Brushing your teeth hard will not make them whiter and may result in damage.
Very occasionally we hear patients say that they are surprised that their teeth are dull in colour as they brush them so well. Of course, this won’t really help how white their teeth are and very often can lead to damage if brushing is too hard.
Receding gums and damaged enamel are two common results of brushing your teeth too hard, particularly where only a gentle circular motion is all that is required.
So if you can’t brush your teeth whiter then, what are the best options?
Where the surface enamel is stained to the point that regular brushing will not remove it, a professional clean with our hygienist is an excellent starting point. In addition to this, regular hygienist appointments are essential to fight gum disease. Whilst a ‘scale and polish’ won’t improve the natural whiteness of your teeth, it will help to remove surface staining.
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Dentures and gum health
Although there are alternatives to dentures in the form of bridges and dental implants, many patients of The Lodge Dental Suite still opt to have them to replace their missing teeth.
There are good reasons for this; a key one being that usually, no invasive dental procedure is necessary to have dentures fitted.
Once you’ve had your new dentures fitted, you will still need to take care of them with regular cleaning and our Cheshunt dentists have devised a checklist below to help you to do this effectively.
- Prepare the cleaning area by making sure that you have either a soft folded towel or a bowl of water over which to clean your dentures. This is to prevent any damage that might be caused, should you drop them.
- Give your dentures an initial brush to remove any trapped food particles. We would recommend that you use toothpaste for this, although, at this stage, mild soapy water would suffice.
- Soak your dentures using a fizzy denture cleaner. This both helps to remove any staining and will leave your dentures feeling fresh. Always read the label of your cleaner so that you know how long to soak them for. Do not use hot or warm water to soak your dentures as this may cause them to warp and not fit correctly.
- Finally, give your dentures a final brushing using toothpaste and your regular toothbrush.
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Dental braces that don’t have to be worn for years to achieve straight teeth
Having crooked teeth is no fun. Not only does it make them harder to clean, thereby increasing the risk of decay and gum disease, but it can cause a patient to become less confident and more reluctant to smile than if they had great looking teeth.
Despite this, many people refuse to have their teeth straightened, preferring to have crooked teeth rather than having to wear unsightly dental braces for long periods of time. Whilst this is understandable to some degree, it is also unnecessary, and, at The Lodge Dental Suite, we are pleased to offer our Cheshunt patients a fast and convenient orthodontic system which can help you achieve this aim in a fraction of the time.
Six Month Smiles
The Six Month Smiles orthodontic system is designed to be fast acting and, as the name implies, can achieve its aims in just a few months. Minor corrections may even take significantly less time than the name suggests. Whilst this system does work on the same principles as traditional braces; i.e. with wires and brackets which reposition the teeth, it does so using much finer, tooth coloured materials. These are much less visible than traditional metal and, combined with the short treatment period, provides an excellent way to have straighter teeth without the high visibility of metal braces.
How does it work?
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The Lodge Dental Suite team offer thoughts on this traditional technique.
Although the first set of dentures, or false teeth as they are called by some, were first used around 700BC, they are still around today, albeit as a far more sophisticated product.
Despite the advent of dental implants, and bridges, both of which offer additional stability, dentures are still popular with many people as their first choice when it comes to replacing missing teeth.
In today’s blog, we take a brief look at modern dentures, and some of the reasons why many people still opt for this tooth replacement treatment.
The dentures made in 700BC were made from either human or animal teeth and would degrade very quickly. Modern dentures are more sophisticated and come with artificial teeth typically made from acrylic on a plate, or base, made from either acrylic or metal. Whilst older style dentures were often noticeable as being artificial; modern dentures blend in well with the natural teeth and offer a greater degree of comfort and discretion than previously.
Why have dentures?
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Maintaining gum health and tooth condition.
Whilst a small number of patients do suffer from a ‘gummy smile’, where the gum line extends down the tooth; it is more common for patients to suffer from receding gums.
In today’s blog, our Cheshunt dentists take a look at some of the potential risks of receding gums as well as the possible causes.
There are two problems associated with receding gums. The first of these is that of appearance. Gums that recede make the teeth appear longer than they actually are. You may have heard the phrase ‘long in the tooth’, meaning someone quite old. Old age is one of the potential causes of gum recession, but most can be avoided until this stage with a little care.
A more serious threat is that when the gums recede, they expose the dentine material around the root of your tooth. This is a yellowish material which can detract from your appearance, but, more importantly, is not protected by enamel and is more easily exposed to bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
There are a number of potential causes of gum recession, including old age, which we mentioned above. Many causes though can happen much earlier in our lives and include:
If you do not look after your gums, they are likely to be affected by the ‘bad’ bacteria in our mouths and even early stage gum disease can affect your gums and cause them to recede. A good home cleaning regimen and appointments with the hygienist is a great way to help avoid this potentially serious problem.
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Why nervous patients have more cavities and other dental problems.
It will come as no surprise to most, that patients who avoid dental visits due to their phobias are more likely to suffer from decay and cavities than those who attend a dental practice regularly.
Whilst it can be argued that some people who are afraid of the dentist may take better care of their teeth in order to avoid the need for treatment, this is not always the case, and, even with the best care in the world, cavities can occur. Whilst these may be initially minor, without appropriate treatment at our Cheshunt practice, this will inevitably worsen and require more extensive and potentially more costly treatment later on.
The reality is that nobody enjoys receiving invasive dental treatment. This is an additional reason to make sure that you keep your regular appointments so that we can keep any treatment needed to the minimum by detecting and treating problems in the early stages. We pride ourselves on having a friendly dental team that takes the time to make sure our patients are comfortable. A number of patients who have registered with us have commented about how much more relaxed they feel at The Lodge Dental Suite than with their previous dentist – comments we love to hear!
Modern dental practice
Our Cheshunt dental practice is not only presented in a way to help patients relax, but our surgeries are thoroughly clean and modern and equipped with the latest in dental technology. This helps us treat patients both quickly, efficiently and safely with the minimum of stress.
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A local Cuffley patient asks for advice….
Another in our occasional series of questions received at The Lodge Dental Suite which we feel might be of general help to some of our patients.
Q. Hi .. I moved to Cuffley a little while ago and haven’t yet got around to registering with a dental practice. My teeth are generally OK but one tooth has been filled a few times now but the fillings never seem to last long. My previous dentist suggested that if it didn’t stay in place this time, then he would have to consider a crown. I mentioned this to a friend who rolled her eyes and said that her crown had been nothing but trouble and kept coming off. I don’t want to keep having the tooth filled, but if a crown keeps coming off, is that really a better option? Any suggestions please?
Hello, and thank you for your email. As with all cases which we are told about via email or phone conversation, the only way to be sure of the problem and correctly diagnose it is to have your teeth examined by one of our Cheshunt dentists. We are very conveniently situated for Cuffley and already have a number of patients who come to see us from there. With regards to your problem, it is possible that the cavity is bordering on being too large for a filling. Most fillings should last for a number of years and the fact that yours keeps coming out indicates that perhaps a dental crown would be a better choice. We will assess this when we meet you.
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A look at pros and cons for the various methods available.
Teeth whitening is one of the most widely taken up cosmetic procedures by our local Cheshunt dental patients. One obvious reason for this is that it is an affordable and effective way to greatly improve your smile, without the need for an invasive procedure.
Whilst few people would attempt to fill their own teeth, the straightforward and non invasive nature of a teeth whitening procedure, does mean that there is scope to perform this at home. In today’s blog, our long-established Cheshunt dentists look at some of the methods available and what patients should expect if they use them.
Search the internet and you will find many ways to whiten your teeth naturally. The fact is though, that if these really did work, they would already be well known. It is possible that some may whiten the teeth just a little, but this is highly unlikely to make a noticeable difference. Some natural teeth whitening solutions may also be harmful to the teeth; for example, the use of lemon juice is just one example. This will have a minimal, if any, effect on the whiteness of your teeth, but the acid in the lemon juice is harmful to the protective enamel of your teeth.
Many teeth whitening toothpastes use the same bleaching ingredient that is used in a professionally applied teeth whitening procedure. In this sense, they do work. However, because of safety concerns, the amount of the active ingredient allowed is restricted, and, quite naturally, this means that the results you should expect are also reduced. Whitening toothpastes may be useful to help with very minor discolouration or may be used to extend the period of whiteness following a professional whitening treatment, but to make a real difference, are of limited use.
Home whitening kits
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Our Cheshunt dentists discuss how lifestyle choices can affect our oral health.
We are not here to judge people, or to moralise and we’re sure that any regular patient of The Lodge Dental Suite would happily tell you that.
As can be seen from the testimonials that we receive, our friendly approach is one of the main reasons that people attend our practice.
The reality however, is that some choices that we make in life can have negative consequences for our teeth, gums and oral health in general. So with this in mind, we offer our views on a number of common habits that can affect you in this way.
Aside from the staining impact that smoking has on your teeth, it can lead to increased infections due to restricted blood flow to the gums. Oral cancer is another real possibility and stopping smoking is one of the biggest things you can do to keep your mouth healthy – as well as improving your health generally.
Studies seem to show that a small amount of alcohol may actually be beneficial and many of us will occasionally drink to wind down after a stressful day at work. Excess alcohol however, can have a similar negative impact on our teeth and gums to smoking. Additionally, dehydration is common when alcohol is drunk, and the dry mouth that this causes adds to the increased likelihood of gum disease as the ‘bad’ oral bacteria thrive in this environment.
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Fast acting modern orthodontics at our Cheshunt dental practice.
Selecting the right method to straighten a patient’s teeth can only be done by a qualified dentist, such as those in the experienced team at The Lodge Dental Suite.
There are many things to consider before making a decision, including the extent of the problem, as well as the patient’s expectations of how their teeth will look following the procedure.
Because ‘invisible’ braces do not use either wires or brackets, many patients are keen to use this method. Whilst it is an excellent system, it is not always appropriate. For example, when the teeth only need minor correction and where it is a ‘cosmetic’ problem only, for example with the visible front teeth; other systems may be more suitable.
In these circumstances, we may suggest the use of the Inman Aligner system. This is an excellent method that can be used to correct minor cosmetic orthodontic issues. There are many advantages of using the Inman Aligner, which include.
- It is fast acting and can take just between 4 and 16 weeks to correct minor problems. Bearing in mind that invisible braces often have to be worn for at least a year, this is a major advantage.
- They are comfortable to wear and the spring used in the system is made from nickel titanium, a lighter metal that helps patient comfort.
- The materials used in the Inman Aligner system are produced in a natural tooth colour and blend in well with the teeth, leaving you with a much nicer appearance than would be the case with traditional metal braces.
- It involves just a single appliance, not a range of trays as with ‘invisible’ braces and should give you a trouble free experience.
- It is not as costly as some other teeth straightening alternatives.
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