Some festive ideas for maintaining teeth and gum health over Christmas.
As we start to wind down for the Christmas holidays, it is worth taking a few moments to consider how we can ensure that we don’t have a problem with our teeth whilst dental practices are closed.
Whilst emergency dental care will be available, it can be more stressful if you need to have treatment from an unfamiliar dentist, however good they might be.
At the Confidental Clinic, we have given this some thought, and here are some of our top tips for avoiding the dentist this Christmas.
Don’t skip the teeth cleaning – However tired you feel, or however much you have overindulged on the wine, you should always make an effort to brush your teeth, and preferably, floss too. Given the sugary food excesses at this time of the year, your teeth may well suffer if you don’t.
Avoid accidents – Although we can’t always avoid accidents, the fact is that many of them happen because of circumstances that we create. Two of the most common causes of broken teeth (and worse) at this time of the year are caused either by opening bottles with the teeth, or using them to crack open nuts. This is what bottle openers and nutcrackers were invented for!
Moderate alcohol intake – Alcohol is likely to increase the risk of falls and other mishaps. It is also a leading cause of dry mouth syndrome; something which, in turn, increases the likelihood of gum infections. Try to drink in moderation, and drink plenty of water throughout the day to reduce its effect and help you to stay well hydrated.
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Teeth grinding is a difficult habit to break, but when you have, our Surbiton dentists can help.
It is quite possible that you grind your teeth without really being aware that you do so.
The majority of people suffering from bruxism generally grind their teeth whilst they are asleep and for various reasons including this, it can be a very hard habit to break.
It is widely thought that bruxism results from stress, and certainly, many people do find today’s world to be a stressful place to be, whether that is in the home or in the work environment.
Of course, stress can also play a significant role in heart and other problems too, so, if you are suffering from stress, you should see your GP.
How we can help
Although we are unable to help with stress, aside from obvious suggestions such as relaxation exercises etc, we can certainly help to restore any damage that has occurred to your teeth when you grind them together. Damage can range from relatively minor wearing of the enamel, through to badly broken teeth, depending on the general condition of your teeth and how hard you grind.
There are a number of possible treatments available at our disposal, and the most appropriate of these can be decided following a consultation with the dentist at the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton. Briefly, these are some of the most likely treatments for the various levels of damage you might suffer through teeth grinding:
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Our Surbiton dentists discuss vaping, the most popular alternative to smoking.
If you are planning to include stopping smoking on your new year resolution list, then we are delighted for you. Not only will this mean that you are less likely to suffer from heart related problems and lung cancer, but your oral health will benefit too.
As we have previously mentioned, smoking not only increases the likelihood of gum disease, but potentially that of oral cancers too.
There are many ways that people do manage to stop smoking, including patches, gum, and of course, will power, but there is little doubt that one of the most popular methods has been the switch to vaping, or e-cigarettes.
Vaping is probably the most popular option as a cigarette substitute, as it replicates the actions, both with the hand and the mouth, of smoking a cigarette. This helps to make the transition seamless for a lot of people.
As vaping is a relatively new phenomenon, little is currently known about the long term effects on health, and studies are being carried out to find out about this. Whilst it is not in the remit of our Surbiton dentists to decide whether this is a safe option or not, the general consensus is that it is very possibly safer than tobacco based products. However, we cannot and would not endorse its use.
Vaping – effects on oral health
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It is possible to eat without any teeth, but is this a good idea?
Although perhaps much rarer these days, it wasn’t unusual, in the past, to see an older person eating an apple simply by using their gums. It probably wasn’t a pretty sight, but it seemed to work for them, so why should we not do this now?
If you have lost your teeth or are due to have them extracted because of their poor condition, this might be one of the options that crossed your mind, especially if you are concerned about having dental implants, or do not wish to wear dentures.
Jaw and gum problems
One of the more immediate consequences of eating without teeth is that it puts additional strain both on the gums and on your jaw when breaking down the food into small enough pieces to swallow. Whilst this might not be too damaging if done once or twice; if you are doing so on a daily basis, you should certainly expect some problems in the near future.
Your gums will almost certainly become sore and inflamed. This will make it even more difficult to eat, and your mealtimes will be something that you perhaps dread, rather than enjoy. Your jawbone too will have a lot of additional force placed upon it, and, over time, you may have problems with the jaw including pain, clicking, or even a stress fracture.
You could, of course switch to a liquid diet, but this would not be very enjoyable after a while and you could also end up lacking in nutrition.
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Dermal fillers complementing a teeth whitening procedure.
There are many aspects of our bodies that change as we get older, usually for the worse! With regards to our facial features, our skin becomes wrinkled and our teeth often darken simply because of our age.
Because of this, a number of our Surbiton patients have wrinkle reducing treatments and a teeth whitening procedure to help make them look younger again. Even with these treatments though, there is still scope to improve your smile even further.
Once you have had your teeth whitened by the cosmetic dentists at the Confidental Clinic, it is almost certain that a lot of people will notice your new whiter teeth. As their attention is drawn to your new improved smile, they are also likely to notice your lips that may have thinned over time.
As we grow older, the amount of collagen in the facial area is reduced which leads to less elasticity and can also cause certain features to change. Our cheeks may appear more sunken, and the lips start to thin, for example.
Fortunately, through the use of dermal fillers, the appearance of thinning lips can be reversed. This is a straightforward procedure which is performed in a similar manner to that of Botox treatment.
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Cosmetic braces – a comfortable, speedy and discreet route to straighter teeth.
As winter sets in, many of us will use this time of year to reflect on the previous months, but also the year to come and how we can achieve the things that we are aiming for.
In the world of cosmetic dentistry, there are many procedures which offer instant, or almost instant improvements to the appearance of your teeth. For example, teeth whitening and veneers can dramatically improve the way that your teeth look in just a week or so. Other treatments, such as straightening teeth, can, however, take longer, and a little pre-planning regarding the timing can be quite useful.
Six Month Smiles
Whilst many orthodontic systems require braces to be worn for a year or more, this does not have to be the case. It is, of course, essential that only gentle pressure is placed upon the teeth so as not to damage them or cause significant discomfort. The Six Month Smiles system achieves this by focussing solely on what are known as the ‘social six’ teeth. These are the top and bottom six teeth that are visible when you smile.
Whilst there are instances where it may be advisable to straighten the rear teeth also; for many of our patients at Confidental Clinic in Surbiton, the key aim is to have attractive and even teeth when they smile. The Six Month Smiles system is ideal for this.
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Cleanliness, security and longevity.
Dental veneers are popular as a means of whitening teeth that have become heavily stained, which can occur through smoking or heavy consumption of teeth staining foods or drinks, such as tea or red wine.
Veneers are also a great way to restore the appearance of teeth that have become cracked or chipped over time and in some cases, they may even be used as a minor ‘orthodontic’ option, particularly for a diastema (gap between the front teeth).
Having had the porcelain veneers fitted though, how can you make sure that you get the maximum benefit from them, keeping them clean and secure? Today, our Surbiton cosmetic dentist offers some helpful advice.
Keep them clean
Dental veneers are made from porcelain, and as such, will not suffer from problems such as tooth decay. This can lead the patient to become more relaxed about the care they take to clean their teeth. This is a big mistake though for several reasons. The least concerning of these is that although porcelain is relatively stain resistant, they could still discolour over time if tartar is allowed to harden on and around the surface.
More significantly though, if you do not clean well, the natural tooth to which the veneer is attached, is likely to decay. Even if this is restored with a filling, your veneer may not be attached as securely afterwards, potentially causing it to become detached. Gum disease is also a threat and so, for all of these reasons, you should both brush your teeth well and use floss as instructed by our dentist or hygienist.
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Extra care of our oral health as we grow older.
When we are young and healthy, we tend to think that it will always be that way. Unfortunately, ageing happens to all of us and many consequences of this which we presumed would never happen to us, often do.
This applies to our oral health as much as any other aspect of life, and in today’s Confidental Clinic blog, we take a look at five reasons why some older people have a tendency to have unpleasant smelling breath.
Poor fitting dentures
Unfortunately, many older patients have dentures which do not fit their mouth very well. This is often due to facial shape changes as we get older. This can create small spaces for bacteria to become trapped between the dentures and the gums, making it extra important that we clean both the dentures and the gums well.
There may be a tendency, as we get older, to not worry about our teeth as much as we did when we were younger, providing that they are causing us no immediate discomfort. Unfortunately, as we become older, the enamel of our teeth may be more vulnerable to tooth decay, causing bacteria to attack the teeth, sometimes resulting in a bad odour.
Saliva production in older people tends to be reduced. This creates two problems. Firstly, the lack of saliva means that bacteria are not flushed from the mouth as is the case in younger people. A dry mouth also means that bacteria are able to multiply much quicker. It is important to stay particularly well hydrated as you get older to help minimise this problem.
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Safe and effective teeth whitening at our Surbiton dental practice.
We are just starting to see the early signs of colder weather to come. The coolness of early evenings and the leaves falling from the trees show that autumn is here, and the warmth and brightness will soon seem a long way behind us. Not everything has to be dull at this time of the year though, and, at the Confidental Clinic, we have the means to bring back the whiteness of your smile both safely and effectively.
Most people’s teeth will discolour over time as the inner part of our teeth naturally darken. Some habits, such as smoking or drinking red wine or tea, will also cause some surface staining. Whilst good brushing is important for our general oral health, and will also remove some of the surface staining, it will not remove it all, and won’t remove the discolouration caused by internal darkening.
Teeth whitening procedure
The teeth whitening treatment at the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton is a very popular one with our patients. It is a convenient and comfortable system that is perfectly safe providing that it is performed or monitored by trained professionals. The first step in having your teeth whitened is to see one of our cosmetic dentists, who will examine you and discuss the most appropriate way forward.
We will first of all make sure that there are no underlying oral health issues such as decay or gum disease before we commence this treatment. Impressions are then taken of the teeth, and trays made from this, into which the whitening ingredient is placed.
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Our Surbiton dentist looks at dentures, bridges and implants to replace missing teeth.
Although it can be devastating when we lose a tooth, especially in our younger years, there are now several options available to replace those which are missing.
Choosing which of these methods to use can be difficult and will depend on a number of factors, including finance and how far you are prepared to go with a more invasive treatment.
Whilst all of these methods offer a certain level of benefit, some provide better longer term solutions than others. Below, we look at the pros and cons of the three tooth replacement methods available at the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton.
- Modern dentures offer better aesthetics than older type ones and look natural.
- The fitting of dentures is usually a non invasive procedure and may be one that appeals to those who suffer from dental anxiety.
- Some people find dentures to be uncomfortable and to move around in the mouth a little.
- There may be some restrictions on what foods you feel comfortable eating.
- Dentures can be fiddly and inconvenient to clean.
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