Friday 16 December 2016

Keep a Healthy Grin this Christmas

It’s that time of year again where everyone is rushing around de-tangling the lights (a dreaded job that someone must do!), last minute present shopping, writing Christmas wish lists and stocking up on festive food. During this time we all love to relax in front of the TV, indulge in food and forget about the gym-ing or healthy eating for a week or two. And although we deserve to take it easy for the end of the year it’s important not to forget about your teeth in the magical madness that is Christmas!

Here are some tips to help you protect your teeth from ho-ho-holes this Christmas:
1. Don’t use your teeth as tools this Christmas. Many people end up cracking and chipping their teeth, as they use them to tear cellotape, open beer bottles or crack open those nuts. Have a pair of scissors handy and ask Santa for a nut-cracker instead of asking your dentist for a new set of teeth come January!
2. Try to drink acidic carbonated drinks and juice through a straw to reduce the contact with your teeth.
3. Eating at Christmas time is one way we like to celebrate but try to keep the snacking at meals times, to expose your teeth to less acid and sugar.
4. However, if you just can’t resist snacking on those Quality Street (we know the feeling!) or having a Christmas tipple (or two!) chew sugar-free gum or drink a glass of water to boost protection.
5. Don’t ditch the routine! Even though Christmas morning is very exciting and we all want to see what Santa has brought us (adults and kids alike!) brushing your teeth before you head down to the presents only takes 2 minutes!

Friday 9 December 2016

Christmas Dental Trivia.....

We thought it would be a good time for some Christmas inspired dental trivia!

Remember the song “All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth?” 
Did you know this novelty Christmas song was written in 1944, by Donald Yetter Gardner? A music teacher in New York, one day Mr. Gardner asked his second-grade class what they wanted for Christmas.
He noticed that almost all of the students had at least one front tooth missing as they answered in a lisp! According to Wikipedia, Gardner wrote the song in 30 minutes. In a 1995 interview, Gardner said, "I was amazed at the way that silly little song was picked up by the whole country.” The song was published in 1948 after an employee of Witmark music company heard Gardner sing it at a music teachers conference. This is the kind of missing tooth story even a dentist can delight in! 

When you picture a reindeer smiling, what do you picture?
Would it surprise you to learn that reindeer only have teeth on the bottom of their mouths? On the top, they have a hard, bony plate to help grind their food. So chances are, the big toothy grin you’re picturing isn’t really what a reindeer smile looks like — unless they’ve had some implants! And Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer probably wasn’t a regular patient for his dentist!

“All I Want For Christmas is You” — Mariah Carey has a secret for a straight-looking smile
One of our favorite Christmas songs is “All I Want for Christmas is You,” and most of us think of Mariah Carey as having a picture-perfect smile. But did you know her teeth are not perfectly aligned? Instead, she has a secret to LOOKING great in pictures! When she smiles, she lets photographers take most of her pictures from her best angle, her right. 

Check out photos online and you’ll notice that when Carey is is caught smiling from her left side, you can see that her front teeth and her front incisor stand out a little bit.

Friday 25 November 2016

Tooth Fairy Traditions from Around the World

There are 3 central mythical figures in the western world: Father Christmas or Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. The origins of these traditions date back to Pagan times and have naturally evolved through time and geography. Different kids in different continents celebrate the losing of a baby tooth slightly differently to what we are used to…

In the UK & USA the tooth fairy is what it says on the tin – a fairy that collects teeth from children. The usual custom is for the child to place his/her tooth under their pillow at night and at some point the tooth fairy will arrive to exchange the tooth for some money. This is done to help ease the trauma of losing a tooth.

The average tooth rate in London has gone up to a high £2.50 per tooth! A considerably higher rate than the 50p we remember receiving for losing a tooth!

Spanish countries
Many Spanish-speaking countries don’t believe in the tooth fairy at all, but a mouse called Perez. Like the Tooth Fairy, Perez also collects baby teeth but instead of money, children are given a gift.

In some Spanish speaking countries, kids stick their teeth in a glass of water before bed so Perez can rehydrate himself after the thirsty work of collecting children’s teeth. He then leaves the small gift in the empty glass.

India, China, Japan, Korea
What child wants to place their tooth under their pillow if they can toss it up in the air? When a tooth is lost from the lower jaw, kids throw their tooth on the roof but when it is from their upper jaw, it is thrown to the ground. Kids do this while yelling out a wish that the missing tooth be replaced by the tooth of a mouse, as mice have teeth that continually grow!

Friday 11 November 2016

Tooth Pain?? Don´t Wait!!

Early treatment can save emotional, physical and financial stress

Generally speaking, pain is a protective response that ranges from minor sensitivity to severe pain and informs the body that something is wrong.  As for tooth pain, it is caused by a reaction of the nerves inside a tooth's pulp chamber with the severity dependent upon the type and degree of the stimulus. What follows are some examples of symptoms you may be feeling and their possible causes.

Symptom: Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and liquids.

Possible problem: If discomfort lasts only moments, sensitivity generally does not signal a serious problem. It may be caused by; a small area of decay in a tooth, a loose filling or an exposed root surface resulting from gum recession and possibly toothbrush abrasion.
What to do: If a root surface is sensitive, keep it clean and free of dental bacterial plaque. Use a soft toothbrush, cleaning very gently at the gum line, and brush no more than twice daily. Try using fluoride-containing toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. You can even try using toothpaste like an ointment, rubbing it into the root surface for ten minutes or so at a time. If the sensitivity continues, see your dentist

Symptom: Sensitivity to hot or cold foods after dental treatment.

Possible problem: Dental work may result in tooth sensitivity due to inflammation of the pulp tissues inside a tooth.
What to do: This sensitivity should last no longer then a few days; however, if decay has recently been removed or a filling or crown recently has been placed, a tooth may take a week or two to settle. Mild pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen should help. If the pain persists or worsens, see your dentist.

Symptom: Sharp pain when biting down on food.

Possible problem: Decay, a loose filling and/or a cracked tooth are possible causes.
What to do: See a dentist to diagnose the problem before the pain worsens. Decay will need to be removed, and a loose filling replaced by your dentist. If the pain is caused by pulp tissue damage he may need to perform root canal treatment.  A cracked tooth may be difficult to treat not only if it involves the pulp, but also depending on the location and depth of the crack. 

Symptom: Lingering pain after eating hot or cold foods and liquids.

Possible problem: This probably means the pulp is inflamed and/or dying, and may be irreversibly damaged usually as a result of deep decay or physical trauma.
What to do: See your dentist to diagnose the problem before the pain becomes severe due to the development of an abscess. 

Symptom: Dull ache and pressure in the upper teeth and sinus area of one or both sides.

Possible problem: Pain felt in the sinus area of the face is often associated with the upper back teeth because they share the same nerves. The origin of this “referred” pain consequently may be difficult to determine. Therefore, sinus pain can feel like tooth pain and vice versa. That's why sinus congestion from a cold or flu can cause pain in the upper teeth. Additionally it's also important to determine if clenching or grinding is a factor, as they too cause similar symptoms.

What to do: See your dentist to find out if the symptoms are dentally related; otherwise, you may need to see your family doctor. However, don't wait until the pain worsens.

 Symptom: Acute and constant pain from an area, but difficult to say exactly which tooth is causing the problem.
Possible problem: The pulp tissue inside a tooth is acutely infected, inflamed and dying. This is generally in response to decay coming very close to or entering the nerve.
What to do: See your dentist immediately for a thorough examination. Once the problematic tooth is isolated, a root canal treatment to remove the infected pulp tissue will bring relief while saving the tooth. Untreated, the pain could become worse.

Symptom: Constant severe pain and pressure, swelling of the gum and sensitivity to touch.

Possible problem: A tooth may have an infection/abscess that has spread from the pulp into the surrounding periodontal tissues (“peri” – around; “odont” – tooth) and bone.
What to do: See your dentist immediately. A root canal will probably be required. Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen will help minimize symptoms until you are treated.
Don't wait for the pain to get worse.

Note in the above examples, possible problems and solutions are suggested — but they only provide possible guidelines.  In all cases of tooth or jaw pain or discomfort in and around the teeth and jaws, see your dentist as soon as possible for a proper evaluation and treatment.  If your pain has a medical component, your dentist will refer you to doctor.

Thursday 27 October 2016

Happy Halloween!!!

It's that time of the year, time for ghosts, ghouls, and cavities! OK, well maybe not right away, but Halloween is one of the most sugary days of the year. And, it's just the beginning of the sweets and treats season. For the next couple of months, there will be no shortage of sweets, cakes and cookies, at home, at parties and gatherings. With all that extra sugar, it is even more important to guard against the evils of tooth decay.

Of course, good dental hygiene is important no matter what day of the year, but as we know, prolonged exposure to sugary foods can cause tooth decay, and it happens faster than you think! To get through Halloween and the holiday season without any cavities, follow these dental tips:
  • First and foremost, regular brushing and flossing is the best way to prevent tooth decay. Adding a mouthwash  provides extra protection. Rinsing the mouth between brushing is also a good way to prevent bacteria from building up and acids from damaging tooth enamel.
  • Not all candy is created equal, and some are harder on the teeth than others. The longer the teeth are exposed to sugars and acids, the more likely to cause decay. Try to avoid or limit hard sweets that stay in the mouth for prolonged periods of time. Same goes for chewy sweets that can stick to and in between the teeth.
  • Encourage your kids to drink lots of water while sampling their treats. This will help wash away the sugar, reducing contact with the enamel. Avoid fizzy and other sugary drinks. Sports drinks and flavoured water are also no good for the teeth, especially in combination with sweets.
  • Try to save the sweets for directly after meals. The mouth produces more saliva during and after mealtime, which helps balance out the acids and wash away bacteria and particles.
  • Chew sugar-free gum. Chewing for 20 minutes after meals helps prevent tooth decay by increasing saliva production.

It isn't necessary to ban sweets and treats this time of year, but following these dental tips can help prevent new cavities from developing. Remember, daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste, flossing and regular visits to the dentist are the best way to keep teeth healthy and free of tooth decay. Following these simple dental tips should keep your teeth safe from zombies, ghosts and cavities throughout the year.

Friday 21 October 2016

Electric vs Manual Toothbrush

The great debate. Are you an electric toothbrush kind of person, or do you prefer the traditional brush?  If you’re on the fence with this topic, this blog post may help you to decide, as we put together pros and cons of both..…or it may confuse you even further!

Manual Toothbrush

  • The main pro with the traditional toothbrush is that it is inexpensive. A couple of pounds can buy you a toothbrush colour or style of your choice and when the 3-month replacement time comes by, you can easily buy one without breaking the bank.
  • There seems to be more choice with styles, colours and bristles, so you have the ability to choose according to your sensitivity levels, for example e.g. sensitive gums may prefer soft bristles.
  • More choice for children. Kids often claim that they will love one thing forever (remember the Frozen phase parents?) but within a few months, they decide on a new craze to obsess over. Manual toothbrushes are perfect to keep up with them, as they come in many different brands that the kids love. So as soon as the craze is over, so is the time for a new brush which can be what they’re into at the time!
  • Manual toothbrushes are super to travel with. Just pop it into your toiletry bag (once dry) and you’re good to go. No need to worry about charging it when you’re away too.

  • More work to do, hence the name ‘manual’. You actually have to move the brush in small circular motions, which is done for you with an electric.
  • No timing. It’s up to you when the 2 minutes are over, so there is a risk of under-brushing or over-brushing your teeth, unless you get a timer.
Electric Toothbrush

  • Electric toothbrushes are very easy to use and less work than manual ones, as all you need to do is place the brush at a 45° angle and let it do the work for you.
  • Children may find electric brushes more fun to use, which will encourage them to do it. It’s less work for the kids, tickles their teeth and the timer will let them know when they’re done.
  • No more guessing with the electric, as the in-built timer lets you know when you can stop, and some beep at 30 second intervals, to let you know when to move onto the next section of your mouth.

  • You’ll need to charge your brush every few days.
  • They cost significantly more than a manual toothbrush. However a way to get around this is to purchase one brush and a few different heads, so the whole family can use it.
  • Electric brushes can be bulky and not as easy to travel with, as you have to also bring the heavy charger too, along with an adapter if you’re going abroad.

Friday 14 October 2016

How do you clean your teeth?

You may think that brushing your teeth is second nature, but because we’ve been doing it for as long as we can remember, we get into bad habits, which can cause significant damage to them.
Here are 5 common mistakes most of us do when brushing our teeth:

1. Give it time
The recommended brushing time is 2 minutes, however the majority of people fall short of that time period.  An easy way to brush for 2 minutes, without missing any spots is to divide your mouth into 4 sections (top, bottom, left & right) and spend 30 seconds on each section.
If the idea of this completely bores you, stick on the TV for 2 minutes, or listen to your favourite song.
2. Not using the right toothbrush
The British Dental Health Foundation recommends using a small to medium sized brush that is comfortable to hold.  Some of the bristles on the brush should be angled and other straight and you should choose a brush that has soft to medium round-ended nylon bristles. 
3. Brushing incorrectly
Many people don’t know the correct technique to brush your teeth.  Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and use short strokes to make an up-and-down motion. Don’t forget to brush the inner tooth surfaces and the hard to reach areas, which most people tend to avoid. 
4. Not changing your toothbrush often enough

Many people forget to change their toothbrush every 3-4 months. This should be done, as the bristles break down and lose their effectiveness.
5. Keep it clean
You should rinse your toothbrush with warm water before and after you use it.  After that, stand your brush up right and let it air dry, as a moist brush is more likely to grow bacteria.
Although it’s convenient, try not to store your brush out in the bathroom as it can be exposed to germs from your toilet or sink.  It is better to store it away inside a bathroom cabinet.

Friday 7 October 2016

Celebrate - Today is World Smile Day!!!

World Smile Day is celebrated every year on the first Friday of October, so that means today, October 7th is World Smile Day!  People around the globe celebrate the day as a way to make people smile and to spread good cheer.

How Did It Originate?
World Smile Day was created by Harvey Ball, the artist credited with the creation of the first “Smiley Face.”   Though originally commissioned by State Mutual Life Assurance Company of America for a simple campaign in 1963, this image went on to become the symbol of good cheer around the planet.
Harvey Ball created World Smile Day in 1999 and encourages everyone to 
Organise events to mark the day at school, work, with your organisation or as an individual.  Recognise those who perform acts of kindness everyday.  Surprise those in need of a smile.” 
So today, do something to make someone around you smile.  Help out an older person, pay for the car behind you, make your child smile or buy a stranger lunch.  Smiles are contagious!  As a matter of fact, smiles and laughter are good for your health! 

Thursday 29 September 2016

Guide to Choosing the Right Toothpaste

Toothpaste. It can be a tricky decision to make, as the choices are endless; sensitivity ones, children’s toothpaste that tastes like bubblegum, whitening toothpaste. Where do you begin? The answer is here. We have put together the ultimate guide to toothpaste, which will make your toothpaste buying easy, appropriate for your teeth and dare we say it, fun!
Sensitive teeth toothpaste is the one to choose if (yes, you guessed it!) you suffer from sensitive teeth! This means that if you experience any sharp pain when eating hot or cold food, the ingredients in sensitive toothpaste can help de-sensitise the nerve endings and help reduce sensitivity. They are also designed to be gentler to the teeth and gums.
Smoker’s toothpaste is designed to remove nicotine and tar stains from the teeth as well as tackle bad breath, which is caused by smoking.
Children’s toothpaste is designed to have less fluoride as too much fluoride can cause stains on developing teeth. It is also often flavoured differently, as kids enjoy fruity or sweet tasting toothpastes, which helps brushing time more enjoyable for both parents and kids!
Tartar control toothpaste is for anyone who has a build-up of tartar on their teeth and gums and wants to prevent any further build up. However, although using this toothpaste may help, please make an appointment with your dentist or hygienist to help you attend to the problem.
Teeth whitening toothpaste. A quick warning; before using teeth whitening toothpaste, consult your dentist as whitening toothpastes can sometimes be too harsh for the teeth and can lead to sensitivity.
Baking soda toothpastes may be the choice for you if prefer a different flavour than the typical mint toothpastes. 
If you have any questions about which toothpaste best suits your teeth, just get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help to answer all of your paste related questions.