Your teeth are important, use a dental professional.
Taking responsibility for looking after our own teeth and gums is important. Daily cleaning and flossing are essential if you want to avoid common problems like decay and gum disease. When it comes to having treatment though, the expertise required should not be underestimated, and even the most straightforward procedures should be carried out by one of our Burton dentists.
Unfortunately, it does seem that some people are taking matters into their own hands and are attempting to treat themselves, sometimes even for more advanced treatments like teeth straightening! Of course this is a very bad idea and below we look at some of the most common examples of DIY dentistry that can go horribly wrong.
Anybody who has searched the internet for ways to whiten their teeth at home, will have found millions of results. Many of these are duplicated, leaving perhaps a few dozen ideas. These include some very strange ones such as using strawberries to whiten your teeth, to the downright dangerous ones involving household bleach. The latter especially should be avoided and could cause very serious injuries or even worse. Most DIY teeth whitening treatments though fall into the categories of ‘do not work’ or ‘may potentially cause serious damage’. Many use natural ingredients that may appear safe; lemon juice being a classic example. Unfortunately, even seemingly innocent ingredients like this can strip the enamel from your teeth, causing irreparable damage.
Replacing detached restorations
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Why age should not prevent having nicer looking teeth
Cosmetic dentistry is often associated with younger people looking to perfect their smile. Whilst this group may be more likely to have cosmetic treatments, this does not mean that older people should feel excluded. Indeed, most cosmetic dental procedures offer significant benefits to older people whose teeth may be in poor condition.
Aside from any functional benefits that a treatment provides, older patients are increasingly seeking aesthetic improvements to their teeth as well. With people living and socialising for longer than they used to do, this probably isn’t surprising.
One inevitable result of becoming older is that our teeth lose the sparkle that they once had. Some of this may be due to consumption of tooth staining food and drinks, but it is also inevitable that the dentin layer of our teeth, which lies below the enamel surface, will become darker too. As this happens, it increasingly shows through the enamel layer and can make our teeth look quite dull and yellow in colour.
Although there are teeth whitening toothpastes available, these will have little or no effect on this problem and you will need to seek help from the cosmetic dental team at Mike Allen’s Dental Practice for a better solution.
Whiter teeth for older people
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Helping younger family members reach adulthood with healthy teeth.
Over thirty years ago, Mike Allen’s Dental Practice was set up in Burton Upon Trent, predominantly to provide general dental care. Time may have moved on, and we now also offer cosmetic treatments such as teeth whitening, along with sophisticated procedures like dental implants; but preventative dental care is still at the very heart of what we do.
Our dental team firmly believe that the results of learning how to care for teeth, as young children, will continue well into our adult years. With this in mind, we take a look at how parents can help to make sure their children have healthy teeth and gums.
Keep on eye on what they are eating
As children get older, it will be harder to monitor what they eat outside the home. If you are careful about what you feed them from a young age though, there is a chance that they will develop less of a sweet tooth than if you spoil them with sweets etc. Try to encourage them to eat healthily, with perhaps a few sweeter foods for a treat.
Young children often have very short attention spans and, even if you do supervise them whilst they brush their teeth, they may well start to tell you about their day and become distracted during the two minutes allocated brushing time. This will not contribute to good cleaning and you may need to add additional time until you are satisfied they have brushed them well.
Sugary drinks versus water
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Our Burton dentist discusses the results of poor oral health.
As a part of your regular six monthly check ups at our Burton practice, we not only examine your teeth and gums, but also the soft tissues in your mouth, including the tongue and cheek. This is partially to give us an overall picture of your mouth health, but also as an ‘early warning’ check for potential cancers. These cannot be diagnosed as such by us, but we may refer you to your GP if we notice anything unusual that may be a potential cause for concern.
Although mouth cancers are on the rise and need to be taken very seriously, there are two more common mouth problems which we will take a look at today.
Mouth ulcers are fairly common, and in most cases, can be treated at home. This is usually done through time, keeping the mouth healthy and avoiding things which may aggravate them. Common irritants may include spicy food, hot or acidic drinks and even certain types of toothpaste. Mouth sores are not contagious, and although sometimes painful, are rarely a sign of anything serious.
Whilst this is true in most cases; if your cold sore lasts for longer than 2 weeks, or keeps coming back, you should see our Burton dentist or your GP for further examination.
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Straighter teeth in adult life in Burton on Trent
Dental braces are often associated with teenagers and children and at this age, their use is predominantly to make sure that teeth grow healthily, providing good functionality, as well as looking as straight as possible. If you are well into your adult years though, and are unhappy that your teeth are crooked, it is probably not too late to have them corrected.
If you have been put off the idea of having braces because of the ‘train track’ style you remember from your younger days; don’t worry, at Mike Allen’s Dental Practice, we are now pleased to offer a range of orthodontics that are designed to be much more discreet.
Why do adult teeth become crooked?
There can be a number of reasons for this. It may simply be that you didn’t have them corrected when you were younger, and the crookedness has since become worse. Equally, if you have lost a tooth, there is every chance that adjacent teeth will start to move into the vacant space. As they move, others may also follow, eventually leading to your teeth becoming quite crooked. Gum disease too, if allowed to advance to where the bone is affected, may also cause the teeth to move.
Orthodontics (braces) are an ideal method for straightening teeth. Some are designed to correct only the visible front teeth, predominantly aiming to improve the aesthetics of your smile. These can work much quicker than those that straighten a full set of teeth, which can take over a year in some cases. Even this longer period of time though is less stressful using the modern orthodontics we have available at our Burton practice.
Types of orthodontics
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Could the World Cup really lead to damaged teeth?
For the game tonight against Belgium, England fans can relax. We are going through to the qualifying stages anyway and whilst a win would be nice, any result will do. The real pressure, of course, comes when we reach the knockout stages. Despite England having, on paper, a relatively ‘easy’ game next round, some of the games so far have shown that the ‘smaller’ teams should not be underestimated.
At Mike Allen’s Dental Practice, we know how much some of our Burton patients love football, and no doubt many will be glued to their TV watching England play. For them, we offer some advice to help them keep their teeth healthy as the nerves kick in.
Perhaps this is a little tongue in cheek, as most teeth grinding occurs whilst we sleep. However, particularly tense occasions, such as football games can cause us to grind our teeth quite hard. Especially if your teeth have been weakened through too many fillings, it is possible that your teeth could crack, or even break altogether. If this does happen, you should make an emergency dental appointment to see us as soon as you can.
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Our Burton dentist takes a look at the wide selection of toothpastes now available
Anybody who watches TV can’t help but have noticed the seemingly increasing range of toothpastes that are being marketed. It appears that there is a different toothpaste for every possible problem. The question though is do they work?
In today’s blog, we take a look at some of the different types of these toothpastes that are advertised and offer our advice.
Teeth whitening toothpastes are perhaps the most widely advertised, and why not? It makes sense that most people would like to have their teeth as white as possible and brushing with a whitening toothpaste seems to be a win-win situation. The reality though is that these toothpastes are only allowed, in law, to contain a very limited amount of hydrogen peroxide, the whitening active ingredient. This is very low in whitening toothpastes. Compare that with the much higher amounts that dentists are allowed to use and it is not hard to see which is most effective. Our verdict, harmless but don’t expect great results.
It is good news that people are now more aware of the problems that gum disease can cause. There are now some very good gum disease toothpastes on the market which contain active ingredients which help to minimise the bacteria which contribute to gum problems. Our verdict; worth buying but remember that you do still need to see the hygienist as well on an ongoing basis.
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Certain groups are at particular risk of this problem.
It is probably not a subject that many of us like to think about, and we hope that you aren’t eating as you read our latest blog. The truth is though, that regular vomiting can have a serious effect on your teeth, even going so far as to destroy the enamel if this happens over a period of time.
Whilst occasionally being sick should do little long term damage to your teeth, providing that otherwise you look after them well, there are two categories of patients who may experience this particular problem more frequently.
Mums to be
We have mentioned before that, during pregnancy, the changes in hormones in your body mean that gum disease is more likely than normal. This is not the only problem during this time though.
Although some women are little troubled by it, morning sickness is a major problem for many and a long period of frequent morning vomiting can cause damage to your teeth. As you are sick, stomach acids pass over the teeth. This is quite a corrosive substance and can soon strip away some of the protective enamel that helps to prevent decay and damage to the inner sections of your teeth.
Eating disorder sufferers
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Even if your tooth looks healthy, if it is wobbling, then something is wrong.
The only teeth that we have in our lifetime which should wobble, are our milk teeth when they are almost ready to come out. This is entirely natural, but once they have been replaced by our adult teeth, this should not happen again. Indeed if it does, there is something wrong that will require professional dental attention.
There are a number of possible causes of a wobbly tooth, each of which might require different treatment.
A blow to the tooth
If your tooth is wobbling following a blow to it, such as from a football, or even a fall, it is possible that you may have damaged the tooth and possibly also the jaw bone holding it in place. Depending on the extent of any damage to the bone, this may rectify itself within a few weeks as the bone regenerates. You should ALWAYS have the tooth checked though and never presume that this is what will happen, It will depend on a number of factors and the dentist at Mike Allen’s Dental Practice will be able to advise you about this in more detail, following an examination.
Even where the tooth will eventually recover on its own, it may still need to be treated for any breakages or root canal trauma.
Gradual wobbly teeth
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And why is it so important to the dental implant procedure?
The term ‘osseointegration’ may be unfamiliar to most of our Burton patients, but it is an essential component of the dental implant placement procedure. Without the osseointegration process, dental implants would lack the strength and security that they offer and would, ultimately, fail altogether.
With implants increasingly becoming a very popular solution to the problem of missing teeth, we thought that our patients might be interested to discover what this process is and why it is so important.
In 1952 Per-Ingvar Brånemark was conducting a non dental experiment using titanium rods in live rabbits. On the conclusion of the experiment, he attempted to remove the rods for re-use as titanium is an expensive metal. To his surprise, he found that this was very difficult to do. On further investigation, he discovered that the titanium rods had fused firmly to the bone and it was this which was preventing their removal.
This new discovery led to further research, including the possibility of using titanium as an artificial tooth root to be secured into the patient’s jawbone by this process which he named ‘osseointegration’.
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