Taking Care Of Your Dentures

How to get the best from this popular tooth replacement system.

You may have noticed that we discuss dental implants as a means of replacing missing teeth quite frequently here on our Confidental Clinic blog. There are many good reasons for doing this and a quick read of any of these articles will show all of the advantages to be had from this type of treatment – please click here for an example.

It is only fair though, that we acknowledge that not everybody will choose to have implants due to the need for a surgical procedure, along with other reasons, and many people do still opt to have traditional dentures as their treatment of choice.

Dentures are perhaps, a compromise between functionality, comfort and a non invasive way of replacing missing teeth. If you do have them though, it is important that you take care to look after them well. With this in mind, today we offer a care guide for all of our Clapham based denture wearers.

General guidance

Before we move on to specifics such as cleaning, it is perhaps worth a reminder that although dentures are artificial, as far as you are concerned, they are going to be your teeth. As such, by taking the time and care to look after them, they will serve you much better, and provide a better experience than if you neglect to do so.

Clean after eating

Although your dentures won’t decay, food that becomes trapped in them will do so, and in the process will emit gasses that can cause them to give off an odour. In addition to this risk of smelly breath is an increased chance of gum disease. Cleaning your dentures after a meal where possible, will also keep them looking nicer for longer.

Handle them carefully

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Back To School (With Improved Dental Habits!)

Dr Zamena Janmohamed offers some positive oral health tips for parents.

Some schools will already have started back after the Summer holidays, with others following a week later. In many cases, both parents and children will be happy about this and look forward to getting back into their regular routines.

Although it can all be a bit ‘last minute’ on the first morning back, with everyone having to change their morning habits, it is also a good time to take stock of how well we are helping (or not) our children to have healthy teeth during term times.

At the Confidental Clinic in Clapham, as at all other practices around the country, we see far too many children who have tooth decay. Although some of this is probably to be expected, due to kids love of sugary sweets, it is well beyond what we should be seeing if certain guidelines were followed.

To this end, here are a few useful tips for parents whose kids are starting back to school.

The morning rush

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Arthritis And Coping With Brushing Your Teeth

This painful condition makes it difficult for millions of people to clean their teeth effectively.

According to the NHS website, around ten million people in the UK suffer from arthritis, or similar painful joint or muscular conditions.

Not all of these cases will affect the hands and arms, but it is still likely that a very significant number will do.

This can make daily tasks difficult to carry out, and whilst products have been made to help these tasks, such as a specially designed kettle, few cover the difficulties of people with arthritis when it comes to brushing their teeth.

When it is very painful, or even near impossible, to raise the arm and apply any pressure when brushing your teeth, it is highly likely that this will lead to problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. There are a few tips that might help though.

Making brushing easier

However painful or difficult it is, people with arthritis still need to brush their teeth twice a day like everybody else. The pain and difficulties may tempt you to resign yourself to having poor quality teeth, but this needn’t be the case. The NRAS (National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society) have a page on their website ( https://www.nras.org.uk/cleaning-advice-and-tips )  dedicated to brushing your teeth with arthritis, which is worth reading.

Below, our Clapham Confidental Clinic team offer a few simple tips that can really help you to brush your teeth better and keep any dental problems to a minimum.

Pre plan your brushing

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Keeping Your Mouth Healthy In Summer

Are warm weather habits compromising your oral health?

Although a few people probably prefer the cooler Autumn and Winter months, it is probably fair to say that most of us look forward to the time of year when we can dig out the tee shirts and feel the warmth of the sun on our skin.

Summer can be a great time for sure, and many of us will associate it with holidays, or at least, weekend breaks away.

The hotter weather is not without its drawbacks though, and this applies to our oral health too. Hot weather may lead some of our Confidental Clinic patients into habits that can be very damaging for their teeth and our gums. With a little bit of care though, this can usually be easily avoided.

Ice creams and fizzy drinks

There is nothing quite like the taste and coolness of a cold fizzy drink, or ice cream on a hot summer’s day. As readers of some of our previous blogs will probably be aware though, these can be very damaging to our teeth, especially if consumed regularly. Ice cream is obviously usually high in some sort of sugar as are many fizzy drinks. Although both are harmful to our teeth, it is the fizzy drinks that we should be especially careful of. Most of these are quite acidic and, if drunk on a regular basis, are likely to damage the enamel on our teeth by eroding it and causing it to thin. As the enamel thins, you are likely to notice your teeth becoming more sensitive. They will also be less well protected against problems like tooth decay.

We wouldn’t want to deny our Clapham patients the pleasure of eating ice cream on a hot day, but would urge that you do so in moderation. Where possible it is also highly recommended that you avoid fizzy, high sugar drinks and stick to water or sugar free options. This is better for hydration and will not cause damage to your teeth.

Staying hydrated

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Fizzy Water – Good Or Bad For Your Teeth?

Principal dentist Dr Jignesh Patel looks at this popular alternative to high sugar drinks.

Many of our patients will have read about the harm that high sugar fizzy drinks can do to your teeth, not only from the sugar content but also the acidity levels. This can lead to enamel erosion and a number of other dental problems.

It is one thing to suggest that people avoid drinks like this, but it is also only natural that if people do, they will look for alternatives to it. One popular alternative is fizzy water, whether flavoured or plain. These are very popular with young children who like the ‘fizz’ sensation, and with adults who find them more interesting and refreshing than plain still water.

PH levels

It is the acidic levels of drinks that cause the most damage. Tests have been done on a number of beverages including carbonated water. Those with a PH level below 3.0 were deemed to be extremely erosive, between 3.0 and 3.99 fairly erosive and above 4.0 to be potentially minimally erosive. Unsurprisingly, the high sugar sports drinks, whether carbonated or not, fell into the extremely erosive category. What is perhaps the most interesting finding of this study though is that of carbonated water.

Tests were done on a variety of brands of plain bottle carbonated  and non carbonated water. These were tested both at room temperature and chilled from the fridge. What was discovered is that the water had a higher PH value (less erosive) when it was non carbonated and at room temperature. The carbonated ones that were taken straight from the fridge were found to be a lower PH value, although still above the 4.0 that is deemed to be minimally erosive.

Conclusion

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A Closer Look At ‘Baby Teeth’

Our Clapham dentists take a look at some of the misunderstandings surrounding a child’s first teeth.

It may seem a long time ago for some of us, but we have all had two sets of teeth.

The first set, which often causes some discomfort when they first erupt, usually only lasts us for a few years, although some of our baby teeth can still be present in our early twenties in some rare cases.

We all know that we should take good care of our adult teeth as, once they have become damaged or have fallen out, there are no more natural teeth to replace them. Where this happens, we would need  substitutes like dentures or dental implants. Baby teeth are a bit of a mystery to some people though, but are fascinating in their own right, and, despite the fact that they will eventually fall out, good care needs to be taken of them too.

Why do they fall out easily after the first few years?

This is a bit of a mystery to some of our patients. We have been asked why a child’s first tooth simply falls out whilst an adult tooth has to be extracted, removing the roots of the tooth from the jawbone. The answer lies in these roots themselves.

Some people believe that baby teeth have no roots as these appear not to be present when the tooth comes out. This isn’t true though, and if it were the case, our first or milk teeth, would easily fail when it comes to eating our food.

Baby teeth do actually have roots. The interesting thing is that, as the adult teeth beneath them start to develop, they literally ‘dissolve’ the roots of the baby teeth above them as they grow. Once the roots of the baby teeth have completely gone, there is little, other than a bit of skin on the gums, holding them in place. The first sign that this has happened is that the tooth becomes wobbly, before eventually becoming free of the gum.

This is a natural process and will happen in most instances. Sometimes though, the adult tooth may erupt behind the baby tooth and the baby tooth will then need to be extracted by a children’s dentist at the Confidental Clinic in Clapham.

Are baby teeth important?

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Managing Painful Tooth Sensitivity In Clapham

How to reduce and potentially eliminate, the problem of sensitive teeth.

Tooth sensitivity can range from being mildly irritating to downright painful, especially when exposed to the extremes of hot or cold when we drink or eat. There are a number of possible causes of this problem, and also, in some cases, solutions that we can provide at the Confidental Clinic in Clapham.

Before we look at some of the ways that this problem can be managed, it is worth considering how it occurs in the first place.

Worn enamel

One of the main reason for sensitive teeth is due to the protective enamel layer on our teeth being compromised through erosion, or even a crack. This exposes the dentin layer beneath it which, being porous, in turn exposes the nerves in the root canals to both hot and cold temperatures.

Another cause is when our gums recede. This exposes the less well protected root parts of our teeth, leading to additional sensitivity. We have covered some of the reasons for this in one of our earlier blogs here.

Managing tooth sensitivity

There are a number of suggestions that can help you to avoid the worst discomfort of having sensitive teeth. You should also consider some treatments which may help to eliminate it altogether.

Avoid very hot or cold food and drinks

If eating or drinking hot and cold products sets off your sensitive teeth, make sure to allow those foods to cool down or warm up towards room temperature. This applies to both food and drinks.

Avoid acidic food and drinks

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Don’t Share Your Toothbrush!

When asked in a recent survey, over a quarter of people said that they had, or would, share with others.

A recent survey carried out by the Oral Health Foundation and Phillips (the toothbrush manufacturers) found that 26% of the respondents admitted that they would share their toothbrush with other people, usually members of their own family.

Predominantly, men are more likely to do this than women (32% to 20%), with younger people being even more likely to do so.

Although it may seem to be not an unreasonable thing to do if someone has forgotten theirs, and are in a situation where it is not practical to simply buy a new one; to do so is to put your own health at risk. Your local Clapham dentists explain the reasons why, below.

Blood diseases

Although we might kiss our nearest and dearest, there is far less risk in the exchange of saliva than there is where blood infections are concerned. Especially where a person is suffering from periodontal diseases, there is a real risk of infection being transmitted from one person to the other if a toothbrush is shared. Even where the gums are not bleeding, our toothbrushes collect a fair amount of bacteria from the gum pockets and these can also be transmitted to the other person.

Although there are risks attached, even if we share with a family member or regular partner, the risks are even higher if we share them with a stranger.  At the lower risk end are illnesses such as colds and cold sores which could be quite easily passed on in this manner. There are more serious diseases too which we may not be aware of.

Hepatitis B

Although a vaccine is available to help prevent the spread of this disease, it is usually more prevalent in people who intravenously inject drugs or regularly have unprotected sex with different partners. These are probably a group of people who may not even seek out the vaccine.

If infected with hepatitis B, liver diseases are likely. As these are often barely noticeable until the more advanced stages, they can be potentially quite serious.

HIV

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Five Common Myths About Teeth Whitening

Clapham dentist, Dr Nicola Ogilvie, explains the reality behind these misconceptions.

One of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments at the Confidental Clinic is the teeth whitening procedure.

There are many likely reasons for this, including immediacy of results and the fact that it is one of the most cost effective ways of giving your smile a significant  boost.

Teeth whitening is also popular with celebrities, and this inevitably means that it will often receive a fair amount of media coverage. Unfortunately, not all celebrities are able to keep themselves out of the headlines, sometimes for the wrong reasons. This makes them easy targets for the media who will then often look for ways of portraying them even more badly. This often includes any beauty and cosmetic dental treatments that they may have had, especially where they have gone from dark smokers teeth to dazzling white ones.

With the media coverage often comes a number of half truths, and sometimes outright lies about this treatment. To help to counteract these, we take a look at some of the more common ones below.

Teeth whitening is painful

In all probability you will have read of someone who has been in pain following this treatment. I think that it is safe to say that this has never been the case for any of our Clapham patients. It is true that the teeth whitening procedure can cause temporary additional sensitivity for a few patients but this is not ‘painful’ as such and usually only lasts a few days. If someone has suffered genuine pain, they have probably used an illegal whitening outlet that has used a far stronger whitening solution than is safe. Never risk this. Only registered dentists are now able to provide this treatment.

It damages your teeth

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Dental Implants – More Affordable Than You May Think!

In the long term, dental implants offer very good value for money, says Clapham dentist Jignesh Patel.

When a patient loses a tooth, there are a number of factors that they may consider when deciding on the best way to replace it. The three main options available are a denture, a bridge or dental implants.

Each has its pros and cons, and even the one that perhaps offers the least secure option, dentures, can be a suitable choice for anyone who wishes to avoid having an invasive procedure to replace the missing tooth.

Increasingly however, our Confidental Clinic patients are turning towards dental implants as the best solution to restore their smile. Most dentists, and a growing number of patients, would agree that this method offers the most benefits, not only for its natural appearance, but also the strength of the replacement tooth, as well as longevity.

Overcoming the ‘fear factor’

The initial barrier for some patients is the thought of the procedure that is necessary in order to place teeth implants. If this is solely understood from an article on the internet, or elsewhere, it may give rise to concerns about discomfort during the procedure. This is not the experience of the vast majority of patients that have implants placed, and we recommend that if you are considering them, you have a consultation with our implant team, on a ‘no obligation’ basis. We find that when patients have a better understanding of the procedure, and are able to have their questions answered by a professional, this helps to reduce any anxiety about the procedure.

We also offer a range of support services, at our Clapham practice that help patients to undergo this procedure with the minimum of stress. We will discuss this in more detail during the consultation.

The cost of dental implants

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