Advice from Alexandra Dental Care on looking after your teeth during the Covid-19 restrictions.
The inability to go out and mix with others is hard for most of us, and some of us are probably struggling with a number of aspects of our enforced isolation. As the advice goes though, this is so important and we strongly encourage patients to adhere to the government guidelines for the sake of us all.
Unfortunately, the lock down means that our dental practice is closed until April 14th. This may even be extended further depending on the advice/instructions that we are given. Although, in the greater scheme of things, dental care may not seem too important to some people, tooth decay and/or gum disease are just going to make things feel worse than they are now. In today’s blog, we offer advice to our Ashby and Burton patients about how they can help their teeth and gums stay healthy until things start to return to something like normal.
Keep to your cleaning routine
One of the most important things that you can do is to keep your regular daily teeth cleaning regime, or better still, take some time to improve it. Make sure that you brush your teeth well both morning and last thing at night, and use floss as well. If you have young children, their usual routine may well have vanished and, as parents or carers, you may need to be more proactive about making sure that they clean their teeth well.
Avoid too many comfort foods
We are all entitled to use whatever methods are appropriate to make this time as acceptable as possible. You don’t need to use the time to learn five languages or develop a six pack, although if this works for you, then that is great too. Most of us will find things to do that we are interested in but are also likely to have periods where we feel bored and frustrated at a lack of normality in our lives. These are the times when we may well reach out for ‘comfort’ foods that make us feel better about ourselves. Unfortunately, these are very likely to be high in tooth damaging sugars.
We are not saying that you shouldn’t have the occassional treat, but we do advise that you try to eat sugary foods as little as possible for the sake of your teeth. As it is no longer possible or advisable to just ‘pop to the shop’ if we want a chocolate bar, we can make sure to buy only a limited amount of sweets when we do our weekly shopping. Instead of sweets, perhaps look for more tooth friendly foods to get you through those more difficult times.
What if you get the virus?
If you are considering your options for replacing missing teeth, this is one offer you really shouldn’t miss
For three days during the week commencing 23rd March, we are offering open days for our patients so that they can discover the wonder of dental implants. We do expect this to be a popular offer so please don’t delay and book your spot as soon as you can.
At Alexandra Dental Care, we believe that dental implants offer the best method of tooth replacement for our Burton, Swadlincote and Ashby patients who are missing teeth, and we hope that this open week affords you the opportunity to find out more about them from our experienced implant team.
What are we offering?
We are offering a free consultation with Dr George Savva where patients can discuss implants with the dentist and ask any questions that they have about them. These consultations usually cost £130 so this is an excellent opportunity to receive the correct information from a qualified dentist without paying a penny.
For those who decide to go ahead to have dental implants placed and have attended these open days, there is an additional bonus. For these people, we are also offering 10% off your dental implant treatment as well. As dental implants can require a substantial investment, this represents a significant saving and one not to be missed.
Who can benefit from dental implants?
Basic but essential – taking care of your toothbrush and using it correctly
Hopefully, all of us will possess a toothbrush. It is the most basic form of teeth cleaning product that exists and has been used in one form or another for centuries. Even primitive societies have been found to use twigs from certain trees to clean their teeth, and their diets would be nowhere near ours in terms of the amount of sugar consumed.
Most recently, electric toothbrushes have proven to be a great success and the first significant change in toothbrush design for many years. Whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush though, our Alexandra Dental Care team offer some advice below that we hope will be of benefit for our Ashby, Swadlincote and Burton patients.
Don’t use a worn toothbrush
We have mentioned this before but it is always worth repeating. A toothbrush that has worn out bristles will not be effective at removing food debris and bacteria from the teeth, and especially from the more difficult to reach areas. If your brush or electric toothbrush head is more than three months old, it is time to replace it. Even if it is less than this, if the bristles look worn then please change them.
We suggest that you also replace these if you have had a viral infection such as the flu as the virus may remain on the toothbrush.
Brush your teeth correctly
From 20th to 25th February you can make significant savings on this popular orthodontic treatment.
Unlike some aesthetic dental issues which can be resolved in a short period of time using a suitable procedure, correcting crooked and uneven teeth can take quite a while longer. This poses a potential dilemma for some patients as traditional orthodontics (dental braces) tend to be very visible and some also find them to be a little uncomfortable at times.
At Alexandra Dental Care, we are pleased to offer an almost invisible alternative to older-style braces in the form of Invisalign which use clear aligners, and also to help you to save a lot of money at the same time!
Our special offer
From the 20th to the 25th February 2020, patients can take advantage of our special Invisalign offer. Terms and conditions do apply and you must be a suitable candidate for this particular treatment. This will be determined during an initial consultation with our team.
If you prove to be a suitable candidate, not only can you have your teeth straightened in a discreet and convenient manner, but you can also benefit from our offer in the following ways.
- You can save up to £1500
- Get £500 off Full Invisalign
- Get free Essix Retainers following the treatment
- For good measure, a free teeth whitening procedure is included
We believe that this will be a popular promotion and advise our patients to act as soon as possible to take advantage!
Information for patients considering their tooth replacement options.
Most of us are familiar with dentures. Even if we don’t wear them ourselves, it is quite likely that our parents or grandparents did at some point in their lives. Dental implants, on the other hand, are probably less well known and some patients might think that as they produce similar end results as far as appearance goes, there is little to choose between them.
Although they may look the same when being worn, the user experience is sometimes very different. Whilst dental implants are stable and secure, some denture wearers find that there is some movement in their dentures. Not only can this cause problems with eating and speaking, but can cause friction between the denture and the gums, causing some soreness and discomfort, particularly as time progresses and their fit changes.
There are two areas of difference that we will discuss briefly in today’s blog. The first is the surgical requirements of the two tooth replacement methods that our Ashby and Burton patients would undergo.
For those who have dentures, there is no surgical procedure required in most cases (although occasionally you may need to have teeth extracted). We simply take impressions of your teeth and these are used to produce realistic looking dentures.
Dental implants do require minor surgery and as they have to be placed into the jawbone, it is necessary to use a local anaesthetic to minimise any discomfort. The procedure may also be a little longer than those that you are used to at the dentist. For those that find the lengthier treatment a challenge, and for nervous patients in general, we offer IV sedation at Alexandra Dental Care to make the procedure more comfortable for our patients, should they opt for it.
The key difference
‘Get fit’ new year resolutions can come at a cost if you don’t watch what you eat and drink.
Some of our Burton and Ashby patients will no doubt, have made a New Year’s resolution to get fitter than they currently are, possibly aiming to lose weight as well. There is much to be admired about aiming to do this, with obesity now a serious health issue in this country and across the Western world in general. There are many ways to do it but getting more exercise is an obvious one and the main reason why gym memberships will almost certainly receive a boost in the early weeks of the year.
Whether you sweat it out at a gym, get on your bike or simply aim to walk more and take the car less, you should still be aware of what you are eating and drinking when you do this.
Not just weight problems
Whilst exercising may well make you feel hungry due to the energy exerted, it is important to make sure that you eat the right things to ‘re-fuel’. Both from a weight perspective and a dental one, it is important to avoid eating the wrong foods, usually those high in sugar, when we need an energy boost. At Alexandra Dental Care, we have seen cases where people have resorted to drinking energy drinks for long periods of time and have suffered severe enamel damage to their teeth. Energy drinks are heavily promoted, and footballers, for example, can often be seen taking these during a game.
Most of these drinks rely on some form of sugar to provide the energy boost. In fact, some brands contain the equivalent of 16 teaspoons of sugar, more than twice the recommended daily intake for an adult. Bear in mind that this is unlikely to be the only sugar consumed that day and it isn’t hard to see how we could be eating four or five times as much sugar as we should.
With energy drinks, we also tend to sip them over a period of time. This continual ‘drip drip’ of sugar into our mouths will not only start to soften the enamel, but continue to attack it whilst it is less well protected. If we do this on a regular basis, it won’t be long before our teeth start to feel sensitive and become more prone to tooth decay as well.
Our daily lives
Principal dentist Dr Yogi Savania suggests ways to keep your teeth healthy during the Xmas break.
We are now just a couple of days before Christmas and most of our patients will probably either be ready for the big day or running around at the last minute to buy presents and/or food. It will soon be time for a few relaxing days though and we are here to guide you through ways to avoid the need to see a dentist over the holiday break.
At Alexandra Dental Care, we are always happy to help restore teeth when needed; however we would much prefer that this is avoided and hopefully our advice on preventative care will help achieve just that.
General oral health
Whatever you are doing this Christmas, do make sure to maintain your regular teeth cleaning regime. Brushing and flossing on a daily basis is the cornerstone of good oral care and is as important at Christmas and New Year as any other time of the year; perhaps even more so.
If you are going away, perhaps to visit relatives, make sure to pack your toothbrush. Remember that many shops will be closed over the break and you may not be able to buy a stop gap one if you do forget it. Do not ‘borrow’ someone else’s toothbrush either; diseases such as gingivitis and flu viruses can be spread in this way.
Tiredness is no excuse either. It only takes around five minutes to brush and floss your teeth at night. However tired you are or how much you have had to drink, please make sure that you clean your teeth well before you go to bed.
How well can you remember our blogs this year?
During 2019, we published a range of blogs about various aspects of dentistry which we hope provided our Burton and Ashby patients with lots of useful information. How well did you read them though and what can you actually remember?
With that in mind, below we have a set a little quiz for you devised by the staff at Alexandra Dental Care to see just how much you can remember. Answers are at the bottom .. no cheating now 😉
- Lemon juice is sometimes suggested as a teeth whitening agent on social media. Why shouldn’t you use this despite it being entirely natural?
- Halitosis is an anti social problem but what is it and what is it’s most likely cause where it is persistent
- Name the type of filling used during a root canal procedure
- If you are having IV sedation what is the one essential thing that you should bring to the practice on the day that you are having it?
- Why do our teeth become darker as we get older?
- If you have dental implants placed to replace a missing tooth, you still need to keep it clean even though it is made of an artificial material. Why is this and what are the 2 main threats to an implant?
- What is a ‘spoon excavator’?
- What is the difference between plaque and tartar?
- Why is cheese good for our teeth?
- Name the orthodontic treatment offered by Alexandra Dental Care that dispenses with the need for wires and brackets and uses a series of transparent trays instead.
And The Answers….
A good start to the day can really help to keep our teeth and gums in good health.
What sort of a ‘morning person’ are you? Do you leap out of bed in plenty of time for the day ahead, or sink back under the duvet until the last possible moment once the alarm has gone off?
We all differ in our morning routines but there are still a number of things that we can do to make sure we get our teeth and gums off to a healthy start each day.
Especially if we tend to be warm at night, our bodies can lose moisture. In fact, some studies suggest that around 80% of the weight that we lose overnight is actually water. This can lead to dehydration, which, as we know, can contribute significantly to a heightened risk of gum disease.
Whilst most of our Ashby and Burton patients probably do drink in the morning, it probably tends to be tea or coffee, or perhaps a fruit juice. Some people argue that tea and coffee are diuretics, whilst others now dispute this claim. Fruit juice is probably better for hydration purposes, but can be acidic, causing possible damage to the enamel on your teeth when drunk in excess.
Most of us probably won’t forgo our ‘morning cuppa’, whether it is tea or coffee, but drinking a glass of water as well will help to get your body hydrated before the day starts.
Cleaning your teeth
Burton and Ashby Dentist, Yogi Savania, discusses why you should still see your dentist.
A toothache is a warning sign that all is not well. Where a toothache is severe, it is likely to result in a ‘phone call to make an emergency dental appointment but where it’s milder, you may be tempted to delay contacting us to see what happens. In most cases, what happens is that the toothache becomes worse and an appointment becomes inevitable. Occasionally though, the toothache can ease or even go altogether and the appointment is deferred.
Possibly because we sometimes get general aches and pains which usually go away with time, it can be tempting to take the same approach when it comes to our teeth. Our teeth are different though and any warning signs should not be ignored as dental issues will typically get worse if left.
Do you still need to see the dentist?
The answer is an emphatic yes. Whilst a reduction in pain may come as a welcome relief, you should not assume that the problem has gone away. In all likelihood, the pain will return, probably even worse than before. Even without pain though, whatever caused the problem could be causing further damage that will eventually require more extensive treatment to correct.
We do understand that some patients of Alexandra Dental Care are nervous about coming to see a dentist and a fear of the dentist can be very hard to overcome. Despite this, ignoring problems will almost certainly make things worse and may result in additional issues if you ignore the early warning signs.
Any discomfort is a signal, and as soon as you notice this you should contact your dentist for an appointment, and this is the case whether the pain is severe or mild. There is little point in waiting in the hope that it will go away and the sooner you see a dentist, the less invasive any treatment is likely to be.
Resolving the problem