Social media can be useful, but it can also communicate potentially harmful advice.
Whilst there may be some of our Swadlincote, Burton and Ashby patients who refuse, point blank, to use social media; for most people it is a great way to stay in touch with others and also to keep up to date with certain hobbies and interests. By and large, this is a useful addition to our daily lives, but of course, not everything that we see on social media is necessarily true, or even safe.
One increasingly used tactic by manufacturers is to use ‘influencers’ to promote their products. These are usually young social media celebrities, often with their own popular video channels. They may do a whole video on a product or sometimes simply ensure that they mention the product a few times during their videos. Naturally, most of these influencers will be paid, either in money, or free goods, for their services. In nearly all cases, they will have little knowledge of the product that they are promoting, beyond the basic information.
One of the most popular dental products that these influencers promote are teeth whitening solutions. We are all familiar with the beautiful white teeth that some TV celebrities have, and this may encourage other younger people to attempt to use these products too.
There are two key issues surrounding this as follows:
Firstly, the age group that these influencers usually target is quite young, sometimes even in their teens. The fact is that no one at this age should really need a teeth whitening procedure in the first place. Although some in their early twenties, who perhaps may have smoked for a while or with naturally dark teeth might consider it, there are very few circumstances where younger teens should need to whiten their teeth.
The second issue is around regulations. Any advert that appears on TV has to pass certain standards, and anything that appeared not to be sufficiently safe would almost certainly fail to pass this test. The internet though, as we well know, is much less well regulated and almost anything could be promoted which could fall far below the safety standards that we expect.
Although it is probably more likely that any teeth whitening treatments offered via social media platforms will be ineffective, rather than dangerous, there are no guarantees, and however much you generally like the people doing the influencing, it is important to remember that they will almost certainly not have any dental qualifications. Hence they are not really the people you should be listening to about having your teeth whitened.
Do it safely
Thinking ahead can help to keep your teeth and gums healthy when at a music festival.
Whilst the events are still a few months away, some of the festivals, including Glastonbury, the biggest one, have started to announce headline acts. In all probability, that particular one will have already sold out, but there are many more around the country which are increasingly popular.
If you have got your ticket, or are thinking of buying one for one of the other events, it is worth thinking about how you will look after your teeth whilst you are away from your Burton and Ashby homes for a few days.
Not a hotel
Few people that attend these festivals stay in nearby hotels, where it would be easy to maintain your usual oral health regimen. To get the most ‘authentic’ experience, most people will sleep in tents and use communal toilets etc. This can be great fun, but the whole festival experience can make keeping your teeth clean much more difficult. Even though these festivals usually only last for a few days, it doesn’t take long before neglecting your oral health will start to tell. This is especially the case with your gums, and failing to keep them clean even for a few days, may well be a precursor to gingivitis.
As you will probably be living in a tent, with no running water for a few days, what can you do to minimise any potential problems for your teeth and gums?
If your teeth are uncomfortable, or painful, when biting down, you should see a dentist as soon as possible.
When we talk about having sensitive teeth, we usually mean sensitivity to both hot and cold temperatures when we eat or drink. This type of sensitivity is often caused by an erosion of the enamel surface on the teeth. This can be prevented with better general dental care and an altered diet, albeit those already affected can have various treatments including special toothpastes and even dental veneers to help.
This is not the only type of sensitive teeth that we see at our Ashby and Swadlincote dental practice though. Although less common, some people find that their teeth are prone to sensitivity when they bite down on them, even when eating. This can range from merely a little uncomfortable, to downright painful. Whatever the level of discomfort though, you should have this checked by one of the team at Alexandra Dental Care as soon as you can.
Causes of teeth that are sensitive to pressure
There are a number of potential issues that can lead to this problem and this is why it is important to have it professionally evaluated. Your dentist will be able to diagnose the cause of the problem and treat it accordingly.
One of the most likely causes of this type of discomfort is that you may have a broken tooth. This may not be obvious, and the tooth may even look complete when you look at it in the mirror. Even a small crack though, can cause a tooth to become sensitive when pressure is applied. This discomfort is only likely to get worse if the tooth is not treated.
Depending on the nature of the break, a filling or a dental crown are likely treatments which will restore the tooth and eliminate any associated discomfort.
Loose or cracked fillings
Helping you to avoid that ‘long in the tooth’ look
If you have ever wondered why some older people are referred to as being ‘long in the tooth’, there is a good reason for it. Receding gums are more common in older people and it is almost certain that in the past, the level of preventative dental care now available, simply wasn’t there. In effect then, it isn’t that your teeth are growing longer, but more of them are showing as the gums recede.
At Alexandra Dental Care, we believe in helping all of our Ashby patients to prevent dental problems, rather than just treating them (although we do that too of course!). So, if you want to do all that you can to prevent your gums from receding, please read on.
One of the most common reasons for receding gums is gum disease. It is one of the symptoms often associated with this oral health problem. With good care though, it should be straightforward to avoid. Make sure to brush and floss your teeth and gums daily, and also have a professional clean every six months with our dental hygienist.
Unfortunately, one the things that can cause receding gums is your family genes. In this instance, there is probably little that you can do. However, you should still look after your oral health to keep any recession to the bare minimum.
Looking (and smelling) your best for this romantic occasion!
Whilst those who are happily single may be relieved that they won’t have to put any effort into Valentine’s day, many of those in relationships will be looking to book restaurants etc to celebrate the day with their partner. Although the real St Valentine was allegedly beheaded, with a little effort we are sure that for most, it will be a happy occasion!
Romance, of course, involves intimacy and closeness, and any issues such as bad breath are going to be a real turn off on the night. It is not too late though, for our Ashby and Swadlincote patients to make sure that their oral health is in tip top shape before the big day.
Get rid of smelly breath
Probably the biggest romantic turn off is poor hygiene and bad breath. Poor general hygiene we can’t really help you with, but bad breath can be addressed using the services of our dental team.
The first thing that we should say is not to rely on the use of breath fresheners. Whilst these may offer some benefit in an emergency situation, they really aren’t the solution to the problem. At best, they will mask the smell whilst completely ignoring the underlying problem. If your breath is normally OK, then, providing that you don’t eat or drink anything that is well known to cause bad breath, such as garlic, you should be all good to go for the big day. If you find that bad breath is persistent though, we recommend that you arrange to see the hygienist at Alexandra Dental Care as soon as possible.
If you have persistent bad breath, it is very possibe that is is caused by gum disease. This is a problematic disease that can lead to tooth loss if not treated. We won’t go into that aspect of it today though, but look, instead, at its relationship with halitosis.
Our Swadlincote and Ashby cosmetic dentists discuss why DIY teeth whitening is never a good idea.
The internet is a fantastic thing. It allows us to keep up to date with the latest news, minute by minute. It also allows us to contact someone across the other side of the world in just a few seconds. It does have its drawbacks though, and the fact that anyone can post on the internet also allows people to do just that. The rise of ‘fake news’ shows that this approach can lead to outright lies being accepted as facts in some cases.
Even dental care can suffer from this fake news, or perhaps, being more generous, misguided information. There is a lot of good information available about how to look after your teeth and gums, but also a lot of information that could prove to be positively harmful.
Don’t look for ‘shortcuts’
Patients will usually contact Alexandra Dental Care for an appointment when they are in pain, or have done something such as broken a tooth, as they know that these problems are best left to a qualified dentist. Few people would try to remove decay and fill a tooth themselves, for example. The story isn’t always the same though when it comes to cosmetic appearance.
Perhaps the name ‘cosmetic’ makes it seem as though any treatment carried out with this intention would be harmless; but of course this is not the case when done incorrectly. Our teeth are not just a solid block of enamel and contain living cells and nerves, and even treatments intended to improve the appearance of your teeth can have an adverse effect if done incorrectly and by the unskilled.
DIY cosmetic dentistry
Examining the non surgical aspect of dental care provision
To become a dentist takes many years of intense training. We learn not only the basics about oral health, but also micro examine procedures and all other aspects of dental care. For those who wish to add even more advanced techniques to their practice, such as the placing of dental implants, further study is required, often taking several years.
All of the surgical team at Alexandra Dental Care have undergone this training and are highly proficient in their skills. Being able to perform complicated procedures is essential for this line of work in order to ensure the best possible outcome for the patient, but it isn’t the only essential thing.
A caring profession
We know and understand, that many, perhaps most, of our patients do not enjoy going to see the dentist. Getting patients to attend on a regular basis is a big part of the challenge for any dental practice and ours is no different. A good practice will look at ways in which they can encourage people to do this and also, especially for very nervous patients, encourage them to go ahead with any necessary treatment.
So, as dentists, we know we have the necessary skills for the procedures that we need to carry out, but a question that we have to continually ask ourselves is how to keep our patients as happy and positive about their care as possible.
Our Ashby and Swadlincote team takes a look at New Year dental opportunities.
So, Christmas has been and gone, and some of the luckier ones will have just returned to work after a nice relaxing break. This time of the year though is often also one where we both reflect and look forward, often making new year resolutions. These resolutions, if carried through, can be of significant benefit to us and may include losing weight or getting fitter, both of which are likely to have health benefits. As most of us probably know though, too few of us actually manage to achieve what we had hoped to do.
One of the reasons for this ‘failure’ is that we all too often depend on our own willpower, which may be lacking at times. Resolutions that are carried out with the aid of professional help though, have a much better chance of being carried through, as we are not relying on our willpower alone.
And this is where we come in….
Help and advice
It isn’t uncommon to hear patients tell us that they had intended to look after their teeth better, when they come to us with a toothache in the latter part of the year. The reality is that taking care of your teeth and gums isn’t that difficult, but it does require persistence. Many problems may also start off very small and almost unnoticeable; being almost invisible to the patient until such a time that the problems becomes significant, and sometimes painful too.
It is for this reason that we always recommend that patients of Alexandra Dental Care, pay us a visit for a check up at least twice a year. Any small amounts of decay, that may not yet be causing discomfort, can be removed and replaced using a small filling. Our dental hygienists are also available for regular appointments and we invite you to take advantage of this too. Not only will this enable the removal of tartar from the teeth and gum line, but also affords you the opportunity to discuss and improve your own oral health care.
Considering your smile
As patients of our Swadlincote and Ashby dental practice will be aware, we don’t only deal with problems like decay and gum disease, but are also pleased to provide an extensive range of cosmetic dental procedures. Whilst some treatments that fall into this category can also be used for restoration purposes; crowns and dental implants for example, these treatments also offer an excellent opportunity to improve your smile.
Your 2019 smile makeover
A little seasonal fun for our Ashby and Burton patients.
After writing our dental blogs for the year, and with this one probably being the last one before the Christmas break, we thought it would be fun to see how well you have read our posts and how much of it you can remember. With this in mind, we offer a few questions on subjects that we have covered and you can find the answers at the bottom of the page. Let’s go….
- What material are dental implants made of?
- What type of filling is used during a root canal procedure?
- What is the best time to ring us for an emergency dental appointment?
- Name a common cause of persistent bad breath/halitosis
- Name the orthodontic system that uses trays that fit over the teeth, rather than using a ‘wires and brackets’ approach
- What are the ‘social six’ teeth?
- Name the 2 main stages of gum disease
- Name the treatment routinely carried out by the dental hygienist
- Name the two common treatments that can be provided to reduce lines and wrinkles on your face
- And finally …. name the sport that Yogi is more than highly competent in!
The onset of winter can be a painful time for some people.
Perhaps, as a nation, we are a little obsessed with the weather. When it’s too hot we complain and likewise, when it is too cold. For some people though, the biting winds and winter chills affects not only their general temperature, but can also lead to discomfort due to them having sensitive teeth.
The odd occurrence of a sensitive tooth may simply mean that whatever you are eating is much too cold. If the sensitivity is persistent though, whether when eating or just breathing in cold air, it is likely that you have a dental problem that needs attention.
What causes sensitive teeth?
There can be a number of potential causes of teeth sensitivity. Some of these occur as a one off event and are logical, such as following a filling when the treated tooth may be a little sensitive as the anaesthetic wears off. This should not be long lasting though, and, if it is still there a couple of days later, you will need to contact the dentist again to have it checked.
For those who have more persistent tooth sensitivity though, there are a number of potential causes which we list below.
This is one of the most common causes of sensitive teeth. If we do not take care to protect the enamel on our teeth, it can weaken and thin, exposing the dentin layer beneath it. This layer is porous and therefore allows the extremes of temperatures to affect the nerves within the root canals. Common causes of worn enamel include a diet high in acids, with sugary and energy drinks being a particular culprit. Brushing your teeth too hard will also wear down the enamel of your teeth, especially if you do so too soon after eating, when the enamel is soft.
Tooth decay and other damage
The dentin area of the tooth can also be accessed when the exterior enamel is damaged in other ways. Tooth decay will almost certainly lead to heightened sensitivity, as might a leaky dental filling or a broken or cracked tooth. Regular dental visits and good home care should help keep this risk to a minimum.