If so, now is the time to restore your mouth to good health.
If you have been a regular smoker, there is a good chance that it will have had an adverse impact on your mouth. We hope that you will have always maintained regular visits to your dentist so that any particularly serious problems would already have been detected.
Once you have taken the decision to stop smoking though, it is an excellent time to visit The Calverley Dental Practice, for a comprehensive check and to put a treatment plan in to place to restore your mouth to a healthy and attractive condition.
Smoking can contribute quite significantly to a number of potentially serious oral health problems. The most serious of these is oral cancer, which is forecast to kill over 4,500 people per year in the UK by 2035. Whilst, at any stage, this is a serious condition, like all medical conditions, the earlier it is detected, the better the outcome is likely to be following treatment. As dentists, we are in an excellent position to detect any potential irregularities during your regular checks. We may refer you to your GP for further checks and whilst it is important that you do go, you should also remember that this is a precaution and not an actual cancer diagnosis.
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A simple yet effective route to a brighter smile!
Of all the cosmetic dental procedures that are now available, teeth whitening is probably the one that is the most familiar to people. The ‘Hollywood Smile’ is now well known through exposure in the media and it is rare to see a celebrity, however minor, with dull looking teeth these days.
Whilst a teeth whitening procedure may once have been considered quite expensive, and potentially out of many people’s reach, it is now highly affordable and comfortable. Most people can have the procedure safely with no problems at all, as long as it is performed or overseen by a registered and approved dental health professional.
At home teeth whitening
The teeth whitening procedure used at The Calverley Dental Practice allows patients to whiten their teeth in their own home using personalised whitening trays.
Because these trays are custom made for each individual patient, they offer a good degree of comfort. Unlike ‘off the shelf’ versions, they retain the whitening gel, a form of bleach, much more effectively and prevent it from spilling onto the lips or gums which could cause painful and unsightly burns. The trays are worn for a few hours each day and will gradually lighten not only the surface enamel, but also the inner parts of your teeth which darken as we grow older.
The degree to which you want your teeth whitened is entirely your choice and we will be pleased to offer our advice on this. Whilst some people do want a dazzling white smile, others are happy for a smaller, but perhaps more natural looking, improvement.
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But should always be supported by visits to our Tunbridge Wells dental practice!
In today’s blog, we are going back to the very basics of good quality oral health care. Although there are many excellent cosmetic and general dental procedures that can restore your teeth to good health and an attractive appearance, patients obviously prefer to prevent the need for treatment in the first place.
Below, we offer some basic, but essential guidance, for patients who wish to keep their teeth strong and healthy. You should also remember that this also applies to any artificial tooth restorations, such as dental implants, that you have too.
In today’s modern world, nearly all foods contain sugar, including many savoury ones. This is almost inevitable, but the key is to try to keep these to a minimum as far as possible. The easiest way to do this of course, is to cook at home, but this is not always practical for those with busy lives. Always read the ingredients and try to keep as much sugar out of your diet as possible. Be careful too, about the drinks that you consume. You may have decided not to have sugar in your tea, but one can of a well known popular soft drink contains approximately nine teaspoons of it!
Whether you eat and drink a high or low sugar diet, you should never underestimate the importance of cleaning your teeth well. This does not take long at all, and a few minutes in the morning and night will go a long way towards keeping your teeth and gums in good health.
Make sure that any brush you use, whether manual or electric, is no older than three months old. If it is, the bristles will be less effective at removing residual bacteria and food particles. Make sure to change your brush regularly and when you do brush, ensure that you angle the bristles towards the gum line, as this will help to keep the gum line clean. Always use a fluoride toothpaste too, as this will help to strengthen the protective enamel.
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Some helpful aftercare advice from our Tunbridge Wells dental team.
Our recent blog discussing the benefits of dental implants to replace missing teeth seems to have sparked some interest. One aspect of this treatment that we only briefly looked at previously is also one that seems to come up regularly when discussing the treatment with our patients.
Specifically, how to look after dental implants, once they have been placed.
In today’s blog, we look at the aftercare of dental implants, both in the immediate period following the procedure, and their longer term care.
Once you have received your implants at our Tunbridge practice, the care that you take of them at this stage is extremely important. You will be given full instructions at the time, but generally, the following should apply:
Cleaning – As the area where the implant has been placed is likely to be quite sore and may bleed a little, you obviously can’t brush them at this stage. They do, however, need to be kept clean. A warm saline solution should be ‘tipped’ around the implant a few times. This will help to keep it free of any potentially harmful bacteria and food deposits. As the wound heals, you may introduce the use of a very soft toothbrush to gently brush the area.
Eating – Aside from any initial comfort issues, it is important not to put stress on your new implant until such a time that it has securely bonded with the bone into which it was placed. This means that, initially, you should eat ‘liquid’ foods only, such as soups or yoghurts. As the implant becomes more secure, softer foods such as mashed potatoes or soft pasta can be added. Even as slightly harder foods are added, it is best to avoid using the dental implant for any chewing purposes at this stage, as far as possible. Smoking and drinking should also be avoided due to the increased risk of infection and gum disease.
Longer term care
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How your children can keep their teeth strong and healthy.
A commonly asked question by patients who are new mums, concerns when they should first bring their new child to our Tunbridge Wells dental surgery. There is no hard and fast rule here, but generally, bringing them at around one year old is ideal.
This may seem a little early to some people, and it is true that any dental treatment is very unlikely at this stage. There are some benefits though. We may detect early signs of gum problems that can easily be reversed with better care before they become more problematic. We can also answer any questions that parents may have about how to keep their babies mouths clean. In addition to this, it is thought that allowing the child to experience the sights, sounds and smells of a dental practice early on in life, can help them to avoid dental anxiety later on, and consequently improve the chances of them having a healthy mouth throughout their life.
Healthy teeth start at home
As with adults, we would encourage parents to keep a child’s sugar intake to a minimum. Children should, ideally, drink water in the main for hydration purposes. Whilst fruit juices are often thought to be healthy, they also contain high levels of sugar, even if they are natural ones. This sugar can cause significant damage to young teeth whose enamel thickness is around 50% of that of an adult.
You should always encourage your child to clean their teeth twice a day, and should supervise them to make sure that they are doing so effectively.
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Five reasons why this modern brace system is so popular.
Teeth can become uneven and crooked in many different ways. Where all of the teeth need to be straightened, this can involve quite a lengthy process due to the difficulty in correcting the rear teeth in particular. In many cases though, patients of The Calverley Dental Practice may simply want to have their visible teeth straightened, to help them achieve a nicer looking smile.
Quite often this will require relatively minor repositioning of the teeth which can usually be completed quickly and in a highly discreet manner using the Inman Aligner. This is one of the new generation of orthodontics which not only straighten the teeth, but are almost invisible to those around you.
Below, we take a look at five good reasons why the Inman Aligner is an excellent choice in this type of situation.
Depending on how crooked the teeth are, using an Inman Aligner can mean that they are straightened within as little as 4 weeks. Slightly more crooked teeth may require up to 16 weeks for the treatment to be completed, still significantly less than the year plus which most orthodontics take to complete their task.
Naturally, any object kept in the mouth for a length of time may cause some initial minor discomfort. Patients of our Tunbridge Wells dental practice though, have told us that this method proved to be much more comfortable than they expected. They especially appreciated the fact that it is designed to be conveniently removable.
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Why healthy gums are also essential for healthy teeth.
It is probably fair to say that most people do brush their teeth on a regular basis. Although there may be room for improvement, most people understand the importance of keeping their teeth clean.
Unfortunately, the same cannot always be said about their gums with too many people underestimating the importance of keeping these healthy too.
At the Calverley Dental Practice in Tunbridge Wells, we regularly monitor our patients for indications of gum disease, as, without healthy gums, our teeth may be at serious risk.
What causes gum disease?
Our mouths contain many different types of bacteria. Some of these are useful and help to break down food, whilst others are considered to be ‘bad bacteria’. It is these which can cause the problems. In a healthy mouth, where the balance is maintained, these ‘bad’ bacteria should cause few problems providing that the teeth and gums are cleaned regularly; however when the bad bacteria start to multiply and are not controlled, gingivitis and periodontitis may follow.
How do I prevent gum disease?
There are a number of ways to help in the fight against gum disease.
- Make sure that you brush your teeth well, angling the brush so that it cleans just underneath the gum line as well as the surface of the teeth.
- Use dental floss or another inter-dental cleaning tool. Bacteria (and food debris) get trapped between our teeth and it is here that dental problems often start.
- Visit the hygienist at our Tunbridge Wells clinic on a regular basis. Not only will they advise ways in which you can improve your oral health but also show you how to floss correctly as well as thoroughly cleaning your teeth.
How is gum disease treated?
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Strength and security from this popular tooth replacement method.
For many years, the only viable means of replacing missing teeth was through the use of dentures. Whilst this provides a reasonable option for cosmetic purposes and function, some people find that even modern dentures don’t offer the security and stability that natural teeth do. A dental bridge is another option, and one that does offer a greater degree of security, but not without some drawbacks.
A bridge can only be used where there are healthy adjacent teeth to attach the bridge to and these anchoring teeth also need to be shaped to provide firm foundations for the crowns which support the bridge. Understandably, this isn’t necessarily ideal for healthy teeth. However, patients of The Calverley Dental Practice in Tunbridge Wells do have another option.
Although they have been around since the mid 1960s, it is only relatively recently that dental implants have been widely available to the general public. They have, however, proved to be a big success and, with good aftercare, offer an excellent way of replacing a missing tooth in a manner that affords a strength equal to, or even greater than, a natural tooth.
Essentially, the ‘implant’ itself is a titanium screw which is placed into the bone in the jaw. This will then bond with the bone in a process known as osseointegration. After approximately three months, the implant will have formed an extremely strong bond with the bone and is now, in effect, an artificial tooth root. To this ‘root’, a dental crown is attached, which completes your new replacement tooth.
Multiple implant placement
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Saving root infected teeth in Tunbridge Wells.
The words ‘root canal’ tend to conjure up images of something extremely painful in the minds of many people.
But in reality, the treatment is nothing to be concerned about and is often the only option available to save a tooth which has become infected internally.
In fact, many people misunderstand what happens during a root canal procedure, so in today’s blog, your Tunbridge Wells dentist explains the procedure in more detail for the benefit of our readers.
Why root canal?
A root canal procedure is performed when the inner part of the tooth becomes infected. This infection can be very painful as this is where the nerves of the teeth are stored. Without having a root canal procedure, the tooth would otherwise need to be extracted.
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Options for beautiful smiles in Tunbridge Wells!
At The Calverley Dental Practice, we offer general dental care for the whole family, as well as a wide range of cosmetic dentistry procedures that are designed to restore the appearance of your teeth and boost a flagging smile.
Aside from the obvious aesthetic benefits of this, many patients who undergo these treatments find that their confidence and, sometimes, social lives, also improve.
We will look in more detail at various dental treatments, both general and cosmetic in future blogs. In today’s article though, we provide a quick overview of the cosmetic dental treatments available here at The Calverley Dental Practice, your local dentist in Tunbridge Wells.
Many people have minor misalignment of their teeth. Whilst this may not present any immediate problems (although it is easier to keep straight teeth clean), crooked visible teeth do detract from a nice smile. We also suspect that more and more people would opt to have their teeth straightened if they were aware of the convenient and discreet modern braces that are now available. These are so much more unobtrusive and comfortable than the metal “train track” versions of the past!
At The Calverley Dental Practice, we use the Inman Aligner to correct minor issues. This is a discreet dental brace that is also removable and therefore convenient when eating food or when cleaning your teeth. Most patients find it to be quite comfortable, with the added benefit that it can straighten your teeth very quickly, often taking just six to sixteen weeks, depending on the nature of the problem.
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