Although they are temporary, it is important to keep baby teeth in good health.
Sometimes also referred to as ‘milk teeth’, your child’s first teeth are not permanent and will fall out naturally over time. This does not always happen as a child though, and can happen even in adulthood. However long they last though, they should always be kept in good health.
No parent wants to see their child suffer, and toothache can be excruciatingly painful as many of you probably know. Unfortunately, an increasing number of young children are being hospitalised to have their decayed teeth extracted. This is largely unnecessary and, with a bit of care, there is no reason why your child’s first teeth should give them any trouble.
Healthy baby teeth
It is not just to prevent decay and pain why parents should take good care of their baby’s first teeth. These initial teeth play an important function in a child’s development. By the time the first teeth come through, a child should be eating some solid foods. Having poor quality, or painful teeth, is likely to cause them to prefer only softer foods, limiting their diet in many ways.
In addition to this, the loss of teeth can lead to speech impediments. If you observe, when you speak, your tongue will touch your teeth a number of times, if these teeth are absent, your speech will be affected. This could cause potential longer-term development problems for your child.
Baby teeth are also ‘placeholders’, in that they preserve a space for adult teeth to erupt into when they are ready. If the baby teeth have had to be extracted prematurely, there is a chance that the adult teeth will come through crooked, or, in some cases, may not come through at all, potentially causing infections and discomfort.
Helping your baby
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A quick history of our long standing Burton dental practice.
It was over thirty years ago when Mike Allen decided to set up a dental practice in Burton Upon Trent. Things were very different then of course, and cosmetic dentistry was virtually non existent. We started off as a friendly family dental practice, offering the best available care to our patients, something that we have maintained ever since.
It is always important to move with the times though, and as well as providing general dental care for the whole family, we are also now able to help those who are unhappy with the appearance of their teeth, whether they are crooked, discoloured or where there are gaps in the teeth.
A thank you
We would briefly like to thank all of our patients, and especially those who have been patients of our practice for most of this time. Some of you may even have come to us initially, as infants, and remained here ever since. We hope that you are happy with the practice, but we are also happy to hear any concerns or suggestions that you may have.
The times, they are a changing….
As we mentioned earlier, cosmetic dentistry and some other more advanced treatments were not available when we first set up our practice. Nothing stands still though, and we are now able to offer a wide range of procedures that simply weren’t available thirty years ago.
We thought it would be interesting to take a look at just a few of these treatments that our Burton patients are now able to take advantage of.
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Given up smoking? Looking to whiten tar-stained teeth? Based in Burton?
Gradually, the number of smokers in the UK is coming down. Whilst there are certain groups who may buck this trend, hopefully a combination of education and a realisation of the real risks that it brings, will reverse this.
With more and more people stopping smoking, this means that there are an increasing number of ex smokers who have teeth, and gums, that are in a far from ideal condition. These effects don’t have to be permanent though, and at Mike Allen’s Dental Practice in Burton, we offer a pathway to better oral health and nicer looking teeth for ex smokers.
Your check up
Improving your teeth and gums always starts with a check up so that we can diagnose any problems. This will involve a visual check and, quite possibly, an x-ray to determine if there are any issues beneath the gum line that we can’t see otherwise.
Although relatively rare, we may suggest that you see your GP for a check up if we detect any unusual symptoms such as swellings or red patches of the soft tissues. Primarily, this additional check is to determine if these may be cancerous. Whilst it is more than possible that other factors may be causing this, it is important that you follow our advice. If oral cancer is detected, early treatment is very important.
Cleaner mouth and gums
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Having cosmetic dentistry in Burton may change your life in ways you don’t expect!
The most obvious reason for anyone to have a cosmetic dental procedure is to improve the way their teeth look. In some cases, it may be because of a particular problem, such as protruding teeth, which make them feel awkward and embarrassed, whilst for others, it is about a bit of a ‘spruce up’, often using our Burton teeth whitening procedure to add some sparkle to their smile.
Whilst there is no doubting the effectiveness of cosmetic dental procedures to achieve these aims, many patients of Mike Allen’s Dental Practice have told us they were surprised at some of the other benefits which came along with the aesthetic improvements.
Especially if your teeth were sticking out as a child or teenager, there is a more than reasonable chance that if you weren’t exactly ‘bullied’ at school, your teeth would almost certainly have been noticed and commented on. Over time, this type of comment can have the effect of wearing down your confidence, and although the problem may actually have been relatively minor; to the person with the problem, it can become a major issue.
The effects of this can vary from person to person, with some just brushing comments away and carrying on with their life. Others though, may well become more withdrawn and even potentially socially isolated in some cases. Having cosmetic procedures, such as teeth straightening, in this particular situation, could significantly help to rebuild a patient’s confidence and lead to an improved social life.
A winning smile
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What are your options when you lose all of your teeth?
Hopefully, very few of us will arrive at the stage where we have no teeth left. With good care, and a bit of luck, it is entirely possible not to lose a single adult tooth. Where we do, it is generally just the odd tooth that is lost, at least until we arrive at a very old age.
This isn’t the case for everyone though and full mouth tooth loss can have a major impact on your life. Long term neglect of your teeth and gums or even a serious accident can result in you needing to consider what options are available to you.
First of all, in cases like this, we have to rule out the use of a regular dental bridge. These can only be used where there are adjacent teeth available to attach the crowns which hold the bridge in place. A full bridge of teeth can be used in another procedure however, and we will come to that shortly.
Perhaps the best known tooth replacement method in this situation is a full set of dentures. These offer a reasonably realistic looking set of replacement teeth but they are not without their compromises however. Because they are only secured through the use of suction and possibly some denture adhesive, there is always a chance that they will become loose. This can be very embarrassing when you are speaking to someone, or when attempting to eat, especially when dining out.
Dentures may also limit what you feel comfortable eating, with many denture wearers avoid eating harder or very sticky foods, opting instead for a largely soft food diet.
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How to keep newly treated teeth in good condition.
Generally, we all hope to avoid having any treatment to our teeth. With a bit of luck and some good care, this is possible; though chips, cracks and even breakages can occur due to circumstances completely out of our control. When this happens, the tooth will need to be restored. The restorations that we use at Mike Allen’s Dental Practice will offer strength and longevity providing that patients look after them. In today’s blog, we look at how to take care of some common dental restorations.
The most common of all dental restorations, fillings can last for many years but do need to be monitored during your regular check ups. Whilst generally strong, tiny spaces can appear between a filling and the natural tooth and bacteria can collect in these spaces, leading to further decay. It should be noted that this is less likely to happen with white cosmetic fillings as these bond to the teeth, leaving less chance of this happening when compared to traditional amalgam fillings.
Porcelain, or ceramic crowns are usually attached to a tooth where there is significant damage, or following a root canal procedure. Although the crown itself will not decay, being made from an artificial material, the rest of your underlying tooth can. So please maintain diligent cleaning around the full area of a newly crowned tooth.
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US research indicates that patients with diabetes see their dentist less frequently than the norm.
Although the study is based on US patients, it seems that patients with diabetes may be less likely than their non diabetic counterparts to visit their dentist. This is contrary to best advice and no doubt has a negative impact on oral health.
Whilst there appears to be no recent figures for the UK, this report comes as a timely reminder to those with diabetes, that regular professional dental care should be an important part of their overall health regimen.
Study after study has shown that diabetics are more likely to have gum disease than those who are not diabetic. This is largely due to a compromised immune system which means that harmful oral bacteria spreads and grows more quickly. This in turn, not only may lead to loose teeth or lost teeth, but also makes insulin levels more difficult to control.
Because of the above, it makes complete sense to have your teeth examined on a regular basis, at Mike Allen’s Dental Practice if you live in the Burton Upon Trent area, to make sure that your mouth remains healthy.
You should, of course, also see our hygienist for a professional clean, perhaps more regularly than other patients, and keep us updated to any changes in your medication. This is important as it allows us to provide the most appropriate dental care.
Benefits of seeing the hygienist
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Minimising the risks with better care and regular monitoring in Burton on Trent.
Oral cancers are on the rise. Men especially are at risk, with twice as many men as women likely to suffer from the disease. With around ten thousand people a year dying from it in the UK, and many more having life changing treatment; whether you are male or female, it makes sense to minimise the risks.
Despite the seriousness of this problem, there are many simple ways in which patients of Mike Allen’s Dental Practice can help to avoid this disease by making just a few changes to their life and oral health habits.
Good quality oral care
The most obvious thing that you can do is to keep your mouth clean. This means brushing your teeth and gums well at least twice a day. Dental floss should also be used to clean between the teeth. Brushing the soft tissues of your mouth, including cheeks and tongue gently, will also help you to have good ‘whole mouth’ health.
One of the most significant things you can do to minimise the risk of mouth cancer is to stop smoking. This habit has no health benefits and a whole host of negative effects on your well being. Cigarettes are also now very expensive and a quick calculator check on how much you spend should help to encourage you to stop. Whilst we cannot actually recommend vaping as an alternative; if you have really struggled to stop using other methods, many people have found this to be one of the easiest ways. It should be noted that, although unlikely to have the same serious side effects as tobacco smoking, the long term effects of vaping are not yet known.
Cut down the ‘booze’
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Yesterday’s World Oral Health Day has an important message for children.
Although we may be a day late, the message from World Oral Health Day is still relevant and is likely to be for the foreseeable future. The key message is that having a healthy mouth is an important step to having good general health. We already know, as adults, that many of the tooth and gum harming food and drinks that we consume, along with smoking, not only have a harmful effect on our oral health, but can also lead to serious, and often life threatening, diseases.
Naturally, health messages given to children should aim at encouraging them to change habits through education and not by tales of horrific diseases. With this in mind, World Oral Health Day focuses on three simple messages.
Brush your teeth
Some children seem to have an inbuilt resistance to cleaning their teeth. Even the encouragement of a cartoon character toothbrush and fruit flavoured toothpaste sometimes isn’t enough. As parents, we need to be patient and persistent in encouraging children to brush their teeth. We should definitely supervise them for some time, and, if possible, brush our own teeth at the same time. However rebellious children are, they seem to absorb what we actually do, rather than what we tell them to do. Cleaning our teeth regularly and correctly will not only help us to have healthy teeth, but will also help your children too.
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Why this popular cosmetic treatment is not appropriate for mums-to-be.
The idea of starting a family, or adding to one, can be a very exciting time for mums to be. It can also be a challenge for some, and feeling positive about their self image can help a pregnancy seem less stressful. It is not surprising then, that some of our Burton patients enquire about teeth whitening during their pregnancy. For these patients, we take a look at the safety aspect of this treatment in our latest blog.
Naturally, whether a cosmetic or restorative treatment, consideration needs to be given, not only to the safety of the patient, but to the unborn child also. The experienced dentists at our Burton practice will always check your medical condition and any changes to medication etc, before assessing your suitability for any treatment.
Teeth whitening safety
Generally speaking, a teeth whitening procedure is very safe. It can be repeated as often as you wish with no serious long term effects. A little additional sensitivity may be temporarily felt following the procedure, but this soon returns to normal.
During pregnancy, however, we have to also take into account the fact that chemicals are used to whiten the teeth, and these may enter the bloodstream. There have been a number of studies which have indicated that there is no evidence that this is damaging for either mother or child. However, perhaps due to it being a ‘non essential’ treatment, legislation does exist which prevents anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding from receiving this treatment.
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