Congratulations to Sarah Buckley: her dedication to dentistry has resulted in passing her Masters with Distinction.
Sarah started working on her Masters nearly 3 years ago when she joined our team. Since then she has worked tirelessly, taking only a very short break to get married! As well as doing her own studies she also took time to supervise and mentor Jackie and Josie through their Sedation Dental Nursing course and exam. Her on-going support of Bethanie, who is currently doing her Apprenticeship Dental Nursing course, is also greatly appreciated. Sarah doesn’t limit her dentistry to just working hours either – she is also a very active member of the Bristol branch of the British Dental Association and organises and attends evening lectures.
Lastly, but by no means least, grateful thanks must go to all our patients, especially those who gave their consent for Sarah to use their anonymised details for her case studies.
Well done Sarah, we are all very proud of you.
Recently some members of our dental team attended a lecture by Dr Gaston King, a specialist in periodontics (looking after the health of gums and areas of the mouth supporting the teeth). He was passionate about following new guidance from the British Periodontal Society about how to classify gum/periodontal disease and formulating treatment plans to manage or improve patients’ gum health.
Hygienists are a vital part of his and our teams and it is clear that hygienists can provide much more care for patients than a “simple clean” or a scale and polish.
Our dentists and hygienists are keen to keep to up to date with this modern approach so if you have some form of gum disease (gingivitis or periodontal disease, to use the technical terminology) you may notice that we are spending more time monitoring and recording your gum health and the hygienists may require longer appointments, not just to do some scaling, but also to provide advice and support in the management of your gum disease.
If you have any concerns about the health of your gums (and the supporting jaw bone) please do not hesitate to ask any of our dentists or hygienists for advice.
Courtesy of Colgate, we are very pleased to announce that we are able to recycle your old plastic toothbrush and other oral care products and packaging.
Just drop your old toothbrush, toothpaste tube and packaging into the recycling box located in our porch. When this box is full Colgate will arrange for everything to be recycled.
Don’t forget – you may wish to replace your old plastic toothbrush with one of our bamboo toothbrushes.
It’s very exciting here at Woodcock Lane Dental Care. After many years of it being talked about the long awaited extension is finally happening.
The extension will allow us to have a toilet on the ground floor, suitable for our less able patients, as well as some more admin space. The first floor will accommodate 2 more surgeries and sterilising facilities as well as another waiting area.
The work is expected to be finished in Spring 2019 and we are looking forward to using our new facilities. In the meantime we apologise to all our patients, who may be inconvenienced in the short term, while this work is carried out.
We are very excited to be stocking environmentally friendly dental care products for you to use at home.
The toothbrushes (available in adult and child’s sizes) are made from organically grown “panda-friendly” bamboo, and packed in recycled and recyclable packaging.
At the end of its life the bamboo handle will break down naturally, as opposed to the plastic handle from conventional toothbrushes which take years to de-grade. Bamboo is also naturally anti-microbial.
The floss, made by the same company as the bamboo toothbrushes, is made from biodegradable silk and coated with natural wax, packaged in renewable plant-based plastic.
So, stop eco-worrying and come along and try out our Woobamboo products! Woo!
There is more to dentistry than just teeth. Here, at Woodcock Lane Dental Care, we care about the health of your whole mouth. That is why our latest advice is to always apply sunscreen to your lips when out and about in the sun. This will help to protect you from lip cancer.
Actinic cheilitis, also known as solar chelitis, sailor’ lip or farmer’s lip is a precancerous condition caused by damage to the outer layer of the lip’s skin. The condition itself is not considered a serious health concern, but it does increases the risk of skin cancer. It more commonly affects the lower lip and adult males. The condition may present itself as dry, cracked lips.
Actinic cheilitis may be caused by exposure to strong sunlight or extreme weather. The lip epithelium is less pigmented and also thinner than the outer layer of the facial skin next to it. This makes it far more vulnerable to damage from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Excessive or chronic exposure to ultraviolet radiation found in sunlight, can damage lip cell DNA and cause abnormalities. Actinic cheilitis occurs when these abnormalities cause dry, scaly patches to form on the border of the lip.
The main causes and risk factors of actinic cheilitis are: chronic sun exposure, severe sunburn, oral sex, fair skin, out door jobs, smoking, excessive alcohol and immune disorders.
Our advice to help prevent this is to:
- Avoid excessive or long-term unprotected sun exposure.
- Apply sunscreen to the body and face daily, including lips, even if not spending a long time outside
- Apply lip balms or moisturizers that contain sunscreen, frequently throughout the day, especially when in the sun
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat and light, long-sleeved clothing in the sun
- Stop smoking or chewing tobacco
- Avoid excessive alcohol use
- Avoid tanning beds
- Get prompt, appropriate treatment for human papilloma virus or wart virus
- Keep hydrated, especially when in the sun
If you have any sore patches or ulcers on your lips, mouth, tongue or cheeks that are white and/or red that do not heal with in three weeks please make an appointment to see your dentist for further advice.
Smile – it’s National Smile Month again! With the sunshine now here as well, what better reason do we need to smile?!
Are you looking for ways to refresh your smile? What about visiting one of our lovely hygienists? They can remove staining from your teeth, give them a polish and also advise you how to keep your gums looking pink and healthy. Gums that bleed and look red and puffy aren’t healthy.
How about improving the way you care for your smile at home? We stock a range of well-known brands of oral hygiene aids and better still, we have two oral health advisors who can ensure you have the knowledge to use your products correctly and that you buy the right product for you. From disclosing tablets (which show how well you are cleaning your teeth) to top of the range electric toothbrushes – they are all available from reception – you don’t have to have an appointment or even be one of our patients: just call in!
Perhaps you would like to invest in some cosmetic dentistry? There are so many options available these days, from dental implants to orthodontics (tooth straightening using braces), from fantastic tooth-coloured fillings to laboratory crafted bridges and crowns. Any of our dentists will be pleased to discuss your requirements and help you achieve your desired result.
The team here at Woodcock Lane Dental Care, in Stonehouse, look forward to seeing you soon. In the meantime, enjoy the weather!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.