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  1. Think your gums are a lost cause? Come to The Dental Clinic for your next hygiene appointment

    Think your gums are a lost cause? Come to The Dental Clinic for your next hygiene appointment

    Your gums are like cushions for your teeth: they surround the teeth in the jaws and help to support them. Looking after your gums is just as important as looking after your teeth. Here are the stages of gum disease:


  2. Dental Hygiene

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    This month at The Dental Clinic we are promoting good oral hygiene!

    Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your mouth. Your gums are the foundations for your teeth, they need to be healthy to support them. Gum disease is also linked to lots of other health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.

    If your gums are inflamed, red or bleed on brushing this can be an early sign of gum disease. Halitosis (bad breath) can also be a sign of bad oral hygiene. There are many ways to get your gums back to being pink and healthy.

    Here are some helpful tips below on how to maintain a healthy mouth!

    • Brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes with a fluoride toothpaste
    • Floss or use  inter-dental brushes at least every other day
    • Regular  visit your dentist (every 6 months)
    • Regular visit your hygienist (every 2-6 months depending on what your hygienist has recommended)
    • Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks between meals
    • If your gums bleed on brushing, ignore the bleeding! Keep brushing!

    A Dental Hygienist’s job is to help prevent and treat gum disease. They professionally clean your teeth and show you the best way to remove plaque. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth. If not brushed away properly, this hardens to form tartar, which you can’t remove yourself.

    As well as offering our original hygiene clean, we now offer ‘The Gleam Clean’. This is for patients with heavier staining as a result of red wine/tobacco/coffee/tea use. This treatment includes the use of the ultrasonic scaler, hand instrumentation followed by an intensive air polishing jet.

    To book an appointment for a hygiene clean please call the practice on 01923859678.

     


  3. Halitosis

     

    Bad breath, or Halitosis, can be a social nightmare. For those affected by halitosis, the embarrassment caused can be a barrier which leads to withdrawing form close personal contact with people; be they loved ones, friends or work colleagues.

    The causes of halitosis are varied. Sometimes they can be the result of an on-going stomach problem or dietary intolerance. Occasionally it may relate to the mouth becoming dry if one becomes dehydrated.  However the vast majority of cases are related to the teeth and more usually the gums.

    If a tooth is decaying, food may get stuck in the space and this will produce a smell that will contribute to the bad breath.  In many (if not most) cases, bad breath is the result of gum disease. Gum disease is caused by plaque bacteria that accumulate at the gum margins of the teeth. These bacterial colonies will release toxins that make the gums bleed and in some instances draw back to make the teeth loose. It is this bleeding and these toxins that cause halitosis.

    Removing the causes of halitosis as opposed to masking the symptoms with mouthwashes is key to treating the problem. Mouthwashes may in the long term make the problem worse if it contains alcohol as this will dehydrate the mouth and add to the existing problem.

    If you are suffering from bad breath your first action should be to see your dentist. If a diagnosis of gum disease or tooth decay is made, the appropriate action can be taken such as seeing the dental hygienist or having a filling. In the majority of cases this will resolve the issues that you are having. In the event that gum disease or tooth decay is not deemed to be the cause of your halitosis, an appropriate referral may made, for instance to you GP.

    Halitosis is rarely un-treatable so don’t let your life be a misery. If you have bad breath, visit your dentist and regain your confidence.

    To book an appointment for a general check up click here.


  4. Same Day Smiles!

    Last week we welcomed Ashley Byrnes at our clinic who runs the award winning Byrnes dental laboratory in Oxford.

    Amongst other things, we discussed the start of a new and very exciting chapter for our practice. Working in tandem with Ashley and his team we have launched `Same Day Smiles` at The Dental Clinic Radlett.

    If you have an old denture or teeth that are failing, we can provide you with dental implants which are attached to your jaw and then we can fix a bridge onto the implants at the same visit. The laboratory work is carried out immediately and on-site. There is now no need to wear a denture whilst your gums heal following the extraction of teeth. The added advantage to placing implants immediately is that it maintains the shape of your jaw and gums which will result in a more natural smile. Furthermore, the unique facility of offering an on-site laboratory technician means that the cosmetic appearance can be designed and constructed with your input whilst the technician makes the bridge.

    The implants for `Same Day Smiles` are placed by an experienced specialist oral surgeon who has years of experience in making sure that the implants are correctly inserted with minimal discomfort and pin-point accuracy. All treatment is planned and coordinated by your dental surgeon to ensure a perfect and seamless transition towards your implant fixed smile.

    If life with a denture has become cumbersome or you have teeth that are failing because of decay or gum disease, same day implant teeth may be your passport to a new and confident smile.

    For more information or to book a free consultation, phone 01923 859678 or e-mail: enquiries@dental-radlett.com; alternatively please visit our website: www.dental-radlett.com to view our special offers or to book on-line.


  5. Gum Disease

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    Gum Disease is a dental condition caused by plaque. Plaque is a virtually invisible film of bacteria which forms on all surfaces of your teeth on a daily basis. If plaque is not removed regularly and a good oral hygiene regime established, it will start to have an adverse effect on your gums and subsequently on your teeth.

    Initially you may not realise that you have gum disease (also known as gingivitis) because not everyone will experience symptoms but a regular check up with your dentist will be able to confirm this.

    The symptoms of gum disease are red and swollen gums which can bleed when you brush your teeth; you may also have an unpleasant taste in your mouth and bad breath.

    If you are showing signs of any of these symptoms you should visit your dentist or hygienist who will be able to treat and advise you.

    Treatment will involve cleaning the teeth thoroughly and removing the plaque and calcified plaque known as tartar or calculus. You will be given oral hygiene instruction which will teach you how to toothbrush effectively and how to use dental floss and /or interdental brushes.

    There are other factors which can increase the possibility of you developing gum disease and they are smoking and diabetes which can cause a decreased blood supply to the gums, and hormonal changes to the body caused by pregnancy or puberty.

    It is important for you to prevent gum disease and for you to maintain good oral hygiene, therefore regular visits to your dentist/hygienist every 3-6 months for routine cleaning are recommended.

    Click here to book an appointment with your hygienist.


  6. Hygienist

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    Hygienists are registered dental care professionals.

    Their main role is promoting good oral health through prevention and education.

    Hygienists are trained by undertaking an intensive 27 month full time course,   offered by a dental school/hospital or the armed forces dental schools. There are some minimum requirements needed to be able to apply for these courses and these include 5 GCSE’s   A-C, plus 2 A levels or a recognised dental nursing qualification.

    Once qualified, hygienists can work in various settings – for example, NHS or private practice, periodontal or orthodontic practice, hospitals, community service, education and research.

    In general dental practice hygienists will educate patients in the necessity of good oral hygiene and give diet advice. They will treat and help prevent gum disease by scaling and polishing the teeth and carefully monitoring the patient.  Hygienists can also apply topical fluoride and sealants to help prevent decay in children’s teeth.

    The role of the hygienist has greatly expanded over the last 15 years and their duties now enable them to administer local anaesthetic, take radiographs, place temporary fillings and cosmetically whiten teeth.

    If you would like to book a hygienist appointment you can now do this on our website using our online booking system!


  7. Mouthwash – to rinse or not to rinse?

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    A common question that dentists are asked is whether there is any benefit to using a mouthwash as part of a daily oral hygiene programme.

    As a general rule, it is fair to say the for the removal of plaque bacteria (the cause of tooth decay and gum disease) is achieved most effectively by brushing and flossing your teeth daily and by seeing a dental hygienist at least twice a year.

    There is no scientific evidence that the use of a general (non-specific) mouthwash significantly reduces plaque bacteria over and above good brushing and flossing techniques.

    Some mouthwashes contain the chemical Chlorhexidine Gluconate. These are strong anti-bacterial formulas that may be prescribed by your dentist when it is not possible to brush your teeth for a short period of time, for instance following surgery in the mouth. Some companies market these as long term daily oral hygiene products but they should not be used as such. Chlorhexidine Gluconate can stain teeth and affect your taste buds when used for long periods.

    If you have suffered from thinned or weak enamel, or if you happen to have a high decay rate, your dentist may recommend using a mouthwash with high levels of fluoride. Fluoride can attach to the molecules of your tooth enamel and strengthen it, making it harder for sugars and acids to break down the enamel molecules. It is important not to swallow these products in significant levels and it is therefore only recommended for children over the age of seven and adults.

    If you want to use a mouthwash in conjunction with a good brushing and flossing regime (you may simply like the feeling that it gives you), it is very important to make sure that the mouthwash is water based and does not contain acohol. Traditionally many mouthwashes contained alcohol to act as a preservative but some studies have suggested that long term use of alcohol on the oral tissues could increase the risk of oral disease. Thankfully, many mouthwashes have dispensed with the use as alcohol as a preservative but some still exist and it is worth checking.

    If you would like to request an appointment with one of our dental hygienists please click here.

     


  8. How To Floss

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    The idea behind any good oral hygiene regime is to limit the build-up of plaque bacteria that collect on teeth surfaces. These plaque bacteria are responsible for tooth decay and gum disease.

    However good your toothbrush is, the only effective way of cleaning between your teeth and removing the plaque is by using dental floss or tape.

    We would recommend that floss is used twice daily at the same time that you brush your teeth. By taking a suitable length of floss or tape and holding tight between two fingers of opposing hands, the floss can be placed between two teeth and gently scraped between the teeth all the way to (and just below) the gum line. This should ideally be repeated for all the spaces between all of your teeth.

    If you are not used to flossing regularly, you may find that at first you will find the process somewhat cumbersome. However, like all things, practice makes perfect and after a while you will become proficient.

    There are some other products on the market that can be used if conventional floss or tape does not work well for you. If your manual dexterity is a little bit limited, flosettes (a small piece of floss on a Y shaped disposable fork) may help. Alternatively, if you have large gaps between your teeth which can sometimes happen when you have had gum disease that has caused recession, interdental brushes may be more effective.

    Occasionally people find difficulties using floss that are related to the teeth. The most common complaint is that the floss continually shreds when introduced in to a particular gap. This may the result of a filling with a sharp edge and it would be prudent to see your dentist to identify whether a filling needs replacing.

    In all cases, our recommendation would be to see your dental hygienist so that they can identify which product will work best for you and show you the most effective technique for using it.

    If you would like to book an appointment with our dental hygienist please click here.


  9. Brushing Your Teeth

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    Within an hour of brushing your teeth, plaque starts to form on the teeth surfaces. Plaque is a film of densely packed bacteria and it is these bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. (more…)


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