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Crisps are better for children’s teeth than dried fruit, dentists claim

shutterstock_549438760Diet is one of the most important considerations for health-conscious parents, especially those who are eager to keep their children’s smiles in check. The trouble is that often, advice about healthy and unhealthy foods can be confusing, and so-called healthy snacks may not be quite as saintly as they seem. As dentist Ben Atkins, from the British Dental Association, explains, often, parents who think they’re making positive choices at the checkout, can come unstuck as a result of clever marketing and food myths.

Mr Atkins warned against buying products that are aimed at children without checking the labels first, using the example of child-friendly crisps. These products often contain added sugar, which isn’t found in products that are geared towards adults. There’s a perception that crisps are bad for you, but while they aren’t the best food choice, they’re actually often better for children than alternatives like dried fruit. West London dentist, Nicole Sturzenbaum, described dried fruit as a “nightmare” because products like boxes and bags of raisins usually contain a lot of sugar and the fruit is sticky. When you at raisins, they cling to your teeth, which spells bad news when it comes to tooth decay. Parents think they’re giving their children healthy snacks, but in reality, there are much better options out there. A 100g bag of dried apricots contains 53g of sugar compared to a standard Kit-Kat bar, which contains 10.8g

The advice from dentists comes after a report compiled by the Royal College of Surgeons showed that the number of extraction procedures carried out on pre-school children in hospital has risen significantly in recent years. Figures show that the number of procedures has rocketed by 24 percent in the last decade alone.

How to take care of your Invisalign Retainers

shutterstock_638181961Invisalign is one of the most popular modern orthodontic treatments. Many people choose Invisalign because it enables them to undergo treatment in secret. With Invisalign braces, you don’t need to worry about other people seeing your braces. You can go about life as normal and after around 12-18 months, you’ll have a beautiful new smile. If you are interested in Invisalign and you want the best results, it’s really important to take care of your bespoke aligners and retainers.

How do Invisalign aligners and retainers work?

Invisalign treatment isn’t like other orthodontic systems. Rather than a brace being fitted to the teeth, Invisalign uses as series of bespoke aligners to move the teeth. These aligners work in order, and each patient receives a custom-made set. Each aligner is worn for two weeks and then replaced with the next brace in the sequence. When you finish treatment, you’ll be provided with retainers, which help to keep your teeth in position.

Taking care of your aligners and retainers

As Invisalign aligners and retainers are removable, it’s really important to keep them safe and to try and avoid putting them down or leaving them lying around. If you’re taking your aligners or retainers out to clean your teeth or eat while you’re at a restaurant, use a secure box to keep your aligners safe. Make sure you pay attention to oral hygiene, and keep your aligners are clean as possible by rinsing them on a regular basis. The efficacy of Invisalign treatment is heavily dependent on following the instructions given out by your dentist. If you don’t wear your braces for the recommended time each day, you run the risk of ending up with disappointing results. Take your aligners out to drink, as this will prevent staining and make life easier for you.

If you need any more advice or tips about looking after your Invisalign retainers, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Could your brushing technique be ruining your teeth?

shutterstock_567964555Learning to include twice-daily brushing in your habitual routine is part and parcel of growing up. Most of us know that we’re supposed to brush twice a day, but do you know how to brush your teeth properly. You may think that you’re doing a great job just because you take two minutes to clean your teeth, but you may be surprised when you read tips from experts. As part of National Smile Month, dentists have been offering pearls of wisdom to help the public improve their brushing technique. Here are some of the most helpful and effective hacks:

Brushing twice a day may seem like an obvious tip, but studies show that up to half of the population only brushes once a day. Brushing twice a day enables you to remove bacteria and food debris before it turns into plaque, the sticky film-like substance, which is responsible for causing gum disease and dental decay. A lack of time is an excuse used by many when it comes to avoiding brushing, but if you are in a rush, dentists recommend brushing your teeth before you eat, rather than immediately afterwards. When you eat, the enamel softens temporarily, and brushing at this time can damage the external tooth surface.

We’re often taught to rinse after brushing, but this can actually prevent you from getting the most out of tooth cleaning. Washing the mouth out removes fluoride and any other beneficial additives you get from your toothpaste, such as Novamin, so try and avoid rinsing and wait a while to drink after brushing.

Putting a lot of enthusiasm and energy into brushing may seem like a good idea, but if you brush too firmly, you can actually do more harm than good. Brushing aggressively can weaken the enamel and increase the risk of erosion. Be thorough when you brush, but take care to be gentle.

Dental practices show support for National Smile Month

shutterstock_552374365The campaign, which kicked off on the 15th May, will run until the 15th June. The aim of the campaign is to encourage people to make simple changes to their lifestyles and daily routines to improve oral health and minimise the risk of dental diseases. Both gum disease and decay are largely preventable, yet thousands of people are affected every year in the UK. The scheme promotes messages and offers tips such as brushing with fluoride toothpaste for 2 minutes twice a day, steering clear of snacking between meals and visiting a dentist every 6-12 months.

Practices up and down the country and taking part in events such as raffles, children’s fun days and open days to raise money for charity and get people talking about oral health. The team from Crossbank Dental Care in Kendal will be hosting a ‘brushathon’ on the 8th June at 1.15pm in support of the campaign. The practice is inviting as many people as possible to pop in and join in with a 2-minute teeth cleaning session to raise awareness of the importance of good oral hygiene. Dentists will also be on hand to offer brushing and cleaning tips and answer questions related to oral health and dental hygiene.

How veneers can instantly transform your smile

shutterstock_405222682Are you looking for an instant cure for your smile problems? Are you conscious of your discoloured teeth or can you never look in the mirror without being drawn to a chipped tooth or gaps between your teeth? If so, veneers could be the solution you’ve been searching for.

What are veneers?

You often hear about celebrities having veneers, but you don’t have to be an A-lister to have a stunning smile. There are lots of different veneers systems around, but most use porcelain shells to create beautiful smiles. These shells are ultra-thin and very light, and they are applied to the surface of your teeth. You can choose the shade and shape of the veneers to design the smile of your dreams and we can usually complete treatment in just two sessions.

Our veneer treatments include MAC veneers, Da Vinci veneers and E-Max veneers. We also offer composite veneers, which are more affordable than porcelain veneers. Composite veneers are made from a tooth-coloured dental material known as dental composite, and these veneers can be bonded directly onto the teeth, providing immediate results.

Are veneers the best option for me?

Veneers may be an idea treatment choice for you if you have minor aesthetic flaws and you’re desperate for a healthy looking, radiant smile. Veneers are capable of transforming your smile, so you’ll look and feel like a VIP in no time.

If you’d like to see if you’re a good candidate for veneers and find out more about the treatments we offer, call us now!

Looking good comes at a price, as new survey reveals we spend much more on beauty products than health checks

shutterstock_570190258A new survey has revealed that women spend much more on beauty and hair treatments than they do on health checks. The poll, which was conducted by Oasis Dental Care, showed that the average woman spends £258 on makeup and hair products, compared to just £161 on health checks.

A fifth of those surveyed admitted that their primary motivation for exercising was to look good, while half of participants said they would endure pain in exchange for a perfect body. Around 60 percent of people said they had worn clothing they found uncomfortable because they thought it made them look good and more than 80 percent of those surveyed admitted that they’d ignored health problems in the hope that they would go away.

The survey also showed that more than a third of participants hadn’t seen a dentist in the last 12 months, despite advice from dentists recommending at least one check-up per year. On average, both men and women spent around £123 on dental treatments per year. Sixty percent suggested that health is more important than looking good, but most revealed that they would be more likely to spend £30 on a new piece of clothing than a dental appointment.

Oasis Dental Care’s clinical director, Eddie Coyle, suggested that the survey findings show that most people are more concerned with their looks than their health and when it comes to spending money, image is often top of the list of priorities. Mr Coyle hopes that the survey results will encourage people to think more carefully about their health, suggesting that “it’s difficult to look your best if you are not feeling your best.”

Over a Third of British Adults Are Scared of Seeing the Dentist

shutterstock_403404745New research has found that 34% of people in the UK are scared of visiting the dentist, with 79% of these admitting to putting off receiving medical advice and treatment as a result. This raises the importance of mitigating dental phobia and anxiety with regard to visiting the dentist.

The survey, carried out by Fletchers Solicitors, looked into how many people were scared to visit doctors, dentists and opticians and why, and when it came to dentistry the results were fairly interesting.

Of the reasons to not visit, the biggest reason was fears of finding a new health problem that was not known before with almost 69% of the people who admitted they had a dental fear citing this as a reason. A fear of the dentist drill, needles or other equipment was the second biggest reason, with 52% saying this was the reason.

This makes a focus on soothing those fears and ensuring dentistry is as pain free and relaxing as possible so important because many people do not visit the dentist as a result, which means they risk potentially dangerous health issues being ignored or allowed to progress, such as gum disease. This extends to other medical disciplines because positive and timely medical care can only be provided when a patient is at ease and willing to talk to someone who can help them.

Other top reasons for being worried about medical appointments include a bad childhood memory (45%), a bad experience that happened in the past (22%) and the potential pain of a treatment (14%).

It is interesting that given that a lot of bad experience of dentistry usually involve painful or uncomfortable treatment that the actual pain ranks only fifth on the list of people’s concerns, which means that most of the work to improve this will come before the patient even sits back in the chair.

New survey suggests millions are missing out on free NHS dental care

shutterstock_349195511A new survey suggests that millions of people are missing out on free NHS dental care because they don’t realise they are eligible for subsidised treatment.

A poll by mydentist revealed that parents are unaware that children receive free dental care on the NHS. Many participants also overestimated the cost of treatment for adults, with some expecting the fee for an urgent dental appointment to be five times higher than the standard rate of £20.60. Those who responded also thought that services like crowns, extractions and root canals also cost significantly more of the charge of £56.30 for band 2 treatments (fillings and extractions) and £244.30 for the most complex treatments, such as bridges.

Parents weren’t the only group that was found to be missing out on free dental care. More than 20 percent of women were unaware that they could access free dental treatment during pregnancy and for the first12 months after giving birth and almost half of the 2,000 people polled didn’t realise that under 19’s who were in full-time education were entitled to free dental care.

The lack of knowledge is causing people to miss out on valuable dental services, which could have a dramatic impact on their oral health. Of those surveyed, more than a quarter hadn’t been to a dentist in the last 2 years, despite advice from dentists to attend routine checks every 6-12 months. Around 10 percent of people admitted that they never go to the dentist.

Steve Williams, clinical director at mydentist, said that the poll findings underline the need for better clarification when it comes to NHS dental fees and entitlement to free dental care. Children are able to access free care on the NHS, but parents are unaware that this free service exists and this is contributing to rising rates of decay in many parts of the country.

How to take care of your Invisalign Retainers

After orthodontic treatment, dentists recommend using retainers to keep the teeth in position and prevent relapse. If you’ve recently completed Invisalign treatment, you may be advised to wear Vivera retainers. These retainers have been developed by the manufacturers of Invisalign and they are design to hold the teeth in their new position with minimal hassle or discomfort.

Why do I need retainers?

Retainers are orthodontic appliances, which are used to prevent the teeth from slipping out of position once you have stopped wearing braces. The last thing you want when you’ve got your gorgeous new smile is for all the hard work to go to waste, and this is why retainers are so important. You can choose from fixed or removable retainers. Retainers are not the same the braces, and they are usually either invisible or fixed to the back of the teeth, so they cannot be seen when you smile. If you don’t wear a retainer, you run the risk of the teeth relapsing, and you may need repeat treatment further down the line.

Retainers with Invisalign

After Invisalign treatment, it is advisable to wear Vivera retainers, which have been developed by the company responsible for Invisalign, Invisalign Lite and Invisalign Teen. These retainers are streamlined and sleek, and they’re designed to hold the teeth without any pain at all.

Just like you look after your braces during treatment, we strongly recommend taking care of your retainers. Keep your retainers as clean as possible to lower the risk of decay and gum disease, and store them in a safe place when you’re not using them. Follow your dentist’s instructions to get the most out of your retainers, and don’t forget to schedule regular follow-up appointments.

If you have any questions about braces or retainers or you’d like to find out more about retainers used after Invisalign treatment, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Smile! It’s Root Canal Awareness Week in the USA

shutterstock_424851688The words “root” and “canal” are much maligned, especially when found in the same sentence. Even the mention of root canal treatment is sufficient to make many dental patients feel anxious, but why is root canal treatment feared so much, and what exactly is it? The 11th annual Root Canal Awareness Week campaign aims to answer these questions.

Root canal treatment is one of the most commonly performed dental procedures in the US. It is estimated that around 15 million patients undergo root canal treatment every year. This procedure is commonly called into action when a tooth is infected and the infection has reached the pulp, the most precious part of the tooth. The pulp chamber contains the living tissue, and once the pulp tissue is infected, there’s every chance that the tooth will start to perish, and you may end up with more complex issues, including abscesses, as well as facing the risk of losing your tooth. In many cases, root canal treatment offers you the chance to keep a tooth you would almost certainly lose otherwise.

Root canal treatment is performed by dentists or endodontists, who are specialists in tooth roots. The aim of the procedure is to remove decayed tissue from the root canals, and then fill and seal them to prevent infection from spreading throughout the tooth.

Root canal therapy has a bad reputation, but is it really justified? Many people go into the procedure fearing the worst, but horror stories are largely to blame for this widespread anxiety. Root canals in the US are performed under anaesthetic, so technically, patients should feel a thing. It is common to have mild pain after the effects of the anaesthetic wear off after the procedure, but this is something that should be manageable with over the counter painkillers.

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