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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Extracting A Tooth – A Last Resort

dental surgery

Many dental treatments are available to restore damaged teeth, but sometimes an extraction is necessary.

One of the many reasons that we encourage our Purley patients to have six monthly dental checks, is that any problems, such as tooth decay, can usually be caught in its early stages. This will mostly mean that the tooth can be saved and preserved using a treatment such as a filling or perhaps a dental crown if damage is more extensive. Naturally, if you notice a problem in between appointments, you should contact us straight away for an appointment and not leave it until the next scheduled one.

Whilst we will always look at all possible avenues to save a natural tooth, this is not always possible and sometimes, the only available option is to remove the tooth. There are a number of reasons why we might have to do this, including:

  • Teeth too badly damaged to restore them
  • Damaged bone tissue caused by periodontitis
  • Overcrowding
  • Poor prognosis and ongoing problems for the patient
  • Impacted wisdom teeth

When you do need to have a tooth extracted, our Confidental Clinic dental team will take good care of you, making sure that the procedure is as comfortable as possible.

Having a tooth extracted

Now that a full anaesthetic is no longer used to perform this procedure, there is no need to avoid eating or drinking beforehand, Indeed, as you won’t be able to eat for a little while following the procedure, it is probably a good idea to eat something that will tide you over for a little while. Local anaesthetics are now widely used when we need to remove a tooth. These are very powerful, and, although you may feel some grinding sensations as the tooth is loosened, you should not feel any pain. For those who are very anxious or squeamish about the procedure, we do offer IV sedation to enable you to fully relax throughout it. Please ask our dental team about this service.

It is also important that we are up to date with your medical conditions and any medication that you may be on. Some medication, such as blood thinners, may mean that you will need to receive any necessary treatments in hospital, due to potential blood loss, as clots will not easily form.

Removing a tooth

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Is Brexit Making You Grind Your Teeth?

Sometimes, events that are out of our control can cause us to damage our teeth subconsciously, writes Dr Vinaya Soundrarajan.

Whatever your views are on one of the most hotly debated topics in recent history, there is a good chance that the outcome, or lack of outcome, may be causing you a certain degree of stress, anger or anxiety.

Subjects like this, which are largely out of our control, but which can potentially have a major impact on our lives, can often cause external signs of anxiety to manifest. One of these is that some of us will grind our teeth whilst we sleep. This can be very damaging and will eventually result in worn down teeth, and even breakages in more extreme cases.

Because grinding our teeth, or Bruxism, as it is also known, mainly happens when we are asleep, it can be very difficult to control, and ultimately, where it is caused by stress, the only permanent remedy is to deal with whatever it is that is causing this. Below, Dr Soundrarajan takes a more detailed look.

Symptoms

It is quite possible that you don’t even know that you are grinding your teeth. This can mean that a long period of time can pass before you notice some of the more obvious symptoms such as a worn or broken tooth. The following though, are some potential signs that you may be carrying out this tooth damaging habit in your sleep.

  • Aching neck or jaw
  • Sinus discomfort
  • Regular headaches, particularly upon waking
  • An increase in the sensitivity of your teeth
  • Discomfort or difficulty when opening your mouth

Whilst these may also be caused by other factors, they are often good indicators that you may be suffering from bruxism.

Dealing with teeth grinding

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Who Is Suitable For Implant Placement?

Image of a dental implant

Dentist Dr Sairah Shah offers some thoughts on who can benefit from having dental implants.

Along with our other Confidental Clinic practices, we are seeing an increasing number of patients coming to us wanting to find out more about dental implants. Now that these are becoming more widely known, they have become an increasingly popular alternative to dentures. This is probably not surprising as they have a number of distinct advantages over this older method of replacing missing teeth.

We have covered the benefits of dental implants, over dentures, in previous blogs, so, today, we will take a look at who might benefit the most from having implants placed instead.

Sufficient bone?

Before we look at groups of patients who may benefit, it is worth reminding patients that the amount of bone available for the implant to be placed into is very important. Whilst a bone graft can be used to build up the bone, for those who have insufficient, this does lengthen the treatment time and so may be a consideration for some.

Who can have implants?

Almost everyone is able to have dental implants, where bone structure is not an issue. There are exceptions however.

Implants should not be placed into patients whose facial features have not fully developed. This predominantly applies to children. To place an implant into an undeveloped jaw bone will almost certainly cause problems as the facial features change. The implant may gradually become out of alignment, and, aside from any aesthetic issues, could prove to cause some discomfort. Implants are also inadvisable for anyone playing a contact sport where a blow to the mouth could damage the implant and jawbone, potentially leading to it failing. Patients falling into this category may wish to consider a removable option such as dentures, until their sporting days are behind them. However for “normal” activities, implants should be fine.

Who benefits?

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Invisalign – a healthier option for teeth straightening?

Invisalign braces

Dentist Dr Tushar Patel explains just one of the advantages of Invisalign braces.

The majority of dental braces still use a system of wiring and brackets that are attached to the teeth and adjusted over time to straighten them. From older style NHS braces that use metal wiring, to modern cosmetic braces, such as Damon braces, which use tooth-coloured materials, these all slightly increase the risk of tooth decay during the period that they are worn.

Food that we eat, and bacteria, can easily become trapped in the wiring and brackets of the braces. This will inevitably lead to issues such as decay or gum disease if they are not removed effectively. Although we provide full information on how to clean your teeth whilst wearing braces, anyone who has tried to clean their teeth when wearing them would acknowledge that this is trickier than when you don’t have them. Inevitably, this increases the risk of oral health issues.

Invisalign – a healthier orthodontic solution.

Whilst care has to be taken whatever orthodontics you are using, life does become easier when you use Invisalign braces. These perform the same role as other orthodontic treatments, but are a newer method that avoids the use of wiring or brackets altogether. Patients of the Confidental Clinic that have had these, have been delighted to find out how easy and comfortable they were to use, as well as much more convenient.

What’s the secret?

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