Avoiding Dental Cavities

Some simple changes to your lifestyle could minimise the need for dental treatment.

At The Calverley Dental Practice, we are firm believers in preventative dental care for the whole family. Whilst the dentists at our Tunbridge Wells clinic are usually able to restore teeth, following damage or infection, we would much prefer patients not to need these treatments, as, we are sure, so would our patients!

Although we can never completely guard against accidents that may damage a tooth, the fact is that the majority of procedures carried out by dentists across the UK, is for the treatment of dental cavities.  Especially in younger children, this is a common problem, but one that can be greatly reduced with just a few small changes to your lifestyle.

Cut down on sugar

Few people are not aware of the damage that sugar does to your teeth, yet we still have a diet that is much too high in this tooth rotting foodstuff. Whilst it might be next to impossible to cut sugar out entirely, there is no reason why we shouldn’t be able to reduce it significantly. Especially try to cut out sweets that are sucked for long periods of time, and also fizzy, high sugar drinks.

Clean your teeth

We can almost hear patients saying “but I do”, and it is true that most people probably do clean their teeth in a fashion. The key though is to do so correctly. Too many people use old toothbrushes (you should never use one older than three months) that are inefficient, and probably only give teeth a relatively cursory brush. Electric toothbrushes are now considered to be more efficient than a manual toothbrush and are well worth the small investment. We also recommend that you talk to our dental hygienist for information about how to brush correctly.

Dental floss

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Do You Check Your Gums?

hygienist in Tunbridge Wells

When gum disease is present, there are often symptoms you shouldn’t ignore.

How often do you look at your gums when you clean your teeth? Many of us will take a quick look at our teeth to make sure that they look clean, but probably very few of us will also check to see how our gums look.

Whilst some symptoms of gum disease can be invisible and others more noticeable by the way that they feel, it is still worth a quick home check every now and then.

These home checks should not replace a full examination by your local Tunbridge Wells dentist or the hygienist, but could alert you to problems in between your regular visits to the Calverley Dental Practice.

Possible visible symptoms

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A Brighter Smile For The New Year In Tunbridge Wells

white teeth smiling lady

Make a new start with a beautiful smile in 2018.

With Christmas and New Year celebrations now a thing of the past, many of us will be looking at changes that we want to make to our lives in 2018.

Hopefully, smokers will have decided to make an effort to stop, and there will no doubt be improvement to other health areas on the list too.

At The Calverley Dental Practice, we usually see a rise in the number of patients from the Tunbridge Wells area who want to improve the way that their teeth look. Whilst this includes those seeking to straighten teeth, or even to replace missing teeth, probably the most popular are those who simply want their teeth to be whiter than they currently are.

Custom home teeth whitening

For anyone wishing to achieve a whiter smile, we offer a custom home whitening system that can whiten your teeth by up to eight shades. Although there are home whitening kits available from chemists etc, these are not recommended. Whilst they may offer some improvement, there are two reasons where you should exercise caution. The strength of the bleaching agent allowed in these kits is much lower than those supplied by dentists. This is for health and safety reasons, but will also produce inferior results.

Secondly, the trays used in these kits are one size fits all. This means that they may not fit as securely to your teeth and there is a risk of the bleaching agent leaking and possibly causing irritation of the soft tissues of your mouth.

The kits that are supplied by The Calverley Dental Practice include trays that are made from impressions of each individual patient’s teeth. This means that not only is any risk of irritation minimised, but also that they will feel more comfortable. As the trays are worn for a few hours a day for a couple of weeks or so, this can make a big difference to the patient’s experience.

Results and side effects

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Merry Xmas From Our Tunbridge Wells Dentists

Seasonal advice on looking after your teeth.

Christmas is coming and it probably won’t only be the goose that puts on a few extra pounds at this time of the year! Whilst we might overindulge a little over the holidays, possibly adding to our weight; for most of us, things will soon return to normal once we get back to our regular routine.

The same, unfortunately, can’t be said of any negative effects on our teeth, caused by our seasonal indulgence. In today’s Calverley Dental Practice blog, we offer some simple advice to help our patients take good care of their teeth and gums this Christmas.

Keep brushing your teeth – Most of us manage to take a short holiday at Christmas. You should not apply this to your dental care though! A lot of sugar is likely to be consumed, in one form or another, and you should make sure to clean your teeth regularly to reduce the risk of damage from this. Do try to floss too, to get rid of those sticky foods that lodge between the teeth.

Beware of excess alcohol – Most of us will probably drink at Christmas; even those who rarely drink the rest of the year may be tempted by a tipple or two. Especially if you aren’t used to it, continual ‘top ups’ of drink can accumulate, leaving us less than steady on our feet. Many falls and accidents are attributed to alcohol and ‘one too many’ at Christmas time could result in broken or lost teeth if you fall heavily.

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Is Snoring Affecting Your Health?

Although sometimes discussed in a humorous manner, snoring can affect our health.

We have all seen the sketches on TV, where someone falls asleep snoring because the other person is boring them, or someone can’t get to sleep because of the ridiculously loud snoring of their partner. For some sufferers, snoring is anything but a laughing matter.

Of course, the lack of sleep caused by noisy snorers should not be taken lightly, and, especially over time, may cause them to become run down and more vulnerable to illness. What is less well acknowledged though, is the harm that snoring can do to the person who snores.

Health risks

Studies of snorers have shown that a sizeable percentage of them suffer from a condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. This causes pauses in breathing, whilst asleep, for anything from a few seconds to a full minute or more. Whilst this is not uncommon, those who this affects regularly have been shown to be at an increased risk of heart conditions.

If your partner snores, and especially if they end each pause in breath whilst asleep with a loud snore or snort, we do recommend that they seek medical advice in the first instance.

How we can help

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How Do Dental Implants Work?

The secret to the success of this increasingly popular tooth replacement method.

For many years, dentures had the monopoly when it came to replacing missing teeth. This was all well and good, certainly when you consider that dentures were improving all the time and today, modern versions still offer a realistic way to replace missing teeth.

Quite some years back now, the use of a bridge became an alternative option to dentures but, despite improvements, neither of these solutions were perfect. Dentures were not always as stable as wearers wished and fitting a bridge required that the remaining teeth either side of the gap, had to be shaped so that the bridge could be fitted.

Enter dental implants

Dental implants were first used in the 1960s in just a few cases, but progressively became more and more popular as the story of their success became more widely known. Even today though, many people probably still do not know how dental implants actually work. So in today’s Calverley Dental Practice blog, your Tunbridge Wells dentists explain how implants offer the most secure and stable option for replacing missing teeth.

Titanium implants and osseointegration

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Bad Breath? Sore Gums? It Could Be Gum Disease

Our Tunbridge Wells dentists discuss how to restore your mouth to good health

There are a number of possible symptoms of gum disease. Whilst bad breath, or halitosis, and sore and inflamed gums are but two of these, they are two of the most obviously noticeable, and if you have these issues, then there is a very good chance that it is caused by gingivitis or worse, periodontitis.

Your gum health is important, not simply to avoid discomfort and inconvenience, but because healthy gums are the foundation of having healthy teeth. Gum disease that is left to advance, is responsible for more tooth loss than even tooth decay.

What causes gum disease

Essentially, gum disease occurs when the gingival bacteria in our mouth become out of control. This can be caused by external factors, such as dehydration, which provides a perfect breeding environment, but also poor home cleaning. Even if you brush your teeth regularly, there are parts of your teeth that the brush will not reach. As only around 20% of us actually use dental floss, it is perhaps not surprising that gum disease is fairly common.

The good (and bad) news

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The Various Benefits Of Straighter Teeth

Orthodontics can help you with more than just a nice smile!

There is little doubt that most people have their teeth straightened in order to improve their smile.

A nice straight, white set of teeth is something that many of us aim for, and modern orthodontics, such as the Inman Aligner offer a speedy way of achieving this.

In addition to cosmetic improvements, there are a number of other potential benefits that can be gained from having straighter teeth.

Better hygiene

There are two main areas of oral hygiene which are helped by having straighter teeth. Where teeth overlap or are pushed against each other tightly, small pieces of food can easily become trapped there and can be very difficult to remove, even with dental floss. Over time, these food particles may start to decay the tooth, leading to the need for fillings.

With straight, evenly spaced teeth, when food becomes trapped, this should present no significant problems if you clean your teeth correctly. The use of a good quality toothbrush should remove the majority of food debris but we also recommend the addition of flossing as well,  as small particles may still remain, often trapped around the gums.

A warm greeting

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Coping With Your Fear Of The Dentist

Managing dental anxiety in Tunbridge Wells.

It is thought that around 10% of the UK population suffer from odontophobia, a significant fear of the dentist. This does not necessarily mean that they are afraid of any pain they might feel, but just the thought of even walking through the door of a dentist’s practice can cause their anxiety levels to rise.

It would be unrealistic to think that the majority of patients actually enjoy a visit to their local dentist; the fact is that relatively few people do. However, here at Calverley Dental in Tunbridge Wells, we do all that we can to ensure that you receive any necessary care and attention in an environment we try to make as relaxing as possible. Below, we offer some ideas on how you can also help to reduce any anxiety associated with your visit.

Talk to us

It is essential that you let us know that you have a fear of the dentist. Our team are very sympathetic to this and will take extra special care to look after you during your visit. Often, a relaxed and friendly environment and a simple chat can play a big role in reducing anxiety.

Understand what is happening

Although patients may not wish to know the finer details of their procedure, many do find that knowledge of what is happening really helps. There are sounds that you might hear, depending on the treatment you are receiving, which are unusual, and potentially scary as they are so close to the auditory senses. Just knowing that these are normal sounds and nothing to be feared, can be of help.

The dental drill

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Have You Stopped Smoking?

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.

Health implications

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.

Gum disease

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