Category “general dentistry”

Four Ways Stopping Smoking Will Help Your Teeth

We tend to focus on our heart and lungs when we talk about the benefits of giving up smoking, but did you know that quitting can also have major benefits for your teeth? Here are just 4 of the reasons your oral health will improve when you stop smoking:

  1. Reduced risk of gum disease: smoking reduces blood flow to the gums, which increases the risk of gum disease. Gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in British adults. Signs to look out for include swollen and sore gums, increased redness and bleeding when you brush.
  2. Lower risk of bad breath: smoking is one of the leading causes of bad breath. Although brushing your teeth and hewing sugar-free gum can help to disguise odours, nothing will work better than giving up smoking.
  3. Cleaner, whiter teeth: cigarettes contain hundreds of different chemicals, many of which can stain and discolour your teeth. If you smoke, you may have noticed that your teeth have a yellow or brown tinge. Giving up smoking will help to prevent further staining and make you smile look whiter and brighter.
  4. Decreased risk of oral cancer: did you know that the number of cases of oral cancer diagnosed in the UK has increased by over a third in the last ten years? Oral cancer affects the soft tissue in the mouth. Smoking is the leading risk factor for mouth cancer, and it is particularly dangerous when combined with drinking alcohol. If you drink and smoke, you’re up to 30 times more likely to develop oral cancer than a non-smoker who doesn’t drink.

If you want to give up smoking, our expert dental team is on hand to help. We have expertise and experience in providing advice and support to patients who are trying to give up smoking, and we’re here to cheer you on every step of the way.

How Fissure Sealing can Keep Your Teeth Healthier

As dentists, we strongly believe that prevention is better than cure, and we have a host of preventative tricks up our sleeves to try and keep dental diseases at bay. One service we offer is fissure sealant treatment.

What exactly is fissure sealant treatment?

Fissure sealant treatment is a preventative procedure, which involves coating the surface of the tooth to prevent food and bacteria getting trapped in the tiny crevices known as fissures. Using sealant, your dentist will create a physical barrier between the tooth surface and harmful bacteria and a net to catch food debris. These tiny cracks trap food, which can combine with bacteria and saliva to form plaque. Plaque is a stick white substance, which clings to your gum line and tooth surfaces. It is the main cause of decay and gum disease.

What happens when the teeth are sealed?

Fissure sealant treatment is a very simple, painless procedure, which can be completed quickly. Your dentist will ask you to wear protective goggles during the procedure to protect your eyes from the light source. They will clean your teeth before the tooth is dried and sealant is applied. The sealant is then distributed to cover the grooves in the tooth, and then set using a curing light. Once this is complete the tooth will be sealed and protected.

Fissure sealants are usually recommended for the molar teeth.

Will I feel anything?

The treatment is completely painless, and your teeth won’t look or feel any different afterwards. There’s absolutely nothing to worry about, and you’ll be free to go after just a few minutes.

If you’re keen to find out more, simply give us a bell or pop in and see our friendly reception team.

Did you know that Fissure Sealants can Help Your Children Keep Healthy Teeth?

At Advance Dental Clinic, we’re always keen to highlight the benefit of preventative dental treatments. We want all our patients, young and old to have beautiful, healthy smiles. If you have children, we offer a range of general dental services, including fissure sealant treatment. Prevention is always better than cure, so why not let us tell you more about fantastic fissure sealants.

About fissure sealant treatment

Fissure sealant treatment is a preventative technique, which we use to reduce the risk of children developing dental decay. On the surface of the teeth, there may be tiny cracks and pits known as fissures. These fissures can trap food and bacteria, increasing the risk of plaque forming, and cavities developing. The aim of fissure sealants is to create a barrier, which prevents anything from getting stuck in the fissures. The sealant forms a protective coating, which decreases the risk of decay and helps to keep children free from dental pain.

Fissure sealants are used routinely, and the procedure is quick and painless. The sealant is applied to the teeth at the back of the mouth. Before the tooth is sealed, the dentist will clean the mouth thoroughly. The sealant is then applied to the tooth surface. At this stage, it is in liquid form. Your dentist will then use a bright light source to set the sealant. Once the tooth has been sealed, it will be protected against harmful bacteria and there’s no risk of food getting stuck in the tiny grooves.

This treatment doesn’t involve any pain at all, and it takes minutes. Our dental team has experience in caring for children, and we do everything we can to make young patients feel relaxed, and to make the experience as fun and stress-free as possible.

If you have young children, they could benefit from fissure sealants. If you’d like to find out more or book an appointment, call us today!

Four Healthy Foods For Healthier Teeth

We all know that treats like sweets and biscuits are bad news for our teeth, but what about foods that are good for our dental health? If you’re keen to make some tooth-friendly changes to your diet, here are four fabulous foods to add to your diet:

  1. Cheese: cheese is not just a great source of protein. It’s also rich in calcium, which is essential for healthy teeth and bones, and it has a high pH value. This means that when you eat cheese, it can help to neutralise acids in your mouth and reduce the risk of enamel wear. It’s particularly beneficial to eat cheese with acidic foods or drinks, such as wine. Other dairy products, including milk and yoghurt, are also really good for your teeth.
  2. Strawberries: strawberries are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, which are good for your gums, but they also have a rough skin, which acts as a natural whitener. The bobbled surfaces remove surface stains, so you should find that your teeth look whiter and brighter.
  3. Almonds: almonds are an excellent option if you fancy a snack that is low in sugar and high in protein and calcium. If you are grazing on nuts, avoid salted or sugar-covered options.
  4. Celery: celery has very high water content, and the action of chewing acts as a natural tooth cleaner. After you’ve eaten celery, you should find that your teeth look and feel really clean. This is also a great low-fat snack option.

If you’re after more healthy eating tips, our dental team at Advance Dental Clinic will be more happy to help.

5 Ways to a Brighter Smile

Most of us would love to have a whiter, brighter smile. So, how do you achieve this? If you’re looking for ways to make your smile sparkle, here are 5 top tips.

  1. Brush up on dental hygiene: brushing is not just a way of clearing debris and bacteria from your mouth. It’s also an important method of cleaning and polishing your teeth. Make sure you brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time.
  2. Book a dental hygiene appointment: dental hygienists are experts in oral hygiene, and they provide intensive treatments, which blitz plaque and tartar, and give your teeth an incredible powerful clean. These techniques can also remove surface stains, making your smile look brighter and healthier.
  3. Consider tooth whitening: tooth whitening is a cosmetic dental treatment, which lightens the shade of the tooth enamel. You can choose from in-chair treatments or at-home therapies, which are very convenient, especially if you have a busy schedule. If you’re looking for noticeable results, tooth whitening is usually the best option.
  4. Cut down on coffee: do you start your day with a cup of tea or coffee? Are you partial to a glass of wine? If so, your smile may be suffering. These foods are known to contain staining agents, which dull the whiteness of the teeth and increase the risk of discolouration.
  5. Give up smoking: smoking is one of the main causes of tooth staining. If you’d like help with quitting smoking, we are here for you. We understand that it’s not an easy process, but with our help, we are confident that you can do it!

The Best Winter Foods to Eat with Braces

Temperatures are plunging, and it’s time to embrace hearty foods to warm the cockles. If you’ve got braces, you may be looking for wintry dishes that are easy to manage. Here are some suggestions for the best winter foods.

Potatoes: potatoes are a great option for people with braces. Mashed potato is easy to make, it’s filling, and it’s easy to eat. Add mash to mince and make a cottage pie or serve with cod fillets, parsley sauce and peas.

Eggs: eggs are one of the most versatile foods out there. They’re also really easy to chew with braces. Start your day with scrambled eggs or round off a busy day with a simple omelette and salad.

Porridge: porridge is a winter staple. It’ll warm you up, and keep you full until lunchtime. Oats are rich in fibre and they release energy slowly. If you have a sweet tooth, drizzle over some honey or add berries, rather than adding sugar.

Soup: nothing warms you up in the winter like a big bowl of soup. Microwave or heat a tin of soup on the hob for a meal in seconds, or make your own creations using fresh vegetables and meat. If you’re struggling with fresh bread, soak the bread in your soup and it will become much softer and easier to tolerate.

Pasta: pasta is a great lunchtime or dinner option. Cook your pasta until its soft if you have braces, as this will make it easier to break down than if you leave it al dente. Add a jar of sauce, or make your own using chopped vine tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and oregano.

If you need any advice about which foods you can eat and which to avoid, your Chelmsford Dentist will be happy to help. Simply give us a call, or pop in and see us.

The Importance of Sterilisation Procedures

As we all know, our mouth is home to many microorganisms and these have the potential to cause dental problems if not monitored. The growth and spread of these organisms should be effectively checked, which is when dental sterilisation becomes so important.

In most cases the bacteria found in the mouth originate from your bloodstream. The other way bacteria are spread is from a sore throat or a cold. If the bacteria of one person make it to another person it can become even more dangerous and can create serious complications.

Dentists use many different instruments to complete dental procedures. As these instruments enter the mouth of a person they are exposed to a host of microorganisms, which is why it becomes very important to effectively sterilise instruments.

There are three major methods that can be used to sterilise dental instruments. The first is dry and involves heating the dental instruments to a very high temperature. Most of the harmful bacteria are not able to survive high temperatures. The second method that can be used to get rid of bacteria is steam. This method involves a combination of high temperature and pressure to kill all kinds of microorganisms. The time taken for this method depends on the pressure used, as the higher the pressure the less time it takes. The third method used is heated chemicals, where the gas formed by the heating of a mixture of chemicals is used to sterilise the instruments.

While all the above mentioned method are very effective ways of getting rid of bacteria, immersing these instruments into disinfecting solution before using the advanced sterilising methods should not be overlooked. Traces of blood or other organic matter should be thoroughly removed and while handling a patient the dentist should wash their hands with soap or disinfecting gel and use gloves. This is not only beneficial for the patient, but for the dentist as well.

The Importance of Dental Care for Children

Commenting on how experience warps perception, the Germanic literary giant and all round genius that is Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe suggested that “One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.” What he forgot to mention is that these children also ought to brush their teeth afterwards.

Why is a child’s oral health important?

Prevention is better than cure, and establishing core dental habits in a child can prevent a myriad of dental problems that could occur in their adult life. Milk teeth are not a trial run either, damaged milk teeth not only alter how permanent teeth are aligned, but can also affect the growth and formation of a child’s face!

Cleaning a baby’s teeth

A baby starts developing its teeth in the womb and it is crucial you take care of them the moment they emerge. A small blob of children’s toothpaste on a child’s toothbrush (which have smaller heads and gentler brushes than standard toothbrushes) is what will be required to clean a baby’s teeth. A simple method for cleaning is to sit the child on your knee, have their head resting against your chest, and then to brush their teeth in tiny circles. Make sure you have a dentist examine your child’s teeth once they appear.

Cleaning children’s teeth

Chances are you’ll still be brushing a child’s teeth until they are seven.  Brushing at least twice a day for two minutes is really the cornerstone of oral healthcare, and turning this into a regular habit can be helpful. Try brushing them once after breakfast and again before bed. This should make things easier for when they transition into brushing for themselves!

Set a good example

If you take care of your teeth, it tells your child that oral health is something to be valued. Carl Jung notes that “children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk,” so bear that in mind and hold yourself to the same standards you want your child to uphold.

How to Soothe Wisdom Tooth Pain

Everyone who has had their wisdom teeth come through knows the excruciating pain they can cause, often lasting days. During this episode an individual will suffer from excruciating pain in the jaws and cheeks, pain and swelling in the gums, sleeplessness due to pain and difficulty eating. The pain is also not just limited to the tooth that is erupting and can also be extended to the adjacent teeth, as they adjust to create space for the new teeth.

If your wisdom tooth pain is affecting your life, there are a few steps you can take to relieve your severe dental pain.

  • Ice treatment is perhaps one of the most common techniques used by many for wisdom tooth pain relief and can also be used to relieve other types of toothache. You can put the ice pack on the affected side for up to 15 minutes at a stretch and if the pain is very severe you can repeat it all the way through the day.
  • Rinsing your mouth with salt water can also provide some relief from pain, with the ideal mix being two teaspoons of salt to a glass of warm water, which you then rinse your mouth out with. However, make sure the water is not really hot or it will further aggravate the gums.
  • Cloves and their oil are regularly used for dental care and can be used when you are suffering from wisdom tooth pain. You can either massage the aggravated area with clove oil or you can chew on some cloves to gradually reduce the pain.

If your wisdom tooth becomes infected or is erupting at a slant, then you will need to have the tooth extracted. For this you will need to consult a dentist or a dental surgeon who can surgically remove the impacted or infected tooth.

The Best Way to Banish Mouth Ulcers

Mouth ulcers are non-infectious and may result from food allergies, smoking, stress, anxiety, hormonal changes, certain medical conditions and medications. Some people find that mouth ulcers run in the family.

It is worth discussing serious mouth ulcers with a medical professional, as they may be a sign of iron or vitamin B12 deficiency. Those suffering with Crohn’s and Coeliac disease or arthritis may experience mouth ulcers. Although easily treated, mouth ulcers may be a sign of a serious immune-deficiency conditions or viral infection.

Treating a mouth ulcer

Mouth ulcers may be rarely experienced, not affecting oral functions such as eating and speaking. Mild and occasional ulcers may heal naturally within a week without treatment. More frequent ulcers that cause discomfort may be treated through:

Oral hygiene techniques

Changing your toothbrush for a softer one and rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash containing an ingredient such as chlorhexidine gluconate may give relief. By keeping the mouth clean, gum tissue irritation and mouth ulcers may be prevented. Mild ulcers may be relieved through rinsing the mouth with warm water and salt.

Avoid oral irritants

Avoiding foods, such as coffee and peanuts, that are known to trigger mouth ulcers help in preventing onset. Selecting softer foods may be better. Changing ulcer-triggering medications may help.

Relaxation

Where stress and anxiety is the cause of frequent mouth ulcers, a lifestyle change to reduce stress levels may make all the difference. Some people find that exercise helps as well as relaxation techniques such as meditation.

Medication

Treatments for mouth ulcers are available at local pharmacies without the need of a doctor’s prescription. A doctor may prescribe medication to treat mouth ulcers, such as corticosteroids and painkillers. The medication aims to reduce the inflammation caused by the ulcer and heal the wound. Contact the team at Advance Dental Clinic in Essex for more information.