Monthly Archives: January 2016

Why bother flossing?

flossing advice from leicester dental clinic

I brush my teeth well so why should I floss?

A question you probably hear at every dental health check is ‘are you flossing?’ usually followed by a pause, then a confession.

But why floss? Proper flossing removes plaque and food particles in places where a toothbrush cannot easily reach like under the gum line and in-between your teeth. Not flossing is thought to be the equivalent of not brushing your teeth for 2 full days a week! It’s important because plaque buildup can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, daily flossing is highly recommended if you want to keep your teeth for the rest of your life.

How do I floss?

Starting with about half a metre of floss, wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving about 3-4cm to work with Holding the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up and-down between your teeth Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth making a C shape, making sure you go beneath the gum line. Never force the floss, as this may cut or bruise delicate gum tissue, after each tooth roll the dirty floss on to the finger and move on to the next tooth using using a clean section of floss. Continue to do this as you move from tooth to tooth until you have done all of the teeth. It’s quite likely that your gums may bleed during the early stages of flossing. Don’t let this deter you! This is a sign that you should definitely floss and any bleeding should resolve after 3-4 days.

oral health care at our leicester dental practice

You may have heard of dental floss and dental tape but what is the difference?

Dental tape is wider than floss. It’s good for getting into wider spaces between the teeth and removing larger food particles. Some people find it easier and much more comfortable to use than regular floss.
It’s also good for people who tend to “snap” dental floss between the teeth and for people who break or shred floss when flossing. Tape is generally thicker than floss, at Smile Essential Dental Practice we tend to recommend that our patients start and continue with dental tape as opposed to floss.

What if flossing is too tricky?

For a few flossing can be really tricky, medical conditions like Parkinson’s or arthritis can mean that flossing is just not possible.
But there are now many alternatives to flossing: floss sticks can be a great alternative to floss if your fingers are a little too big to fit inside your mouth or you find the floss a bit fiddly.

The dentists at Smile Essential Dental Practice often recommend tepe brushes which are a type of interdental cleaning brush. There are also fancy tech gadgets so if you love your electric toothbrush you might like to try using the Philips Sonicare Airfloss it sends pressurised air and microdroplets shooting in-between your teeth.

Remember if you have any questions about cleaning or are unsure if you should floss then speak to your dentist at your next dental health check.

Such a kind Leicester dental practice…

dental clinic reviews leicester

I have been coming to Smile Essential Dental Practice in Leicester with my husband and children for years.

Their dental assistants and receptionist are always warm and friendly. I like that it’s run by a family and have seen Lina for my dental check ups for quite a while. I am always treated kindly and feel confident I am receiving the best dental care in Leicester.

Highly recommended!

Mrs P.S, Narborough, Leicester.

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A lovely Leicester dental review

leicester dental practice reviews

I have been scared of the dentist since I was a child and had a bad tooth extraction. But pain has eventually made me see the dentist after 20 years. I had googled dentists and read the reviews for this practice and I am not disappointed!

I’ve had some quite extensive dental work carried out by Smile Essential dental practice and I cannot believe the extent at which all of the staff and dentist cared for me and made me feel at ease. I am now pain free and my mouth feels good again. I’m still a nervous patient but won’t be leaving it 20 years until I go again!

Highly recommended!

Mrs P.V, Braunstone Town, Leicester.

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Considering a white filling? Here’s what you need to know…

a guide on choosing white or metal fillings

With 84% of all adults having at least one or more fillings and the average adult having 7 fillings. It’s important to understand the different filling options available to you and go over some of the most common questions asked of our dentists at Smile Essential dental practice in Leicester.

Nowadays tooth coloured ‘white’ fillings can be made to look like the surrounding natural tooth. We treat many people at Smile Essential dental practice that are conscious about their silver ‘amalgam’ fillings showing when they laugh or smile.

There are 2 main misconceptions about white fillings and silver fillings that our Leicester patients ask:

1) Will white fillings be as strong as metal fillings?

The answer to this question has changed over the past 20 years. Dental materials are constantly improving and whilst silver fillings used to be stronger than white fillings, the new improved materials are now just as strong.

2) Are white fillings more expensive than silver fillings?

All filling costs vary dependant upon the size and location of the filling and tooth. At our dental practice the difference of cost is quite small. White fillings are around £10 more than silver fillings, this is mainly due to the higher cost of materials involved with placing a white filling.

So what if you already have silver fillings- should you replace them?

This is best assessed on an individual basis by your dentist. If the fillings aren’t visible and are dentally sound, then often it is considered best to leave them until it requires replacing and then opt for a tooth coloured filling.

However if the filling is visible and it makes you self conscious when smiling or laughing then do discuss it with your dentist so they can assess it and advise you accordingly.

Should you always opt for a white filling?

White fillings whilst comparable to silver fillings in strength and longevity may not always be the best option for you. This could be for a number of reasons with the most likely reason being moisture control. It’s crucial when placing most tooth coloured fillings to keep the area completely dry for several minutes and this may not be possible for that particular tooth.

7 Secrets Dental Professionals Know That Stop Teeth From Staining…

dentists leicester

If teeth staining is the bane of your life, then you might want to take a read of these tip top tips from the dental professionals at Smile Essential Dental Practice in Leicester.

Staining is a common complaint we hear at or dental clinic and one that we (with a little help of our dental gadgets) can solve easily. But there are lots of things (well at least 7!) that you can do to help prevent teeth from staining.

We’ll start with the obvious…

1) Lifestyle

Habits such as smoking and drinking copious amounts of red wine might seem rock and roll but they will ultimately lead to brown stained teeth. So stop smoking and limit the red wine to the occasional treat with a meal.

Some of our other leisurely past times aren’t off the hook either- tea and coffee also cause staining so limit yourself to a couple a day and rinse with water after if your able to.

Not so obvious is green tea, healthy as it may be! Green tea can cause some serious staining so follow the advice above or switch to white tea- all the goodness of green tea but with a smaller amount of staining.

2) Mouthwash

This one might surprise you, it certainly does a lot of our Leicester dental patients. Chlorhexidine Gluconate can be an ingredient in mouthwashes- especially the ones used for gum problems. A side effect of this chemical is teeth staining.

It does work well to help treat gum disease but generally this needs to be done in conjunction with dental hygiene appointments and tailored advice from your dentist or dental hygienist.

If you’re using a mouthwash that does contain Chlorhexidine Gluconate then you can limit the side effects of staining by avoiding eating or drinking for at least an hour after its use.

Mouthwashes such as Listerine, Plaques and Dental PH tend to be better for everyday use and can aid a good mouth cleaning routine.

3) Crooked or crowded teeth

When the teeth overlap one another it can be difficult to clean effectively. Having straighter teeth means that your mouth will be easier to clean and staining won’t build up in those hard reach areas.

Treatments to make teeth straighter are so much easier nowadays. The braces are cosmetically more attractive, treatment can be done relatively quickly and treatment is more affordable than it used to be.

4) Sonic technology

Some electric toothbrushes use sonic technology- this is great for removing staining that builds up on a daily basis. Sonic technology provides a much deeper clean meaning you get that dental feeling clean every time.

The sonic technology used in these electric toothbrushes is similar to that which we use in the dental practice to remove staining and plaque build up.

5) Medication

If some medications used during pregnancy or childhood can affect the teeth and when adult teeth start to develop during growth it can cause quite noticeable staining. The well known being tetracycline staining- this is more complicated to treat but cosmetic dentistry can help.

When treating tetracycline staining it’s important to seek the advice of a dental professional.

6) Porous surfaces

Ever noticed that staining seems to build up more around the gum line or in areas where there is a hard plaque build up? Plaque has a more porous surface meaning that it’s much easier for staining to attach itself in those areas.

Having your teeth cleaned regularly will help to get rid of any plaque build up and staining. Your dental health professional will also be able to give you some dental advice to help improve the situation.

7) Whitening toothpastes

The outside of the tooth structure is made up of enamel- it’s enamel that’s smooth and white. Under the enamel surface is the dentine- dentine is more yellow and porous.

This becomes a bit of a problem with some whitening toothpastes, as they can be very abrasive so they may remove some surface staining but it can also remove some of the enamel surface revealing the more yellow dentine and making teeth appear generally darker.

If you would like the overall appearance of your teeth to be whiter the best way to achieve a whiter smile is professional tooth whitening from a registered dental professional.

Seek the advice of a dental professional…