placement

As well as checking the bone structure, 3D scans allow us to see precisely where the implant should be placed. This not only helps to ensure an aesthetically pleasing outcome, but also ensures that the new implant will function exactly as it should. In addition to this, there are nerves in the bone which need to be avoided. 3D scans allow us to identify these and avoid them.

In addition to these benefits that a 3D scan provides, the technology used also uses a lower dose of radiation than traditional x-rays. Whilst these are also safe, any reduction can only be a positive thing.

Benefits of a successful placement

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Maintaining Consistent Teeth Whiteness

How cosmetic treatments can help you to have consistently whiter teeth.

Cleaning your teeth regularly and correctly can help you to have whiter teeth for longer, simply by removing some surface staining. Depending on your eating and drinking habits though, some surface discolouration is likely over time and the inner part of your teeth will also darken as you get older. The odd filling here and there may also spoil an otherwise nice smile.

But all is not lost and here at the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton, our cosmetic dental team will be pleased to help you renew a great looking white smile using some of the cosmetic treatments that we have at our disposal.

White fillings

If you have an amalgam filling that shows up when you laugh or smile, this can really detract from an otherwise attractive appearance. These can usually be replaced using a tooth-coloured dental filling which is very difficult to distinguish when compared to your natural teeth. This type of filling is also better at preventing the recurrence of decay, as it bonds more closely to the structure of the tooth when compared to amalgam.

Teeth whitening

Our home teeth whitening kit is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures that we provide. It is safe, effective and fast acting. The results should also last for quite a long time at which point you can decide whether to repeat the treatment or not. This is a much more efficient and effective way of whitening your teeth than the use of a whitening toothpaste or a shop bought whitening kit.

Dental Veneers

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Your Surbiton Dentist Advises What To Do When Your Child Loses A Tooth

Tooth loss in children can happen at any age, with different consequences.

In an ideal world, our children would lose their baby teeth and then go on to have a full, even and healthy set of great looking adult teeth.

If only the world really did work in that way!  For many of us, this is not the case, and a number of problems can arise which need treating by one of our Surbiton dental team.

Tooth loss is perhaps one of the most potentially dramatic of changes that can occur, often quite suddenly. If you are a parent and this happens, it is naturally quite concerning, but don’t panic, here are some tips on what to do if and when this happens.

Baby teeth

When your child loses a baby tooth, there really is no need to be concerned. This is entirely natural. Usually, though not always, the first baby tooth to erupt is also the first one to fall out. This can start to happen around four years old and as late as seven. Whilst it can happen earlier or later, most children lose them between these years and it may be worth having your children’s teeth checked at the Confidental Clinic if you are worried that they are coming out too early or too late, just to ensure that there are no underlying problems.

The reality is that parents are much more likely to be worried about these early tooth losses than the child, who is probably more concerned with what they will spend the money on, left by the tooth fairy of course.

Make sure to monitor that the child’s adult teeth do come through. This may take a few weeks. If you are concerned that they have not come through when you feel they should have, please call our Surbiton practice for advice.

Grown up teeth

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Will Cutting Down On Sugar Benefit Your Teeth?

With the new sugar tax, can we expect to see a fall in numbers of patients with tooth decay?

The sugar tax has been in the news recently, with a significant price rise for products containing higher amounts of sugar. Amongst those hit will be most types of fizzy sugary drinks which are particularly popular with young children.

Only time will tell if this new tax means that people buy less of these products or simply continue to buy them, but at greater expense. The taste for sugar is now probably well established in our taste buds, but we can always hope.

Reducing sugar

Whether we cut down on sugar because of the tax or simply because we want to live a healthier lifestyle, any reduction in consumption has to be a good thing. Sugar is a leading cause of tooth decay, especially in young children. If we can change the way that they see food while they are young, there is a greater chance of them growing up with less cavities and better general health.

Reducing, or cutting out, sugar in obviously sugary products though, is not a panacea for all ills. Sugar is present in many foods, including some we may not expect. A small can of baked beans for example includes around 10% of its contents as sugar. It can even be found in many savoury dishes as well as daily staples such as bread.

Because of this, we should always make sure to keep our teeth and gums really clean, both by diligent brushing and flossing at home, as well as having our teeth professionally cleaned at the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton.

Staying hydrated

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