Monthly Archives: May 2012

Detecting and Treating Tooth Decay at Smile Essential

Tooth decay is a silent problem, creeping up on the teeth gradually, never revealing itself until it has caused lasting damage and persistent pain.

However, at Smile Essential Dental Practice we can spot and treat even the tiniest bit of decay during a routine check-up.

How we can spot and treat tooth decay?

The early stages of tooth decay are usually unnoticeable and they cause no pain. However, we use magnification during our dental check-ups to pin-point evening the smallest instance of decay and fill it before it can spread and become a cavity.

We can also use dental x-rays to explore the inside of a tooth if we feel it may be infected.

How does tooth decay occur?

The start of decay may begin with a mild rise in the level of sugar you consume or a decline if the amount of time you spend on your dental hygiene, whatever the root cause tooth decay generally occurs for the same reason each time-dental bacteria creates plaque, which eats away first at the enamel, then the dentin before reaching the dental chamber inside the tooth and infecting the pulp and tissue inside.

Once this infection has entered the tooth the pain begins and sadly it may be too late to save the tooth. The dental pulp inside a tooth is what keeps it alive, so once this has become infected the tooth is technically dead. Treatments such as root canal therapy can be used to clean and sterilise the tooth, after which a crown will be placed over the damaged tooth to restore its strength, but it will never match the strength of a natural tooth.

During our dental check-ups we locate the very early signs of decay to stop this from happening and prevent you from loosing your teeth, for beautiful and healthy smiles.

Looking after the younger members at Smile Essential

Looking after your child’s teeth

Step one: Visiting the Dentist

Bring your child with you when you visit Smile Essential for a dental check up. This will help him or her get used to the surroundings at the practice, and also get to know the dentists. There is no need for a young child to be examined or sit in the dental chair at first, but our welcoming and considerate dentists will decide when the time is right. The most important thing is that we can build a great and relaxed relationship with yourself and also the child.

There is no need to ‘prepare’ your child for a visit to Smile Essential. It should be a casual visit, just like going to the shops.

Step two: Tooth Brushing

As soon as your baby has tooth, brush it gently with a soft baby brush and smear of toothpaste made for children. Try to do this twice a day. Our dentists will give you advice on the different brands available – this is important if you live in an area where fluoride is present in the water.

Your child will soon try brushing, and this should be encouraged even though they might chew the brush a little at first. It is necessary for an adult to assist tooth brushing for at least the first 6 years in a child’s life.

You will find it easier to assist if the child sits or stands facing away from you, or resting their head against you. Use one hand for the brush and the other to part the lips.

Step Three: Taking care with your child’s diet

It is important that children develop good eating habits. This will do more to protect their general health as well as dental health in later life. A poor diet can affect the teeth in two ways, it can increase dental decay and it can lead to erosion (dissolving away) of the tooth surface. Whilst it is a fact that some children are difficult or ‘faddy’ eaters a few general rules will help.

Dental decay forms when acids are produced in plaque on the teeth. In order to reduce decay the teeth should be brushed thoroughly to remove plaque; food and drink that produces acid should be restricted to mealtimes as far as possible. If acidic fruit or fruit drinks have been consumed do not brush the teeth straight away, leave it for an hour or so. It is best to avoid eating and drinking for one hour before going to bed.

If you have any questions about your child’s dental care. Please get in touch

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Potential Problems for Stressed Patients

If you suffer from a lot of stress, you may well be doing a lot of damage which may become very serious in the future when the damage comes to light. One of the problems caused by stress is teeth grinding. Something you would probably know about and are suffering from for a prolonged period of time. This condition comes from the inability to relax after a heavy day and if you take that pent-up stress to the bedroom with you, you may well be getting a poor night’s sleep as well as grinding your teeth.

If your teeth and jaws are starting to ache in the morning, it’s a sign that you’re having a problem, but if your jaws start to click, even lock in place, or your teeth look worn, it can be a serious problem. It is imperative that this is treated right away, otherwise you could be doing untold damage to your upper body- from your teeth to your neck. A dentist can prescribe you some form of mouth-guard to save your teeth, as well as rebuilding really damaged ones, but that doesn’t get to the core of the problem- stress!

Stress needs to be defused in order to stop the grinding; if you identify that you suffer from a stress, your dentist can help guide you towards some simple exercises that will help your jaw and teeth, that you can do before your head hits the pillow, and hopefully stop you grinding your teeth.

We at Smile Essential, hope this helps and if you do experience any problems, we’ll be happy to help.