How Important Are Milk Teeth?

sugar and kids teeth

Care of our first teeth is important, for many different reasons.

A recent study found that many parents believed that their child’s first teeth were not that important, and that it was only when adult teeth come through that real care needed to be taken. Whilst we can understand the logic of this, it is very definitely incorrect for many different reasons.

At The Lodge Dental Suite in Cheshunt, we believe in looking after patients from a young age, typically around one year old. This early intervention can help to prevent many dental problems in children in the years to come, enabling them to grow up with strong and healthy teeth.

Milk teeth

Our first teeth start to come through at approximately one year old, although this does vary from child to child. They remain with us until they start to fall out and be replaced by our adult teeth, starting at around 6 or 7 years old. Not all of these fall out at the same time though, and it is entirely possible to have some milk teeth remaining as we enter adulthood.

Although temporary, having healthy milk teeth is important, for many reasons.

Pain

Nobody likes to see their children suffering, and, as anyone who has had one will know, toothache can be extremely painful and cause a child a lot of distress. In addition to this, young children who need to have decaying teeth extracted, will often need to have this done in hospital, adding more stress in their young lives.

Speech development

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Looking For The ‘Wow’ Factor?

A great smile can help you really stand out from the crowd in Cheshunt!

Although, above all else, it is important to have healthy teeth and gums, there is little doubt that also having a beautiful looking smile is a real bonus.

Many studies have shown that a smile is one of the first things that we notice about other people, often instantly affecting our judgement about them. Those first few moments when we notice a smile could have significant implications for personal relationships, and even, potentially, for our employment prospects too.

Having a great looking smile though is something that rarely happens without some cosmetic dentistry being performed. However well we look after our teeth, from a health point of view, some discolouration and/or crookedness of our teeth is fairly likely at some point in our lives.

Cosmetic dentistry

At The Lodge Dental Suite, many of our patients have opted for cosmetic dental treatments to help them have a nicer looking smile. There are a wide range of options to choose from, though it is always best to discuss the most appropriate treatments with our dentists rather than attempt to pick from a list.

We’ve discussed some of the treatments available at our Cheshunt practice in previous blogs, but it’s always worth a reminder for anyone considering treatment.

Teeth whitening – This can either be done at home using custom made whitening trays, or a one hour teeth whitening procedure can be carried out within the practice by one of our cosmetic dentists, for more instant results.

Straighter teeth – Our fast acting cosmetic braces offer a way to have straighter teeth in a shorter period of time than you might expect. Anticipated treatment time can be discussed following a consultation to assess your specific needs.

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Do You Have A Missing Front Tooth?

Don’t hide your smile! See what our Cheshunt dentists can do to help.

Tooth loss is not uncommon, but when it is a front tooth that is missing, it can have a very dramatic effect on your appearance. The front teeth too are vulnerable to accidents such as a fall or a blow to the face; so even those who really look after their teeth can potentially find themselves in this situation unexpectedly.

First we should make clear that we are not talking about a diastema, where all the teeth are present, but the way that the teeth have grown has left a gap between the teeth. Here we are discussing when a front tooth has been knocked out or has to be extracted because of damage or decay.

Can the tooth be saved?

If you lose a front tooth (or any) due to an accident; if the roots are still intact, it may be possible to save the tooth if you act very quickly. Pick the tooth up, avoiding touching the root, rinse, but don’t rub, the tooth in water and then put in a container of milk or your own saliva and contact us straight away. Every minute lost means less chance of saving the tooth, so please act quickly.

Presuming that the tooth can’t be saved though, or has been extracted, what are the options to replace it available at The Lodge Dental Suite?

Dentures

A denture could be used in situations such as this. Whilst these are more advanced than older type dentures, they may still move around in the mouth from time to time. Because the front teeth are very visible and prominent, this may be instantly noticeable. So whilst this approach is certainly viable, other more permanent methods may be preferred.

Bridge

A bridge could be used, but in order to attach it, significant preparatory work would be needed to attach supporting crowns to the teeth adjacent to the gap. This is not an approach that some patients are willing to take, particularly where front teeth are concerned.

Dental implant

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Remineralisation Of Teeth

The role of modern toothpastes.

Along with tooth whitening toothpastes, you may have seen advertisements for toothpastes that claim to ‘remineralise’ teeth.

Whilst the claims may seem quite impressive, we suspect that quite a few people will not actually understand what this means, and it’s not surprising. In today’s blog, The Lodge Dental Suite team take a look at this process to help our Cheshunt patients have a better understanding.

Mineral deficiencies

Minerals play an important role in our bodies, and dental health is no different. They play a crucial role in keeping the enamel of our teeth strong and healthy, helping to protect the inner parts of the teeth which are more vulnerable to decay etc. We can get most of the minerals that we need from our food, but some people may lack in these due to illnesses, medication or even poor oral care. When this happens, the enamel of our teeth is likely to be weakened.

Saliva

It is probably not widely known that the saliva that we produce contains many minerals that help to strengthen the enamel as well as helping to clean away the bacteria from the teeth and gums. As we have covered before, this is important in the fight against gum disease, but minerals such as calcium and phosphorus ions are also present in our saliva and play their role in keeping the enamel of our teeth in good condition.

Where we struggle to produce sufficient saliva on a regular basis, this can cause mineral loss which negatively affects the health of our teeth. This can happen if we smoke, drink regularly or even as a side effect of an illness or related medication.

Preventing mineral loss

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Don’t Like Seeing The Dentist?

Here are some very good reasons why you really should!

At The Lodge Dental Suite, as at every other practice in the world most likely, we often meet patients who really don’t like the dentist; not in a personal way of course.

The vast majority of patients are friendly and polite, but some unfortunately have an in-built fear of coming to see us or simply don’t prioritise it in their busy lives.

We completely understand and are sympathetic to these concerns and below, our Cheshunt dental team look at a couple of the more common reasons why some people avoid the dentist and discuss how important it actually is to attend.

It’s going to be painful?

This is probably the number one fear of most dental phobic patients. It is perhaps understandable that patients are concerned about this, given the fact that our teeth are located so close to other prime senses such as sight, sound and taste. The sound of the drill so close to our ear obviously amplifies the sound and the sight of a dentist, just a short distance away from our face, can be quite unsettling for some….

But….

It is important to remember that we don’t perform dental procedures on patients unnecessarily and restorative procedures are carried out when there is a real need. In many cases, not only will it help to restore the function of your teeth, but also prevent the need for an even more invasive procedure further down the line if it were not treated early enough. With regards to a patient feeling pain, this is very rare. Whilst there may be a certain level of discomfort during some procedures, this should be relatively minimal with the use of a local anaesthetic. In many cases, it is actually the anticipation of pain, rather than any actual discomfort which causes the patient distress.

I don’t have time and my teeth are fine

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The Importance Of Interdental Cleaning

Taking care to clean those difficult to access places in our mouth.

Whilst it may not be true for everyone, most of us do brush our teeth twice a day.

Whilst this is the most basic thing that we can do to keep our teeth clean, on its own though, it isn’t enough and dental problems are still likely to occur.

One of the problems is that both food and bacteria have a tendency to collect in places that a toothbrush barely touches. It is important, therefore, to take a little extra time to keep these areas clean.

Problems

There are two particular issues that are likely to arise if you do not clean between your teeth. They are tooth decay and gum disease.

Tooth decay

Decay occurs when bacteria start to eat away at the enamel of our teeth, exposing the more vulnerable dentin layer beneath. Whilst we brush most of the bacteria away from the front, and hopefully rear, surfaces of our teeth, brushing does not clean in between our teeth very effectively. This allows ‘bad’ bacteria to multiply, and eventually cause that area of the tooth to start to decay.

Gum disease

Hopefully, most of our local Cheshunt patients follow the guidance of the hygienist and lightly brush their gums as well as their teeth. This is a great start, but, as with decay, the build up of bacteria and tartar between the teeth can lead to gingivitis, and possibly even periodontitis, unless action is taken to clean there.

Solutions

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Hypodontia – Causes and Treatment

Dentists surgery

How our Cheshunt dentists can help patients with this condition.

Hypodontia is a condition which is usually inherited and leads to the lack of development of some of the patient’s teeth.

It usually involves missing up to 5 permanent teeth, not including third molars, which, in many patients with this condition, will eventually come through.

Where 6 or more teeth are missing, the condition is referred to as Oligodontia. It is not an especially unusual condition though, and restoration can be achieved with the use of prosthodontics.

Determining the problem

There may be a number of factors involved in the presence of this condition, including where chemotherapy has been carried out. Despite this, genetics is by far the most common cause, making it unavoidable for some patients.

To determine the stage of tooth development where this condition is suspected, an x-ray will be necessary so that we can determine what is happening beneath the gum line and therefore, what is the best course of treatment to take.

Treatment

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Are Loose Dentures Restricting Your Diet?

How our Cheshunt patients can benefit from denture stabilisation.

Anybody who has had a number of missing teeth, or even a full arch, replaced with dentures, will be aware of some of the limitations that they bring.

Modern dentures may be more realistic looking and comfortable than older types, but stability can still be an issue for some people.

Not only do some wearers lose confidence if their dentures move around when they are speaking, but many also avoid eating certain foods because of them, often eating softer and easier to chew foods only. Whilst this can provide an adequate diet, it is restrictive and can take away some of the enjoyment from meal times.

Dental implants

At The Lodge Dental Suite, we are pleased to offer the latest teeth implants as an alternative to dentures, which can be used individually or to support a fixed bridge. What fewer people may know though, is that they can also be used to stabilise dentures.

A few dental implants can be placed, typically two, three or four depending on circumstances, and used as a firm ‘anchor’ for dentures. The implants that are securely held in place through a bonding process with the bone, known as osseointegration, will then hold your dentures firmly in place and enable you to eat any food that you want. If you long for the days when you could take a bite into a nice crispy apple with confidence, those days may be just a few procedures away!

Healthy gums

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Why You Should Avoid Rinsing After Cleaning Your Teeth

Fluoride absorption is a key factor in keeping tooth enamel strong and healthy.

Most of us will have been taught how to clean our teeth by our parents and in all likelihood, this will have consisted of brush, spit and rinse.

This must have seemed like the perfect way to clean your teeth to leave your mouth feeling clean and refreshed.

Oral health guidance changes with new discoveries though, and is just one of the reasons that we recommend that patients see our Cheshunt dental hygienist on a regular basis. Updated advice, along with a professional clean, are a great way to keep your teeth in the best condition possible.

Fluoride

Back to the title of our blog; why should you not rinse after cleaning your teeth? Certainly, this can feel entirely natural to do and does leave the mouth feeling fresh and more hydrated. Unfortunately, this action also means that much of the fluoride in the toothpaste is also washed away from the teeth.

Fluoride is an important component of toothpaste and you should always take care to make sure that your preferred brand does contain it. Fluoride is beneficial to the teeth as it helps to strengthen the enamel, helping to protect it from attacks by sugars, acids and bacteria that can cause tooth decay. Rinsing it away reduces the effect of the fluoride and may leave your teeth more exposed to these problems.

Is fluoride harmful?

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The Vegan Diet And Your Teeth

Even the ‘healthiest’ of diets can pose challenges for your teeth.

With around half a million people in the UK following a vegan diet, and many more perhaps partially following it with a view to fully adapting the diet if they like it, our Cheshunt dental team thought that it would be worth taking a look at the pros and cons of this diet from a dental perspective.

There have been reports that both vegetarians and vegans are more likely to suffer from cavities than a carnivore or omnivore. Below, The Lodge Dental Suite take a look at some of the factors that may contribute to this.

Sugar consumption

Although a vegan diet is considered to be a ‘healthy’ one, it is still possible to eat an unhealthy diet. Cakes, sweets, chocolates etc are all available that are entirely vegan. These often contain just as much sugar as regular foods. Don’t be fooled by the ‘natural sugar’ labels either .. all sugars will feed the bacteria that lead to tooth decay.

Fruits

Quite often, one of the main reasons for following a vegan diet is the health aspects. This often means that vegans eat a lot more fruit than the rest of us. Whilst this is healthy, as far as vitamins etc goes, it does increase the amount of acids from the fruit that come into contact with the teeth. This will increase the risk of enamel erosion. When this occurs, the more vulnerable dentin layer is exposed and tooth decay is likely to soon follow.

Calcium

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