Can You Get Cavities In Your Front Teeth?

Some people seem to believe that only the rear teeth can decay – not true!

We are all familiar with those very visible dark fillings that we see at the rear of the mouth when other people laugh out loud.

Can you remember the last time that you saw those fillings on anyone’s front teeth though? Does that mean that they don’t exist or that fillings can’t be applied to the front teeth? Unfortunately, it does not.

The reality is that all teeth are covered in enamel but when this is damaged we can suffer from cavities, wherever the teeth are located in our mouth. So, why don’t we see many dark fillings on the front teeth? There could be a number of reasons.

The role of the front teeth

Although it doesn’t exclude the teeth from decay etc, the fact is that our front teeth come into less contact with the food that we eat than our rear teeth. Generally, we bite off the food with our front teeth and this then passes to the rear teeth where it is ground up before being swallowed. Both the grinding action and the length of time that the food comes into contact with the teeth means that these teeth are more likely to become damaged and covered in the sugars and food deposits that can lead to harm to our teeth.

This doesn’t mean that front teeth can’t decay though, and some of our habits, such as drinking high sugar drinks, can cause damage, often in the form of enamel erosion. This can be treated at the Confidental Clinic in Purley using a variety of techniques to restore your teeth to good health, should this happen.

Easier to clean

Read more ›

Too Busy To Visit The Dentist?

dental surgery

Short term thinking can lead to painful problems later on.

According to a new report recently out, 14% of working people in the UK feel that they are too busy to see a dentist.

This is quite a shocking statistic and one which seems to confirm the belief of many dentists that some people don’t consider their oral health to be that important. These may well be the same people who don’t consider that they have a problem with their teeth until they are in severe pain with a toothache. As dental professionals though, we know that there is a lot that can go wrong before that toothache strikes.

The team at the Confidental Clinic in Purley put a high emphasis on preventative oral health care. We feel that, barring accidents, generally speaking there are no real reasons why anyone should not have a strong and healthy set of teeth. Although some of this is down to how the patient cares for them at home, professional observation is also necessary.

Regular check ups

A key part of your preventative oral care plan should include a visit to your dentist every six months for a check up. This may be more frequent if you suffer from certain medical conditions that make oral health problems more likely. Your dental check is a way of seeing how well you are caring for your teeth, and to spot any problems before they develop too far and require more significant treatment.

We also advise our Purley patients to have a scale and polish, carried out by our hygienist every six months or so. This is an effective and inexpensive way of keeping both teeth and gums in good health, and helping to prevent gum disease.

Just a little filling

Read more ›

A Rise In Vaping = A Reduction In Oral Health Issues?

Some food for thought for our Purley patients who still smoke tobacco products.

A report out recently, discovered that the number of people who use vaping products is on the rise in the UK.

The biggest increase in this number comes from middle aged people, with around 20% in their mid forties to mid fifties using a vaping device last year. The largest group though, is still the 18-24 year olds, of whom around 30% ‘vape’.

Although there have been concerns expressed about the safety of this practise, and also perhaps, about the sweet sickly smell from some of them, it seems that vaping is here to stay, for the time being at least. Unless further research throws up some unexpected results, this would appear to be good news for those interested in promoting better oral health for smokers.

Why do people vape?

There seems to be two main reasons why people are turning to vaping instead of smoking more traditional cigarettes. One of these is that it is seen, by some, to be fashionable. For many though, it is a chance for them to kick the smoking habit more easily and effectively. These reasons may have a mixed effect on these vaper’s oral health.

Fashion vapers

For anyone who sees vaping as a fashionable thing to do, and who hasn’t smoked previously, this may not be a good thing. Although, at the Confidental Clinic, we would prefer people to vape rather than smoke, there is a real risk that ‘first timers’ may eventually be tempted to smoke ‘the real thing’.

There is an argument that vaping could be a gateway to smoking tobacco products. To this end, our advice would be, if you don’t smoke already, it is probably best not to vape as this could lead you to tobacco products, and there is also a risk that harmful effects may be discovered in the longer term.

Changing from cigarettes

Read more ›

Phasing Your Dental Treatment

patient with dental fear

Choosing between immediate and phased treatment plans for general and cosmetic dentistry.

If you have neglected your dental health for a long period of time, or if you are really unhappy with the appearance of your teeth, there is every possibility that you may require quite extensive and lengthy treatment. This may be restorative or cosmetic in nature, or even a combination of the two.

Either way, this could mean that several different treatments might be needed to restore your mouth to good health, or to how you wish your teeth to look.

An extensive treatment plan can seem quite daunting to some patients for many understandable reasons. In today’s blog, our Purley dental team examines the argument for a phased treatment plan and why this might be beneficial.

Cost

Modern dental treatments can be quite costly due to the time, resources and materials involved. Whilst most patients can afford to pay for the odd filling or crown, when it comes to a combination of treatments for significant restorations, the cost can soon add up. To assist, we have a number of payment plans available at the Confidental Clinic which can help patients spread the costs. Where a large number of treatments are needed though, spreading the treatments over a longer period of time may help to spread the cost even further.

Anxiety

Anxiety about dental treatment is quite common. The level varies from patient to patient but can be a major factor in the decision about whether to go ahead with treatment that is classed as non essential, especially if you have already received other previous treatments recently.

Anxiety is a good reason to phase your treatment.  Priority is usually given to essential treatments such as fillings, dental hygienist cleans etc, that are designed to restore your oral health. Starting with these allows the patient to gradually build up their confidence, ready for more extensive treatments. Allowing some time to pass between each treatment can help patients complete a full course of treatment. For longer procedures such as dental implant placements, IV sedation is also available.

Physical effects

Read more ›

Teaching Young Children Good Oral Health Habits

Purley hygienist Suzanne Hogan offers some advice to parents to help encourage toddlers to look after their teeth.

Parenting can be challenging at the best of times. Being on constant guard to the many dangers that surround young children, even in their own home, can be tiring to say the least.

By the time that they finally go to bed, we are often glad of a bit of peace and quiet. In our haste for this though, it is important to make sure that they don’t skip what should be their final ‘task’ of the day; giving their teeth a good quality brushing.

In today’s Confidental Clinic blog, we offer a few tips that parents might find useful to encourage their children to do this whilst they are still at a very young age. Not all may work for your child, but hopefully some will, or at least provide inspiration for your own unique methods.

The brushing challenge

Every child is different, but a resistance to brushing their teeth is often one of the first things that young children challenge us on. From their perspective, it makes sense. They don’t understand the importance of a healthy mouth and, in most cases, will not yet have experienced the searing pain of a bad toothache. When they are tired, and perhaps a little ‘cranky’, the last thing that they want to do is to brush their teeth.

At this age, you will need to supervise them anyway, but instead of simply watching them whilst they brush their teeth, it will probably help to encourage them if you brush your teeth at the same time. This need only be a relatively cursory brushing as you will need to brush your teeth before you go to bed too, and too much brushing may cause enamel erosion. Children nearly always copy what their parents do, both good and bad, so make sure that this is one good habit that they do copy.

Brushing in the bath

Read more ›

Keeping Your Teeth In Good Condition This Christmas

Local dentist

A few end of year words of guidance to prevent tooth damage during the festive indulgences.

Even if we are still busy at work, most of us will probably be mentally winding down ready for the festive holidays. Christmas dinners, parties with friends and relatives can be great fun, but it is a time when it is also easy to neglect our teeth a little. This could mean that a trip to the dentist is needed early in the new year, or worse still, an emergency dental appointment is required.

It doesn’t have to be this way, and, without spoiling the fun of Christmas, just a little care can go a long way to protecting your teeth. The Confidental Clinic dental team offer some useful advice below.

Keep up with your regular care

The first thing to say is that, however much fun you are having, it is important that you don’t relax your home cleaning regimen. We know that, at the end of a long day, and perhaps with quite a bit of alcohol consumed, it can be tempting to go to bed without brushing your teeth. With all the extra sugars that are likely to have been consumed throughout the day, this is asking for trouble. Make sure you brush your teeth well before you go to bed at night.

Mind the alcohol intake

Alcohol consumption rises at Christmas, and with it, accidents that can cause tooth damage. A fall or collision could result in a broken tooth, or even having one or more knocked out. Try to keep your alcohol consumption to a reasonable level and perhaps alternate your drinks with water or other soft drinks as well.

Put down that cigar

Read more ›

Our Top Five Tips For Making The Most From Invisalign Treatment

Invisalign braces

Purley dentist, Dr Sairah Shah offers some practical advice for Invisalign wearers.

Due to their comfort factor and the fact that they are almost invisible to those around us, Invisalign orthodontics are one of the most popular solutions available for straightening teeth.

Like all dental procedures though, there are actions that patients can take that can help to improve the experience and also, potentially, the final outcome.

With this type of orthodontic sometimes requiring longer to work than the ‘wire and brackets’ type, it makes sense to do what we can to make the treatment as successful as possible.

Wearing any type of orthodontic appliance (“brace”) requires an ongoing relationship between the patient and their dentist. At the Confidental Clinic in Purley, we are always on hand to monitor the ongoing treatment and to offer any advice, should you require it.

Although some of these tips below may seem obvious, it is well worth paying attention to them as they will help you to get the most from your teeth straightening treatment.

Take care to change your trays correctly

It should go without saying, but if you don’t put your aligner trays in correctly, they are not going to be as effective and may even work against what you are trying to achieve. Your dentist will be able to show you how to do this correctly, and also advise how frequently to do it. Make sure that you allow a few moments to put them back correctly when you have taken them out for eating etc. This will all help to make the process more effective.

Wear them for the minimum time advised by your dentist Read more ›

Severe Toothache Treatment

holding head with pain

Our Purley dentists recommend emergency dental care if you are in pain.

If there is one thing that will encourage even the most nervous dental patient to see a dentist, it is when severe toothache strikes. If you have ever had this happen to you, even many years ago, you will understand what we mean. Perhaps due to the proximity to our brain, a really bad  toothache can be all consuming, preventing us from sleeping, working and generally functioning as we normally would.

A child who is in extreme pain with a toothache is likely to be inconsolable too, and this can also be distressing for the parents. Whether it is yourself, or another member of the family who is suffering, you should always make an immediate dental appointment to see one of our Purley dentists as soon as you possibly can.

What can cause a severe toothache?

The most well known cause for a painful tooth is tooth decay. This isn’t always excruciatingly painful though and can equally consist of a relatively mild throbbing sensation in the tooth. This can usually be eased through the use of painkillers. This can sometimes result in the patient believing the discomfort to be ‘manageable’ though, and, especially if they are dental phobic, may cause them to delay seeing a dentist. The fact is that if you are experiencing any discomfort, it is almost certain that something is wrong and will need treatment. Delaying the inevitable will only mean that you are storing up more significant pain for some point in the not very distant future.

When a toothache is really bad, it can’t be ignored in this way. By all means, you can take a painkiller to reduce the intensity of the pain, but do make sure to make your appointment too. This should be your priority.

Another possible cause for a toothache on this level is either a root canal infection or even an abscess within the root canals. Both of these will need treating and are also likely to be very painful due to the nerves of the teeth being contained in these canals. Impacted wisdom teeth can create similar problems. If the wisdom tooth has not erupted properly, it can attract bacteria that are difficult to remove when brushing. Where this is the case, it will most likely need to be removed.

There are other possible causes for a toothache that are not created by problems with the teeth and one of these is a sinus infection. This occurs most frequently in the upper rear teeth that are situated close to the sinus cavity. If there is an infection, or inflammation in this area, your teeth are likely to ache. Even if you suspect this may be the cause though, please see the dentist at the Confidental Clinic for a check up before seeing your GP.

Treating your toothache

Read more ›

What Causes Thinning Lips?

lip filler application

Why this happens and what you can do to help resolve the problem.

At the Confidental Clinic in Purley, we provide an all round solution to facial and smile aesthetic problems.

From our better known cosmetic dental treatments, such as the ever popular teeth whitening procedure, through to Botox and dermal fillers, we can help you to look your very best.

Our facial aesthetics team are here to offer you safe and effective treatment for facial wrinkles and also thinning lips. Before we look at this treatment though, let us take a look at some of the possible reasons why your lips may have started to thin.

Too much sun

Despite our sometimes inclement weather, it is still possible to have too much sun on our lips. This excessive exposure to the sun can cause the collagen in our lips to break down. To prevent this from happening, try to reduce your time in the sun and wear sunblock on your lips when you do.

Vitamin deficiency

A lack of some vitamins, noticeably vitamin B12, can cause problems with the skin and your lips. Warning signs such as cracked lips or oily skin could indicate that you may be lacking in this vitamin. Vegans especially, should take steps to ensure that they have a sufficient intake as B12 is not readily available in a vegan diet, although it is often added to prepared vegan products.

Getting older

Read more ›

How To Register With Our Dental Practice

Local dentist

A quick guide to becoming a patient at the Confidental Clinic, Purley.

It goes without saying that we are always happy to see new patients at our local dental clinic. This applies whether you are new to the area and wish to find a new dentist, or if you are seeking a change from your current dentist for any reason. If you haven’t seen a dentist for some time and are having a problem, we will do all that we can to get you registered and an appointment made so that we can investigate and start treatment as soon as we possibly can.

First things first though, and, before any treatment can take place, you will need to register. This can be done relatively easily and the first step is to call our practice on 020 8660 8923. You will be given an appointment at a time convenient for you and this will be for your initial consultation.

Your first consultation

Read more ›