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Top 10 Children’s Oral Health Myths

2017 July 26
by David

Some of the most common oral health myths for children.

So many of our dental habits are passed on through family generations and it can be difficult to keep up to date with how best to take care of your child’s teeth. Grandma’s advice, although well intended, might actually be doing your kids’ teeth more harm than good! Here we take a look at some of the most common oral health myths for children to help you make informed decisions.

Myth #1 – Sugary treats are ok as long as your child brushes their teeth straight after

Parents often mistakenly think sugary treats are acceptable as long as children brush their teeth straight after, as they believe they’re removing all traces of sugar. However, brushing straight after eating or drinking is actually the worse time to do it. This is because tooth enamel, the hard outer layer of your teeth, becomes soft from acids and the brushing action can wear away this enamel. Over time, enamel can become worn away which can lead to sensitivity and discolouration.

It’s best to wait at least an hour before they brush their teeth, as this gives their saliva the time it needs to neutralise acids in the mouth and for their enamel to re-harden. It can be helpful to give your children a small piece of cheese after meals or, if they are old enough, sugar-free chewing gum which helps to neutralise acids.

Myth #2 – They should rinse after they’ve brushed their teeth

Often a habit passed on from parents to children, many children rinse their mouths after they’ve brushed, especially if they don’t like the minty taste of their toothpaste. However the whole family should just spit the toothpaste out after brushing and never rinse. Rinsing washes away all of the protective fluoride found in toothpaste and it’s important that the fluoride coats the teeth and continues to protect tooth enamel against tooth decay long after they’ve finished brushing.

If your child dislikes the minty freshness of their toothpaste, there are many other milder flavours on the market that might suit their tastes – just ensure it contains the recommended level of fluoride for their age group.

Myth #3 – It’s ok to let them drink milk in a bottle throughout the night

It can be difficult to wean young children off their night feeds, especially if they’re tricky sleepers, and some parents will put their children to bed with a bottle of milk to sip on throughout the night to ensure a peaceful night’s sleep. Try to avoid doing this as the lactose found in cow’s milk and many baby/toddler formulas is a type of sugar and can put children at risk of tooth decay when sipped throughout the night. This effect is increased at night because we produce less saliva when we sleep which is needed to help protect against tooth decay. Instead, offer your child water during the night and over time they will hopefully wake up less often wanting milk.

Myth #4 – Bedtime snacks are helpful for a peaceful bedtime routine

The bedtime routine can be a battle in many households, and it’s not unusual for some parents to offer soothing hot chocolate, flavoured milk or biscuits to encourage their child to go to bed. Rather than sending children off into a peaceful sleep however, these sugar-laden snacks could be wiring them with energy and coating their teeth in sugar right before they go to sleep! This could contribute to tooth decay during the night. If you do offer your children these snacks, ensure you do this well before bedtime, at least an hour, to give their teeth a chance to recover from the sugar before you brush them.

Myth #5 – Fluoride is harmful to children

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral which is found in water (in varying amounts depending upon where you live) and other foods. It has proven benefits to protect against tooth decay, which is why it’s added to toothpaste, some drinking water, and offered to some children in the form of varnishes.

Fluoride is essential for strong, healthy teeth and is very safe. All adults and children are advised not to swallow too much fluoride toothpaste as it can cause tummy aches and other digestion problems. Regular intake of too much fluoride can also cause ‘fluorosis’ of the tooth enamel, which looks like patches of discolouration. This is why parents are advised not to let their children lick or eat toothpaste directly from the tube, as you don’t have any control over how much they’re swallowing.

When they brush, use a smear of age-appropriate toothpaste for babies and toddlers up to the age of three, and a pea-sized blob for children aged three to six. Always encourage children to spit the toothpaste out after brushing, and don’t rinse as this washes away the benefits of the fluoride.

Myth #6 – Fruit juices and smoothies are healthy choices

Parents should start to think about fruit juices and smoothies as occasional treats, much like a fizzy drink.

Fruit is packed with a natural fruit sugar called fructose. When fruit is juiced or pureed, the fibre is lost and you’re left with a sugary liquid full of fructose. A single 250ml glass of apple juice contains around seven teaspoons of sugar, which is about the same as cola! This means that fruit juice can have the same tooth decaying effect as a fizzy drink when drunk frequently. Avoid giving fruit juice to children, but if you do, always dilute it, only give it to them as part of a meal, and never give it to them to drink out of a bottle.
Fruit juice is also highly acidic and can soften and dissolve tooth enamel. After drinking fruit juices, always make sure your child waits at least an hour before they brush their teeth.

Myth #7 – Dried fruit is a healthy snack

Children love dried fruit and no wonder when its sweet sticky texture so closely resembles jelly sweets! Essentially, dried fruit is a very concentrated form of fruit sugar (fructose) and its sticky texture means that it clings to teeth for a long time after it’s been chewed, prolonging the time the fructose is in contact with tooth enamel. This gives the tooth decay-causing bacteria found on teeth an easy meal to feed on. In terms of oral health, dried fruit is no better than jelly sweets or caramels – they can all have the same tooth-decaying effect.
Only give dried fruit to children occasionally as part of a main meal and never as a snack. It’s far better to give them the goodness of fresh fruit if they want something sweet – try lower sugar varieties such as fresh blueberries and strawberries.

Myth #8 – It doesn’t matter if their baby teeth decay

It’s common for some parents to think that baby teeth are less important because ‘they will fall out anyway’. While it’s true that children will eventually lose their primary teeth, some may not fall out until they’re around 12 years old so they do need over a decade’s worth of care.

Myth #9 – You don’t need to take your child to the dentist until they’re about to start school

It’s best to take your child for their first dental appointment when their primary (baby) teeth start to appear, which is usually around six months of age. Taking your child to the dentist from an early age helps to get their dental routine off to a positive start. They can get used to the sights, sounds and smells of a dental practice and get to know the team. Also any dental problems, such as tooth decay, can be more easily spotted and treated early on before they need more invasive treatment. Waiting until your child is a toddler could prove trickier and they may have already developed some dental problems.

Myth #10 – Bad teeth run in the family

Generally, susceptibility to tooth decay does not run in families and only a very small amount of people can attribute their poor oral health to their genes. Almost all cases of tooth decay are entirely preventable through a healthy diet, good oral health routine and regular visits to the dentist.

Five Myths About Oral Health

2017 March 31
by David

Many myths about oral health and dental care are passed down the generations through word of mouth and are so deeply-rooted in our culture that it’s difficult to separate fact from fiction.

In this blog post, we’ve looked at a few of the most common mistruths that put your oral health at risk with the hope of putting them to rest once and for all.

1. “Holding an aspirin next to a tooth will help relieve your toothache”

Aspirin is highly acidic and will likely result in chemical burns to your gums if you hold it in your mouth against a tooth. For an Aspirin to be effective as a painkiller, it needs to be swallowed and allowed to enter your blood through your stomach in the normal way.

Although an aspirin may offer temporary pain relief, it will not cure the root cause of the toothache, so we recommend making an appointment to visit your dentist as soon as possible to solve the issue.

2. “If my teeth don’t hurt, they must be healthy.”

By the time that tooth decay erodes the surface of your teeth to the point that you feel pain, the decay is already quite advanced. Although your teeth may not be causing you pain, in reality you could be suffering from early stage tooth decay without even realising. With regular dental check-ups, your dentist will be able to identify and treat cavities before they develop.

3. “Using a hard toothbrush will clean your teeth more thoroughly than a soft toothbrush”

Although you may feel like you get a more effective clean using a toothbrush with hard bristles, you may actually be damaging your pearly whites. Harder bristles can result in abrasion and removal of the surface enamel of the tooth, as well as wearing away your gums over time A soft-bristled toothbrush — used properly — will clean the teeth effectively with a lower risk of enamel loss.

4. “Diet fizzy drinks are okay to consume because they don’t contain sugar”

Although they may contain less sugar, diet fizzy drinks still contain high levels of citric, carbonic, or phosphoric acid and can erode the surface of the tooth enamel, weakening the surface and increasing your risk of cavities. We recommend drinking water flavoured with slices of fresh cucumber and mint leaves for a refreshing, tooth-friendly alternative.

5. “You should brush your teeth right away after eating something sugary”

It may seem like a good idea to brush your teeth immediately after eating something sugary in order to remove any food particles from your teeth and to minimise the amount of time your teeth are under attack from acid causing bacteria. But brushing within an hour of finishing a meal can actually damage your tooth enamel!

This is due to the fact that while eating, the enamel of your teeth may become exposed to acid, weakening it and making it more susceptible to erosion. After a meal, it is best to thoroughly rinse your mouth out with water or chew sugarless gum to increase saliva production. After about an hour your saliva has had time to re-harden your tooth enamel and you are free to brush away!

World Sleep Day

2017 March 17
by David

Did you know that today (March 17th) is World Sleep Day? This is an annual event intended to be a celebration of sleep  and to raise awareness of issues that can impair and have an impact on sleep.

Sleep bruxism, also known as nocturnal tooth grinding, is the medical term for clenching or grinding teeth during sleep. People sometimes grind their teeth without it causing any symptoms or problems. But regular, persistent teeth grinding can cause jaw pain and discomfort and wear down your teeth. It can also cause headaches and earache. Most cases of teeth grinding (nearly 80%) occur subconsciously during sleep. It’s usually associated with contributing factors, such as stress or anxiety.

What causes bruxism?

Bruxism almost always occurs in association with other factors. About 70% of bruxism cases that occur during sleep are thought be related to stress and anxiety.

There’s also an association between bruxism and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). OSA is a sleep disorder where your breathing is interrupted during sleep. How bruxism and OSA affect each other isn’t currently fully understood.

Teeth grinding can also be caused by taking antipsychotic and antidepressant medication, particularly a type of antidepressant known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Your lifestyle can also have an effect. For example, regularly drinking alcohol, smoking and using recreational drugs such as ecstasy and cocaine increases your risk of bruxism.

Treating bruxism

Behavioural therapies and the use of mouth guards or mouth splints can be effective in managing the symptoms associated with bruxism.

Mouth guards and mouth splints work by reducing the sensation of clenching or grinding teeth, and also help prevent any wear or damage on the teeth.

Other treatments, such as muscle-relaxation exercises and sleep hygiene, may also help manage your symptoms.

 

If you would like help and advice with the problem of sleep bruxism, our dentists here at Woodcock Lane Dental Care can help. Contact reception on 01453 828327 and we will be delighted to arrange a consultation for you.

 

 

 

 

Mouth Cancer Action Month

2016 November 15
by David
We at Woodcock Lane Dental Care are pleased to be supporting Mouth Cancer Action Month.  It is held in November every year and is supported by the Mouth Cancer Foundation and the British Dental Health Foundation to raise awareness of this disease and save thousands of lives through early detection and prevention.

Signs and Symptoms

Early DetectionMouth cancer, perhaps more so than many other forms of cancer, is highly dependent on early detection. Many cases are discovered at stage 4, where it is just too late. However, if it is caught early, the chances of surviving mouth cancer are nine out of ten – those odds are pretty good, and that’s why early detection is so important.

Mouth Cancer Action Month will again promote the message ‘If in doubt, get checked out’ and encourage everybody to pay more attention to what’s going on inside their mouth.

As mouth cancer can strike in a number of places, including the lips, tongue, gums and cheek, and given that early detection is so crucial for survival, it’s extremely important that we all know what to look out for. Three signs and symptoms NOT to ignore are:

  • Ulcers which do not heal in three weeks.
  • Red and white patches in the mouth.
  • Unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth or head and neck area.

If any of these are noticed, it is essential that you tell your dentist or doctor immediately.

The mouth cancer examination

As part of every check-up your dentist is required to carry out a visual examination and check for the early signs of mouth cancer.  Please do talk about the examination with your dentist – they will be more than happy to talk through exactly what they are doing, where they are looking, and what they are searching for.

Here are the six basic areas your dentist will investigate during a normal check-up:

Head and neck

Your dentist will look at your face and neck.  They will judge whether both sides look the same and search for any lumps, bumps or swellings that are only on one side of the face.  Your dentist will also feel and press along the sides and front of your neck – they are looking for any tenderness or lumps to the touch.

Lips

Your dentist will pull down your lower lip and look inside for any sores or change in colour.  Next, they will use their thumb and forefinger to feel the lip for lumps, bumps or changes in texture.  This will then be repeated on the upper lip.

Cheek

The dentists will use their finger to pull out your cheek so that they can see inside.  They will look for red, white or dark patches.  They will then place their index finger inside your cheek, with their thumb on the outside.  They will then gently squeeze and roll the cheek to check for any lumps, tenderness or ulcers, repeating this action on the other cheek.

Roof of the mouth

With your head tilted back and mouth open wide, your dentist will look to see if there are any lumps or if there is any change in colour.  They will run their finger on the roof of your mouth to feel for any lumps.

Tongue

Your dentist will examine your tongue, looking at the surface for any changes in colour or texture.  They might ask you to stick out your tongue or move it from one side to another, again looking for any swelling, change in colour or ulcers.  They will also take a look at the underside of the tongue by placing the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth.

Floor of the mouth

The dentist will look at the floor of the mouth for changes in colour that are different than normal.  They will gently press their finger along the floor of their mouth and underside of your tongue to feel for any lumps, swellings or ulcers.

 

11 Tips To Cut Down on Sugar

2016 September 21
by Liz

Fact! Sugar is bad for our teeth. Of course, this comes as no surprise yet sugar-related dental problems are still the most widespread cause of poor oral health and disease. The message is clear and simple though, reducing the amount of sugar which is in our diets will help to reduce the damage it can cause to our teeth, with the added bonus of improving our waistlines along the way.

But even here at Woodcock Lane Dental Care we are sometimes guilty of straying from our own advice and over indulging on sugar. That is why it is important to be smart on sugar so that it does not catch us out.

With sugar-related dental problems being one of the most common complaints when visiting the dentist, here are some top tips to help with our ever-growing addiction to sugar:

1.Sugar by any other name is still sugar

When we think of sugar we probably picture the white stuff you pop in our tea. But there are many ‘hidden’ sugars in lots of things we would not even think of. Sugar can go by many names and recognising them is the first step to avoiding them. There are too many to list but some to look out for are; sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, molasses, hydrolysed starch and corn syrup.

2.Have a smarter breakfast

A certain celebrity chef recently brought attention to the dangerously high levels of sugar in some breakfast cereals, with some shockingly made up of almost a third of sugar. Switching out for a lower sugar cereal or one with no added sugar, and not adding any yourselves, will have a massive impact on your dental health and your health overall. Filling up at breakfast time is also a great way to avoid those unhealthy snacks throughout the day.

3.Snack happy

It’s 10:30 and we get that urge. It’s a little too far away from lunch and we need something to tide us over. Don’t reach for the biscuit barrel, a handful of nuts will provide that energy boost you need. Remember it’s not only about how much sugar we eat when it comes to your teeth it’s also about how often, so try opting for a sugar free alternative whenever possible.

4.Fat free is not trouble free

Many products are marketed as a ‘healthy alternative’, but those claims on the packaging are only telling part of the story. Often products such as fat free yogurts still contain high levels of sugars in the form of fructose or refined sugar. A good tip is to look out for the traffic light system when we’re doing our shopping.

5.Work out some ground rules

Let’s be honest, we don’t need a sweet dessert every day! By setting a set of simple ground rules we can make some simple lifestyle changes which can have a huge effect. Simple things like, not eating in the hour before you go to bed, avoiding adding sugar to anything and making sure we avoid dessert a few times a week soon adds up.

6.Get fresh

When it comes to our teeth fresh whole foods are best, this all comes down to stickiness. By smashing up a banana and strawberry into a smoothie it releases the sugars which then are able to coat the whole tooth, even in the tiny gaps, eating them whole helps to avoid this problem. And when it comes to stickiness dried fruit is a big no-no, this stuff can get right in those gaps giving the sugar a huge amount of time to cause problems.

7.Set a quota

When it comes to our teeth it’s not only about how much sugar you eat it’s how often you have it. It takes an hour for our mouth to return to a neutral state after eating or drinking and every time we have another mouthful that time starts again. Constant grazing can leave us with a toothless grin so if we do need a sugar fix, keep it to mealtimes and give our mouth a break.

8.Hit the hay early

Being a night owl can spell bed news for our mouth and this is all down to routine. People who stay up late are more likely to skip brushing before bed and with the added midnight snacking this could spell disaster for our teeth. We can’t snack when were asleep so getting an early night can have a wonderful effect.

9.The most important meal of the day

How many of us have skipped breakfast and then yearn for that sugary fix to get us through the day? This comes down again to giving our mouths a break to recover, have a filling and nutritious breakfast is the best way to start your day of right.

10.Drinking like a fish

Alcoholic drinks account for 11% of the UK population’s daily intake of added sugar. Whether it’s that pint of cider, glass of prosecco or even a cheeky G&T the sugar in them can have a huge impact on our oral health. Try to moderate the amount of alcoholic drinks you have and also have some water nearby to help wash down your tipple of choice. It helps wash some of the sugar from the mouth and our head will thankyou the next day too.

11.Keep an eye on your coffee order

Our double chocolaty chip crème frappuccino or tiramisu latte with extra whipped cream from our favourite coffee place may be delicious, and fun to say, but let’s be honest we know its laden with sugar. If we do need a caffeine fix and have a sweet tooth try to keep it to meal times, or we could just stick with an Americano or espresso.

Sugar Free September

2016 August 22
by David

Why go sugar-free?

Sugar – it’s a comforting substance that we treat ourselves to in times of celebration, when we’re feeling in need of a ‘pick-me-up’, or just out of habit. But it doesn’t just stop there – what about the sugars we unwittingly consume on a daily basis that manufacturers sneak into our food and drinks?

Sugar-Free September is an ideal time to really focus on this one ingredient and learn a lot about how it’s added to foods and drinks and what it does to our bodies and teeth. Giving up added sugar for 30 days (and beyond!) can have many benefits to your oral health and overall health:

Reduce the chance of tooth decay

“Every time we have something sugary to eat or drink, bacteria in our mouths feed on this sugar and produce harmful acids, which can cause tooth decay,” advises Henry Clover, Chief Dental Officer at Denplan. “It then takes our saliva around an hour to neutralise these acids and return our mouths to normal. This means the more times a day you expose your teeth to sugar, the more you increase your chances of tooth decay. This is why sugar is always best kept as an occasional treat rather than having a constant presence in your daily diet.”

Why go sugar free?

Giving up processed sugar can have many benefits on your oral health and overall health

As well as reducing your risk of tooth decay, you may also experience weight loss, improved skin and increased energy levels!

You may lose weight

Sugar is calorific and it’s easy to pile the pounds on when you’re unknowingly eating items that have had sugar added to them. It can also lead to unwanted fat storage according to Claire White, author of Sugar Snub and nutritional advisor: “When our stores of glucose in our muscles and liver are full, any extra sugar, particularly fructose, is converted to fat. We can deal with fructose in fruits for example (don’t stop eating fruit!), but food manufacturers have created Fructose Glucose Syrup and filled fizzy drinks, junk food, and many supermarket foods with it.”

More energy

It’s a common misconception that sugar is a good option for keeping you energised throughout the day. Although sugar does provide a boost of energy, its effects are short-lived and can actually make you feel worse. “It takes just 30 minutes to go from a chocolate bar sugar-high to a sugar crash,” advises Claire. Lean protein and good quality carbohydrates such as wholewheat pasta and brown rice are good options for keeping you fueled.

Help your skin

Did you know that sugar has been linked to premature aging? Over-consumption of sugar can weaken collagen and elastin, accelerating the rate at which wrinkles appear. Some people also report they have clearer, less spot-prone skin when they reduce their sugar consumption.

Type 2 diabetes and heart disease

Researchers are increasingly finding links between high sugar diets and conditions such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. We know that high sugar diets increase your chances of weight gain, and being overweight is thought to be a major cause of both Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Reduce your sugar cravings

“Sugar and junk foods can cause massive releases of dopamine in the reward part of the brain,” says Claire. “This, for many people, can become strongly addictive.”

 

 

Importance of Mouth Guards When Playing Contact Sport

2016 April 6
by David

Why a mouth guard?mouth guards

Mouthguards or sportsguards offer unbeatable protection against sporting injuries to the teeth, jaw, neck and brain. They protect (most commonly) from broken and damaged teeth and broken or dislocated jaws. The American Dental Association (ADA) found more than 200,000 oral injuries are prevented each year by wearing a mouth guard.

Put simply, a mouthguard is a plastic horseshoe shaped cover that fits exactly over the teeth and gums, cushioning them and protecting them from damage. Rather like you wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle, you wear your mouthguard whilst playing sports. Custom-made mouthguards can prevent damage to the jaw, neck and even the brain – helping to prevent the concussion and damage caused by a heavy blow.

What type of mouthguard?

Self fit

A self fit is designed for average size mouths that are heated up to mould to better fit the mouth. Opro sells a range of these types of guards. They are better than nothing, but much harder to wear and do not offer the same levels of protection as a custom fit.

Custom fit

A custom fit mouthguard, made from moulds of your mouth, will provide YOU with the best protection. It will also be more slimline and comfortable to wear. It features indentations of the lower teeth on its biting surface so the lower jaw is safely immobilised on impact, preventing reverberation of the brain. A custom-fit mouthguard can also have your name imprinted on it – so it will not be mixed up on the field or in the locker rooms!

A custom mouthguard offer different levels of protection, depending on the sport you will be playing. If your sport does not use a hard stick or ball and where the head is not an intentional target – you can wear a slimmer mouthguard. For example in rugby and judo.

High-impact sports that do use a hard stick or ball – or where the head is a target – need a stronger mouthguard. For example, in hockey, lacrosse, boxing and martial arts. Woodcock Lane Dental Care also makes different types of protective guards should you clench and grind your teeth – and these are designed to be worn whilst you sleep.

What about shop sold mouthguards, aren’t they as good?

No. The “boil and bite” types provide a false sense of protection and make it hard to breathe and talk whilst in place. The recommendation of the British Dental Association, the Rugby Football Union and the English Hockey Association is that only custom-fit mouthguards should be worn.

What colours and designs do you have?

Your imagination is the limit. The most popular and cheaper designs are single colours but you can have stripes, favourite team’s colours or even opt to match your own sports strip.

In what sports do you need to wear a mouthguard?

Football, wrestling, soccer, basketball, american football, boxing, rugby, hockey, lacrosse, skateboarding and martial arts to name the most common.

Can I wear a mouthguard if I have braces?

Yes, we have two types available which can be purchased over the counter at Woodcock Lane Dental Care. One is a solid item which can be worn throughout orthodontic treatment. The other product can be remoulded to a certain extent to accommodate the changes in teeth position.  They will not only protect the teeth but also prevent the inside of the lips and cheeks from becoming cut by the wires of the brace in the event of an impact to the face.

How to look after a mouthguard?

You should clean your mouthguard with cool water after each use. Once a week, you should give your guard a more thorough cleaning with a toothbrush and soap ( not toothpaste as this can damage and discolour the guard). Dry the mouth guard thoroughly before placing it in its container. You could use special cleansing tablets, which are available here at our practice in Woodcock Lane. Most importantly, do not machine wash or place your mouthguard in the dishwasher. At all times, it should be at all times in your protective carrying case or your mouth.

How long does a mouthguard last?

This varies according to many factors, e.g. growth, usage etc. If you are a growing child, new teeth will come through meaning you would require a new mouthguard around once a year. Although the teeth and bones may be growing, the mouthguards are flexible, and can accommodate some movement. Older children and adults may not grow, but the mouthguard will wear down with use and should be checked annually by your dentist.

For advice on the most appropriate sports mouthguard for you see one of our dentists at Woodcock Lane Dental Care. Call 01453 828327 to arrange an appointment.

Why Should I Visit My Dentist Regularly?

2016 January 13
by David

Modern dentistry is all about keeping your teeth tip top by preventing issues from gaining a foothold, rather than the Dark Ages when you only went to see a dentist if a problem had become so serious you were almost climbing the walls in pain and needed teeth removed. While Woodcock Lane Dental Care offers convenient emergency dentist services at our Stonehouse practice and a number of solutions like dental implants to restore your smile after you’ve damaged or lost teeth, we certainly don’t want to see our patients in such dire straits if it can all too easily be avoided!

Why It’s So Important to Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Your regular dentist check-up and hygienist clean is vitally important for these reasons:
• Your dentist is trained to spot a range of oral issues, from cavities needing filling before major work is needed, to checking for mouth cancer and monitoring your gum health (infected gums cause a host of health problems in addition to eventually losing their ability to hold your teeth firmly in place, and once they recede they cannot be restored to normal again).
• Your hygienist is also essential because they effectively remove plaque (the harmful bacteria that is generated daily) from places your toothbrush can’t reach. What’s more, plaque hardens into stubborn tartar if left to its own devices, and this needs to be scraped away using a special tool. The process is called scaling and it’s a must if you want healthy teeth into your old age.
Why You May Need to See Your Dentist More Often 
It’s important to bear in mind that each person is unique. The frequency of your recall depends on:
• Genetics
• Diet
• Amount of dental work already in your mouth
• Your level of oral hygiene
You may be used to sailing through your dental check-up and hygienist clean twice a year, but circumstances can change and you may be in need of more frequent visits without realising it.
If you tick any of the following boxes, you run the risk of oral health issues cropping up so you’ll want to visit your dental practice more often to keep your teeth and gums in good health. Let your dentist know if any of these criteria apply to you so they can be extra vigilant and prescribe a treatment program to make sure things don’t get out of hand:
• I smoke;
• I have a family history of gum weakness or disease;
• I’m diabetic;
• I have a sweet tooth and eat lots of sugary foods;
• I’m pregnant;
• I’m on medication that gives me a dry mouth;
• I tend to have a weak immune system;
• My teeth are prone to getting cavities or plaque build-up;
• I don’t have time to brush my teeth thoroughly twice a day for at least two minutes.
Also bear in mind that as we get older our bodies become less robust, meaning we’re not as easily able to fight off harmful bacteria (plaque) and keep infection at bay.

Conclusion
Because we’re each unique and have changing circumstances, it’s important that you never miss your regular check-up – this will allow your dentist and hygienist to flag any issues and prescribe more frequent treatments if needed to nip problems in the bud. And if you fit any of the above risk scenarios, it’s even more important to visit your dentist more often so we can keep you safeguarded.

How to tackle sensitive teeth pain

2015 November 24
by David


Whether you have a slightly sensitive tooth or an entire area that makes you go “ouch” every time you eat something cold, acidic or sweet, this guide is here to tell you there’s no need to put up with it. Woodcock Lane Dental Care is going to explain the causes and treatments available to help you stamp out sensitive teeth pain.

What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

These are the main reasons for that vexing tooth tenderness many of us suffer:

  • Dental Procedures – it’s natural to have teeth sensitivity following procedures such as a crown placement, tooth extraction or even an in-depth clean from the hygienist. If however the sensitivity persists, it’s important you have a check-up with your dentist in case you have an infection of some sort or a chipped/cracked tooth you’re not aware of.
  • Teeth Grinding – a common habit, grinding teeth is often something people do while sleeping which makes it tricky to tackle. This grinding action can wear out the outer layer of your teeth called enamel, thus exposing the dentin, which contains the hollow canals that lead to the nerve network in your mouth. Ouch.
  • Filling Deterioration – over time fillings can weaken and fracture around the edges, leaving tiny crevices that invite enamel damage and acid build-up.
  • Gum Disease – this condition causes receding gums, which leave your teeth nerves exposed. Since gums that have receded significantly cannot return to normal again, it’s vital to have regular check-ups so your dentist and hygienist can nip the problem in the bud.
  • Sketchy Dental Hygiene – if you don’t floss daily as well as brush your teeth in the morning and at night right before you go to sleep, plaque builds up which causes both gum disease and enamel damage. Both of these issues, if left unchecked, will leave your teeth nerves exposed.
  • Overdoing Brushing – if you go at your teeth with the same gusto as you clean an oven, or use a toothbrush that has overly hard bristles, this can damage the protective enamel covering your teeth. Hence the tenderness when you eat or drink.
  • Frequently Eating Acidic Foods – highly acidic foods like most fruits (especially ones like lemon, grapefruit and kiwi) also damage your protective enamel, leaving your nerves exposed.
  • Tooth Whitening Products – some people are more sensitive than others to the chemical bleach in many whitening products, while people who already have exposed nerves will experience even higher levels of discomfort. Some whitening products are very acidic which dissolves your teeth making them more sensitive.
  • Mouthwashes that Contain Alcohol – those with exposed nerves will find over-the-counter mouth washes that have alcohol and other aggressive chemicals as ingredients aggravating to their sensitivity condition.

Sensitive Teeth – Treatment Solutions

While the main point is to ensure your dental hygiene is good to prevent the enamel decay that leaves your teeth nerves exposed, these are solutions to more specific causes of sensitivity:

  • Teeth Grinding – the most common and effective solution to this habit is to wear a fitted mouth guard at night while you sleep. There are a number of different types – ask your dentist to help you find a mouth guard that feels comfortable.
  • Filling Deterioration – it’s important to have a check-up regularly so your dentist can replace any fillings that have deteriorated.
  • Gum Disease – this condition is more common that most people might think. Your dentist can place a sealing liquid on the areas of your teeth where major damage has occurred to stop the tooth sensitivity, and if the condition is advanced they will refer you to a periodontist (gum specialist).
  • Overdoing Brushing – make sure to be thorough yet gentle when brushing twice a day, and if in doubt about whether your toothbrush bristles are too hard, ask your dentist or hygienist.
  • Frequently Eating Acidic Foods – it’s important to rinse your mouth with water after eating fruit and other acidic foods so the acid doesn’t go to town on the protective enamel that coats your teeth.
  • Mouthwashes that Contain Alcohol – buy alcohol-free products. Neutral fluoride rinses are even better because they help to repair enamel damage.

Conclusion

While Sensodyne is the market leader in toothpaste for sensitive teeth there are lots of toothpastes for sensitive teeth that can be bought over the counter, if you suffer from this condition your dentist can prescribe an even better fix – high volume fluoride toothpaste which helps to repair damaged enamel. The main thing to remember however is this: don’t simply put up with sensitive teeth pain – make sure you visit your dentist if the problem persists because not only is it treatable, it could be a symptom of a more serious dental problem.

21 Things You Need to Know About Mouth Cancer Which Could Save Someone’s Life

2015 November 2
by David

mouthawareIt’s November and at Woodcock Lane Dental Care we are pleased to be supporting  Mouth Cancer Action Month, a campaign dedicated to raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer and promoting the importance of early detection in ultimately saving lives. Organised by the British Dental Health Foundation, Mouth Cancer Action Month is your chance to make a difference. By knowing the facts around mouth cancer we will have the ability to stop this disease in its tracks. We have put together 21 facts you really need to know and may shock you about mouth cancer, how many do you know?

  1. In the UK, one person is told they have mouth cancer every 77 minutes.
  2. This is almost 7 thousand people every year.
  3. Mouth cancer claims more lives than testicular and cervical cancer combined.
  4. Mouth cancer takes more lives every year than road traffic accidents on Britain’s roads.
  5. Mouth cancer is diagnosed in more than twice as many men than women but there are more cases in women than ever before.
  6. Shockingly, one in ten have never heard of mouth cancer.
  7. Cases of mouth cancer have increased by a third in the last decade alone.
  8. Survival rates based on a late diagnosis are as little as 50% but chances of survival drastically increase with an early diagnosis to 90%.
  9. Scotland has more cases per capita than in England, Northern Ireland or Wales.
  10. Mouth cancer is one of very few cancers which incidences are actually predicted to increase in the future.
  11. Smoking is the leading cause of mouth cancer.
  12. But HPV is predicted to overtake it as the leading cause of mouth cancer in the next decade.
  13. HPV is predominantly transmitted through oral sex.
  14. Extending the HPV vaccine to include boys of a school age could save thousands of lives.
  15. Excessive use of alcohol is linked to more than a third of mouth cancer cases in men and a fifth in women.
  16. Heavy drinkers and smokers are up to 35 times more at risk.
  17. Mouth cancer can often be spotted in its early stages by your dentist during a thorough mouth examination.
  18. As part of every check-up a dentist is required to carry out a visual examination to look for the early signs of mouth cancer.
  19. Mouth cancer can affect anyone.
  20. Signs and symptoms of mouth cancer include: ulcers which do not heal within three weeks, red or white patches and any unusual lumps or swellings.
  21. If in doubt get checked out by your dentist or doctor as soon as possible.

With your help Mouth Cancer Action Month is the perfect opportunity to fight back against mouth cancer, we want everyone to be Mouthaware and be on the lookout for the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer.

Share these facts to spread awareness of mouth cancer to everyone and ensure we are all together in combating mouth cancer.