Do I really need to floss?

Flossing is very important when looking after your teeth as it's able to reach gaps that your toothbrush can't. Due to the small areas between your teeth being hard to reach with a toothbrush, food, plaque and bacteria build up very easily. Left uncleaned, this bacteria and plaque can cause rot on your teeth and infect the gums. By using floss, you're able to get in between the teeth and remove this build-up of plaque and bacteria. It's important to know that flossing should be done alongside brushing, not instead of brushing. 

Often, flossing is something which people think they can neglect but it's very important. It is recommended that you brush your teeth twice a day and floss alongside this once a day. Flossing before you go to bed greatly reduces the risk of suffering dental issues as a result of plaque build-up. After receiving dental treatment from us, whether it's a veneers treatment or implants, it's extremely important to look after your teeth post-treatment, which means flossing everyday when brushing your teeth.

Does a rinse or mouthwash help?

Mouthwash is another option for those who want to keep their teeth clean and their gums healthy. Much like flossing, mouthwash shouldn't be used instead of brushing but if used in tandem with brushing, it can be very helpful. Mouthwashes that contain fluoride will coat the teeth, once swilled around the inside of the mouth, discouraging plaque from building up and providing extra support to the gums. 

Our teeth and gums need the help of additional chemicals to stay as healthy as possible, which is why we use toothpaste when we brush our teeth. Mouthwash is an extension of that, containing chemicals that can kill bacteria and coat our teeth in antimicrobial agents. Mouthwash is also used as a great fix for bad breath and is able to kill the bacteria which is causing it. Rather than using sugary chewing gum to battle the odour, mouthwash is a great, quick solution to removing the odour whilst giving your teeth a little protective boost. Mouthwash is also an effective combatant against receding gums, gingivitis and dry mouth.

What are early signs of dental trouble?

Signs of dental trouble can arise in children at the ages of around 6-7 when the adult teeth are just starting to come through. Once the baby teeth have left the mouth and the adult teeth are coming through, any issues with the teeth will become visible. Sometimes, even before any external factors have influenced the teeth, they can be crooked or misaligned. This is often due to hereditary factors and simply can't be prevented before the adult teeth are in place. What is comforting, however, is that once the adult teeth are fully through, there is a range of treatments you can have to correct them.

Other signs of dental trouble can stem from habits adopted at a young age. For example, if you were to suck on your thumb regularly at a young age, this could cause a malocclusion, where the teeth point in an unnatural direction. Similar to buck teeth, if constant pressure is applied to teeth, this can cause them to grow unnaturally and cause an overbite. Issues such as ulcers, sores and sensitive gums could also indicate further issues with your dental hygiene and if not resolved early, will likely cause much more serious issues in the future.

A common sign of dental issues is a toothache, which is a clearer indication that something is wrong with your teeth. There can be a number of reasons that your teeth may be aching. Issues with the root of the tooth can cause severe pain, often due to poor hygiene. Other reasons could be that the teeth are too crowded and the pressure of them pushing up against one another causes the nerves in the gum to become trapped. Teeth that are still growing and yet to break through the gum, such as the wisdom teeth, can also grow in an unnatural direction and due to this happening beneath the gum, it can be difficult to identify early on. It's not uncommon for wisdom teeth to grow at an angle, towards the other teeth, causing added pressure and toothache as result. 

Why do I need dental exams?

Dental exams are recommended as a key part of dental healthcare. They are a preventative technique, designed to identify any potential issues before they increase in severity and help you maintain good oral hygiene. Without regular and effective dental exams by a qualified dentist, there could be an issue with your teeth which you've not noticed and can't see yourself. Often, there are dental issues that aren't visible to the person and don't cause significant amounts of pain but that doesn't mean that they aren't an issue. By having a dentist examine your mouth, they will be able to identify issues that you may not have noticed.

The exam isn't just about checking your dental hygiene, your dentist will also discuss your current eating/drinking habits and your dental care routine. They will be able to give you tips on which dental care tools to use, the best ways to use them and techniques which allow you to keep your teeth as clean as possible. Depending on the state of your teeth, they make take x-rays and conduct a more in-depth exploration into your dental health to ensure you don't suffer from more serious issues down the line. 

It's important that these checkups are regular also, as the longer you go between dental exams, the more likely an issue could arise without you knowing. The more time you spend going to the dentist, the better understanding of your oral health they will have and the more effective the advice and treatment they can give you will be. 

Are dental x-rays safe and needed?

Dental x-rays are entirely safe, just as any other x-ray would be on the body. The levels of radiation are deemed fully safe for the human body and won't cause any long-lasting health implications. The huge bonus of using dental X-rays is that it allows the dentist to see beneath the skin and gums where they otherwise wouldn't be able to see. This allows the dentist to identify any issues which may have gone unnoticed. Getting an accurate look at the jaw bone and how the teeth look beneath the surface of the gums will give your dentist a good idea of which corrective procedures are needed, should there be any issues.

The two types of X-rays that are commonly used are intraoral, which is an x-ray of the inside of the mouth, and extraoral which is an x-ray of the outside the mouth. Intraoral x-rays are the most common type of x-ray and are capable of identifying hidden dental structures, malignant or benign masses, bone loss, and cavities. Tooth decay and other underlying diseases can be missed during a standard dental exam and require more extensive measures to be identified. The time needed to be spent exposed to the radiation in order to achieve these results is extremely short and your dentist will ensure that enough time has passed before you undergo another, should you need it. 

Do teeth need fluoride?

Without enough fluoride, teeth can easily decay as fluoride contributes to the correct mineral levels needed to protect the tooth. Fluoride is able to coat the tooth and protect against acid from plaque bacteria and sugars which build up in the mouth. If teeth don't have the correct mineral levels, they are far more susceptible to decay. These minerals which can build a strong enamel layer around the tooth are fluoride, calcium, and phosphate. Without them, the enamel layer won't be strong enough to protect the tooth and can easily be broken down in a process called demineralisation. 

Flouride is incredibly important to dental hygiene and is even able to reverse any early decay. Without it, acids in your day to day foods, even in fruit, would attack your teeth and start to decay as they will have no defence against it. With fluoride rinses and mouthwash, your teeth will be effectively coated and the production of acid within your mouth will be slowed, preventing the assault on your teeth. It's crucial that you have the correct levels of fluoride between the ages of 6 to 16 as this is the most vital stage of growth for adult teeth but it's also important that adults have the correct levels of fluoride too. Tooth decay isn't age-dependent and can affect people at all ages of their life if they don't actively take steps to prevent it.

How do fillings work?

Fillings are used to replace cavities left by the removal of decay from a tooth. Once an area of a tooth has decayed, there is no way to repair it and to prevent the decay from spreading, it must be removed. To do this, a drill must be used to remove the decay which leaves an open cavity as a result. If this wasn't filled it would be a hotspot for bacterias and build-up of plaque which would likely lead back to more tooth decay. By filling this gap, the structural integrity of the tooth is restored and there is no chance of bacteria being able to build up in the cavity.

Traditionally, fillings that would be located on the chewing surfaces of the teeth can be filled using a "silver-coloured" amalgam material, which is mixed prior to the filling being inserted. This material is the strongest, most durable option for tooth filling and is also the least expensive. The other option is to use a tooth-coloured composite material, to make it appear as though there is no filling in the tooth. This option is highly popular and one of the services we offer here at Dental Excellence

Using composite materials, the tooth is able to be restored whilst looking better than it ever did before. Decay, discolouration and other issues can be hidden using a composite veneer that coats the entire tooth. By using a composite material, the colour is able to replicate that of a tooth and provide a much more natural appearance. The procedure for applying composite bonding treatments is quick and easy too and won't require any intensive drilling. We're able to offer this as part of our same-day smile treatment, due to the easy application of it.

What do sealants do?

Sealants are applied to the tooth to create a layer that seals in important minerals and keeps out any harmful chemicals. The main aim of sealants is to prevent tooth decay and is often applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth to improve longevity. They're able to protect the teeth from harmful bacteria and foods, preventing cavities from forming. If you have cavities already this won't solve the issue, but it will work as a preventative measure before they develop.

Sealants shouldn't be a substitute for brushing or flossing, as with most dental treatments, they work better in tandem with other dental care techniques. By flossing and having a sealant applied to your teeth, you're greatly reducing the risk of developing a cavity as sealants are able to reduce the chance of tooth decay by around 80%. It's important they are applied correctly otherwise it can lead to your enamel being harmed which then leaves your teeth exposed. If done correctly, sealants are able to last up to 5 years and form a strong barrier between the tooth any harmful chemicals.

Commonly applied to the molars, sealants are able to protect the grooves of the teeth as they are key areas for bacteria and plaque build-up. The application of sealants is very quick as it only takes a few minutes to dry once the tooth is coated. The strength of the sealant is also able to withstand regular chewing, meaning it won't need to be re-applied for many years.

What's the best way to whiten my teeth?

There are some methods that people regularly try at home such as baking soda and various toothpastes, however, these can prove ineffective and provide minimal results when compared with some of the treatments we offer. At Dental Excellence, we take teeth whitening seriously and offer treatments such as composite and porcelain veneers which are able to make your teeth appear glowing white in a single day.

Composite veneers are easy to apply and consist of a layer of tooth-coloured composite material being applied to the whole tooth to make it appear whiter. This is similar to composite bonding, however, a composite veneer covers the whole tooth, whereas a simple bonding treatment would consist of only applying small amounts of composite material to imperfections such as chips or gaps between the teeth.

Porcelain veneers are a great long-term solution to whitening your teeth and can last up to 15 years, without the need to constantly re-apply treatments. This type of veneer is able to completely restore a tooth and make a full set of teeth appear straighter. It works by removing a thin layer of the natural tooth enamel to make space for the porcelain veneer to be applied whilst maintaining the overall shape. Porcelain veneers are able to appear natural and with a much shinier, whiter look to them which is able to completely revitalise your smile. 

How can I fix my teeth and smile?

There are plenty of options for fixing your teeth and your smile which we offer here as part of our same-day smile treatments. Crooked or misaligned teeth is a common problem and can simply occur over time as a result of wear and tear. With our expert skills and technology, we're able to apply veneers and whitening treatments in a single day with incredible results. Our composite bonding treatments are able to restore chipped or damaged teeth by filling in any gaps left by the damage. This allows us to essentially rebuild the tooth and create a more natural look, which when applied to a full set, can make misaligned teeth appear perfectly straight. An even better solution is to have veneers applied as these are able to cover the whole tooth and will completely hide any discolouration and make the teeth appear much whiter.

If you have crooked teeth or misalignments that you would like to have corrected but don't want any composite or veneer treatment, we offer Clear X Aligners. Our Clear X Aligners treatment is similar to Invisalign with the clear plastic tray but instead of having multiple trays you just have one which is re-shaped using 4D technology. These are a popular alternative to braces and they can achieve the same results of naturally aligning the teeth without hindering your appearance. Clear X Aligners appear completely invisible, aligning your teeth whilst maintaining your natural appearance.

If you've suffered from tooth loss and have gaps in your smile as a result, these can be replaced to repair and restore your smile. We offer dental implants which consist of us inserting a titanium root into your jaw bone which the artificial tooth will be fixed into. This will prevent the gum from getting infected as a result of being exposed and your smile will appear brand new.

Are sweets and ice cream really bad for my teeth?

Sweets are often the worst choice of foods that can affect your teeth due to their high sugar content. These sugars break down and spread across your teeth as you chew which then attack the enamel of your teeth. Prolonged exposure to these sugars or eating sweets regularly will harm your teeth and lead to cavities forming. A common misconception when eating sweets is that you should brush them straight after eating but in fact, this will only spread the sugar around your mouth and potentially cause more damage to your teeth. To ensure you're able to remove as much of the sugar as possible, you should wait around an hour after eating to brush your teeth.

Ice cream poses the same risks due to its high sugar content and you should use the same technique of waiting an hour until brushing your teeth. The temperature of ice cream shouldn't harm your teeth if eaten in small amounts but if you're eating large amounts of ice cream in a dense quantity, the cold can harm the teeth. More common in whole ice cubes, the intense cold of the frozen food can cause teeth to fracture and create microscopic cracks in your teeth. If this happens regularly it could lead to more severe dental problems over time if not corrected. 

Need More Help?

Our team of experts are on hand to assist in making the smile of your dreams a reality. From our same-day smile makeovers to dental implants, veneers, and composite bonding, your new smile could be just a day away. Get in touch with the team today or book in for your consultation.