Mon to Fri 8:30am – 5:00pm / Closed for lunch 1pm-2pm
The summer months are truly upon us. For many this might mean barbecues, festivals, holidays and trips out with friends and family. However at the time of writing there is rain lashing down, there have been floods and strong winds causing all sorts of disruption. Typical British summer really! At the practice we are all busy with family check-ups and seeing student’s home from university for the summer.
It is also the time to say goodbye to our foundation dentist who will move on to pastures new after a year with us at Corner House.
While the sun brings out a more active life style, it doesn’t come without its pitfalls. Especially when it comes to the health of your mouth. It’s important during this time to look after your mouth, teeth and gums.
Here are five top tips that will help you look after your oral health in the best way possible this summer.
No matter how eventful your summer may be, it is important to stick to your dental routine. Make sure you brush for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste as well as cleaning in between your teeth with floss or little brushes.
It may too late for this summer but try and schedule a check-up before you go on holiday, that way any problems can be detected early and dealt with before you go and you won’t need dental treatment whilst you are abroad. It is also a good idea to stock up on manual toothbrushes, spare brush heads and plug adaptors. Look out in the practice for travel size toothpaste samples and don’t forget the floss and interdental brushes.
Keeping hydrated, especially in warmer weather is important for the health of your mouth and your general health too. Be sure to make the right choices when choosing cooling drinks and coffee shop treats. Water and milk are the best options for our dental health. Water especially will keep you hydrated and refreshed. Try to avoid those drinks high in sugar and acid. Fizzy drinks, fruit juices and energy drinks can be harmful to your teeth if sipped throughout the day. They can lead to tooth decay and enamel erosion.
Nearly 65% of brits are regularly putting their dental health at risk by using their teeth as tools. Please don’t use your precious teeth to crack open bottles and packets. Equally don’t be tempted to try and hold things with your teeth when your hands are full. Thousands of accidents happen every year when teeth are used inappropriately. Stick to using your teeth for biting and chewing. No one wants cracked, dislocated or broken teeth on holiday.
Sunlight is a great source of vitamin D which plays a key role in the immune system. Research has shown that it can give your health a boost by helping to prevent gum disease. Healthy gums mean that you can keep your teeth much longer. Gum disease is also linked to heart health, mental health and diabetes so getting out in the sun could be a great choice for a healthy mouth. Be sure not to stay in the sun for too long and use a high factor sun screen on all the family. Don’t forget to protect your lips too with a lip balm with sun screen added or simply use a little Vaseline applied regularly.
We really hope you enjoy your summer to the full and keep your smile healthy and happy. If you need any other advice this summer then please contact the practice in the usual way.
What’s in your toothpaste? Here are five common ingredients:
No matter the brand of toothpaste you chose, be it a recognised brand or a supermarket own brand, as long as it contains fluoride at the correct amount it will do the job. There are however toothpastes that target various specific dental problems such as sensitivity, gum health and whitening. De-sensitising toothpastes work really well as long as you find the one that works for you and use it consistently. It can also be used like an ointment by smearing it on to a particularly sensitive area and leaving it there overnight. Claims that some toothpaste manufacturers make about being tartar control, anti cavity or whitening do have a limited effect but the bottom line is that the only way to keep cavities at bay is to limit sugar in the diet and if you have gum health issues then although a good brushing technique is essential regular visits to your dentist and hygienist will prove invaluable. Some ‘whitening toothpastes’ may help with surface stains but the only effective way to lift the shade of your teeth is tooth whitening under the supervision of your dentist.
As always there is plenty of advice to be had by calling the practice or speaking to your dentist.
June is here and instead enjoying balmy summer evenings and sunshine we seem to be getting extremely soggy and umbrellas are never far from our grasp. However the torrential downpours have not stopped the more energetic of us pounding the pavements and getting to the gym after work.
Of course there is no doubt that keeping fit and healthy is good for our overall wellbeing but we should still be aware of the potential problems that may arise if we rely on energy drinks and gels to keep us going. Many runners, cyclists, football players and gym goers spend a lot of time putting sugary drinks, gels, bars and other goodies into their mouths during or after exercise. Frequent snacks and drinks during exercise increases the number of times that acid come into contact with the teeth.
So, do regular users of sports nutrition products actually have a higher risk of dental problems than other people?
Sports drinks and gels are generally quite acidic and they tend to stick to teeth due to their sugar content. While there are many normal foods that are consumed that have the same effect (soft drinks, confectionary, dried fruit and more) it’s the frequency of exposure during exercise that will concern your dentist.
The two specific problems that may arise are tooth erosion and tooth decay.
Our teeth have an outer layer of enamel, which can be eroded by acid. The acid can come from acidic food and drinks that come into contact with teeth.
Bacteria in the mouth stick to teeth, forming plaque. This bacteria feeds on the sugars stuck to the teeth from the food that is eaten. These bacteria produce acid that erodes the tooth enamel.
The saliva that is produced in the mouth tries to combat tooth erosion by neutralising the acid produced by the bacteria. Saliva contains bicarbonate which buffers the acids to neutralise them.
Enamel is the hardest substance in the body, much harder than bone but enamel will still dissolve in these highly acidic drinks. Saliva is roughly a pH of 6.8 which is considered neutral. The lower the pH, the greater the potential for enamel loss. Even a small amount of a highly acidic drink can send your saliva’s pH plummeting. It then takes the mouth approximately 30 minutes to buffer the saliva back to a normal pH and for those 30 minutes, your teeth are essentially bathed in acid.
Fluoride in toothpaste can strengthen tooth enamel and make it stronger. However, the action of saliva to neutralise acid in the mouth can be compromised during exercise because heavy breathing can dry the mouth out, reducing the amount of saliva able to protect the teeth. Dehydration can also reduce the amount of saliva produced during and after exercise.
How to reduce the risk to your teeth.
For those of you taking regular exercise and are concerned about your teeth, there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of avoidable erosion of your teeth. Firstly, reduce the frequency of energy drinks and gels or simply drink water. Choosing snacks such as bananas is also an option. Beware some fresh fruit or vegetable juices often have a higher acidity.
A word of warning – firstly, following up a sports drink with a rinse of water has very little effect. By the time you’ve rinsed, the acid from the drink has already done its thing. Secondly, brushing your teeth immediately after exercise is not recommended as the enamel will be much softer after the acid attack and so it is best not to brush for at least an hour. Brushing sooner will actually increase enamel erosion.
There is no doubt that exercise is good for us and regular dental check-ups will detect any problems before the damage is done. If you think that you are at risk from acid erosion from sports drinks then please ask your dentist at your next check-up.
“They are just his baby teeth, they don’t really matter do they?”
This kind of conversation is repeated from time to time in dental practices all over the country and guess what? ….. Baby teeth DO matter!!
A lot of parents think that baby teeth aren’t important since they eventually fall out- of course they do but here are some very good reasons why you should look after your child’s baby teeth and encourage good oral hygiene habits early.
They save space for adult teeth.
Baby teeth help the permanent teeth develop properly by saving space for them and guiding them into the correct position. If a baby tooth is lost too soon, then the teeth beside it will drift to fill the gap and this means that when the permanent teeth start to come through there will not be enough space causing the permanent teeth to become crooked, misaligned and crowded. Some baby teeth are not replaced by permanent teeth until a child is between 12 and 14 years of age.
As little ones move onto solid food, they learn to bite and chew their food. There are three baby tooth types, each performing a different function.
They help with speech development.
Your baby’s teeth, mouth and lips all work together to form words and help the child develop their speech. Teeth help form words by controlling the flow of air out of the mouth. Babies will learn to make certain sounds when the tongue moves and strike the baby teeth in different ways.
They affect your child’s smile, self -confidence and social skills.
Nothing is as special as your child’s happy glowing smile. Having strong healthy teeth will help your child smile brightly and feel good about themselves and be confident in their interactions with other children.
They can affect overall health and development.
Tooth decay and cavities cause pain and discomfort for your child. If left untreated, infection can quickly develop on gums and surrounding teeth. Pain will make it difficult for your child to sleep, play, eat and talk – impacting the child’s overall health and development. Children with healthy teeth are better able to learn at school, form relationships with their friends and develop a healthy mind and body.
Baby teeth do contain stem cells which may have a use in the future for regenerating damaged parts of the body.
So whilst baby teeth may be a fleeting moment in your child’s life, looking after them has lifetime of benefits.
Good oral care begins from birth. Even before your baby’s teeth first appear, gently wipe their gums and tongue after feeds with a tooth wipe. This helps remove residue and help the baby get used to having something placed in the mouth to clean it and consequently make tooth brushing easier later on.
Healthy habits start from birth and last a lifetime.
It is officially British Summer Time and spring is definitely in the air! There is a sense of anticipation and excitement all around the practice at the moment and it’s not just about season eight of Game of Thrones!!
Our principal dentists Amit and Priya are expecting the arrival of their second child any time now and we wish them every happiness when the baby arrives. We have welcomed Harshil to the practice to look after Priya’s patients until her return next year.
Almost as exciting has been the transformation of the surgery at the top of the building. Despite a little noise and disruption the renovation has been relatively smooth and we now have a light, bright, airy surgery for all our patients to benefit from.
Change isn’t always easy but whether we perceive it or not, everything is constantly changing, the environment, the weather technology, society, culture, friends and family, everything changes.
Things change in dentistry all the time as well, particularly because of the advances being made in materials and technology. Digital x-rays have been the norm for a while and they are faster and contain less radiation, up to 90% less compared to the old style films. When a patient has a digital x-ray done, the image appears on a computer screen in a matter of seconds. Your dentist can then zoom into the image to better assess and educate patients about their oral health.
Teeth straightening options have changed too. Invisalign type orthodontic appliances are clear, practically invisible braces that can gently straighten your teeth. They provide an effective and comfortable way to straighten your smile without the inconvenience of wearing heavy metal braces and are easy to remove and clean and they get the job done in a short amount of time with less hassle.
Dental implants are screw-in replacements for the root part of a missing tooth onto which a very realistic looking tooth can be placed. Implants are the ideal type of restoration for patients with missing teeth and give the feel and appearance of a natural tooth.
The intraoral camera is another bit of kit that is invaluable to gain precise and well defined pictures of hard to see areas in the mouth. The camera also allows the dentist to show these images to the patient while assessing and educating the patient’s needs. This new technology allows dentists to conduct a thorough assessment and plan future treatment.
Teeth whitening is now a very convenient and effective option just to lift the shade of teeth over a couple of weeks using bespoke trays and gel that can be worn for just an hour a day.
Crowns and bridges have been around for a while but thanks to new technology they can be made with out a base later of metal meaning that they have a more natural appearance. The glues used to secure crowns and bridges are also more advanced giving an altogether more satisfactory fit and look.
Please ask your dentist to advise you if you want to find out how to change your smile for the better. Not all the options may be right for you but we feel confident that we can find a way to help. Let’s all embrace the change!
We were treated to few very warm February days before March came upon us with the wet and windy weather that we are used to. The green shoots of spring are definitely on show now and not only outside. More of us are becoming aware that we all have a role to play as healthcare providers and as patients in tackling the biggest threat to global health in the 21st century CLIMATE CHANGE
Our patients are beginning to ask questions about the products that we are recommending them to use on a daily basis to maintain good oral health. Equally, the manufacturers and dental product companies that we rely on are starting to offer products that are ethically sourced and environmentally friendly.
The Swedish company TePe have just launched a new sustainable toothbrush which is 96% bio based plastic. Eco friendly toothbrushes made of bamboo and bio degradable materials are widely available now but it is worth noting that these need to be replaced extremely regularly given the warm, damp conditions they are kept in. Bathrooms can be a breeding ground for for bacteria.
Floss and plastic interdental brushes have become a concern for our patients recently and there are alternatives here too. Dental floss made of biodegradable mulberry silk in a glass container is now available, the lid is stainless steel and the floss itself is coated in natural candelila wax and a natural mint flavouring. The box and the refills are both biodegradable as well.
There is now some debate about whether electric toothbrushes are less harmful to the environment than manual toothbrushes. Points to remember are:
Of course at some point the toothbrush handle will have to be discarded when it no longer holds its charge but many will argue it is still more environmentally friendly and you our dentist and hygienist will always advise a round headed electric toothbrush as these are proven to offer the best all round clean.
What ever your thoughts are on this subject, we still want to offer the best dental advice and the best array or products to help you maintain a healthy mouth and it seems that there are choices out there now if helping the environment is a priority for you.
Here at Corner House Dental Practice we take your oral health very seriously and along with dental practices all over the country we screen our patients for mouth cancer at every check up. We don’t get our patients to do ‘tongue olympics’ for fun! Checking the mouth, tongue and surrounding areas is part of a normal dental exam nowadays. We also ask you about some life style choices such as drinking and smoking so that we can be aware of individual risk factories and tailor your care accordingly. A simple check takes about thirty seconds and could be life saving.
Like a lot of health conditions, awareness is key. It is so important that we learn more about the risk factors, signs and symptoms and where to go if you spot anything out of the ordinary. If you become aware of long lasting ulcers, red or white patches or any unusual lumps and bumps then get it checked. The earlier a problem is caught, the easier it tends to be to tackle.
Smoking tobacco increases the risk of mouth cancer by up to ten times and more than 60% of mouth cancers are linked to smoking.
Drinking alcohol to excess increases the risk of mouth cancers and is linked to just under a third of this type of cancer. UK guidelines recommends no more than 14 units of alcohol a week.
Many recent reports have linked mouth cancer to the human papillomavirus (HPV)
CHEWING AND SMOKELESS TOBACCO
Any tobacco that is placed in the mouth (such as betel) but is not burned comes under this category.
It is of course recommended that we eat a healthy balanced diet including lot of fruit and vegetables each day. Omega 3 in foods such as eggs and fish may help lower the risk as can foods high in fibre.
SUNLIGHT AND SUNBEDS
Too much ultraviolet radiation is a known cause of skin cancers and these can develop on the lips.
FAMILY HISTORY, GENETICS AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Although it is not known why, there is a slight risk of mouth cancer if you have a relative who has had the disease.
We hope all our patient will find it reassuring to know that we are monitoring oral health in this way. It is good to be aware, take control and learn how to be mouth aware. For more information you can visit www.mouthcancer.org and of course you can discuss any concerns you have with your dentist at any time.
Hopefully we all survived the Christmas and New Years celebrations! Suddenly it all seems like a distant memory as we all get back to normal and try and ignore the hot cross buns and Easter Egg that are already in the shops!
Of course some one will have mentioned new year resolutions and whether you make them or not there are still little things we can do to look after ourselves and make the best decisions in regard to our own health and well being.
Already this year there has been research published that says that a quarter of five year olds has tooth decay and the average 10 year old has already consumed more than 20 stones worth of sugar. If we don’t change things for ourselves then maybe we can try and change things for our children.
Beware of grazing and snacking. It is easy to find yourself nibbling on sugary treats throughout the day and this drip feed approach can cause tooth decay if it is prolonged.
Perhaps you would like to improve your oral health by improving tooth brushing and flossing. This can be easily achieved by brushing twice a day with a pea sized amount of toothpaste using a manual or electric toothbrush and spit, don’t rinse. Floss or use little brushes in between the teeth as often as you can.
Another good dental health resolution is healthier food and drink choices. Frequent snacking on sugary and acidic foods contributes to tooth decay. Try some sugar free gum after a meal or a pice of cheese to reduce the acid attack or simply rinse with water.
If you want to improve your smile then tooth whitening may be right for you and there is plenty of advice available on how you can do this at home with bespoke trays made by your dentist.
If your New Year resolution is braces then there several options available and your dentist will be happy to talk you through your options.
The New Year might be the right time to think about restorative treatments such as tooth coloured fillings, crowns or implants. Again, your dentist will be happy to talk you through these procedures.
Stopping smoking is bound to be on the list of things to address in the New Year and there is no better time to do it. Consider on line tools, smoking cessation groups, progress tracking apps and support from friends and family.
And finally book that check up NOW!! Your routine check up may help prevent oral disease or reveal an existing problem that can be caught in its early stage.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our our patients a very healthy New Year and look forward to seeing you soon.
It is the middle of December already! It’s dark by 4.15 and the Christmas trees are out of their boxes and twinkling from the corner of both waiting rooms. Children are getting excited and parents are starting to feel the pressure of getting everything ready for the big day when Santa finally does what he does best! What ever your feelings are about Christmas, it is hard to ignore it. Routine tends to go astray at this time of year and the big question as far as your teeth are concerned is……
Are you going to be naughty or nice to your teeth this December?
We understand that it’s the season to indulge in treats, snacks and the extra tipple or two and we really don’t want to sound like Mr Scrooge with his ‘Bah Humbug!’ But here are a few tips on not completely wrecking your teeth this Christmas!
All of us at The Corner House Dental Practice would like to wish all our patients a very happy Christmas and a joyous New Year and never fear, we will be around if you need us!
Dare we mention the C word! It does feel like Christmas is hurtling towards us at a great pace. The autumn hues are visible from the practice windows and the shops are in full Christmas mode. If just reading these words made you clench your teeth and become tense then you could be suffering from Bruxism or teeth grinding.
Teeth grinding and jaw clenching is often related to stress or anxiety. Symptoms can vary but the most common ones are;
It is not always clear what causes tooth grinding but it is usually linked to stress or anxiety. It is not uncommon for students studying for exams to complain about jaw stiffness and facial pain that disappears once the exams are over. The side effects of some medications can also cause teeth grinding as can drinking and smoking and snoring.
Small children sometimes grind at night for a time and the noise can be quite distinctive, however they usually grow out of it without any intervention.
Your dentist may well diagnose grinding before the patient even realises it for themselves if your teeth are worn, if your jaw is painful or if your partner has said you make a grinding noise in the night. The most common treatment for grinding is a night guard, (made of a material similar to a sports guard but much thinner). This is worn at night to reduce the sensation of clenching or grinding. A mouth guard may also reduce pain and protect against further damage.
Your dental check ups are a great opportunity for you to ask about teeth grinding or facial pain and a soft mouth guard can be made if your dentist thinks it is appropriate. However you can arrange to see your dentist at anytime if you have facial pain that is affecting you on a daily basis.
You may have noticed that from time to time your dentist may suggest taking x-rays as part of your routine dental check up. For most of us these x-rays are taken every two years or if it is your first visit to us then x-rays will be part of the initial check up, although this recommendation may be different depending on the individual needs of the patient. X-rays are also a great tool in diagnosing pain and other dental conditions.
Early tooth decay does not tend to show visually and the teeth can look perfectly healthy. However an x-ray will help the dentist see whether there is any decay in between the teeth, any infection on the root of the tooth or any bone loss around the tooth itself. It is not unusual to x-ray children’s teeth because they can show teeth that haven’t erupted yet and to ascertain whether there is room for all the permanent teeth to come through.
Once taken, the x-rays become an essential part of your health records. If you change dentists, your x-rays will not usually be needed by your new dentist but if copies are required then there may be a charge. Your x-rays will never be shared with any other health professional without your permission.
Dental x-rays are not in any way dangerous. The amount of radiation from a dental x-ray is extremely small. We get more radiation from natural sources, including minerals in the soil and from our general environment. There is more radiation on a transatlantic flight than that from dental x-rays. With modern techniques and equipment, risks are kept as small a possible and x-rays will only be taken when they are absolutely necessary. Always tell the dental team if you think that you may be pregnant. Extra care will be taken and x-rays will only be taken in the first three months especially, if they are needed.
There are various types of x-rays. Some of them show one or two teeth and their roots, while others show several teeth at once. The most common type are the small ones that show the condition of the teeth and gums. Larger x-rays show the whole mouth including the teeth and the bone structure and are useful for diagnosing impacted wisdom teeth.
The dental team can take quite a few x-rays during their working day, so to limit the amount of radiation they receive, it is normal procedure for them to leave the room whilst the x-ray is taken. This is nothing to worry about and as we have said before, the risk to the patient is tiny. X-rays are a great diagnostic tool that dentists could not manage without.
Just a touch of autumn in the air and a hint of colour change on the leaves outside the practice. The Corner House has been busy all summer with a lot of family check-ups and now the children are back at school mums and dads may be heard breathing sigh of relief!
Over the summer illegal teeth whitening was highlighted in the press after a few cases of beauticians providing whitening procedures which can leave patients in severe pain if they go wrong. In one shocking instance a man was given 35% hydrogen peroxide and the highest percentage used in dental practices is 16%. He was left in severe pain with raw open blisters on his lips.
Teeth whitening by beauticians in their own homes or in whitening kiosks in shopping centres is illegal. It is also illegal to supply bleaching material containing more than 0.1% peroxide, or the equivalent in carbamide peroxide to the general public.
Since the high court ruling in May 2013 it is now deemed illegal to carry out teeth whitening unless you are a registered dentist with the General Dental Council. Anyone who is not on the GDC register and who provides teeth whitening services to the public is committing a criminal act.
The active ingredient used in dental practices is either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide which is put in to a tailor made mouth guard for a few hours each day until the desired shade is reached. The effects of teeth whitening can last for several years with only the occasional top up required. Teeth whitening by a dental professional has very few side effects and short term sensitivity can be managed with a good sensitive toothpaste. Teeth whitening can only lighten the existing tooth shade and only works on natural teeth. It will not change the shade of fillings, crowns or bridges.
Please contact us if you are interested in teeth whitening or just ask at your next check up and we will be happy to advise you. Please remember that dental professionals are the only safe option for this type of procedure.
After the extreme heat of June and July, August has a decidedly damp edge to it! Instead of trying our best to keep everyone cool we are now finding suitable corners for wet umbrellas and damp raincoats. Corner House is busy as usual especially as it is summer break for our schools and a good time for family check-ups. All our dentists and hygienists are happy to answer questions about the dental health of all the family. One of the questions that comes up frequently is “which toothpaste should I be using”.
It’s a very reasonable question as there are so many products out there, all claiming different properties and different uses. So how do we choose?
A nationwide poll found that 41% of those asked were influenced by brand power, that is, picking a household name that is well recognised. 24% said cost was a factor and 23% said they would buy on recommendation of dental professionals. Only 4% said they would be influenced by a celebrity endorsement. Instagram, YouTube and Facebook are often filled with celebrities singing the praises of whitening toothpaste or other products. It is good to know that despite products such as charcoal toothpaste getting high profile endorsements (even though its effectiveness has been disproved), consumers are still putting more trust into proven and professionally recommended products.
Here are a few top tips to look for in dental products:
The practice is open throughout the rest of the summer and a simple call to the reception team will put you on the path to the right information for excellent oral health.
Happy holidays and enjoy the rest of the summer, come rain or shine!
We are into a second week of blue skies and unbroken sunshine. The air con is on in the surgeries and we are doing our best to keep the rest of the practice as cool as we can. For some, the sunshine is a welcome break from the usual warm rain and dull skies and for others it is a challenge that leaves them fatigued and drained.
Much like the weather, the school summer break is a love it or hate it thing. For some, lazy mornings and days out are a welcome change from the clock watching and routine and for others it is a juggling act of child care and holiday clubs but like it or not there is nothing we can do about the weather or the six week summer break.
According to the British Dental Association the heatwave is already driving a spike in sugar consumption among kids. New figures show kids are consuming five times their recommended sugar intake during the summer with the heat pushing them to ice creams, lollies and soft drinks. A poll of 1,000 parents with children aged2-17 conducted by my dentist found sugar intake will be hugely boosted during the break from school.
Every ten minutes a child in England has a tooth removed in hospital due to preventable decay according to figures from Public Health England. Tooth extraction also remains the most common reason for hospital admissions for five to nine year olds.
As a family practice we see children every day and we take their care very seriously. Ideally our youngsters should be getting a check up at least twice year that involves nothing more than a quick count up to see what they have and maybe a referral for orthodontics if required. Doing treatment on our younger patients is not what we would wish for them but is sometimes necessary.
Whilst parents need to take responsibility over what they buy for their children it is clear that the government needs to force the soft drinks suppliers to change the way they formulate these products. Added sugar is cheap, addictive and has no nutritional benefit.
The advice must be – if you want to keep the kids cool then reach for the water, offer fruits like watermelon and frozen banana and keep the lollies and ice creams for desert.
What causes dental anxiety?
It is not unusual to feel a little apprehensive when a dental appointment is looming, especially if there is treatment involved but for some patients even being in the practice can be a very difficult situation for them. In the UK it is thought that one in three adults has moderate dental anxiety and one in ten has an extreme form of this condition.Both adults and children can be affected and getting the right help is important.
This anxiety may be as a result of a bad experience as a child or as a result of other people’s anxiety influencing your own thoughts and feelings. (A parent can pass on their own fear to their children without realising that they are doing it).
Anxiety may be made worse by hearing the dental drill or thinking about local anaesthetic (needle phobia). Fear of pain, blood, choking/gagging and feeling out of control or vulnerable whilst in the dental chair. All of these reactions are perfectly understandable.
Tips to help with dental anxiety.
The most important tip is to make sure you tell us! If we know how you are feeling then we will make a special effort to help you feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible. We will talk you through your appointment and answer any questions that you may have. If you are unsure about anything then please don’t be afraid to ask.
Some patients find that listening to music is helpful so bring your mobile phone or iPod with you so that you can listen to your own music. You can also bring a friend or relative to the appointment for moral support.
How can dental anxiety be controlled?
Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga or mindfulness can help lower your levels of stress and anxiety and help you cope. There are helpful on line sites that can help you find something that and is right for you.
Cognitive behavioural therapy helps you gain control of negative thoughts and a therapist can guide you through this kind of treatment.
Sedation is an option if your anxiety is very severe and this would be done on referral to a sedation clinic. With this option you are awake enough to respond to the dentist throughout the procedure but you will not be aware of what is happening.
Complementary therapies such as acupuncture and reflexology are not considered part of conventional medicine but can be used along side the other options to help treat dental anxiety.
Fear is a powerful and primitive emotion that alerts us to the presence of danger but we are here to help and support all our patients so that we can offer the very best dental care. Please talk to us. We are here to help.
May is all about two things for us here at Corner House. It’s about changes to the Data Protection Regulations and Smile Month (which is much more fun!)
On 25th May 2018 General Data Protection Regulation becomes a reality and along with almost every organisation in the country we have been taking steps to ensure that we are compliant. Patients understandably get a bit fed up with all the forms that we ask you to complete before you see your dentist but this is a legal requirement and all the information that you provide is stored securely and in accordance with GDPR and viewed only by our dental professionals when necessary.
We do not share information unless you have been referred to another health care provider (a hospital or clinic), and this would only be with specific consent from you - the patient.
The forms that we ask you to complete for us are important as it gives your dentist an awareness of conditions and medications which may interfere with your dental treatment. Information on alcohol consumption and smoking help us to advise you on the risks these pose to your dental health. Please be patient with us as we have your best interests at the heart of the care we provide for you.
Smile Month starts on 14th May this year and it is our chance to promote a practical oral health message within our practice. Despite the many improvements in oral health over the last thirty years there are still topics we can help with that can improve the way we all look after our teeth and gums. National Smile Month gives us a chance to make a difference for our patients in a fun and practical way.
As a practice we want to help more and more of our patients understand the benefits of a healthy smile and of course, your dentist and hygienist can answer any questions you may have.
If you visit us in the next few weeks you will find posters, bunting and leaflets with the familiar ‘smile ‘logo. The Oral Health Educator is always available for free sessions if there is anything you are unsure about including brushing and diet advice. Please feel free to grab a Smiley packed with information on the back. Smiley selfies can be uploaded to our face book page if you wish to join in the fun!
In a surprise move by the chancellor, the sugar tax was unveiled in the budget of 2016 and the British Dental Association is totally in support of this initiative. Soft drinks are the largest single source of sugar for children aged 4-10 years old as well as for teenagers. The tax does not apply to all drinks that contain sugar but the idea is to place a levy on the most sugary drinks available, typically fizzy drinks.
Part of the battle with drinks high in sugar is that often consumers don’t realise exactly what the sugar content is.
Sugar plays a harmful role in tooth decay. Many of us will have seen the experiment that involves a tooth being placed in a beaker of cola and over a matter of a few days it dissolves. The reason that sugar is so bad for our teeth is because the bacteria that form on our teeth become plaque (a creamy layer that forms in our mouths every day) and uses sugar to multiply and become an acid that burns a minute lesion into the enamel.
Over time and with frequent attacks of sugar the tiny lesions become decay that can be picked up on dental X-rays and become visible areas in the teeth. Frequent sipping on these kinds of drinks is a recipe for disaster as far as tooth decay is concerned. It is hoped that at the very least consumers may start to be aware of how much sugar is in the drinks they choose for themselves and give their children.
Less sugar in our diet means healthier teeth and gums for all of us. ONE in FOUR children in England are living with tooth decay, a preventable disease and is the number one reason children are admitted to hospital across the UK. This painful and distressing condition causes untold misery, including severe pain, sleepless nights and missed schooling.
Whether or not the sugar tax has the desired effect still remains to be seen but at least the debate has been opened up and the topic has been well documented in the press. As health care professionals we are glad that awareness has been heightened and maybe in the future we will not have to treat so many youngsters in pain.
The first day of March roared in on the back of ‘the beast from the east’ but despite the cold snap and a few days when the The Causeway looked like a Christmas card we battled through and carried on as normal! It is starting to look more like spring now, daffodils and tulips are determined to push their way through the soggy earth and we can look forward to lighter mornings and brighter evenings and no excuse for putting off the inevitable spring clean, and brushing all the old winter cobwebs away.
Spring has sprung, the grass has riz, I wonder where the toothpaste is!!
A tenuous link, I know, but toothpaste is the mainstay of our oral hygiene routine. The development of modern toothpastes started in the 1800’s. In 1873 Colgate started the mass production of toothpaste in jars and within a few years Colgate introduced its toothpaste in a tube, similar to modern day toothpastes.
In the second half of the twentieth century modern toothpastes were developed to help treat specific conditions such as tooth sensitivity. Fluoride toothpastes to help prevent decay were first introduced in 1914. Brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste is one of the most effective ways of preventing tooth decay.
There have been some concerns that fluoride may be linked to a variety of health conditions but studies have so far, found no convincing evidence to support these concerns. Overall, scientific evidence leads us to believe that fluoride does contribute to reduced tooth decay provided that it is used correctly with the suitable amount measured in parts per million along side a sensible diet and low sugar intake.
Fluoride mouthwash may be prescribed for adults and children who have tooth decay and should be used at a different time to brushing to avoid washing off toothpaste and reducing its effectiveness.
Fluoride varnish can be applied by a dentist. The varnish containing high levels of fluoride is painted on the teeth every six months to help prevent decay and it works by strengthening the tooth enamel and making it more resistant to decay.
The most recent advances in toothpastes have included the development of whitening toothpastes that can help with surface staining and toothpaste containing triclosan which provides extra protection against decay, gum disease, plaque and bad breath.
If you think of toothpaste as the equivalent of using washing up liquid for the dishes then it is clear that it is a useful aid to good oral hygiene.
No need to buy the big brand names if you don’t want to, own brand toothpastes with the amounts of fluoride as described above are perfectly fine!
If you are at all unsure about which toothpaste is right for you or your family then please ask at your next check up. Happy brushing and happy spring cleaning!
Parents are often unsure when to take a child to the dentist for the first time, should you wait until all the teeth are through or until there is a problem?
The answer is simple really. Bring them as soon as you can to get them used to the sights and sounds of the dental surgery. Ideally we like to see the newest members of the family before their first birthday or as soon as the first baby teeth have erupted. The first visit familiarises your child with the staff and the surgery and if all goes well a ride in the chair and a sticker is all that needs to be achieved. This lays the foundation for future visits in a relaxed way in order to count the child’s teeth and address any concerns. From this point on six monthly family check ups will be completely normal and nothing to worry about.
There comes a time as families grow and the children are spreading their wings and off to further education or travelling abroad when dental check-ups are way down the list of priorities! However, dental check- ups are vital when the diet may not be too good, oral hygiene is not great either and wisdom teeth start to erupt. It’s worth knowing that not all over eighteens have to pay for their NHS treatment and our receptionists can give further information and advice.
We get enquiries about teeth whitening and orthodontics (teeth straightening) as a confidence boost before a wedding or after landing a new job and these options are available to our patients at any time and advice is always available.
At any age our patients are regularly screened for oral cancers and other abnormalities and this is a vital part of the usual check-up.
Sometimes patients going through stressful times or even preparing for exams can clench or grind their teeth, causing facial pain. Soft bite guards can be provided to protect the teeth during these times.
For our more senior patients who wear dentures, a dental check-up is still sensible every couple of years just to check that there is nothing unusual happening to the soft tissues where the denture rests and to make sure the dentures still fit well and do the job that they were designed for.
So, you see – the dental team is there at every stage of life to advise and support all our patients and ensure that good oral care is always a priority.
Christmas seems like a distant memory and here at The Corner House Dental Practice we are back to our normal busy selves! At this time of year we are bombarded by the media and social networks with ideas on how to get fit or stick to resolutions made as January dawned.
If there was one thing that we could do to improve our oral health in January then it would be, without a doubt, taking a little more care of our gums. For most of us brushing our teeth twice a day is the norm and it is very important. We can all be proud of ourselves for ticking that box but let’s go a little further and concentrate on the one surface of the teeth that the brush cannot get to. Unless we use something in between our teeth we are leaving bacteria sitting there having their own little New Year party!
We have a great little poster in the room that our hygienists use and it is quite an eye opener. Leaving the bacteria that cause gum disease in between our teeth can have a detrimental effect on the rest of our body. There have been very credible studies done and we now know that there is a link between gum disease and increased risk of a fatal heart attack and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Bacteria from the mouth can be inhaled into the lungs and cause pneumonia. Chronic gum disease can be very detrimental for those with diabetes and smokers with diabetes increase the risk of tooth loss by 20% and people with type two diabetes are three times more likely to develop the most serious type of gum disease than non-diabetics.
Reduction in bone mass is also associated with gum disease and tooth loss and women with severe gum disease run the risk of preterm or low birth weight babies because oral microbes can cross the placental barrier.
All this information can seem pretty worrying but it is good to know why we put so much emphasis on good oral hygiene. If you are visiting the hygienist then look out for the poster.
We wish all our patients a happy and gum healthy 2018 and if you do one new thing this year them make it interdental cleaning! All the dentists and hygienists are here to support you.
The Christmas trees have been put up in the waiting rooms, signalling that time of year for most, when children have a rosy glow and an air of expectation and adults are feeling the pressure to get everything bought, wrapped and cooked in time for the big day. The countdown is definitely on for those of us who celebrate the big day.
A change in routine can disrupt our usual oral hygiene routine at this time of year and of course we are going to indulge in sweet treats and a little tipple! However, here are a few tips to keep us all on the right track over the Christmas break.
1. Try not to ditch the routine altogether. Teeth take a bit of a hammering at this time of year. Christmas morning is an exciting time, especially if you are a parent but try to make sure everyone is brushing with a fluoride toothpaste for two minutes, twice a day
2. Cheese is great for the teeth, it helps to return the mouth to its natural acid balance and reduces the chance of developing tooth decay. Even a little piece of cheese after a main meal can be beneficial. The same can be said for sugar free chewing gum but it's not quite as festive!.
3. Beware of the mince pies, Christmas cake and pudding, all traditional festive foods but they are laden with dried fruits which are high in sugar and can stick to the teeth very easily. These kinds of treats can cause the most damage, particularly if we are having them frequently throughout Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
4. Never ever use your teeth as a bottle opener! Please remember that your teeth are not tools. Should the worst happen and you lose a tooth, first of all, don't panic. Get to the dentist as soon as possible. With the right care the tooth can be put back into the socket. Ideally though, it should be put back straight away without handling the root. Try to keep the tooth within the cheek if possible or keep it in some milk until you see the dentist. Chipped or broken teeth may be sensitive or sharp and will need some treatment..
5. Moderation is the key word over the Christmas period and of course we all want to enjoy the festivities without having to compromise on what we eat and drink. The trick is to remember that it's not how much sugar we have but the frequency of sugary foods during the day. Try to have the extra treats as part of a meal and sneak in a few tooth kind foods as well.
The whole Corner House team would like to wish all our patients a happy and peaceful Christmas time.
When we talk to our patients about sugar in the diet there seems to be a lot of confusion around sugar, sweeteners and ‘no added sugar’. To help clarify the situation here is a brief explanation of sugar in its various guises as found on the ingredients labels. XYLITOL – found in specialist foods, medications and oral health products such as toothpaste and sugar free chewing gum is the most well known product containing this sweetener. It is a helpful alternative to sugar as it does not contribute to tooth decay.
AGAVE NECTAR – this sweet syrup can be bought from health food shops and supermarkets and is popular with those wanting a sugar substitute as it is labelled as a slow-release carbohydrate. This syrup is detrimental to oral health as it forms acid in the same way as traditional granulated sugar and there are no advantages to choosing it.
STIVIOL GLYCOSIDES – This sweetener is 250-300 times sweeter than sugar and is found in sugar-free products such as jams, yoghurts, cakes and deserts, it is also useful in cooking. Since it is calorie free it is useful for those trying to lose weight as it has no calorific value. This product is tooth friendly and an excellent alternative to sugar but still advisable to check the labelling as there my be traditional sugar added as well.
SYRUP – such as honey, maple syrup sugar, black treacle, (molasses), golden syrup, date syrup all fall under this heading. Available in many products and used for the flavour they can add to products like cakes and coffee. All these syrups are harmful to teeth and should be used sparingly.
LACTOSE (milk sugar) – this is the sugar found in milk and dairy products commonly known as lactose. The amount of lactose is similar whether the milk is from a cow, goat or sheep and whether it is semi skimmed or skimmed. Lactose is tooth friendly and does not cause decay as long as there are not other sugars added as in the case of milkshakes. Plain milk and dairy products with no added sugar such as natural yoghurt are good tooth kind choices. The only time milk may be become detrimental to dental health is when it is given to babies and toddlers in a bottle which the child sucks as a comforter over a long period of time on a regular basis. This habit can cause bottle caries and is a very distressing situation for all concerned.
ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS (sucralose)- this is used to sweeten hot drinks and in cooking and has no calorific value and does not cause tooth decay. This type of sweetener is a good alternative to sugar and as long as good oral health is maintained can be of great benefit.
So there we have it! Sugar isn’t always sugar and reading food labels is imperative if we want to do all we can to to avoid tooth decay in old and young alike.
Who would have thought that the latest craze in toothpaste is charcoal? Through the centuries various concoctions [including soot, salt and chalk] have been used. Ancient Egyptians made a kind of brush by splitting the end of a twig and some of the more bazaar ideas included powdered ox hooves and burned egg shells. Try these if you dare!
Activated charcoal is a modern day take on the old idea of how to keep teeth stain free and clean. At this point in time there there is insufficient clinical and laboratory data to substantiate the claims of charcoal based oral health products.
Many toothpastes which claim to whiten our teeth are simply removing surface stains, and will not offer the long lasting white smiles that consumers are looking for. Further more some of these products may do more harm than good as they do not contain the effective ingredients to help prevent tooth decay. Toothpaste needs to contain 1350 to 1,500 parts per million [ppm] of fluoride to protect teeth from decay.
There are many reasons why you may want your teeth whitened and our advice is to do your homework and speak to your dentist for the best option. It is worth mentioning at this point that any whitening offered on social media or in beauty salons is illegal. Some of these products can be too abrasive and if used often can erode enamel and cause extreme sensitivity.
It is important to understand that the only way to get the white teeth that you want is by professional whitening provided by your dentist.
Did you know that gum disease isn't just bad news for your teeth, it's also linked to serious health problems in other parts of your body?
Gum disease may increase your risk of other health complications including stroke, diabetes and its control, rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease. The link between oral health and overall body health is well documented and backed up by robust scientific evidence.
Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth. It's mainly caused by bacteria from plaque build up. In some people who are susceptible to gum disease, the body over-reacts and causes too much inflammation. The result is that it also affects the blood stream, and is believed to slowly damage blood vessels in the heart and brain over a long period of time.
Recent research has suggested that there may be a link between gum disease and Alzheimer's. The thought is that when the bacteria reach the brain they may trigger an auto immune response (like they do in the mouth) killing brain cells. This was a small study with big implications if proved right.
So now you know why we take your gum health so seriously and assess your gums at every routine check up. Please talk to your dentist or hygienist about your gum health and treatment available.
The good news is that brushing your teeth properly and looking after your gums can prevent and treat gum disease, improve overall health and help reduce your risk of health problems.
If you are unsure about your brushing regime then a free session with our Oral Health Educator might be the option for you.
After all - where would you be without your gums!!
No one wants to have a tooth taken out but sometimes it is the only option left. Once the tooth is removed the source of your problem is gone and the area will soon heal but what next?
It may be that doing nothing about the space is right for you and it is a perfectly reasonable option especially if the gap is at the back or does not have an opposing tooth to bite on.
However there are good reasons why your dentist may recommend that you replace missing teeth. Reasons include improving your appearance, making eating more comfortable and keeping your mouth healthy.
The options that you may want to discuss with your dentist are-
Of all the topics raised during a patient consultation, sensitive teeth is one of the most common.
Having sensitive teeth can mean anything from getting a mild twinge to discomfort that can last several hours.
Many people suffer from sensitive teeth and it can start at any time, although it is more common in people aged between 20 and 40 and women are more likely to be affected than men.The part of the tooth we can see has a layer of enamel that protects the softer dentine underneath.
If the dentine is exposed a tooth can become sensitive. This usually happens where the tooth and the gum meet and the enamel layer is much thinner.Here are some causes of sensitivity
• Brushing too hard and brushing from side to side can cause the enamel to be worn away. The freshly exposed dentine may then become sensitive.
• The loss of tooth enamel caused by attacks of acid from acidic foods and drinks.
• Gums may naturally shrink back and the roots of the teeth become exposed and can be more sensitive as root surfaces do not have enamel to protect them.
• Gum disease can cause the gum to recede down the tooth and even destroy bony support making the area difficult to clean.
• Tooth grinding is a habit which involves clenching and grinding the teeth together. This can cause the protective enamel to be worn away making the teeth sensitive.
• A cracked tooth or filling can cause sensitivity to extreme temperature especially if the crack runs from the biting surface of the tooth to the root.
• In some patients tooth bleaching can cause sensitivity for a short time but this is easily managed with advice from your dentist before treatment starts.
You may find that hot,cold,sweet or acidic drinks or foods such as ice cream can bring on sensitivity so you may want to avoid these. If you have sensitivity when brushing your teeth with cold water you may need to use warm water instead. It is important to keep brushing your teeth regularly and spit the toothpaste away without a final rinse as there is de- sensitising properties in the fluoride.
During your check up your dentist will talk to you about your symptoms and may treat affected teeth with special de-sensitising products not available over the counter.
There are many brands of toothpaste on the market made to ease the pain of sensitive teeth and as well as brushing twice a day you can also rub it onto the affected areas and leave it over night. These toothpastes can take several weeks to take affect and your dentist can give you advice on the best one for you. Sensitive teeth can be managed effectively so don't suffer in silence!
June is here and it has felt a lot like summer. Lots of sunshine and the trees in The Causeway are in full leaf, no sign of the spring blossom now. Staff and patients alike are glad of the air conditioned surgeries and although we are well aware that it can rain at any moment a bit of sunshine makes us all feel better!!
A lot of us will be taking holidays soon and a change of routine can mean that our teeth get a little neglected.
Many of you know that dentists and hygienists recommend the Oralb 2000 electric toothbrush but how many of you abandon your electric brush in favour of a manual brush at holiday time?
We would like to encourage you to take a multi adapter plug in your suitcase. The benefits of an electric toothbrush have been well known a very long time and to keep your mouth in tip top condition it should be fully charged and used consistently, change the head every three months and you are set for better oral hygiene. The electric brush does all the work for you. All you have to do is hold it against each tooth in turn at a 45% angle to the gum.
If you are unsure about the brushing technique with an electric toothbrush then your dentist,hygienist or oral health educator will be happy to help.
So here's to a happy summer and if you are traveling for business or pleasure please take your electric toothbrush with you, your teeth with thank you for it!
You may think going to the dentist is nothing to smile about but we beg to differ! National Smile month has just started and if you come into the practice between now and June 16th you may see the smile promotional goodies dotted around. In a nutshell, National Smile Month is the largest and longest running campaign to promote oral health. The crux of the message is to highlight three things,
- Brush your teeth last thing at night and at one other time during the day with fluoride toothpaste.
- They are;.
- Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they come recommended.
Our teeth have such an important role to play in our lives. They help us chew and digest food, they help us to talk and speak clearly and they also give our face shape. A healthy smile can transform your visual appearance, the positivity of your mind-set as well as improving the health of not only your mouth but your body too. Because of this, it only makes sense to give our oral health the best care possible. National Smile Month is our chance to give our oral health the best care possible. National Smile Month is our chance to look at our oral health, learn more about why a healthy mouth is so important and share tips on how to improve and maintain it.
We believe that prevention is much better than cure and to that end we want to provide all our patients with information for managing good oral health at home..
The new Oral Health Education initiative is part of that, providing one to one sessions along with the advice given by your dentist and hygienist. That is why we are interested in what type of toothbrush you use and whether you floss or little brushes at home. All this information helps us provide a tailor-made regime for you to follow at home.
Looking after your teeth is a team effort and we want to encourage our patients to ask for support where it is needed so that together we are working towards a healthier mouth.
We had a CQC inspection on 19th April 2016. The inspection involved looking to see if the practice is safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led
We are glad to report that the inspectors were very impressed with the way the practice is run and led. You can read the full report by downloading the report.
We have also been acknowledged by the local County Times for our good work. We hope to keep providing a high level of care to our patients.
Fay Eves and Marie Fitt are our dental hygienists. They are specially trained to work as part of our dental team, to give care to patients.
Their main work is to prevent and treat gum disease. This includes professionally cleaning your teeth by removing plaque and tartar. However, perhaps their most important role is showing you the best way to keep your teeth free of plaque. Plaque is a sticky coating that forms constantly on your teeth.
Some dentists will do this type of work themselves. However, the hygienist has been specially trained to carry out simple or complex scaling and spend longer with you. They are also expert at teaching you how to look after your teeth and gums. Often the hygienist will spend a number of appointments getting the gums healthy ready for the dentist to restore the teeth with crowns and fillings.
Every time you eat or drink anything sugary, your mouth becomes acidic. This is because the sugar will react with the bacteria in plaque (the sticky coating on your teeth) and produce harmful acids. So it is important to have sugary foods or drinks just at mealtimes, limiting the amount of time your mouth is at risk. Constant snacking can leave the teeth on a constant acid attack. You should never brush your teeth for at least an hour after a meal.
Many processed foods have sugar in them, and the higher up it appears in the list of ingredients, the more sugar there is in the product. Always read the list of ingredients on the labels when you are food shopping.
The lower the pH number, the more acidic the product. Anything with a pH value lower than 5.5 may cause erosion. pH 7 is the middle figure between acid and alkali. Have a look at these common foods:
The Corner House Dental Practice had a NHS inspection of the practice on 21st January 2016. Most practices have this done every three years.
The inspection is very thorough and includes looking at dental records, the premises and speaking to staff.
Two inspectors were present on the day. One looked at policies, audits and continued professional development (on going training) for all staff. This was to ensure that the practice is up to date and continually improving its services.
The second inspector looked around the surgeries and practice itself. This was to confirm that the practice is clean, maintaining a high standard in cross infection, all materials and drugs are in date, looking at x-ray machines and making sure equipment is serviced on a regular basis.
They were really pleased with the practice and one said we ‘passed with flying colours’. They were really impressed with the iPads to update all the information. We are proud to be providing a high level of care to all our patients.
Teeth and gum disease is preventable. These simple tips will make it easier to keep their mouth healthy.
Limit sugary snacks – Stop grazing on sugar-filled foods or sipping on sugary drinks between meals is a great way to protect your teeth against excess sugar and acids. The more you snack outside your main meals, the mouth never has a chance to rest and neutralize and is on a constant acid high!
Brushing – Brushing twice a day for two minutes is the best way to look after your teeth and gums. We recommend using an electric toothbrush making your life easier and it clinically proven to reduce plaque. After brushing spit the toothpaste out and don’t rinse out with water.
Flossing – This doesn’t have to be a chore. Flossing can be simple and there are many things on the market now to make it easier for you. Many patients book in with the hygienist to help them look after there teeth and gums but also get to learn ways to look after them.
Chewing gum – Sugar-free chewing gum is proven to help reduce dental cavities. After a meal, chewing gum increases saliva so helps bring the acid levels to a neutral level.