Your Clapham dentist offers advice on avoiding oral problems during the holiday period.
We are sure that many of you will be looking forward to your Christmas break. Hopefully most of the presents have now been bought and you can start to relax.
Whilst your teeth and gums are probably one of the last things that you will think about during the festive period, it is worth keeping in mind that problems can occur, if you don’t look after your teeth, and how a painful tooth could easily spoil your holiday.
Below, we offer some simple pieces of advice for patients of the Confidental Clinic, in the hope that it will help to keep your teeth and gums in tip top shape.
Before we move on to general care, it is worth reminding anyone travelling abroad for the holidays to be well covered for dental treatment, should the need arise. It is also worth taking an emergency dental repair kit with you. These are available at chemists and contain a ready made portion of a temporary ‘amalgam’ type filling. Only use this if you are unable to access a dentist, and definitely make sure to contact us as soon as you get home so that we can make sure that the tooth is treated correctly.
Whether abroad or at home, you should always take good care to keep your teeth clean, with regular brushing and flossing. This might be the last thing that you feel like doing at the end of a long day, but it is essential that you make that little bit of effort to do this. Almost certainly, your diet will contain more sugar at Christmas, and failing to clean your teeth before bedtime means that they are in contact with sugars and acids whilst you sleep.
No bottles or nuts please!
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2018 could be the year that you take action to improve your smile.
We are coming to the end of the year, although we still have Christmas to enjoy, or survive, as the case may be. It will only be a matter of days now when we start to turn our attention towards the New Year.
Whether they call them resolutions or not, many people still determine to make changes to their lives as each new year approaches.
At the Confidental Clinic in Clapham, we usually see an increase in the number of patients, at this time of year, who request a smile makeover. If you would like to improve the way that your smile looks, this could be for you too!
The smile makeover
The smile makeover is not always a single treatment as the name might imply, but can be a combination of treatments designed to give you a great looking smile. Each person will require different treatments to achieve the smile that they want, and, accordingly, we can only provide a price once a consultation has been held where we will discuss the options open to you.
The list below is not an exhaustive list of treatments used in this process, but does focus on some of the ones most commonly used.
Teeth whitening – The teeth whitening treatment that we offer at the Confidental Clinic is both painless and fast acting. The custom made trays that we provide will also help to reduce the cost of any ‘topping up’ of the whiteness that you wish to pursue after a while.
Bonding – Cosmetic bonding may be used to fill minor chips on the teeth that could distract from your smile.
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Reshaping your gums for a natural looking smile.
Although not an overly common problem, some people do have what is known as a ‘gummy smile’. This occurs when the gum line comes a lot lower down the teeth than is normal.
This causes not only an excessive amount of gum to be revealed when you smile, but can also make it appear that your teeth are very short too. Whilst there may not be any obvious medical problems associated with this; for most people that have this problem, it can be quite embarrassing and may make them self conscious about their appearance.
There may be a number of potential causes of this problem, including:
- Abnormal eruption of the teeth
- Hyperactive upper lip muscles
- Unusual upper jaw bone development
If you have a gummy smile and wish to have this corrected, this is sometimes possible with a relatively straightforward procedure. Our Clapham dental team will first of all examine you thoroughly, to make sure that there are no potentially serious underlying issues.
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Some useful tips to make your dentures as comfortable as possible.
Although many people are increasingly turning to modern methods of tooth replacement, such as dental implants, the fact is that a great many people do still wear dentures, whether full or partial.
Dentures have a bit of a mixed reputation, and, whilst some people are perfectly happy with theirs, others find them to be uncomfortable and/or inconvenient.
Our Clapham dentists, below, offer some useful advice for denture wearers about how to get the maximum benefit from them.
If you have had your dentures for a long period of time, there is a realistic chance that there are now better and more comfortable dentures available. Advances in dentistry now means that some are made from more comfortable materials, and some even flex with the mouth for an even greater degree of comfort.
Make sure they fit
Once teeth have been lost, the bone in that area thins and causes changes to the shape of the face. This can mean that dentures may no longer fit as well as they used to do. If you find that your dentures are moving around or are causing you discomfort, please speak to your Confidental Clinic dentist about it.
Keep them clean
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How a teeth whitening procedure in Clapham can dramatically improve your smile.
Although historically, teeth whitening procedures were usually reserved for celebrities and those with larger budgets, it has now become a popular procedure for people from all walks of life and occupations. The non-invasive nature and speedy results mean that the benefits are seen almost instantly.
In today’s blog, our Clapham cosmetic dentists look at the six stages that lead from teeth that are discoloured or stained to having great looking white teeth once again.
Stage 1 – Recognition
The first stage is recognition; recognition of the fact that, although your teeth may be discoloured, they don’t have to be that way. Acknowledging this fact is usually the first step for patients to take the required action to improve their appearance.
Stage 2 – Don’t make them worse
Although some discolouration occurs naturally as we get older, many of us also have daily habits which often worsens it. Habits such as drinking tea or coffee, smoking (also bad for many other reasons!), drinking red wine and eating curries, amongst other things. So if you are planning to have your teeth whitened at a point in the future, you may wish to stop or moderate these activities, so that your teeth don’t become even more badly stained. Remember that whilst a whitening procedure is effective in many cases, very badly stained teeth may require dental veneers, a more invasive procedure.
Stage 3 – Take action
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Understanding the essentials of Botox and Dermal fillers.
Until a ‘cure’ is discovered for ageing, the best that we can do is to try to stay fit and healthy for as long as possible, and to keep ourselves young looking through facial aesthetic treatments. There are many benefits to having these treatments, and many of our Clapham patients return to have this done progressively in order to help keep their youthful looks for as long as they can.
The most common facial aesthetic treatments are the well known Botox, and also, dermal fillers. Both of these can be used to create smoother and younger looking skin.
Before any treatment starts, it is essential to have a consultation with the facial aesthetics consultants at the Confidental Clinic. By doing so, we will be able to identify areas that we can improve, and will also help us to understand what you hope to achieve from your treatment.
Although, if misused, Botox can create some rather unusual facial features, this will not be the case with your treatment. Our team are both fully trained and highly experienced. Any ‘extreme’ facial modification requests using these treatments will be refused. The treatment itself is straightforward, and a small amount of the serum is injected just under the skin in the affected areas. The whole process should take less than half an hour and you should feel no discomfort other than a small pricking sensation as the needle enters the skin.
The results should start to show within a week or so and the effects should last for between four and six months, depending on the individual patient. Once your skin starts to lose its smoothness, the procedure can be repeated with no ill effects.
Botox is usually used for lines around the eyes and eyebrows, and for forehead lines, or ‘frown lines’.
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Why you shouldn’t consider an implant procedure abroad based on cost alone.
There is no denying that dental implants are not a cheap option for replacing missing teeth.
The materials used, and the extra skills and training that are required to place them does mean that they can be more expensive than dentures or a bridge. The benefits though are well worth it, allowing you to have replacement teeth that are as close to the real thing as is currently possible.
Because cost is a factor in some people’s decisions about which method to choose, this can lead to them following up the various dental implant special offers that are regularly advertised. By and large, these are from dentists in other countries, and, whilst there are obviously some excellent dentists abroad, the reality is that this may not always be the case, and you could be taking risks with your health if you respond to these adverts.
At the Confidental Clinic in Clapham, we feel that our patients should be aware of the potential risks of taking this route, and below, we offer some good reasons why you should think twice (or more) before taking up these offers.
Inferior Implants – If the price of implant placement is cheap, that almost certainly means that corners have had to be cut somewhere and this may well be in the quality of the implants themselves. This is important as only titanium is recommended to bond with the bone in the jaw to give your implant stability. Inferior quality materials may well mean that your implant will fail, so we only use highest quality implants here at our Clapham dental practice.
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This popular facial aesthetics treatment is sometimes misunderstood.
A number of patients who visit our Clapham dentists for treatment, have also noticed our offers for facial aesthetics around the practice and have expressed an interest. Whilst discussing this treatment with them, common questions about Botox treatment seem to arise regularly. In today’s blog, we look at five of the most often asked questions about Botox which we hope will help those looking into the various options.
Can I prevent wrinkles from appearing if I use Botox?
Increasingly, we are seeing Botox used in a preventative manner. There are certain areas of the face where lines are likely to appear as we get older and many patients are targeting these. Rather than waiting for the lines to fully appear, Botox can be administered at the site of the first visible signs, helping prevent wrinkles from appearing for the duration of the effective period of the treatment.
What if I have the treatment and stop? Will the wrinkles be worse?
This is a common myth and the simple answer is no. Whilst you can have ongoing facial treatments; at any time that you decide to stop, your lines and wrinkles will gradually return and proceed at the usual rate. It is likely that people who feel that theirs have become worse have simply become accustomed to having smooth skin and have forgotten what the wrinkles used to look like.
How old do you need to be to have Botox?
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Our Clapham dentists look at the damage that can be done through following incorrect advice.
You will, no doubt, be familiar with the term ‘fake news’ that has been bandied around the media for some time. Although this is largely connected to politics, there is plenty of fake news, especially on social media, that can be seriously harmful to your teeth.
One of the most pernicious methods used in this way are ‘click bait’ articles. These are designed solely to attract you to a web page, usually for advertising purposes. An example might be ‘whiten your teeth with this natural treatment that dentists don’t want you to know about’. Little is usually thought about the consequences if someone actually follows the advice.
Although it is impossible to cover all of these, the following are three of the most common types that we have seen.
This is almost certainly the most common one that you will see. According to these articles, you can whiten your teeth using lemon juice, household bleach and even mashed strawberries! Whilst some of these are just plain ridiculous, others are quite serious, potentially causing significant damage and pain to anyone who tries it. Most teeth whitening click bait articles involve the use of some form of bleaching agent, whether a household bleach or lemon juice. The use of household bleach is downright dangerous, for very obvious reasons, but even a natural ingredient like lemon juice can strip the enamel from your teeth, leading to sensitivity and increased vulnerability to decay and root canal infection.
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If you have persistently bad breath, you need to see a dentist.
Anybody who has had a conversation with a person with halitosis will know how deeply unpleasant it can be. There is a world of difference between someone with ‘garlic breath’ and someone who has deeper seated breath issues.
Whilst it is true that avoiding certain foods, garlic being the most well known example, will help, the reality is that this type of bad breath is temporary and will revert to normal if you avoid eating them for a while. More persistent and foul smelling breath however, is likely to have oral health issues as the root cause.
Oral health and your breath
There are two key dental issues which can cause you to have bad breath. Dental decay is one of these, though more often, this will leave a bad taste in your mouth rather than causing overly strong bad breath. Most people that see their dentist regularly should not suffer from this, and we are always available for emergency dental appointments should you suffer from toothache caused by decay in between your check ups.
A more likely cause of halitosis, or persistent bad breath, is gum disease. Unfortunately, whilst most people will brush their teeth, too many of us neglect the health of our gums, and, consequently, may suffer from gingivitis or worse, periodontitis.
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