Monthly Archives: March 2010

Protect you teeth with toothbrushing says Leicester dentist

Brushing your teeth is by far and away the most important way of keeping them clean, healthy and free from decay. Effective brushing is the first line of defence against a whole series of nasty and unpleasant dental health concerns that could cause you a lot of pain, embarrassment and expense throughout your life.

Leicester dentists recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day for three minutes. It is recommended to use a soft-bristled brush, unless told otherwise by your dentist for specific reasons, as they are the best at removing plaque and ultimately that is the number one aim of tooth brushing. Plaque is the sticky, filmy substance that coast teeth and releases acids which eventually break down enamel and cause cavities. If left untreated, dental cavities will worsen until the enamel is breached and the sensitive inner part of the tooth including the dental nerve is exposed to bacteria and infection. This can be very unpleasant and the source of severe pain and ultimately tooth loss.

When brushing it is important to angle the brush at 45 degrees to the gums so that they are also gently cleaned. This helps to keep plaque off the gums and prevent gum disease, the number one cause of tooth loss in the UK. Using a small-headed toothbrush is also recommended because it allows easier access to more parts of the mouth.

Although brushing is very important, it is also still a good idea to floss your teeth at least once a day as this helps to remove plaque and food debris from between the teeth. As well as this, it is also highly important to make sure you keep up six-monthly appointments with the dentist as even the most rigorous brushers can still be affected by decay and disease.

Leicester dentist helps patients beat bad breathe

Bad breath can be an embarrassing hygiene problem that unfortunately affects others probably more than it affects you.  In fact it is often very difficult to know that you have bad breath unless someone tells you, which can in itself be very embarrassing, especially if is happening on a regular basis.

The fear of bad breath can often lead people to take action in an effort to stop it but in doing so they may not be addressing the cause of the problem, and in certain cases even making it worse.  Using mouthwash, breath sprays or gum can temporarily cover the smell of bad breath but it will not stop it and at best will only mask it for a few hours.  Furthermore, mouthwashes can disrupt the regulation of bacteria in the mouth and result in bad breath coming back time and time again. This happens because it kills bacteria in the mouth and changes the saliva production levels.  Saliva is the body’s natural defence against oral bacteria and regulates it to keep it at a healthy level.

The only real way to beat bad breath for good is to improve your general standard of oral hygiene.  Improved brushing and flossing can help to remove bacteria, plaque and food debris that stick to teeth causing decay and the breakdown of particles which cause bad breath.  It is also recommended by dentists to use a tongue cleaner to remove bacteria form the grooved surface of the tongue.

Our Leicester dentists can give you further advice on the most successful ways to improve cleaning and beat bad breath.  By following their advice and sticking to a through cleaning routine, you should be able to leave the anxiety of bad breath behind once and for all.

Brushing and Flossing Techniques

It is very important to invest in a good toothbrush to help maintain effective brushing and prevent gum disease. There are so many toothbrushes on the market, it can be difficult to know what to buy. We recommend a Philips Sonicare rechargeable electric toothbrush as being one of the best toothbrushes on the market.

There are 5 simple steps that you can use for effective brushing.

1. Always look in a mirror whilst brushing. It sounds so simple but many people do not use a mirror and hence cannot see where they are brushing and so miss cleaning certain areas.

2. Use a methodical approach, concentrating on one tooth at a time.

3. Make sure that you brush the outside, inside and biting surfaces of the teeth.

4. Try to begin brushing in a different place everyday to ensure that you do not neglect any particular area.

5. Toothbrushing should last for at least two minutes (A good tip is, if you listen to the radio in the morning you should brush for the duration of 1-2 songs).

Flossing techniques

Some people say that they spend a long time brushing their teeth and therefore they do not need to floss, this is not the case. Although the bristles of a tooth brush are fine, collectively they are still to thick to get in-between the teeth effectively. It is very easy to forget that teeth have more than two surfaces and they all need the same care and attention, especially as food can get trapped in-between teeth and if left it can cause decay/ carries/cavities. The only way to remove this is by flossing.

1. Take about 45-50cm (18inches) of floss and wind the ends around your middle fingers, leaving a short distance between them.

2. Using your thumb and first finger, gently move the floss between your teeth and wrap in a C shape around the tooth.

3. Guide the floss to where the tooth meets the gum, but take care not to damage the gum by flossing too vigorously

4. Then move the floss up and down the tooth. During use the floss spreads out for more effective plaque removal.

Interdental (Tepe) Brushes

Interdental (Tepe) brushes are small pocket sized brushes that are available to buy in different sizes. A dentist would recommend what size is best for the patient, and some people are advised to use two different sized brushes corresponding to the size of the gaps between teeth.

For the ultimate feeling of a fresh mouth, don’t forget to use a tongue scraper as your tongue harbors many bacteria that can cause bad breath.

Should you need any further advice on brushing and flossing techniques, speak to one of our team members who will be happy to help you.

Dental floss makes great washing line?

Crazy, that’s what we thought when Scott Mills announced on his recent BBC Radio 1 show, that  if you’re on holiday, or anywhere where you need to hang your freshly washed clothes to dry and don’t have access to a clothes line then simply tie a length of floss between two chairs and suspend your washing until it dry’s. We’re yet to try it out ourselves, although I’m not sure the line could handle anything heavier than your swimsuit.

Of course the best use for floss is the one it’s designed for, cleaning those areas of your teeth that your toothbrush just can’t reach!

They say water is good for you but do your teeth think so?

Of course they do, unless however your water has bubbles in it. Drinking sparkling mineral water is the same as drinking other non-sugar or diet fizzy drinks. While these drinks do not contain sugar they are acidic and can lead to acid erosion of the tooth surface which in turn can lead to sensitive teeth and excessive tooth surface loss.

If you can’t make the bubbles a complete thing of the past then…

  • Drink them through a straw- the acid has less chance to attack the teeth
  • Only have fizzy drinks occasionally- children especially should have not have fizzy drinks regularly
  • Wait at least half an hour before brushing, to give your teeth a change to break down the acid.

 If your teeth are sensitive you should…

  •  Tell your dentist! Acid erosion is not the only cause of sensitivity.
  • Limit your intake of acidic drinks and food such as red wine, fizzy drinks, citrus fruits and fruit juices
  • Use a desensitising toothpaste to brush your teeth

The dentists at Smile Essential advice that drinking plain (still) water is best!

What are Porcelain Veneers?

“Everytime I read a magazine, a celebrity is said to have had veneers. I can see their teeth look nice, but what actually are porcelain veneers?”

Porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain bonded over the front surface of the teeth. They are long lasting, stain-resistant and can be a very natural looking restoration. Porcelain is very versatile; it can be used to lengthen, widen and whiten. We customise them personally to you, choosing the exact shape, colour etc.

There’s a whole host of reasons patients may have porcelain veneers. Placed on misaligned crooked teeth they can give the appearance of perfectly straight teeth, they can cover stained, discolored teeth or be applied to whiten and brighten the entire smile. We can bond longer porcelain veneers to worn or chipped teeth to make them look younger and stronger. Or they can be made to match the surrounding existing teeth, too. We would need to see you for a consultation to determine exactly what it were you needed and whether veneers were a suitable option.

Are you anxious about visiting the dentist?

Many patients avoid or put off going to see a dentist, sometimes for years at a time because they are nervous or anxious.

Smile Essential is a very special dental practice focused on personal service delivered with kindness and compassion.  All of our dentists are highly trained in treating nervous patients and will take the time to get to know you and to find out what your particular anxieties about visiting a dentist are before then offering a tailor made solution.

Our main priority is to make your experience with us a truly calm and comfortable one. We understand that each patient’s experiences, both past and present are truly unique. Our inviting surroundings have been specially designed with you in mind and you will welcome the warmth of our patient lounge, where every details has been considered and created for your pleasure and convenience:  comfortable sofas, lcd tv, aromatic oil burners, calming music and a varied selection of upto date magazines.  Whilst in our consultation rooms we have Ipod docking stations playing relaxing music and a DVD library for your viewing pleasure to help our patients get the care they want and deserve.

Why not come and visit us, see the practice, meet some of the team and enjoy a coffee? – There’s really no need to venture into see the dentist until you’re feeling more at home here!

Don’t let the whiteness fade

We often get asked how to maintain the colour of your teeth after they have been whitened, so here’s our handy tips…

  1. See your dentist/ hygienist for professional cleaning at the recommended time interval (usually every 3-6mths)
  2. If drinks have a high stain potential, use a straw
  3. Remember to brush shortly after you have drinks that are highly staining. If you can’t, try to rinse with lots of water.
  4. Avoid abrasive toothpastes which may wear the enamel, exposing more of the darker substructure in your tooth (the dentine)
  5. Don’t smoke!

Finally, use a home whitening kit to give you a little boost occasionally!