Category “general dentistry”

Five Stocking Fillers to Help with Dental Health

Christmas is a time for giving, and what better gift than a healthy, beautiful smile? If you’re looking for ideas that will boost dental health, here are 5 great stocking fillers for fabulous pearly whites:

  • An electric toothbrush: electric toothbrushes are proven to remove plaque more effectively than manual brushes, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to achieve amazing results. Even the most basic models do a brilliant job of keeping the mouth clean and polishing those pegs.
  • Toothpaste: if you’re looking for an inexpensive treat for somebody who always seems to be running low on toothpaste, why not treat them to a couple of tubes?
  • Dental floss: floss may not be the most obvious choice of Christmas gift, but it plays an important role in reducing the risk of decay and gum disease.
  • Dental cleaning: if you have a friend or a relative who is obsessed with having a bright and beautiful smile, why not treat them to a dental hygiene session? Hygienists offer deep cleaning treatments, which remove surface stains and give the smile a gorgeous, radiant glow.
  • Cosmetic treatment: if you’re feeling generous, why not give a loved one the gift of a beautiful smile this Christmas? You can choose from tooth whitening, cosmetic bonding or push the boat out and go for a smile makeover. We have options to suit all budgets!

Did You Know Replacing Your Fillings Can Make Your Mouth Healthier?

Fillings are used very commonly in dentistry to combat decay and strengthen teeth with cavities. Although fillings can last for several years, they’re not a permanent solution. If you’ve had your fillings for a long time, it may be time to think about replacing them.

The benefits of fillings

Fillings are restorations, which are placed inside cavities, or small holes in the tooth. The aim is to make the tooth stronger, but also to protect the tooth. Placing a filling and cleaning the cavity can help to prevent harmful bacteria reaching other parts of the tooth. If you have a cavity, and you don’t have a filling, there’s a risk of the hole getting larger, and the tooth could also become infected.

How long do fillings last?

The lifespan of a filling will depend on the material used. Today, most people have fillings that are made from dental composite, a tooth-coloured material. In the past, mercury amalgam fillings were much more common. Composite fillings should last around 5 years, while amalgam fillings last up to 15 years. Although amalgam fillings are more durable than composite fillings, there are several advantages of white fillings. Most importantly for patients keen to preserve the look of their smile, white fillings are incredibly discreet, and they blend in with the natural tooth shade. Composite fillings are also safer and more environmentally-friendly than mercury amalgam fillings.

The advantages of replacing fillings

If you’ve had fillings for a long time, you may need to replace them. Fillings can become worn over the course of time, and this can impact oral health. If the filling doesn’t fit the cavity anymore, there’s a chance that bacteria will be able to penetrate the tooth. A worn filling could also cause the tooth to become weaker. When you go to the dentist for routine check-ups, they will take a look at any fillings or crowns you have, and check for signs of wear or tear. If your dentist thinks you might benefit from a new filling, they will discuss this with you.

Why Tooth Coloured Fillings Are Better For Your Teeth In Essex

If you have a cavity in your tooth, our dentists will probably recommend placing a filling. There are different types of filling, and in most cases, we recommend tooth-coloured fillings.

About tooth-coloured fillings

Tooth-coloured fillings, also known as white fillings, are an effective, aesthetically pleasing means of protecting your teeth and preventing the spread of infection when a cavity, a hole, forms. If you have a cavity, there’s a risk of bacteria spreading to other parts of the tooth, and this can increase the risk of infection and further damage. White fillings offer an alternative to mercury amalgam fillings, which are becoming less popular.

The benefits of tooth-coloured fillings

Tooth-coloured fillings are becoming more commonplace due to their aesthetic benefits, but also as a result of concerns about the safety and environmental impact of mercury fillings. Tooth-coloured fillings are virtually invisible when you smile, unlike amalgam fillings, and they’re also safe and more eco-friendly.

How is a filling placed?

If you need a new filling, or you’re having an old filling replaced, your dentist will explain exactly what is going to happen before administering local anaesthetic to numb your tooth and prevent any pain. Once the cavity is clear of any old fillings or debris, the tooth will be cleaned thoroughly, and then a bonding agent will be applied. This will help the composite material to stick inside the cavity. The composite, which is matched to your natural tooth shade, will be poured into the cavity and then shaped to ensure a snug fit. Your dentist will then shine a curing light onto the tooth and this will set the filling. The final step is to carry out any final adjustments to make sure the filling fits the cavity perfectly. Placing a filling should take less than an hour.

Protecting The Future of Your Teeth with Fissure Sealant

At Advance Dental, we strongly believe that prevention is better than cure. With decay one of the most common preventable illnesses in the UK, we’re keen to promote preventative services like fissure sealant.

What is fissure sealant?

Fissure sealant treatment is a preventative measure, which is often encouraged for children. It involves placing a seal over the teeth to prevent food and bacteria getting stuck in the tiny fissures and cracks on the tooth surface. By creating a barrier, you can protect the teeth from decay and reduce the risk of cavities forming. In most cases, this treatment is used to protect the molars, which are located at the back of the mouth.

Fissure sealant treatment is simple, quick and safe. The treatment simply involves applying the sealant to the teeth and then hardening it using a curing light. The result is a protective shield, which helps to boost oral health and keep your teeth in check.

Fissure sealant treatment takes a matter of minutes and there is no pain involved.

How long do sealants last?

Sealants last for many years. If you have sealants on your teeth, your dentist will check them every time you have a routine dental check to ensure that they are still in good condition. If the sealant does become worn, it’s possible to reseal the tooth to prolong the results.

If you’re interested in preventive measures and you’d like to find out more about fissure sealants, our dentists will be happy to help.

Five Drinks to Avoid For Better Looking Teeth

If you’re keen to keep your smile in check, it’s wise to keep an eye on your diet. The food and drinks you consume can play a major role in enhancing or detracting from the beauty of your smile. If keeping your teeth white and bright is your main concern, here are 5 drinks to avoid this summer:

  1. Coffee: many people can’t survive with a morning caffeine fix, but did you know that coffee is one of the worst offenders when it comes to tooth discolouration? Staining agents like tannin can make the teeth look yellow or brown, making your smile look less healthy and radiant.
  2. Tea: tea is another drink to avoid if you want to keep your smile shining bright. Tea contains staining agents, which discolour the teeth. This applies to both black tea and green tea. If you can’t deal with the prospect of life without a cuppa, drink a glass of water straight after your tea.
  3. Cola: cola is one of the most popular summer drinks, but next time you head to the fridge, spare a thought for your smile. Cola is not only rich in staining agents, it’s also packed full of sugar, and it’s acidic.
  4. Wine: many people enjoy a glass of wine or two on a summer evening. Unfortunately, although wine is delicious, it can spell problems for your teeth. Both white and red wine are proven to stain the teeth, and wine also has a very low pH value. Acidic drinks contribute to erosion of the tooth enamel.
  5. Juice: it’s very common to assume that juice is a healthy option, but many shop-bought fruit juices have high sugar content and a low pH value. If you are keen on fruit juice, dilute your juice, use a straw, and stick to drinking juice at mealtimes.

How Fissure Sealing Can Help You Children Take Care of Their Teeth

In dentistry, prevention is always better than cure. At Advance Dental, we strive to do everything possible to keep our younger patients free from dental dramas, and we provide preventative treatments, including fissure sealant treatment.

What is fissure sealant treatment?

Fissure sealant treatment is a preventative therapy, which is recommended for children as a means of reducing the risk of tooth decay. A sealant is applied to the teeth, usually the molars, to provide a protective barrier, which fills the tiny cracks and crevices on the biting surface of the tooth. Sealant material is applied to the tooth, stretched out to cover the fissures and then hardened using a curing light. By filling in these tiny gaps, there’s a lower risk of food and bacteria becoming trapped in the tooth surface, which reduces the risk of plaque formation and protects the tooth from decay.

Is fissure sealant treatment painful?

Fissure sealant treatment is painless, quick and effective. Your child won’t experience any pain at all and within minutes, they’ll be free to get back to whatever the rest of the day holds.

Who can benefit from fissure sealant treatment?

This is a preventative service, which is recommended for all children. Generally speaking, this treatment is designed for children who have developed their adult molar teeth. Most commonly, treatment is provided for children aged between 6 and 10 years old. Once they are in place, sealants can last up to 10 years.

If you have children and you’d like information about the benefits of fissure sealants, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’ll be happy to answer questions and help you decide if this is a treatment you’d like your child to have.

Five Food Swaps For Stronger Teeth This Spring

If you’re keen to protect your teeth and gums, it’s hugely beneficial to keep an eye on your diet. Here are 5 food swaps you can make for stronger teeth this spring:

  1. Fizzy drinks for milk: milk is rich in calcium, which is essential for strong teeth, but it also has a much higher pH value and lower sugar content than fizzy drinks. Acids wear away the enamel, and most fizzy drinks have very little nutritional value. Next time you’re thirsty, pour a glass of milk rather than reaching for a can of pop.
  2. Ice cream for yoghurt: it may be warmer outside, but resist the temptation to stock the freezer full of ice cream. Ice cream is sugary, and it can also exacerbate symptoms of sensitivity. Yoghurt is a better option, as it contains calcium, and unsweetened versions have low sugar content. Sprinkle some raspberries or blueberries to increase your daily intake of fruit.
  3. Crisps for cheese: if you tend to graze on crisps between meals, try eating a small chunk of cheese instead. Cheese has a high pH value, it’s low in sugar, and it’s a good source of calcium.
  4. Juice for water: juice is often marketed as a healthy alternative to fizzy drinks, but most shop-bought products are full of added sugar. Juices also tend to be acidic. Water is pH neutral, it contains fluoride, it has no sugar content and it helps to keep dry mouth at bay.
  5. Cooked veg for raw vegetables: any form of vegetable is going to be beneficial for you, but raw vegetables are particularly good for your oral health. Chewing on raw carrots, celery sticks, broccoli and cucumber stimulates saliva production, cleansing the mouth and reducing acidity.

Three Tips for Healthy Teeth

Taking good care of your smile is one of the best New Year’s resolutions you can make. If you’re keen to improve your oral health in the year ahead, here are 3 simple tips to get you started:

  1. Brush twice a day, every single day: surveys show a significant portion of UK adults don’t brush twice a day. If you neglect your oral hygiene, this will increase your risk of developing gum disease, discolouration, bad breath and cavities. All it takes is two minutes every morning and evening. When you’re brushing, take care to cover every individual tooth surface, swap your brush head every 3-4 months and use fluoride toothpaste. Angle your brush head to remove food debris from the gum line and be gentle to prevent enamel damage.
  2. Cut down on sugar: if you consume a lot of sugary foods or drinks, make it your mission to try and reduce your daily sugar intake. When bacteria feed on sugar, they release acids, which attack and weaken the tooth enamel, increasing the risk of cavities and infections. Ideally, you should aim for a maximum intake of around 7 teaspoons of sugar per day.
  3. Book a dental check: if you’re not very good at keeping up to date with dental checks, this is one of the easiest ways to improve your dental health. Visiting your dentist on a regular basis can reduce the risk of gum disease and decay by up to 60 percent. Call us now if you’re overdue a check-up.

Top Five Autumnal Tooth Friendly Foods 

Autumn is upon us, and it’s time to wave farewell to summer favourites and embrace some new tooth-friendly, seasonal foods. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Casseroles and stews: casseroles and stews will fill you up for hours and give you that warm fuzzy feeling on a chilly, dark evening. You can pack stews full of vegetables that are laden with vitamins and minerals, and you don’t have to slave over a hot stove for hours.
  2. Eggs: eggs are a good source of protein and they’re really versatile and easy to eat. You can rustle up scrambled eggs for breakfast, hard boil some eggs to add to a salad for lunch or prepare an omelette for tea.
  3. Porridge: if you’re looking for an autumnal treat in the morning, porridge is a great choice. Porridge oats are filling, they’re full of fibre and the milk you add is an excellent source of calcium. Avoid adding sugar. If you have a sweet tooth, add some honey.
  4. Green tea: most of us love a hot drink on a chilly day, and green tea is a brilliant option if you’re flagging in the afternoon or you need warming up in the morning. Green tea is full of antioxidants and studies show that it can help to reduce your risk of gum disease.
  5. Cheese: if you’re looking for a dessert to replace ice cream or meringues now that summer has faded into a distant memory, why not embrace savoury flavours and have cheese and crackers? Cheese has a high pH value and it’s also a good source of calcium.

If you need any more tips or ideas or you’d like more information about healthy eating, our dental team will be happy to help.

Five Tooth Brushing Tips To Keep Your Teeth Gleaming

Most of us want to enjoy a gleaming, glossy smile for as long as possible. If you’re keen to make your smile shine this summer, here are 5 brilliant brushing tips:

  1. Be gentle: brushing hard may seem like the best thing to do to get a good clean and polish, but if you brush aggressively, you can actually do harm than good. Brush gently to protect your enamel.
  2. Use a timer: it’s really important to do a thorough job when you brush, so set a timer or buy a brush with a timer to make sure you’re brushing for at least 2 minutes each time.
  3. Swap your brush every 3-4 months: if you’re brushing with a brush that has worn down bristles, you’re not going to achieve the same level of intensity as you would with a new brush. Swap the brush or the brush head every 3-4 months.
  4. Angle the head of the brush: when you’re cleaning your teeth, angle the brush head to enable you to clean along the gum line. This will ensure that you can clean the entire tooth.
  5. Clean between your teeth: the tiny cracks and gaps between your teeth can easily trap food and bacteria, so clean these areas with inter-dental brushes or dental floss.