Category: Dental Health

Helping Your Child Enjoy Great Dental Health for Life

Every parent wants their child to enjoy healthy teeth and to have a nice attractive smile that will last for life. This is a reasonable aim and can definitely be achieved through great professional dental care and excellent home dental care.

dental-healthHere at Downham Market Dental Care, our friendly dental team love seeing younger patients and children are definitely welcome. We encourage parents to bring their child into see us when they are still very young and to book their first appointment when their first tooth emerges or by their first birthday. We know some people think this is very young but it’s really the ideal age to begin getting a child into a regular routine of dental care.

What to Expect during Their First Dental Visit

We are very gentle with when treating children and you will find our Downham Market dentist will go out of their way to help your child relax. The first visit to our dental practice is simply for a quick examination, if your child feels comfortable, and is a chance for us to assess how their teeth and jaws are developing. It’s also a good opportunity for you to chat to us about their dental care as we can show you how to clean their brand-new teeth which isn’t always an easy task with a reluctant child.

Why Milk Teeth Matter

It’s well worth persevering as it is important to ensure their milk teeth remain strong and healthy as tooth decay is unpleasant at any age. By making sure their milk teeth remain cavity free, you will be helping the development of their adult teeth. Milk teeth are essential for holding open the correct amount of space for adult teeth to erupt normally, decreasing the chances of your child requiring orthodontic treatment. Additionally, milk teeth make it much easier for a child to learn how to speak and eat.

Choosing a Healthy Diet for Your Child

Our dentist in Downham Market can also talk to you about your child’s diet. It can be incredibly confusing trying to make healthy food choices that are also tooth friendly. Many so called healthy foods have huge amounts of hidden sugars that can damage your child’s teeth and these include smoothies and fruit juices and granola and cereal bars.

Preventative Dental Care

Our aim is to prevent your child from developing any dental problems and to do this we provide every child who visits our practice with a personalised treatment plan. After assessing their risk of tooth decay, we can determine how frequently they should come and visit us and the kinds of preventative dentistry treatments that can help keep their teeth strong and healthy. These include fissure sealants and fluoride treatments, as well as professional hygiene treatments. The great thing about preventative dentistry is that it is very non-invasive and painless and as a family oriented dental practice, we take lots of care to ensure that every visit will be as relaxing and as comfortable as possible for your child.

If it’s time for your child to visit a dentist in Downham Market, please call us on 01366 382265. You can also find out more about all the services we offer on our website at

Pregnant? Let Us Look after Your Dental Health

If you are pregnant then we’d like to offer you our congratulations as a new baby is always a cause for celebration. At this time you are probably trying to take more care of your general health, but have you considered your dental health? In fact your dental health is extremely important, particularly when you are pregnant or trying for a baby as the hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect your oral health. Ideally our dentist in Basildon would like to see you before you become pregnant just so we can give you a complete check-up to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy and that you do not require any treatment. However if this isn’t possible, then please come and see us as soon as you know your happy news.

pregnant-womenRoutine Dental Care Is Vital during Pregnancy

You can receive routine dental care at any time during your pregnancy and it is important to keep up with your regular dental check-ups and cleanings. It is possible to have dental x-rays during pregnancy, particularly as the very latest digital dental x-rays only emit tiny amounts of radiation. However it’s extremely unlikely that we will want to take any dental x-rays unless absolutely necessary as most adults in reasonable dental health only require dental x-rays every couple of years or so and we would only need to take an x-ray if you have a problem that requires prompt treatment and which cannot wait until your baby is born.

Pregnancy Gingivitis

One thing we will be keeping a close eye on is your gum health as hormonal changes increase the sensitivity of your gums towards the bacteria that cause gum disease. This puts you at increased risk of developing a condition called pregnancy gingivitis which is a form of gum disease. With pregnancy gingivitis, you might notice your gums become tender and swollen and they may bleed more frequently, particularly when you brush or floss. If you are more at risk of developing pregnancy gingivitis or already have some signs of gum disease, then we might suggest you come to see us more frequently so our hygienist can thoroughly clean your teeth. By regularly removing the plaque and tartar that contains the bacteria irritating your gums, we can reduce your risk of gum disease and keeping a close eye on your dental health will enable us to pick up any small changes so we can treat them more quickly. It is important to make sure that your gums are as healthy as possible during pregnancy as advanced gum disease or periodontitis can increase the risk of a premature birth or a low birthweight baby.

During your pregnancy we are here to help you maintain the very best levels of dental health and you will find our friendly dental team and dentist in Basildon are always here to answer any questions or concerns you might have about your oral health. Once your baby is born, we hope to welcome you both back at Felmores Dental Care for regular treatment as we love seeing kids. To book your appointment, phone us on 01268 726789 and you will also find lots of information about our dental practice on our website at

Learn Why Hygiene Appointments Are so Important for Dental Health

Here at Southend Dental Care we encourage all our patients to see our hygienist at regular intervals, usually every six months. It can be a great idea to book an appointment at the same time as your regular check-up with our dentist in Southend, but if you prefer you can always book a stand-alone appointment with our hygienist as you don’t need to see a dentist first. Having a hygiene appointment leaves you with a beautifully clean mouth, but it’s also vital for your dental health and here is why.

dental-healthA Scale and Polish Removes Plaque and Tartar

During your hygiene appointment your teeth will be scaled and polished. Scaling is a process that uses special hand tools to scrape or scale it away all hardened plaque which is a substance called tartar. Plaque and tartar both consist of bacteria and if allowed to remain on your teeth they will produce toxins that inflame and infect your gums. By removing plaque and tartar, you have a much better chance of maintaining healthy teeth and gums, reducing your chance of developing gum disease. Once all the plaque and tartar have been removed, our hygienist will polish your teeth. This helps to smooth your teeth, making it harder for plaque bacteria to stick to them. It is also an extremely nice process as polishing can remove some surface stains and it is great for giving your smile that added sparkle.

Get Personalised Advice on How to Improve Your Brushing and Flossing

Dental education is an extremely important part of our practice and you will find your hygienist is full of lots of information on how you can easily improve your brushing and flossing routine at home. It’s easy to brush your teeth without really paying attention and as a result you may be regularly missing out certain areas, allowing tartar to build up. Our hygienist can point out these areas so you know where to concentrate your efforts when brushing. They can also chat to you about better brushing techniques and we know lots of people struggle to floss thoroughly. Often a quick demonstration can work wonders or we can also talk to you about using alternative tools such as interdental brushes. These are extremely small brushes that come in a variety of sizes and which can be inserted in between your teeth to clean these contact areas. They are easy to manipulate and can be a great choice for anyone who finds flossing tricky. Interdental brushes can also be very good for cleaning around dental appliances and dental implants.

Our hygienist is also the person to talk to if you would like any advice about other dental issues such as bad breath. They do liaise closely with our dentist in Southend and you will find our friendly dental team will go out of their way to ensure you get the best possible treatment and advice.

If you are overdue for a check-up with our dentist in Southend or if you’d just like to book a hygiene appointment then why not give us a call today on 01702 465000. You can also find lots of useful information about all our treatments including preventative dental care on our website at

Taking Care of Your Dental Health during Pregnancy

A new life is always a cause for celebration but pregnancy can bring about many changes, not only to your body but also to your oral health. It can also be an extremely busy time with so much to plan for, but it is important to make sure you look after your teeth and gums during this time.

dental-healthHow Pregnancy Affects Your Oral Health

During pregnancy there are massive hormonal changes that may affect your oral health. Increases in progesterone and oestrogen make your gum tissue more sensitive to plaque bacteria, which in turn can increase the risk of developing a condition called pregnancy gingivitis, a form of gum disease. This can develop anywhere between the third and nine month of pregnancy and common symptoms include swollen, red or irritated gums that may bleed when you brush or floss. The problem can be made far worse if you already have gum disease. Advanced gum disease or periodontal disease can have serious consequences, increasing the likelihood that you will have a premature, low birthweight baby.

Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is a common problem and we know it can be tempting to brush your teeth straightaway. However it is better to simply rinse your mouth with plain water and to wait at least 30 minutes before you brush your teeth. This helps to minimise the damage to your teeth that can be caused by their exposure to strong stomach acids. By waiting a while you allow your teeth to re-mineralise or re-harden, reducing the damage. It can be useful to make sure you always have a toothbrush and some toothpaste with you, as well as a small bottle of water and it might be nice to have some fluoride mouthwash to help freshen up.

How We Can Help You

Ideally we like to see women before they become pregnant so it’s a great idea to book a check-up and hygiene appointment if you are thinking of adding to your family. By coming to see us beforehand, we can treat any problems before you become pregnant rather than possibly having to delay treatment until your baby is born. If you are already pregnant then come to see us as soon as you can and don’t forget that pregnant women are able to see an NHS dentist in Harrow for free treatment.

If we feel you are more at risk of developing pregnancy gingivitis, we might suggest you have more regular hygiene appointments at this time as regularly removing plaque and tartar from your teeth will decrease the risk of this condition developing. Our aim is to make sure your teeth and gums are strong and healthy right throughout your pregnancy and so you can enjoy having a healthy baby.

If you are expecting a new baby or are planning to become pregnant in the near future then we’d welcome you here at Imperial Dental Care. Our dentist in Harrow can take extremely good care of you during and after your pregnancy and of course don’t forget that we do treat children at our dental practice so we’d love to see your little one as soon as they get that first tooth. You can get in touch with us on 020 8427 2264.

Learn Why Hygiene Appointments Help Your Dental Health

Whenever you visit our Ladbroke Grove dentist for a check-up then it’s highly likely that we will recommend you book an appointment with our hygienist. You might think this is unnecessary, especially if you are fairly meticulous about brushing and flossing every day, but in fact it is easy way to help keep your teeth and gums in great condition and is well worth your time and small additional cost. Having oral hygiene appointments is one of those things that can help lead to lower dental bills in the future.

dental-hygieneWhat Happens during an Oral Hygiene Appointment?

The main purpose of an oral hygiene appointment is to professionally clean your teeth. Even if you brush thoroughly twice a day and floss once-a-day, it’s still likely that you miss out certain areas of your teeth. This allows plaque bacteria to harden into a substance called tartar which is so hard it can only be scaled or scraped away by a dental professional. The issue with tartar is that it releases toxins which will infect and inflame your gums causing a common condition called gum disease. By removing tartar, we can increase your chances of enjoying healthy and strong gums.

To remove tartar, our hygienist will use special hand tools to gently scrape or scale it away and once all the tartar is removed your teeth will be carefully polished. At the end of this treatment your teeth should have that “just been to the dentist” feeling and will be beautifully smooth when you run your tongue over them. At the same time this treatment is also nice for helping to freshen up your breath.

Get Personalised Tuition on Brushing and Flossing

This isn’t the only thing that will happen during your oral hygiene appointment as our hygienists are expert in teaching people how to look after their teeth and gums at home. Preventative dentistry is something we all take very seriously here at Ladbroke Grove Dental Care and we love showing people new techniques and tools to help improve brushing and flossing. We can also show you which areas of your mouth you may be missing out when you brush or floss so you know what to do at home.

If you have braces or dental implants or bridges then we can also show you how to keep these thoroughly clean and which techniques will work best. Interdental brushes look like tiny Christmas tree shape toothbrushes and are great for cleaning in between tight spaces and around brackets and wires.

Above all, we are here to help you and to answer any questions you might have about your oral health. Our hygienists work closely with our Ladbroke Grove dentist to make sure you maintain good dental health. If you prefer, you can always book an appointment just to see a hygienist as you don’t need to see our dentist at the same time.

To book a hygiene appointment or an appointment with our Ladbroke Grove dentist, please call us on 020 7727 9836.

Easy Ways to Enjoy Fresh Breath and a Sparkling Smile

Who doesn’t want beautifully fresh breath and a nice sparkling smile? With the correct preventative dental care, then you should be able to easily enjoy both. Unfortunately bad breath is all too common and can be caused by a number of different factors. However one of the most frequent causes of bad breath is down to poor oral hygiene. This is why we thoroughly recommend you come to see our dentist in Downham Market at regular intervals and why it’s a great idea to make regular appointments to see our hygienist. It is a nice idea to make both appointments for the same time so you can get everything you need done in one simple visit. However if you prefer, you can always book to see our hygienist at any time you wish and you don’t need to see our dentist at the same time.

How Regular Dental Check-ups can Help You Have Fresh Breath

fresh breathBy coming to visit our dentist in Downham Market every six months or so, you will be ensuring that any small problems will be picked up before they can become bigger. Issues such as tooth decay and gum disease can all cause bad breath, and of course they can also lead to tooth loss. If you visit our dentist with persistent bad breath and we can’t find any reason, then we might suggest you visit your GP as sometimes bad breath can be caused by a medical condition and common culprits include sinusitis, diabetes, bronchitis and lung infections.

How Regular Hygiene Treatments Can Help You Have Fresh Breath

If you already have your teeth regularly scaled and polished then you’ll know how lovely it feels immediately afterwards. This is because our hygienist is extremely good at making sure all the plaque and calculus that has built up on your teeth is thoroughly removed. At the same time they will gently polish your teeth, which is great for making them sparkle. Our hygienist can also provide you with personalised tuition on how to brush and floss more thoroughly. Even though you think your routine may be good, it is surprisingly easy to continually miss out certain areas of your mouth and often being shown a few new techniques can make a lot of difference.

After visiting our dentist in Downham Market and our hygienist, it’s important that you look after your teeth and gums at home to maintain nice fresh breath. A good oral hygiene routine will only take a few minutes each day. You need to brush your teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day and you must floss once-a-day. The areas in between your teeth account for a third of your tooth surfaces and it is easy for plaque and bits of food to get trapped in between your teeth. If these food particles aren’t regularly removed then they will gradually begin to rot, causing noxious bad breath. The best time to floss this last thing at night as your mouth is drier overnight which increases the build-up of bacteria and is why morning breath is a common problem.

If it is time for your check-up and hygiene appointment, then please contact Downham Market Dental Care on 01366 382265 to book your appointment today.

Wave Goodbye to Your Crooked Smile

These days there is no need to put up with crooked teeth in Harrow, particularly when Imperial Dental Care has a great range of treatments that can give you a beautifully straight smile, often more quickly than you ever dreamed possible. Imagine no longer feeling self-conscious about your wonky smile but instead you can feel confident that your teeth look wonderfully straight and attractive.

How Can Orthodontics Help You?

crooked teethThere are a number of different ways that orthodontics can help you but the first thing to do is to book an appointment with an orthodontist in Harrow to find out your options. An orthodontist can carefully examine your teeth and jaws and will check the relationship of your bite or occlusion, which is the way your teeth meet together. They might also wish to take x-rays and quite possibly impressions of your teeth. This information is required to make a proper diagnosis of the problems that require correction. Once they have all this information, your orthodontist can sit down with you to discuss all possible options for teeth straightening in Harrow.

Will My Braces Be Visible?

The great thing about modern orthodontics is that usually we can provide you with braces that are extremely discreet. There is no need to worry that you will be saddled with ugly train tracks four months or even years as the introduction of advanced technologies often means that we can straighten teeth within a few months with treatment normally taking up to a year to complete. There are a number of different options that might be suitable for you and which include invisible clear aligners as well as fixed braces that have incredibly discreet clear ceramic brackets.

Fixed or Removable?

Sometimes fixed braces in Harrow can be a particularly good option as they enable an orthodontist to plan incredibly precise tooth movements and can be ideal for correcting more complex problems. The fixed braces we use in our dental practice are fast acting as they can move both the crown of the tooth and the tooth root at the same time. If the idea of fixed braces doesn’t really appeal, then it’s quite likely we can provide you with a removable appliance in the form of clear plastic aligners or we have another orthodontic solution called the Inman Aligner.

Our clear removable aligners can be a great option as they are taken out whenever you want to brush or floss your teeth and whenever you want to eat. This does make treatment exceptionally easy and they can provide excellent results. Each set of aligners is worn for approximately two weeks before being exchanged for a new set that will continue to move your teeth into the correct positions. The Inman Aligner is a more cosmetically oriented removable brace that works on correcting the position of your front teeth.

Whatever your orthodontic problems you can be sure we have a good solution and it is quite possible that orthodontic treatment could lead to you having healthy teeth that will be easier to keep clean and free from disease. These are all things that our dentist in Harrow can discuss with you during your initial consultation.

If you have decided this will be the year you get a straighter smile, why not call us on 020 8427 2264 to book your appointment today.

Why Snoring Deserves to be Taken Seriously

Do you or your partner snore? Occasional snoring affects most of us, but persistent snoring could be a sign of a more serious health problem called sleep apnoea. This problem is very common, but less than a third of sufferers are aware they have this condition. It tends to affect middle-aged men the most.

What Causes Sleep Apnoea?

snoring20Sleep apnoea is caused by the throat muscles relaxing during sleep, resulting in breathing being temporarily obstructed. Breathing resumes with a loud snort, often several seconds after it ceased. This causes a fall in blood oxygen levels and it can happen many times or even hundreds of times a night. Often sufferers are completely unaware they have this issue and may feel they sleep right through the night. The truth is that they will briefly awaken after each episode of sleep apnoea and as a result will fail to have the deep restorative sleep that is so essential for good health.

The Impact of Sleep Apnoea

Regardless of age, sleep apnoea can have a serious effect on general health, leading to excessive daytime sleepiness which in turn affects the ability to drive safely, as well as impairing the ability to work properly. Even socialising can seem like too much effort when you always feel tired.

Health Risks

Sleep apnoea can increase the risk of high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes, as well as coronary heart disease. Drivers with sleep apnoea perform more badly in tests than drivers with blood alcohol limits above the legal drink drive limit. Additionally, those drivers with sleep apnoea are between 7 and 12 times more likely to have a road accident.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnoea

Common symptoms of sleep apnoea include waking up feeling unrested, even when you went to bed quite early. You may frequently have morning headaches and will feel excessively sleepy or irritable during the day. You might find it difficult to concentrate and may suffer a loss of libido.

How We Can Help

When you visit Ladbroke Grove Dental Care, we can listen to your symptoms before recommending a suitable treatment. One of the easiest ways to treat mild to moderate sleep apnoea is through the use of a custom made mouthguard. Our dentist in Ladbroke Grove can fabricate a comfortable mouthguard for you to wear during sleep. This works by pulling the lower jaw slightly forwards, preventing the throat muscles from collapsing inwards so you can breathe easily. This simple and non-invasive treatment could be all that is required. There are also other treatments that can help with more severe sleep apnoea and we can discuss these with you if needed. You can also try a few things to help this issue. These include ensuring your weight is within a healthy range and avoiding alcohol or caffeine near to bedtime.

If you think you might have sleep apnoea then who not book an appointment with our Ladbroke Grove dentist? Just call us on 020 7727 9836 and discover how we could help you have a more peaceful and restful night’s sleep.

What Will Happen if You Need a Tooth Removed?

You will find that everyone here at Downham Market Dental Care regards tooth extraction as being the very last possible choice. We will try every viable option to save a tooth before recommending you have it removed. We may need to take out a tooth if it is extremely badly damaged. This might be the case if you have had a dental abscess, where root canal treatment hasn’t been possible or has eventually failed, or if a tooth is simply too broken down to be fully restored.

downham marketWe know that no one wants to have a tooth taken out, but you will find our Downham Market dentist will take a lot of care when removing your tooth during this small surgical procedure. We will make sure you are kept completely comfortable at all times and your tooth will be gently removed using specialised tools and equipment to make it less traumatic for you and to ensure that the bone surrounding your tooth isn’t badly damaged by the process. This is particularly important if you wish to replace your tooth with a dental implant afterwards and will help ensure better results.

Removing Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom tooth removal is often quite straightforward and is extremely common. You probably already know people who have had their wisdom teeth out. If we suggest you have your wisdom teeth removed then it will be because we can see quite clearly that they cannot erupt without causing problems, or it could be that they are trying to erupt and are causing you pain or are becoming infected. With wisdom teeth, they can often be impacted, meaning they will try to come up underneath existing teeth. Some will partially erupt and as a result may be covered up with a flap of gum tissue which can prove very difficult to keep thoroughly clean, particularly as wisdom teeth are right at the back of the mouth. In this case removal is the best option to prevent infection and decay which could otherwise cause discomfort or pain.

What to Expect after a Tooth Is Removed

Tooth removal is normally very straightforward and healing should be relatively quick and problem free. You might need to avoid chewing on that side of your mouth for the first few days to allow the area to heal or will want to stick to soft, easy to chew foods. If you do file discomfort it should be simple to control it with over-the-counter painkillers. Any substantial increase in pain may require further investigation by our Downham Market dentist. This is because on very rare occasions a condition called dry socket can arise, where the blood clot that would normally cover and protect the empty tooth socket somehow becomes dislodged, allowing infection to set in. Dry socket isn’t serious and we can soon clear it up by thoroughly cleaning the area and dressing it to make you feel more comfortable. It will simply slow down healing by a few days.

If you need a tooth removed then you can rest assured our Downham Market dentist will be as gentle as they can and it is probably better to get it removed sooner rather than later. Call us to find out more about this service on 01366 382265.

What to do if Your Gums Begin to Bleed

Did you notice your gums were bleeding slightly when you brushed your teeth this morning, or perhaps your gums bled when you flossed? Noticing blood on your toothbrush or in your bathroom sink is not a good sign. A common reaction is to stop brushing quite so thoroughly or to stop flossing completely in the belief that this will allow the gums to heal. In fact this isn’t the case and leaving your gums alone is not a good solution.

Why Gums Begin to Bleed

gum healthIt is possible that your gums have begun to bleed because you are brushing them too hard. This might be the case if you choose a hard bristled toothbrush or have a brushing technique that involves scrubbing very hard. If this sounds familiar then switch to a soft to medium bristle brush and ask your Downham Market dentist or hygienist for more advice on the proper brushing techniques. Otherwise it’s likely your gums are bleeding because they are infected.

Improper brushing techniques can lead to plaque building up over the surface of your teeth and this is a sticky substance that contains bacteria. These bacteria produce toxins that will inflame and infect your gums unless you thoroughly clean your teeth twice a day and floss once-a-day. This condition is called gingivitis in its early stages but without treatment it will progress into a disease called periodontitis which is considerably more serious and is the largest cause of tooth loss in the world. Bleeding gums is one of the first signs of gingivitis and the good news is that with the proper treatment gingivitis can easily be completely reversed, without causing any permanent damage to your teeth and gums. Other signs include noticing your gums look red or feel puffy and they might feel tender if you gently press them.

Taking Action to Restore Your Gum Health

If you even slightly suspect you might have gum disease then it’s a great idea to book an appointment with your Downham Market dentist. At the same time schedule an appointment with a hygienist at the practice as your teeth will need to be professionally cleaned, particularly if you haven’t been to see a dentist for a while. When you visit Downham Market Dental Care, our dentist can carefully assess your gums and may gently probe them to gauge the progression of any gum disease. They can then suggest the most suitable treatments. During the early stages of gum disease in might be as simple as seeing our hygienist for a professional scale and polish.

Once your teeth have been professionally cleaned then much of the bacteria causing the infection would have been removed. As gum disease is often due to poor oral hygiene, you will find our hygienist can work with you to improve your brushing and flossing techniques and to discover which areas of your mouth you might be missing when brushing regularly. However it’s important to follow your hygienist’s instructions on dental care at home. By paying close attention to your brushing and flossing routines, you can soon restore your gums to a healthy state within just a few weeks.

If you have bleeding gums then now is the time to take action. Give us a call on 01366 382265 and let us help you enjoy good gum health once more.