‘Tis the season of goodwill and many of us are getting prepared for the ongoing Christmas festivities. This time of year often involves Christmas parties, drinks with friends and meals with loved ones. There are mince pies, Christmas puddings and cakes on offer, washed down with mulled wine or Baileys. This increase in sweet and sugary foods and drinks can take its toll on our teeth and gums.
However, help is at hand, and we would like to offer a few good tips on how to keep teeth healthy at this time of year.
- Treat yourself to a new toothbrush or head – these should be replaced every 3-4 months.
- If you can, try to avoid snacking in between meals.
- Up your brushing and brush and floss your teeth three times a day.
- Chew sugarless gum in-between meals as this promotes saliva increase, which washes away sugar and harmful acids.
- If chewing gum is not your thing, finish off your meals with cheese – it’s great for teeth and helps to return your mouth to its natural acid balance.
- Drink plenty of water – around two litres per day should keep you hydrated, which staves away harmful oral bacteria.
- Don’t use your teeth to open things – it sounds silly but so many dental accidents occur when people are opening the packaging, tearing boxes or opening bottles with their teeth.
Research, discussed by the Oral Health Foundation, has shown that it is not the number of sugary foods and drinks we consume that cause the issues with harmful bacteria and our teeth, it is how often and the prolonged periods we are eating sugar. If possible, try to have sweet foods at mealtimes alone, rather than snacking on them throughout the day and night.
Sticky foods such as dried fruits, fruit cakes, and Christmas pudding are all more likely to cause damage to your teeth as they have a high sugar content and are more likely to stick to your teeth, causing the harmful bacteria to form. Try drinking some water after you eat any particularly sticky foods. Your teeth and gums will thank you for it.
Tooth decay is the second most common disease behind the common cold. This fact seems shocking due to the pain and suffering cavities cause despite being preventable!
It’s common knowledge that sugar causes cavities, but that doesn’t solely refer to the sugar in sweets or colas…
Foods such as bread, fruit, potatoes, and many other unsuspecting additions to your meals contain sugars, which when they act with the bacteria hosted in your mouth, form acids that eat away at your teeth.
Despite the damage, these sugars can cause, no dentist expects their patients to eliminate all foods with sugars from their diets entirely. That’s why our team at Bosham Dental work with you to help prevent these sugars you eat from eating away at your teeth.
Our practitioners aim to prevent your teeth and soft tissue of the mouth from becoming diseased by providing effective advice and instruction. Also, early detection of mouth cancer can be lifesaving, which is why we encourage routine checkups so we can provide regular screening.
To try and combat gum disease in children, Bosham Dental’s dentists focus on advising both child and parent on how to effectively clean the teeth, and how any alterations in your child’s diet may help.
We usually find decay less prevalent in adults. However periodontal disease, the disease of the soft tissue around the tooth and then the bone, becomes more important in adults. Periodontal disease is entirely preventable for most patients with good oral hygiene. However, it is still prevalent in the UK as most patients find it to be symptomless. Our team are experts in inspecting the soft tissue and the gums to help identify periodontal disease, and can offer advice on oral hygiene practices at home, to prevent diseases from developing.
Dental Cavities can only be treated by visiting your dentist. The most common way to treat a cavity is to remove the diseased part of the tooth and replace it with a filling. Here at Bosham Dental, we are able to offer a tooth-coloured composite filling to avoid the appearance of metal fillings.
However, if the tooth is badly decayed, a crown can be made to mimic the appearance of the tooth and placed over the entire tooth in order to restore its natural appearance.
- Eat well-balanced, nutritious meals
- Brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste
- Floss before brushing daily
- Have regular check-ups at your dentist
To see a member of our team, or if your concerned that you may be suffering from cavities or periodontal disease, visit our website at https://theboshamclinic.co.uk/dental or call us at 01243 778888.
Summer is finally here and that signifies the start of wedding season. Whether you are the bride or groom to be or a friend or family member attending that special wedding day, there’s no doubt that the day will be full of smiles.
Are you happy for your smile to be snapped on camera? Or do you feel embarrassed about your teeth and your smile? It’s not too late to make changes and to enhance your natural smile, and one of the simplest ways is with teeth whitening.
Teeth whitening for the wedding season
There are several ways to whiten your teeth. There are home kits, but the NHS has warned that some of these kits do not have enough bleaching agent contained in them so do not make a huge difference, or more worryingly, some of them have ill-fitting mouth guards, which could leak the gel onto your gums or mouth, causing sensitivity or blistering.
There are professional mouth guard systems, whereby you visit your dentist and they make tailor-made mouth guards and instruct you as to how exactly how to use the system. The final system is laser treatments, which are usually more expensive, and should only be conducted by a professional dentist.
In fact, the General Dental Council has confirmed that teeth whitening is seen as a professional dentistry service so can only legally be conducted by a dental professional.
Consult your dentist
Whichever treatment you decide to go for, you should consult your dentist before commencing treatment. Teeth come in all forms and it is best to get professional advice on what treatment is best for your teeth. If you have periodontal disease for example, you may be limited to what treatments you can use.
Avoid teeth staining foods and drinks
Teeth whitening can lighten your existing teeth several shades but there are other things you can do to keep your pearly whites shining bright. You can avoid teeth staining food and drinks. These include red wine, tea and coffee and colas, as well as deep coloured berries and soy sauce.
Drink more water
It is important to keep hydrated for our body’s general health, but it can also help our smile and oral health. Increasing your water consumption in the run up to the wedding day will keep you energised. Drinking water throughout the wedding day can water down stain-causing foods and will keep your mouth and lips moist and hydrated helping those smiles to keep on coming.
If you would like some further advice on teeth whitening, and to arrange an appointment please call the Bosham Dental Clinic on 01243 778888.
Have you lost a tooth? It can be a traumatic experience and if it’s particularly visible, it can make you feel very self-conscious. However, rest assured it’s not all doom and gloom, let dental implants be your saviour.
Dental Implants are a popular and permanent fix for you to replace missing teeth. These alternatives to your natural tooth root are made from titanium, a metal that fuses with your jaw bone.
When you lose a tooth or teeth, your natural jawbone can weaken and actually hinder your ability to chew. It can also change the form of your face and smile. So, let’s look at dental implants a bit closer.
How it works
The dental implants act like anchors that are surgically placed in your jaw. The titanium is perfectly safe for your body and it will join your bone and grow and fuse together to support the implant. After approximately 3-6 months, the implant is ready for the permanent tooth replacement to be placed on the anchor. The replacement teeth are matched to your natural tooth colour so they blend in beautifully with your smile.
How long does it take?
Initially you will probably need to have some x-rays, so that your dentist can check the shape of your jawbone and where it’s best to place the implant. You may also need to have a CT scan if the x-rays are not conclusive.
How long the procedure takes will depend on how many implants you are having, as it is possible to have several implants fitted in the same procedure. If you are only having one implant it can take approximately half an hour to fit.
How long will it last?
If you follow the proper oral hygiene procedures provided by your dentist, dental implants can last for life and are suitable for most people. If you don’t look after your implants, they may develop a coating, similar to plaque, and if this is untreated it can develop into a gum infection, bleeding and soreness.
If you would like to replace some teeth and would like to find out more, we have considerable experience with implants and can talk you through the process to determine whether it is the right solution for you.
To replace lost teeth, there are now more options available on the market, thanks to major advances in implant dentistry, which has found its way into general practice over the past ten years. Patients could opt for a fixed bridge or dentures, but an individual artificial tooth, known as an implant, or implants to replace several teeth are a very good long-term solution.
Bicon has been revolutionising the implant industry with the use of short implants, and continue to lead the way. The Bicon design is driven by its simplicity. One of the cornerstones of that simplicity is the innovation of short implants. When the Bicon system was initially launched in 1985, its 8.0mm length implants were seen as short as most implants at that point were between 12-14mm and occasionally as long as 20mm. Since then, the Bicon designs have been as short as 5mm with proven clinical success.
We have just attended the annual Bicon user group day in London, and we once again came away inspired by the team from Boston, USA. Since 1985 some dentists have been offering patients the benefits of the Bicon Dental Implant System. With Bicon Dental Implants, your dentist can provide you with secure implant restorations often without the need for additional grafting procedures. The restorations will look, feel, and function like natural teeth. We invite you to learn more about what Bicon Dental Implants can do to help address your dental needs.
Why are short implants better?
By being less invasive, the shorter implants simplify the placement and reduce the risks. Also, another important factor is that it would often eliminate the need for bone grafting procedures.
Bicon is also the only implant system to be associated with bone growth around the top of the implant, as opposed to bone reduction with some other implants. For these reasons, we are confident in the knowledge that we provide the best option in implant dentistry.
How are dental implants installed in the mouth?
Dental professionals will apply a local anaesthetic to the area when implanting a tooth so that the patient does not feel any pain or discomfort. The dentist will insert the dental implant using a specialised dental drill after making a small cut into the gum tissue. The gum tissue will regrow around the dental implant and hold it securely into place.
If you are interested in replacing any missing teeth and would like further information about dental implants or the shorter Bicon Dental Implants, please call us on 01243 778888 or visit our website for more information at: www.theboshamclinic.co.uk/dental/treatments/dental-implants
As a practice we are always very keen to keep up to date on the latest news in the dental industry. We recently came across a very interesting article in the dental press:
Why the Times has got it wrong
You may recall an article in The Times back in September “The great dental rip off”. This article caused wide debate both for the public, media outlets and the dental profession. As mentioned in this reply to The Times article, printed in The Probe, we agree that Dentists as a whole provide a very valuable service to patients and work to their best ability within the funding provided by the government. Extractions unfortunately do tend to result from patients particularly asking for a tooth to be removed and it is more likely to come from patients who do not benefit from preventive care, by attending regular dental appointments, rather than a drive for money from the practitioner.
If you are concerned that your dental needs are not being met by the Government’s NHS contract, we welcome seeing you privately, so that we can provide fully comprehensive dentistry without the restrictions of the current NHS system.
Book an appointment today on 01243 778888
We would like to welcome our new nurse Kate to the team at The Bosham Clinic Dental, she has been working as a dental nurse for the last 30 years, she will be working with Johan.
Outside of work Kates hobbies are fitness, cooking and walking Milly her dog.
Dental caries is the scientific term for tooth decay or cavities. It is caused by specific types of bacteria. They produce acid that destroys the tooth’s enamel and the layer under it, the dentin.
Many different types of bacteria normally live in the human mouth. They build up on the teeth in a sticky film called plaque. This plaque also contains saliva, bits of food and other natural substances. It forms most easily in certain places. These include:
- Cracks, pits or grooves in the back teeth
- Between teeth
- Around dental fillings or bridgework
- Near the gum line
The bacteria turn sugar and carbohydrates (starches) in the foods we eat into acids. The acids dissolve minerals in the hard enamel that covers the tooth’s crown (the part you can see). The enamel erodes or develops pits. They are too small to see at first. But they get larger over time.
Acid also can seep through pores in the enamel. This is how decay begins in the softer dentin layer, the main body of the tooth. As the dentin and enamel break down, a cavity is created.
If the decay is not removed, bacteria will continue to grow and produce acid that eventually will get into the tooth’s inner layer. This contains the soft pulp and sensitive nerve fibers.
Tooth roots exposed by receding gums also can develop decay. The root’s outer layer, cementum, is not as thick as enamel. Acids from plaque bacteria can dissolve it rapidly.
One way you can prevent cavities is by reducing the amount of plaque and bacteria in your mouth. The best way to do this is by brushing and flossing daily. You also can use antibacterial mouth rinses to reduce the levels of bacteria that cause cavities. Other rinses neutralize the acid in your mouth to make the environment less friendly to the growth of these bacteria.
You can reduce the amount of tooth-damaging acid in your mouth by eating sugary or starchy foods less often during the day. Your mouth will remain acidic for several hours after you eat. Therefore, you are more likely to prevent caries if you avoid between-meal snacks.
Another way to reduce your risk of cavities is through the use of fluoride, which strengthens teeth. A dentist can evaluate your risk of caries and then suggest appropriate fluoride treatments. Fluoride in water strengthens teeth from within, as they develop, and also on the outside. Dentists also can paint fluoride varnish on children’s primary teeth to protect them from decay.
In adults, molars can be protected with sealants. In children, both baby molars and permanent molars can be sealed. Dentists also can use sealants on molars that have early signs of tooth decay, as long as the decay has not broken through the enamel.
If caries is not treated, it likely will cause the tooth to decay significantly. Eventually, uncontrolled decay may destroy the tooth.
Having caries increases your risk of more caries for several reasons:
- Caries is caused by bacteria. The more decay you have, the more bacteria exist in your mouth.
- The same oral care and dietary habits that led to the decay of your teeth will cause more decay.
- Bacteria tend to stick to fillings and other restorations more than to smooth teeth, so those areas will be more likely to have new caries.
- Cracks or gaps in the fillings may allow bacteria and food to enter the tooth, leading to decay from beneath the filling.
A bacteria that causes gum disease may aid the growth of cancer cells, according to new research. Published in the journal Immunity, it was discovered the bacteria fusobacterium nucleatum – which has heavy links with gum disease – could hamper the body’s ability to fight off cancer.
When combined with human tissue cells, researchers found the bacteria attached itself to the parts of the immune system responsible for attacking cancer cells, preventing them from performing this function.
This is further evidence for establishing and maintaining good oral hygiene. Oral cancer is on the increase, and anything that people can do themselves to reduce their risk – coupled with a reduction in smoking, drinking alcohol to excess and immunisation against HPV – are all good public health measures. Prevention is infinitely better than having to treat established disease, especially with oral cancer.
Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, added that the research should provide further evidence as to why maintaining good oral hygiene is so important. He said: “Given the bacteria is found in the mouth, it should prompt everyone into improving their oral health. The number of links between low levels of oral health and killer diseases are growing by the minute and should not be dismissed as irrelevant. Brushing your teeth for four minutes during the day doesn’t sound like a life-saving practice, but more and more research suggests it could go a long way to reducing the risk of some of these diseases.
“If further research supports this theory, it places even greater importance on maintaining your oral health. The good news is there is a very simple way to prevent and treat gum disease.
“Gum disease is a very common disease. In fact it’s one of the largest non-communicable diseases worldwide. You need to make sure you remove all the plaque from your teeth every day. This is done by brushing for two minutes twice a day, last thing at night and at least one other time during the day with fluoride toothpaste, as well as using interdental brushes or floss to clean in between teeth where gum disease starts.
“Regular visits to the dentist for a thorough check-up will help your dentist identify any problems that are developing. If your gums do start to bleed this is a sign that you may have not been cleaning well enough so increase your toothbrushing. If things do not settle within a few days get along to the dentist before problems begin to mount up.”
A recent report made by Public Health England has declared that 1 in 10 three-year-olds has tooth decay. Toddlers had an average of three teeth that were decayed, missing or filled.
Many are bought up with the idea that children’s milk teeth are not important, as they are lost during childhood anyway and it does not matter if they need to have fillings. In fact it is the complete opposite. A healthy child’s mouth will facilitate a healthy adult one later in life.
We are keen to see a child from an early age, getting them used to coming to the dentist is key to gaining their confidence. We will encourage the parents to bring them along from birth, just so they can experience the sights, sounds and smells that comes along with a routine visit to ‘get your teeth counted’. This way the children grow up with an idea as to what to expect when it is finally their turn. We use a gentle approach to children’s dentistry, taking things at the child pace.
WHAT CAN PARENTS DO TO REDUCE THE RISKS OF TOOTH DECAY IN THEIR CHILDREN?
Avoid sugary drinks and snacks
Keep sugar intake to a minimum by only giving it at meal times.
Give water and milk
Avoid fruit juice and squashes, which are high in natural and artificial sugars and replace with water or milk.
Move children from bottles to cups from the age of one
Sippy cups keep fluid contact around the teeth and increase the risk of decay to front teeth. Using a normal cup or straw will help reduce this risk.
Brush teeth twice a day, this should be supervised by an adult
All because a child can hold a toothbrush doesn’t mean to say they are using it correctly. We promote that the adult should clean the child teeth and the child could give them a final polish! This way the adult can visually inspect that the teeth are plaque free and identify any problems early.
Use only sugar-free medicines if possible
Most children’s medicines will come in a sugar free form, parents or carers should request a prescription is written out for the sugar free choice.
Three quarters of the world’s population has no access to the most simple dental pain relief, leaving billions to face a daily battle with pain in the toughest of life circumstances.
Bridge2Aid is working to address this terrifying problem. Their vision is to provide emergency dental training for Health Workers in all remote communities in the developing world, therefore creating sustainable access to safe Emergency Dental Care to millions of people currently suffering from dental pain with no hope of treatment.
Bridge2Aid empowers Health Workers who are already established and well respected members of rural communities, providing them with the skills, experience and equipment to help those in need. Training is carried out by volunteer dentists and dental nurses who spend approximately two weeks in East Africa with Bridge2Aid participating in a Dental Volunteer Programme.
Our practice coordinator, Sarah Stone, has been a volunteer dental nurse on 3 separate dental volunteer programmes in as many years. “It is a rewarding experience helping to provide training and to treat patients who would not ordinarily have access to safe dental treatment. The rural African communities we visit are wonderfully appreciative, they may never have seen a dentist before – so the whole thing is a new experience for them too”. The Bosham Clinic team continue to raise funds for Bridge2Aid, enabling their vital work to carry on.
Since 2002, 3.1 million people in East Africa have been given access to safe Emergency Dental Care because of Bridge2Aid’s training programmes.
To find out more about Bridge2Aid please visit their website www.bridge2aid.org