Month: January 2013

How to Floss Properly.

How to floss properly

Most people are aware of dental advice regarding brushing their teeth, mouthwash and so forth. Many people also chew sugar free gum between snacks and meals in order to freshen their breath and reduce plaque. However people often neglect flossing as a way of removing those awkward bits that get between the teeth and can cause long term damage. Knowing how to floss properly can allow you to get rid of those awkward bits and maintain a brighter looking, more confident smile!

Why is flossing beneficial?

Flossing is beneficial for the following reasons-

• It can reach below the gumline and between teeth, something that regular brushing may not be able to clean (or at least it is often more difficult, even with electric toothbrushes).
• It reduces the plaque that in the long term can result in tooth decay and gum disease
• It helps remove unsightly bits from between your teeth, not a good look if you’re trying to get a big job or you are going to the parent’s meeting!

What is the difference between the different types of floss?

There are two main types of floss- Nylon (also known as multifilament) and PTFE( monofilament floss). Nylon floss comes in waxed and unwaxed varieties and is made of numerous strands of nylon material. By contrast PTFE is made of a single strand.

The major difference is that because nylon is made of multiple strands there is more of a risk of it breaking up. While PTFE is more expensive than nylon it is less likely to break while using it. With both varieties if you use them properly you ought to be able to floss without the strands breaking.

How can I floss more effectively?

You need to use around 18 inches of floss to use it properly. Wind it around your middle finger, allowing for a little extra floss to work with. You then hold it tightly between your index fingers and thumbs, taking care to slide it slowly and carefully between the teeth.

Remember that you do not need to force the floss in order to get the best results. Gentle up and down motions will remove bits while at the same time reducing the risk of damage to teeth and gums.

Also why it may sound obvious make sure that you use clean bits of floss as you go along the teeth. As ever with oral care you need to take your time and try not to rush it. While you may read this and think “Well that’s easy enough” try to remember that when you’re getting ready in the morning!

As with a lot of oral health techniques knowing how to floss properly is a matter of having the right equipment and knowing how to use it safely. There are various videos and guides online that can help this but don’t be afraid to talk to your dentist if you want more advice on effective flossing.


The Benefits of Flexible Dentures.

The benefits of flexible dentures

People generally associate dentures with being fixed and rigid. There is often the mental image of old men in cartoons losing their comically oversized false teeth. Fortunately modern technology has meant that there are more advanced styles of dentures available in order to ensure that you can lead as normal a life as possible.

What are flexible dentures?

As the name suggests flexible dentures are ones that are not as rigid as other models. This is achieved by using more flexible materials rather than traditional acrylic.

Why should I choose flexible dentures?

Flexible dentures offer several benefits over more rigid dentures-

More translucent material makes them less easy detect and more natural looking
While they may be more flexible there is enough rigidness to ensure they will not move about in your mouth or feel loose
The lightness also makes them more comfortable in the mouth and can improve speech
Make chewing easier
Do not require adhesives

Are flexible dentures right for me?

One potential stumbling block with flexible dentures is budget. This is because the resin costs more to produce than with rigid dentures. However as with any form of treatment the benefit in the long term often outweighs spending more in the short term.

Initial consultations with your dentist are an effective way of gauging whether or not they are suitable for your personal needs. Other treatments such as implants or veneers may be more appropriate depending on your condition.

How can I be sure they have been correctly fitted?

A concern people have is that because people with flexible dentures feel less pain as they bite they may not spot irregularities as soon as people with rigid dentures. The solution to this is to get regular checkups with your dentist.

As with any procedure it is important to check the certification of the dentist to ensure they are properly trained to fit fixed dentures.
With any procedure it is vital to be fully aware of the process. Most dentists understand that getting dentures can be a big step and some people are still afraid of the stigma that comes with it. However if you properly look after them and use them as directed then it is unlikely that they will come loose in an awkward situation or prevent you from doing anything that you would do normally.

In short if you want to know more about flexible dentures book an appointment today to see if they can benefit you!



The Benefits of a Good Dentist.

The benefits of a good dentist

It is fair to say that a lot of people do not look forward to going to the dentist. Sadly it often has an association with pain and displeasure. But it does not have to be like that. It is worth remembering the benefits of a good dentist. They can put at your ease and explain their various treatments, demystifying the process and generally making the experience more comfortable.

What are the benefits of a good dentist?

A good dentist should be able to offer the following-

• Recognised and certified qualifications
• The option of a consultation
• Care and patience
• Spot early signs of certain medical conditions such as mouth cancer
• Should be willing to answer any questions
• Be honest about any potential complications that can arise from dental treatment

Should I do a search for them online?

It’s a good idea to compare dentists online. This is especially true with cosmetic dentistry as this requires a certain set of skills. As well as the technical ability there is also a degree of artistic ability required, so look out for cosmetic dentists who have an artistic background. Looking online is also an effective way of getting feedback from other clients.

How do I know if they’re good?

One of the most basic ways is to check their certification. They ought to have the right qualifications and be happy to discuss their background. This can often be done during a one on one consultation prior to any treatment and this consultation should not come with any obligations.

Remember if you are getting a specific procedure such as porcelain veneers then it is recommended that you ask specifically about their qualification and training to perform this type of procedure. If in doubt get a second opinion!

Aside from qualifications it is also worth noting if they are approachable and willing to discuss treatments with you. Being a professional is about more than just the capability of performing procedures but also being willing to relax people prior to any treatment and explaining any subsequent aftercare that may be necessary.

Is location a factor?

Location is another consideration. While you want the best care if it is difficult to get to an appointment this can result in further delays. Ideally you want to reduce stress as much as possible so try to find a dentist who is reasonably close to you.

What about guarantees?

Some procedures such as dental implants may also come with guarantees based on a certain length of time. However it is important to remember that these guarantees are often dependent on following advice from your dentist.

In short the benefits of a good dentist are peace of mind and effective treatment. By choosing the right dentist you can be sure that you will get both.


Making a Beautiful Smile.

Making a better smile

It is easy to forget that one of the major benefits in going to a dentist is that they can improve your smile. Whether it is your regularly scheduled deep clean, a bleaching or porcelain veneers there are a lot of things that a dentist can do to make a better smile.

Why is this important?

Smiling is an outward sign of confidence. Being able to smile often then makes people around you feel more at ease and this in turn increases self confidence.

Furthermore having clean teeth, fresh breath and so forth are signs of good oral health.

What can I do to improve my smile?

It is not just the dentist who looks after your teeth! There are various things you can do to reduce stains on teeth, keep them clean and maintain the quality of your smile.

Brush your teeth at least twice a day and as thoroughly as possible. Avoid brushing too hard but do it for at least two minutes. This will allow you to keep your teeth clean.
Cut down on fruit juices and sugary snacks- These can cause damage to your teeth. With kids encourage them to use straws and dilute juices with water to reduce damage to their developing teeth.
Quit smoking- Amongst other health problems (including an increased risk of mouth cancer) smoking causes discolouration of the teeth.
Cut down on coffee and red wine as these can also cause discolouration.
Chew sugar free whitening gum after snacks and meals.

What can my dentist do?

A dentist can improve your smile with various treatments including (but not limited to)

Deep cleans (often this will be part of your regular half yearly appointment)
Porcelain veneers

It is worth remembering that not all dentists can do these procedures so it is vital to check this before you book an appointment.
How can I be sure the dentist is qualified for a cosmetic procedure?

During an initial consultation a dentist ought to be willing to discuss their professional background and allow you to look into their qualifications. As well as academic qualifications there is also the importance of how they act towards you.

Ideally they should also have testimonials from previous clients or some form of reference that you can check. In some respects it is also an instinct- a professional ought to make you feel comfortable before a procedure and any consultation should not come with feelings of obligation.

What can I do to keep my smile looking good?

Looking after your teeth is just one aspect of a good smile. For example if you have a job interview coming up maintaining eye contact and smiling will often show someone who is confident. This often has the psychological effect of boosting your own confidence (a kind of “virtuous circle”)

In terms of cosmetic procedures a dentist ought to explain any aftercare procedures. For example with some adult braces there may be a period where you can’t eat harder solid foods.

With the right dentist you can be sure of a good smile! Call us on 01375481000 for a FREE Consultation!


Tips on Porcelain Veneers.

Tips for getting porcelain veneers

Cosmetic dentistry is a mixture of professional health care and artistry. It requires both careful precision and a certain degree of creative flair. This is why when you are looking for tips for getting porcelain veneers you need to remember you want someone who can get them put in safely but also ensure they make them look good in the process!

What are porcelain veneers?

Porcelain veneers may also be called dental veneers or possibly dental porcelain laminates. In simple terms they are a kind of shell-like coating placed over the front of the teeth in order to make them look more presentable and add a bit of lustre to your smile!

Why porcelain?

Porcelain tends to be more effective for veneers because the way it is stained is closer to the look of teeth than other materials. They are also thinner and this means less of your tooth needs to be removed in order to have them put in your mouth.

What are they used for?

Porcelain veneers can be used to-

Fix discoloured teeth
Replace teeth that have been worn down
Replaced chipped or broken teeth
Reshape uneven or oddly shaped teeth
Close gaps between teeth

How do I get a porcelain veneer?

Porcelain veneers may not necessarily be suitable for everyone. A consultant with a certified dental practitioner is strongly recommended to ensure you get appropriate veneers to suit your dental condition. Part of this consultation may include X-rays or dental impressions to see if veneers are suitable.

Once this has been done the dentist then removes half a millimetre of enamel in order to create a model of the veneer. After around two weeks the veneer should be ready for bonding (some people with severe problems can get temporary veneers while waiting to get their permanent ones back from the dental laboratory that makes them).

During the bonding process the dentist will carefully check to ensure that it fits properly before “cementing” it in place. A follow up may be necessary to ensure that the veneer has been properly installed in the mouth.
How long do veneers last?

Veneers should last between five to ten years, although can last longer if they are properly looked after. After the five to ten year period you can get replacements.

Do they need special cleaning?

Veneers do not require any specialist cleaning and can be treated in much the same way as your teeth. However you may want to cut down on anything that could stain them such as coffee and red wine.

Call us on 01375481000 to schedule a FREE Consultation with Dr J Basrai Now!

One of the best tips for getting porcelain veneers is to find a dentist who has experience and is certified in installing porcelain veneers. Book now for a consultation to see if these are best suited for your needs.


Signs of Mouth Cancer

Signs of mouth cancer

There are a lot of reasons why you need to get a regular appointment with your dentist. Aside from keeping your teeth and gums in the best possible condition they can also look out for potential health problems. One of these is mouth cancer. Knowing the signs of mouth cancer can ensure that you get the treatment you need as soon as possible.

What is mouth cancer?

Mouth cancer (also referred to as oral cancer which basically means the same thing!) is a form of cancer that can occur in various parts of the mouth-

• The surface of the tongue
• Inner cheek
• Gums
• Roof of the mouth
• Floor of the mouth
• Tonsils
• Saliva glands

Who can get mouth cancer?

Mouth cancer usually affects people over the age of 40. It tends to affect men more than women. People who persistently smoke or drink heavily are at greater risk of getting mouth cancer.

What are the signs?

Look out for the following symptoms-

• Red and white patches on the lining of the mouth and/or the tongue
• Mouth ulcers or sores that do not heal or go away even after gels or other treatments are applied
• Persistent swelling in the mouth (in this case persistent means it stays for more than three weeks).
• Lumps on the skin or lining of the mouth
• The skin or lining of the mouth becomes thicker
• It hurts when you swallow
• Persistent pain on your tongue or in the neck
• Hoarse voice and throat pain that doesn’t go away

These symptoms alone may not be signs of mouth cancer. If you are concerned it is important to talk to a dentist. They will often check via a biopsy (checking sample tissue for cancer cells), endoscope (using a scope to check the throat directly) or imaging tests such as X-rays or CT scans.

How is mouth cancer treated?

There are various ways that mouth cancer can be treated-

• Surgical removal of mouth tumours
• Mouth reconstruction (may be necessary after surgery)
• Radiotherapy (A common cancer treatment using X rays or other particles to destroy cancer cells)

If mouth cancer is detected early enough radiotherapy may be the only required treatment. It can’t be emphasised enough that early detection can prevent extensive damage being done which is why regular dental checkups are essential.

In short even if you detect the signs of mouth cancer you need to remain calm. This is something that can be treated and with the right professional service can result in minimal pain. Remember prevention is better than cure so stay alert and trust your dentist!

Call us on 01375481000 to schedule a consultation ASAP!


Gum Disease in Essex

How to prevent gum disease

You have probably seen adverts for numerous products that claim to prevent the onset of gum disease. However while using the right toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash and so forth is important what is equally important in knowing how to prevent gum disease is the potential symptoms and stopping gum disease from developing in the first place and ensuring you get the appropriate treatment.

What is gum disease?

While the term can seem a bit vague there are specific types with symptoms to be aware of. Gum disease (also referred to as gingivitis) is in simple terms when your gums become sore, swollen or infected. The most severe form of gum disease is called periodontitis and this is particularly serious as this can result in severe damage to the tissue that keeps your teeth in your mouth!

How do I spot gum disease?

Look out for the following symptoms-

• Bleeding while brushing your teeth
• Soreness and inflammation around the gums
• Bad breath (or to give it the formal name halitosis)
• Pain in your jaw (Potential
• Teeth become loose

Ideally you want to see a consultant before you feel pain in your jaw or loose teeth as these are potential signs of periodontitis developing. Ideally you want to take action before you see the scarier symptoms which is why regular dental appointments are so important!

How can you treat gum disease?

Treatment of gum disease depends on the level of seriousness. In the milder cases it is simply a case of improving your dental hygiene routine. This may include-

• Increasing the amount of times you brush your teeth in the day
• More frequent use of antiseptic mouthwash to remove bacteria
• If you don’t floss start flossing or using dental sticks
• Cutting down on sweets and carbonated drinks
• If your children show signs of gum problems dilute any juices with water and encourage them to drink through straws.

For some people a dentist may have to do a deep clean to remove hardened plaque (also known as tartar). The most severe cases may require specialist non-surgical treatment or even some specialist surgical treatment. For example very rare cases have resulted in gangrene in the mouth, requiring tissue to be removed.

While this can seem very scary it does not have to be the case if you act now. If you are worried about potentially having gum disease it is important to book an appointment with a dental professional as soon as possible. In short making sure you maintain a good dental hygiene routine and early invention by a dental professional are the best ways of preventing gum disease and maintaining a healthy smile!


Children’s Dentistry in Essex

How do I get my kids to look after their teeth?

Like so many things in life getting kids to look after their teeth is easier said than done. It can take time and careful supervision and it is not always easy to go through the process. The important thing to remember is that your dentist is here to offer advice and help you through this to make sure your kids are aware of not only how to look after their teeth but why it is important.

When do I start with a brushing routine?

The earlier you can get children to start brushing the better. As soon as they are capable of holding a brush you can get them to hold it. However at this time it is best to do this while supervising them. Remember children under the age of 3 should only use a tiny amount of toothpaste, roughly the size of pea.

How long should children brush each day?

Just like adults children need to brush twice a day for two minutes each time they brush. This ought to be once before bedtime and one time during the day although after breakfast is the time most people do it. One way to guarantee that children brush for the allotted time is to use an egg timer or countdown on your mobile phone so that you can be sure they have been brushing for the necessary amount of time.

Remember to keep children in the bathroom while brushing their teeth. This reduces the risk of choking. It is also important to make sure younger kids don’t lick or eat the toothpaste! This may sound obvious but it is something that can harm their health so it is vital to be careful and to not leave small children unsupervised while cleaning their teeth.

When should I stop watching my kids brush?

Most children should be able to brush their own teeth unsupervised by the age of seven. However it is still recommended that you check occasionally as you need to ensure that they brush properly and do not skip any areas as this is how problems can occur and can lead to sloppy brushing in later life.

What can I do to make sure my child isn’t scared of the dentist?

Simply put you need to set an example. Don’t talk negatively about the dentist even when you are talking with a friend or family member in the next room. Try to be positive and emphasise the fact that dentists are people who are doing an important job. If a child is really worried book them in for a consultation before a check up so they can meet the dentist so they know they are normal people and not scary folk with drills!


Bad Breath?

How to deal with bad breath

One of the difficult issues to deal with for people in terms of oral hygiene is bad breath. It is not an easy thing to talk about and this can often get in the way of getting the treatment you need. Learning how to deal with bad breath and taking steps to combat it can increase your confidence and also give you better overall oral health.

What causes it?

Bad breath is more formally known as halitosis. It is usually caused by bacteria and sulphuric compounds in the mouth, often as a result of poor dental hygiene.

Other factors that affect halitosis include-

• Food with strong flavours such as chilli and garlic
• Smoking
• Gum disease
• Sinusitis

Will my dentist tell me if I have a problem?

The issue of bad breath is a personal one and is often quite difficult to deal with. Unfortunately it is often a matter of perspective with some people being totally unaware of the problem while others may be disproportionately worried.

The crucial thing is to be open minded and prepared to discuss symptoms with your dentist. If the bad breath is accompanied with other symptoms such as bleeding gums while brushing your teeth there is the chance that a more serious oral health problem is occurring so it is vital to arrange an appointment as soon as you think there may be a problem. It is better to be overly cautious then delay what may be necessary treatment!

Isn’t mouthwash enough?

Mouthwash can work by masking the smell of bad breath for a period. Ideally you ought to use antiseptic mouthwash for the best effect. It may not taste nice but will have longer lasting effects!

While mouthwash is good for getting ready for a night out and can clear out the bacteria that causes the bad breath it needs to be one part of an overall oral health routine that includes-

• Regular and thorough brushing of teeth
• Flossing
• Reducing foods that can cause bad breath such as garlic and chilli
• Tongue cleaning

How can a dentist help my bad breath?

First of all if you think you may have halitosis you need to book an appointment with your dentist. After an initial consultation a good dentist will be able to spot the source of the problem and find the appropriate treatment. Treatments can include specifically formulated mouthwashes, tongue cleaning to improved oral hygiene routines including more flossing and chewing sugar free mint gum between meals and after snacks (this is better than mints that will often contain sugar and are not good for your teeth!)

In short while bad breath is not necessarily something to worry about your dentist is ready to help you, both in terms of a more effective cleaning method but also in regaining self confidence after you have had the treatment. Book in for a consultation now to take your (bad) breath away on 01375481000!


Dental Implants

Dental Implants Can Help You Chew More Effectively

There are numerous things people can do to lose weight. The obvious is to exercise more and cut down fatty foods (and naturally for dentists this means less sugary foods of course to keep your teeth in tip top condition!) However what you may not realise is that how you eat your food can have an effect. Furthermore dental implants can help you chew more effectively, aiding digestion and allowing you to get the full benefits from the food you eat.

Why does chewing food more benefit my health?

• You feel fuller faster- In some respects this is because you physically less in the time that you eat. You still feel full but the amount you have eaten is less, thus maintaining portion control. It is generally said the feeling of fullness only registers 20 minutes after you eat.
• More nutrients- Saliva breaks down food more and allows the body to absorb more nutrients. Increased chewing means more saliva and thus more nutrients get absorbed.
• Reduces the risk of heartburn and digestive problems- Slower chewing and increased saliva neutralises stomach acid, reducing the risk of heartburn and digestive problems such as irritable bowels.
• Prevent plaque build up- Increased saliva reduces plaque build up and kills harmful bacteria.

How will dental implants improve my chewing?

Dental implants worked in a similar way to natural teeth. Provided that the area around the bone is suitable for the implant you can then get the titanium implant into the teeth. Once the jawbone has properly healed the cosmetic dentist then installs the titanium implant.

Once inserted the titanium implant allows for easier chewing. However it is worth remembering that it needs to be cared for and cleaned in the same way as a normal tooth in order to make sure it works properly!

Will the procedure hurt?

Installing the titanium implant uses a local anaesthetic and so should not hurt during the operation, although some people may suffer a slight ache for a brief period after the procedure is finished. If you have any concerns you should discuss this with the cosmetic dentist during the consultation period.

Is the procedure guaranteed?

Provided you properly look after the implant they should last for at least 15 to 20 years. Fortunately if there are any problems they can be easily removed and replacements can be put back again if necessary, although the vast majority of operations are usually successful.

What do you do to ensure dental implants are appropriate?

Dental implants are not for everyone! This can be affected by smoking, the positioning of the teeth and general oral hygiene. Procedures such as X rays and scans can be used to ascertain whether or not treatment is appropriate.

In short it is worth popping in and booking an appointment to see if dental implants can help you get the full benefits from your diet. With the right treatment you can get the full benefit of a good chew!

Call us on 01375481000 to schedule a Free Consultation with our Dental Specialist.