Beautiful Smiles

Essential Invisalign Information…

If you have been looking at your options to straighten your teeth, then you have likely heard about Invisalign.

Invisalign treatment involves wearing clear aligners over your teeth, so they are pretty discreet. Invisalign treatment uses one of the worlds most advanced systems. They work by gently exerting pressure on key areas to align (hence being known as aligners) the teeth into a more desirable position. The aligners are designed to be changed every 1-2 weeks as the teeth can only be moved a small amount at a time.

Here are some frequently asked questions about Invisalign we hear at our Leicester dental practice about Invisalign:

How does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign works by gently exerting pressure on your teeth to move them into the correct position. Each aligner is changed every 7-14 days so it can adjust the pressure in the right spots as your teeth move.

Is Invisalign discreet?

Absolutely. The clear aligners make them virtually undetectable at a social distance. They are one of the most discreet cosmetic brace systems available on the market.

Will Invisalign affect my lifestyle?

You should wear your Invisalign aligners day and night. They can be taken out to eat, drink and clean your teeth. This is often a big bonus for patients that have previously had conventional orthodontics as you have to adjust the food you eat.

Does it hurt?

It’s generally considered less painful than traditional fitted brace systems. Most people being treated with Invisalign report some discomfort when changing their aligners. This usually dissipates shortly after.

Will Invisalign work for me?

Invisalign isn’t a suitable treatment option for everyone. That’s why we always invite people in for a consultation. Our Leicester dentists can have a chat with you to see if Invisalign would be suitable. They would also advise you of your other options, including if an alternative treatment with an orthodontist would be more appropriate. If it is decided that this is the right treatment for you, we will invite you back for a more detailed assessment.

How long does Invisalign take?

This depends on the position of your teeth and the complexity of your case. Invisalign can take as little as three months. Your Invisalign provider will be able to provide you with an approximate timeline once the Invisalign treatment process has begun.

How much does Invisalign cost?

Again this depends on your personalised Invisalign treatment plan. However, your Invisalign provider will be able to give you an approximate cost at a complimentary consultation. It’s essential when looking at the cost of Invisalign treatment; you check what is covered. Such as retainers following the treatment to keep your teeth in place and any added benefits such as free teeth whitening.

If you would like to arrange a consultation or have questions about Invisalign clear brace treatment in Leicester, then you can contact us at info@smileessential.co.uk or call 0116 2891317.

7 Essential tips for brides who want to whiten their teeth…

We know planning for a wedding is pretty stressful stuff! Fun fact (not!) a study found that planning a wedding takes approx 528 hours! Well, we’re here with our ‘7 Essential tips for brides who want to whiten their teeth’ to help get to the point and save you some time!

1) Do you have enough time to whiten your teeth?

Teeth whitening can sometimes be done in one dental appointment. Often, known as power whitening, in-surgery or laser whitening. However, we believe the most effective teeth whitening is a combination of home and power/in-surgery tooth whitening. This gives more predictable results and results that can be maintained for longer.

Teeth whitening can take a few appointments and can take 3-4 weeks. It is also a good idea to finish whitening your teeth well before your wedding day. Teeth often go a little patchy in colour which settles after a few days, but that’s no good if your big day is the next day!

There can also be some transient sensitivity. This settles after completing the treatment, but as the wedding day looms, you don’t want any distractions.

2) Is your mouth healthy?

Professional teeth whitening can only be carried out on a healthy mouth. If it’s been a while since you last had a dental health check, then it’d be a good idea to get booked in. Not only do you want to be to feel fresh breath confident, but you also don’t want an unwanted dental problem to strike near your special day. 

It’s also good to be fresh breath confident when you have such a big occasion! You’ll be talking to lots of people and of course, don’t forget your first official kiss!

3) Do you have dental work in your smile line?

Most people don’t realise that teeth whitening doesn’t work on restorations. So if you have a filling, crown or veneer that’s visible when you smile and matches your current tooth shade then once you complete your teeth whitening it will be a different colour from the rest of your teeth! 

If this is the case, then you can either leave your teeth as they are or if the restoration needs replacing to do this after teeth whitening so it can be matched to your new tooth colour.

4) Think about your partner!

If you’re serious about getting your teeth whitened, then it might be worth having a sneaky peek at your other half! If you whiten your teeth and then end up the lightest shade and your partner is up there on the darker side, it might look quite noticeable on your wedding photographs. Probably worth asking him or doing the treatment with plenty of time spare so when he sees your results he’s still got enough time to come in!

teeth whitening guide leicester

5) What to do if you have left it too late

Speak to your dentist ASAP! Sometimes a good ole cleaning can bring them up a treat! We have a fantastic cleaning treatment called AirFlow stain removal you can check it out here!

6) Cost?

Professional teeth whitening is more expensive than over the counter methods. However, unlike over the counter whitening remedies, professional whitening gives unbeatable results, is safe and the results last and are easy to maintain. The cost of teeth whitening can be spread over a couple of appointments.

7) It’s always good to get personalised advice from a dental professional

Nowadays, we all Google research everything! But teeth are as unique as your fingerprint! So not surprisingly, advice varies from person to person. We often see people at the dentist want a particular treatment that is not suitable for them, or there’s a better way to help them achieve their goal. It’s always good to have an honest conversation with your dentist and let them discuss your options. 

Arrange your consultation by giving our friendly team a call 0116 2891317

Teeth Straightening Leicester

At Smile Essential in Leicester, we are seeing more dental patients that are requesting straighter teeth.

We all now spend a lot more time aware of our appearance. Some people believe this is due to the rise in smartphones with built-in cameras and social media profiles sharing photos. There has never been a time before in history that we have been so aware of the way we look.

A big motivator for people is not them wanting the perfect smile in a photo; it’s usually more about them being fed up that they are hiding their smile in pictures. On a deeper level, it stops them from freely expressing how they are feeling in a moment because they are concentrating on hiding their smile.

The teeth straightening we offer at our Leicester clinic is known as Anterior (Anterior means nearer the front) Alignment Orthodontics. It concentrates on moving the 10 teeth visible in your smile to a more desirable position, which means that you get to straighten the teeth that matter to you most. This type of orthodontic brace treatment usually takes between 4- 9 months, with an average treatment time of around six months.

There are also many long-term health benefits to straighten teeth. When your teeth are in a better alignment, they are much easier to take care of. If your teeth cross over one another, it is more likely that you will accumulate plaque in those tricky to reach places, and unfortunately, this makes you more susceptible to gum disease or tooth decay.

Brace treatment is not suitable for everyone, and you may require specialist treatment with an orthodontist, not a dentist. That’s why we offer FREE consultations to come in for a chat and an initial assessment. We currently offer complimentary teeth whitening to finish your new straighter smile perfectly.

Get in touch to arrange your free consultation…

Cosmetic Dentistry Leicester…

Long gone are the days of us Brits having bad teeth. Cosmetic dentistry has been a must for many people for the last decade or so.

What exactly is cosmetic dentistry? Cosmetic dentistry can sound pretty fancy but it is just the term used for improving the appearance of your teeth.

The typical old-style cosmetic dentistry or ‘smile makeovers’ always used to involve brilliant white veneers that were perfectly formed. However, not everyone wants this look. There is also the long term commitment and personal budget to consider. 

Cosmetic dentistry can be as simple as whitening the teeth. In fact, when we see our Leicester patients who have some minor issues improving the teeth whiteness can often make them feel happy enough to not progress into more complex dental work.

If there are some small chips or uneven edges to your teeth then the dentist may be able to perform some composite contouring and tooth reshaping to improve the look of the teeth.

One of the most popular options for improving the appearance of the teeth at our Leicester dental clinic is Cosmetic Braces. This of course also provides a more natural result and one that is bespoke to you!

Almost half of all brace treatments are now performed on adults wanting a straighter and healthier smile. The Cosmetic Brace systems we offer at Smile Essential work to adjust the teeth visible when you smile. This is called anterior alignment orthodontics.

There are many benefits of cosmetic brace treatments over more invasive treatments such as veneers. hen your teeth are crowded there are usually some very difficult to clean areas. This can make the gums prone to gingivitis. With teeth that are aligned properly, they are easier to look after as there aren’t these tricky gaps. Helping you to keep your mouth healthy and your teeth for life.

Once treatment is complete the teeth retain their position with the use of a fixed or removable retainer. Other than this there are no ongoing commitments required outside of your normal oral health routine.

With veneers, you have to commit to having them replaced as they don’t last forever and be ready for the additional financial investment. There are also dietary restrictions such as biting into things.

With all of this said though it’s important to understand that a great smile doesn’t have to be perfect. Also, everyone’s perfect is different! The most important thing when it comes to your smile is that is a healthy smile!

If you would like to discuss having Cosmetic Dentistry then please arrange a consultation with our Leicester dental team.

Alternatives to veneers UK…


Dental veneers are often touted as the perfect celeb smile. However, many people often wish they could have veneers, but they are unaware of what they entail and the commitment. Veneers aren’t magic they require commitment.

We often get asked about veneers at our Leicester dental practice. We decided it would be beneficial if people had a brief guide on ‘Alternatives to veneers UK…’ that they could read at their leisure. Of course, dental treatment varies from person to person, and this guide shouldn’t be used in place of professional dental advice given to you following a full consultation.

In this guide, we will first discuss what you need to know about dental veneers. We will then also look at alternative options that may be suitable for you. 

What are dental veneers?

Dental veneers are a covering that goes over the top of your teeth. They are usually made from porcelain. Veneers can be used to change the size, shape and colour of your teeth. 

Veneers are mostly used to fix:

• Teeth that are discoloured
• Teeth that have been worn down
• Chipped or broken teeth
• To improve the shape of the tooth
• To close a space between teeth

The treatment process for porcelain veneers

Having dental veneers happens over several appointments. 

Firstly a consultation to check that you are suitable and understand the commitment required for veneers.

Having veneers requires you to have excellent oral health. Your mouth has to be healthy with no tooth decay or gum disease. This can affect have a negative impact on the veneer treatment. So before you proceed with veneer treatment, there may be some other dental and hygiene work required. 

Once your mouth is healthy, veneers can be completed in 3-4 appointments. This involves planning, preparation and fitting and of course, a review appointment to check that you are managing to look after them at home.

Committing to veneers

Having veneers is a big commitment. Firstly due to the extensive work and laboratory involvement (to make the veneers), the cost of veneers can be very high. Veneers do not last forever and will have to be replaced. So you need to consider your financial position not just now but in the future. 

Most veneer treatments involve filing away some tooth. This is important to understand, as it means that the procedure, in most cases, cannot be undone.

As we mentioned, veneers require you to have excellent oral health. This requires a daily commitment to interdental cleaning – flossing and toothbrushing. Failure to do this could result in poor appearance or further treatment being needed. Gum disease can cause the gums to shrink away from the veneer, and tooth decay could start around the surfaces of the tooth and veneer. Good oral hygiene is imperative for dental veneers!

Adjustment to diet. Veneers are durable, but they can chip or break when the aftercare instructions aren’t followed. Your dentist is likely to advise you that you should no longer bite into hard foods such as apples or carrots. This puts a massive force onto the veneers and could cause them to chip or break. You can still eat those foods, but you will be required to cut them with a knife and then place into your mouth to chew.

These are just a few of the commitments and considerations you should think about if deciding whether you want veneers. Your dental professional will be able to discuss your factors during a cosmetic consultation.

Alternative options to veneers

There are alternative options to having veneers. These options have now also become popular with celebs and people in the public eye. These alternatives are considered to be more conservative – it doesn’t harm the teeth significantly.

Adult cosmetic braces. Also known as invisible braces.

Braces for adults are now more popular than ever. With around half of all brace cases now being adults, not kids! People often want veneers to improve the position of the teeth. Adult braces offer you a solution to permanently fix the teeth. There are a couple of advantages braces have over veneers. Firstly, once the treatment is complete, it requires minimal commitment compared to veneers. There are no changes to your eating habits and having teeth that are aligned correctly has a positive impact on your dental health. This is because food and plaque don’t trap as easily, and they are also easier to clean, which makes your home care routine much more effective.

Cosmetic contouring/reshaping

Sometimes dentists can reshape your teeth using some composite filling material. This can be done in one appointment, and subtle changes can have a dramatic effect on your smile. Because it doesn’t involve lab work or several appointments, it can be a considerably cheaper alternative to dental veneers.

The drawbacks are that it’s not always a suitable treatment. There are limitations as to what can be done, and they can break easily and cause damage to the natural tooth.

If you would like to discuss your options for improving your smile then take advantage of our free no-obligation consultation. Get in touch here.

Here’s what you should know about Invisalign at our Leicester dental practice…

Invisalign treatment is an incredibly popular option for realigning your teeth. It is one of the main cosmetic brace systems that is requested by our Leicester dental patients.

Invisalign treatment involves wearing clear aligners over your teeth – so they are almost completely invisible. They are developed using the worlds most advanced system. Gently exerting pressure on key areas to align (hence being known as aligners) the teeth into a more desirable position. The aligners are designed to be changed every 1-2 weeks as the teeth can only be moved a small amount at a time.

https://youtu.be/hagnJjEydjE

To get started with Invisalign one of our Leicester dentists will assess to see if Invisalign is the most suitable option for you, your other options, including if an alternative treatment with an orthodontist would be more suitable. If it was agreed then the next step would be a more detailed assessment in which a ClinCheck is created. This maps out your entire Invisalign journey, detailing how long exactly the treatment will take and will also show you how the final result will look. This is very exciting for our Leicester patients seeing the results beforehand!

Invisalign cases take different lengths of time depending upon the complexity of the case. You will know an approximate length of time once you have completed a ClinCheck. Invisalign can be completed in as little as 3 months or it can take up to 2 years for complex cases.

After completing treatment many people wish they had straightened their teeth years ago. Having your teeth aligned in a more attractive way can really help to boost your confidence and keep you smiling.

Arrange your complementary consultation today…

Sun, sand and selfies!

The holiday season is finally upon us and there is no better time to perfect your selfie-taking skills. We want all of our patients celebrating their beautiful smiles with a selfie this summer! Selfies are a fun way of documenting a moment in time and sharing a moment with those you’re connected to.

Here’s how you can take the perfect summer selfie!

Lighting Lighting lighting!

Lighting really is everything when it comes to the perfect selfie! Snap your pic outside on the beach or on your balcony. No one looks good with a shadow cast all over the face.

For that extra bit of special glow take advantage of the golden hour. The golden hour is the period of daytime shortly after sunrise or before sunset, the daylight is redder and softer than when the Sun is higher in the sky.

Relax!

Relax into your selfie. The best selfies are always fun and lighthearted so relax into it, pull a daft face smile big and laugh loud!

I like to move it, move it!

Snap away whilst laughing and moving around. As well as moving yourself move your arm to different positions. Review the photos that you like the most and then snap away again focusing on what looked best in your last set of selfies. The best selfie-takers are the celebs and they report taking as many as 500 – yes 500 photos before selecting one that they like. Even the fussiest person would probably find 1 they like in 500!

Filters!

A photo doesn’t always capture the magic of the moment or the true beauty of a person. That’s why we have filters! Apps like Facetune can help to smooth away wrinkles and even brighten your smile! But take it easy you don’t want people to not recognise you. Inbuilt filters can change the colour and hue of your photo. Experiment with them and see if they help to capture the magic of the moment.

Set the scene and use props if necessary

Holidays provide the perfect backdrop for selfies! The scenery can really help to make your selfie sparkle so make use of the beautiful backgrounds, pretty flowers and sparkly water. You can add interest to your selfies with the use of holiday props such as sunglasses, hats, cocktails and fun pool inflatables!

5 ways your teeth show your age and how you can stop them!

As we age so do our teeth. It makes sense as you know your Granny and Gramps’ teeth look quite different from yours (real teeth or not!). However, it isn’t something we necessarily think about or ponder the question ‘hmmm how can I keep my teeth looking youthful?’.

Let’s discuss the 5 ways that your pearlies are showing your age and advice from our Leicester dentists on how you can keep them looking youthful.

1) Ageing – Worn Down Teeth

As we age teeth can become more worn due to general wear and tear. However, for some, they may be grinding their teeth excessively. This generally occurs when they are sleeping and as a result, many people are unaware they do it. Bruxism is the medical term for this type of teeth grinding. Whilst Bruxism can affect you at any age it is most common in 25 – 44 year olds. Stress, drinking alcohol and caffeine can worsen the symptoms.

There are a few things you can do to check if you suffer from this. First, ask your partner if they have noticed you grinding your teeth (most people discover this way!) also, take a look at your teeth in the mirror are the edges of the teeth flat? Take a close look at your canine tooth as this is should be generally more pointy but gets worn down over time from tooth wear and grinding. You can also ask your dentist at your next appointment. In our Leicester dental practice, this is something we always monitor and discuss with our patients.

You can reduce the chances of your teeth becoming overly worn by keeping lifestyle factors such as stress, smoking, drinking and caffeine to a minimum. Discuss potentially wearing a guard to protect your teeth at night with your dental practitioner.

2) Teeth Get Darker As You Age

This happens for a few reasons, we. Firstly the stains from what we eat and drink build up on the teeth, they become more ingrained as we get older (think of your favourite tea mug). There’s also of course smoking and drinking red wine which is notorious for causing heavy staining and discolouration.

Secondly, it’s caused by the thinning of the outer tooth surface – the enamel which is generally whiter which shows the underlying dentine which is a more yellow shade. Also with ageing, the tooth lays down more dentine, which reduces the translucency of the tooth, making it appear darker.

There are several things you can do to help this. You can be careful with the food you eat and drink and you most definitely should stop smoking. You can reduce staining by drinking or rinsing with water afterwards, using a reputable fluoride toothpaste which helps with daily stain removal (Colgate Total Whitening) and using an electric toothbrush – we love the Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush.

You should be mindful about enamel erosion and wait at least an hour after eating or drinking before brushing or you could be brushing away the whiter tooth enamel. Finally, be careful about consuming acidic foods and drinks e.g. sipping lemon water.

Consider professional teeth whitening. Home tooth whitening can be fantastic for lightening the teeth. You usually carry out the treatment each evening for around 14 nights. You can see the improvement daily so you can always stop the treatment if you’re teeth become as light as you would like. It’s important to note that teeth whitening only works on teeth and will not lighten dental fillings, crowns or veneers.

Young Adult Teeth

Older Adult Teeth

Take a close look at the images above can you see the different ways that the smile has aged?

3) Ageing and Receding Gums

Gum tissues do naturally recede with age but it is often our own handling of gums that does the most damage. Overzealous brushing (or scrubbing!) can damage the gums, particularly for the delicate area where the teeth and gums meet – the gum margin.

Also receding gum lines are often caused by gum disease. This condition begins with dental plaque, a sticky substance that contains bacteria, mucous and food debris – is left on your teeth. Often missed by brushing along the gum margins and in between the teeth – an area where your toothbrush can’t reach.

By visiting our Leicester oral health team regularly they can advise you on the correct and most effective routine for you and spot signs early to prevent them from becoming problems.

Other warning signs your brushing too hard is that your toothbrush is flayed or you are using an electric toothbrush but instead of letting the brush do the work you continue to use it as a manual toothbrush and are moving it around as opposed to letting it glide over your teeth.

4) Ageing and Missing Teeth

Tooth loss seems to accelerate in the older years. The most common cause for this is gum disease. But it can also be due to teeth becoming decayed or heavily filled over the years.

It’s important to get tailored advice from your dentist about replacing missing teeth. Even if you just lose one tooth it can be detrimental to your teeth. If there is a space where your tooth was it could lead to your other teeth moving (a popular phrase in dentistry is – teeth like to have neighbours!). There is likely something going on that may affect your other teeth, so get advice and stop things from progressing.

Every tooth in a man’s head is more valuable than a diamond. ~Miguel de Cervantes

5) Ageing and Discoloured or Old Fillings

Often dental patients mistakenly think that fillings last forever. Sadly this isn’t true. All fillings will have to be replaced at some point. Old fillings can really age the teeth that are visible when you smile. When fillings are old they can have leaky margins (where the filling connects to the tooth) this can attract staining and also harbour plaques and debris causing more extensive problems.

Getting your fillings checked regularly is very important. Our modern Leicestershire dentists are focused on prevention rather than restoration. Dental X-rays are a useful tool for your dental team to check and areas they can’t visibly see such as between the teeth and underneath your fillings.

Take a look at how our Leicester dental team can help to keep your mouth healthy and your gums in great condition…

We now offer Invisalign…

Whatever your age you don’t have to put up with crooked teeth! If you have always wanted straighter teeth we could help. We have been offering cosmetic fitted braces for some time now and we delighted to announce we have just added Invisalign clear braces to our list too.

Here are some frequently asked questions about Invisalign we hear at our Leicester dental practice

How does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign works by gently exerting pressure on your teeth to move them into the correct position. Each aligner is changed every 7-14 days so it can adjust the pressure in the right spots as your teeth move.

Is Invisalign really discreet?

Absolutely. The clear aligners make them virtually undetectable at a social distance. They are one of the most discreet cosmetic brace system available on the market.

Will Invisalign affect my lifestyle?

You should wear your Invisalign aligners day and night but they can be removed to eat, drink and to brush and floss your teeth. This is often a big bonus for patients that have previously had conventional orthodontics as you have to adjust the food you eat.

Does it hurt?

It’s generally considered less painful than traditional fitted brace systems. Most people being treated with Invisalign report some discomfort when changing their aligners. This usually dissipates shortly after.

Will Invisalign work for me?

Invisalign isn’t a suitable treatment option for everyone. That’s why we always invite people in for a complimentary consultation. This will allow our Leicester dentists to have a chat with you to see if Invisalign would work for you and they would also advise you of your other options, including if an alternative treatment with an orthodontist would be more suitable. If it is decided that this is the right treatment for you, we will invite you back for a more detailed assessment.

How long does Invisalign take?

This depends on the position of your teeth and the complexity of your case. Invisalign can take as little as 3 months. Your Invisalign provider will be able to provide you with an approximate timeline once the Invisalign treatment process had begun.

How much does Invisalign Cost?

Again this depends on your personalised Invisalign treatment plan. Though your Invisalign provider will be able to give you an approximate cost at a complimentary consultation. It’s important when looking at the cost of Invisalign treatment you check what is covered. Such as retainers following the treatment to keep your teeth in place and also any added benefits such as free teeth whitening.

Arrange your complimentary consultation today…

 

New Year New Fabulous You!

2019 is just around the corner and as we head into a new year lots of us turn our attention to self-improvement, it’s a chance to start afresh. Many of us will use this opportunity to make age-old resolutions to drink less, get fit or a newer resolution to simply stop spending so much time on social media. For some people, they may want to resolve their dental concerns so they can smile more confidently.

Your smile plays a huge role in how you see yourself and the impression you make on those around you. It’s long been known and many surveys show that your smile is what both men and women find most attractive above any other physical feature. It can gain people’s affections, reassure somebody and it can create confidence. Sadly it can also hold you back if you’re not confident with your smile due to dental problems. A great smile gives you more confidence and can open many doors.

The first step to improving your smile is a consultation with a suitably qualified dental practitioner. This begins by discussing what your concerns and expectations. More and more people are opting for a more natural look rather than then the completely perfect Hollywood smile.

Then the dentist will look closely at your teeth, checking to see how straight they are, if there is any tooth decay, looking for cracks, chips and gaps, checking the size and seeing if they need to be brighter and whiter.

They will also want to take X-rays. This allows the dentist to see the areas that aren’t visible to the naked eye. They will look to check existing dental work, in-between teeth and the dental bone levels. When embarking on dental work it’s imperative that you have healthy foundations.

We examine the way your teeth meet together and if they support your lips correctly – this is vital and can make a huge difference in the way you look. We also look at your smile as a whole, as part of your face. We check that it is correctly aligned and in proportion to the rest of your face.

Lastly, the dentist will discuss his findings, your options and invite you to ask any questions you may have. You will be given a personalised treatment plan which lays out your journey step by step and the investment into getting that confident smile.

To find out more about our smile makeovers and arranging an appointment…