Happy 2015 from everyone here at Fulham Dental Centre! How are your New Year’s resolutions going? It’s hard to break old habits or make new ones, which is what resolutions are all about. But if we can all just stick to one new habit, let’s choose not to be so hard on ourselves.
Why we’re bad at New Year’s resolutions
Most resolutions fail because they’re just too difficult. Getting fit is a prime example. Vowing to get up early for a five-mile run three times a week seems perfectly do-able from the comfort of your armchair. It’s a totally different story at 6am in the dark with rain thundering down outside.
Be nicer to yourself
So, instead of setting yourself up to fail, try making your goals easier to achieve. If you need to lose weight, try switching to smaller portions rather than cutting out your favourite foods altogether. If you’re out of shape, start small; getting into the habit of regular exercise is more important than the activity or intensity – do something you enjoy.
Most of all, remember you’re only human. We all fall off the wagon when we’re tired, fed up or tempted. The main thing is not to give up, and forgive yourself if you make a mistake. Accepting you’re not going to be perfect will help get back on track when you inevitably slip up.
Easy ways to a healthier you
If you want to be a better you this year, looking after your teeth and gums is a good place to start. Keeping on top of your oral health is good for your whole body, not just your mouth. And, a well cared for smile can make you look younger, more attractive, and more successful.
Here are two easy-to-keep resolutions that will make you healthier and keep you smiling in 2015:
1. Commit to keeping your teeth and gums clean
Brush your teeth twice a day for about two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. If you can do that, you’re well on your way to better dental health. It doesn’t matter if you use a manual or electric toothbrush so long as you cover all the visible surfaces of your teeth. Flossing at least three times a week will take care of the areas of your teeth that you can’t see.
2. Book your 2015 checkups – and stick to them
Get dental problems treated early and even prevent future treatment by getting your teeth checked. A check-up helps keep your mouth healthy and allows your dentist to look for signs of serious problems such as oral cancer.
We hope you find these practical tips useful. Whatever you have planned for 2015, we wish you every success, and look forward to seeing you in the practice soon.
More than 6,700 people in the UK were diagnosed with mouth cancer last year. The disease has increased by a third in the last decade, and remains one of the few cancers predicted to rise in the future. Mouth cancer claims over 2,000 lives every year – more than cervical and testicular cancer combined.
There are factors that increase the chance of developing the disease, but mouth cancer can affect anybody – that’s why raising awareness of this silent killer is so important.
Mouth Cancer Action Month
Throughout November, the British Dental Health Foundation aims to get more mouth cancers diagnosed early. When caught in the early stages, there’s a 90% chance of surviving the disease. But late diagnosis slashes the survival rate to just 50%.
Take action on mouth cancer
Check your teeth and gums when you clean your teeth. If you notice anything unusual, see your dentist. Regular dental checkups are essential. When examining your mouth, your dentist can see problems in their early stages that you can’t see yourself – including mouth cancer.
The key things to remember are:
- Don’t leave a mouth ulcer unattended for more than three weeks
- Don’t ignore an unusual lump, swelling or red and white patches in your mouth
- If in doubt, get it checked out – early detection could save your life
What causes mouth cancer?
Understanding the risk factors that can lead to mouth cancer will help everyone make better choices that can help avoid the disease:
More than half of cases in the UK are linked to a poor diet. Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, especially those rich in rich in vitamins A, C and E, keeps the body body fit and healthy and reduces the risk all cancers, including mouth cancer.
Tobacco and alcohol
Tobacco and alcohol are behind most cases of mouth cancer. If tobacco and alcohol are consumed together the risk is even greater.
Tobacco in all its forms is harmful to health: cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and chewing tobacco with substances such as betel quid, gutkha and paan. If you smoke or are addicted to tobacco products get help from your doctor to stop.
Drinking alcohol to excess is linked to around a third of all cases of mouth cancer. To protect yourself, cut down the amount you drink. Moderate drinking, such as a glass of wine here and there is much safer than consuming a whole bottle in a single evening.
Over-exposure to sunlight increases the risk of cancer of the lips. Use a specialist lipscreen alongside your sunscreen if you’re going to be out in the sun a lot and avoid sunbeds.
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is the major cause of cervical cancer and affects the skin that lines the moist areas of the body. HPV can spread through oral sex, and research now suggests that it could soon rival smoking and drinking as one of the main causes of mouth cancer. Practicing safe sex and limiting the number of partners may reduce the chance of contracting HPV.
Get involved – #bluelipselfie
As part of Mouth Cancer Action Month, the BDA have launched the Blue Lip Selfie campaign. So if you want to support mouth cancer awareness, all you need to do is:
- Wear blue lipstick or a set of blue lips and take a selfie of yourself or alongside family, friends or colleagues
- Share your selfie on your Facebook or Twitter account using the hashtag #bluelipselfie
- Make a donation to the British Dental Health Foundation
If you’re worried about mouth cancer, please call Fulham Dental Centre on 0207 385 6532 or make an appointment.
Judy Murray is best known for being tennis player, Andy Murray’s mum. But the tennis coach recently traded her tracksuit and trainers for sequins and heels when she became a contestant on TV’s Strictly Come Dancing. And, while the spotlight might be on her dance moves, it’s Judy’s stunning new white smile that’s caught everyone’s eye.
Achieving the perfect smile took 15 months and numerous trips to the dentist for Judy, 55. But she’s revealed in the media the results are well worth it. When interviewed by the Radio Times, Judy confessed having cosmetic dentistry, including dental implants, was a big deal. Her teeth, she said, needed a lot of work. On top of that, she had a fear or the dentist and was a nervous patient. But Judy Murray was desperate to fix her teeth and took the plunge.
For some people, it takes being thrust into the spotlight to make us sort out our stained teeth or get that chipped or broken tooth repaired. But why wait when there are so many cosmetic solutions available? A veneer on one or more teeth, crowns – or even discreet removable braces (such as Inman Aligner or Invisalign) – can transform an unhappy smile.
Judy’s dance moves have so far failed to set the dance floor alight, with judges calling her “wooden”. But her week three performance, a Quickstep to ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade’, showed a big improvement and she remains in the contest.
If you’d like to get your smile in shape, please call Fulham Dental Centre in London on 020 7385 6532 for a free consultation.
Teeth whitening is booming in the UK, and with it, the number of whitening products and services available. Type ‘teeth whitening’ into any search engine and you’ll get pages of results. Some of which are companies offering home teeth whitening kits or whitening procedures in salons, and even your own home.
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic treatment. But it’s not like having a manicure or a facial. Just like cosmetic surgery, the only way to guarantee you get appropriate, safe treatment is to see a professional.
What the law says about teeth whitening
In May 2013, the High Court ruled that teeth whitening is the practice of dentistry and should only be carried out by dental professionals, such as:
- Dental hygienists
- Dental therapists
- Clinical dental technicians working to the prescription of a dentist
Teeth whitening by anyone else (e.g. beauticians) is against the law. Hundreds of people complain to The General Dental Council (GDC) about illegal teeth whitening every year. And, where there is enough evidence, the GDC prosecute unregistered practitioners.
The law is there to protect all of us. Having teeth whitened by someone who is not properly trained and regulated means a risk of permanent damage to teeth or gums.
Are home teeth whitening kits safe?
In Europe, it’s illegal for whitening kits to have greater than 0.1% peroxide. This percentage is too low to have much effect on the colour of teeth. Kits from other countries might contain more peroxide. But they can also include harmful ingredients.
Why dentist whitening kits are different
Teeth whitening kits from your dentist are custom made to fit your teeth. This means teeth are uniformly exposed to the bleaching agent and your gums are not. Your dentist will check your teeth are suitable for whitening before you start the treatment. And they will ensure your teeth are clean and free of plaque, so you get the best results.
Is whitening toothpaste okay?
Whitening toothpastes can’t change the colour of your teeth. But they can remove stains and reveal their natural colour. Overall, whitening toothpastes can help improve the appearance of your teeth. And they can help teeth stay white after professional whitening.
It’s best to look out for the approved British Dental Health Foundation logo on the packaging of any oral-care products. The logo shows that an independent panel of experts has scientifically and clinically checked what the product claims to do.
If you’d like to know more about teeth whitening, contact our friendly team at at Fulham Dental Centre for more information.
It’s National Smile Month (May 19 – June 19) and the spotlight is on the UK’s teeth and gums. This massive oral health campaign by the British Dental Foundation aims to get everyone thinking about their oral health. The campaign has 3 key messages:
- Brush your teeth for 2 minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks
- Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend
Brush up your smile
If your smile needs a spring clean, why not visit our hygienists. They can give your teeth a deep clean with a scale and polish. And, importantly, work alongside your dentist to help keep your gums and mouth healthy.
If you need a bit more help to get your smile in tip top condition, we offer a range of treatments to boost your smile confidence. So if missing or chipped teeth make you feel like hiding your smile – or you feel you’d like a whiter smile – get in touch.
Smiling is good for you
Having a healthy smile is not just important for our oral health. Smiling is actually good for loads of other reasons. Smiling has a positive effect on the heart, blood pressure and immune system, for example. And, cracking a smile can make us seem more sociable and successful. A smile can even increase our chances of getting promoted at work. So, top off your smile-tank, with a glance at some of our funny four-legged friends saying “cheese”.
Anybody who has ever had a toothache will testify that it’s one of the worst pains imaginable. When you hear the word ‘tooth pain’ it sounds pretty harmless. It isn’t until you actually experience a toothache that you realise just how unbearable it can be. So what exactly is it and why does it occur?
Understanding tooth pain
Tooth pain can affect the teeth and the jaws and it is considered to be the first sign of tooth decay. It affects people differently. Some will feel constant pain, while for others it will come and go. You may also find that eating or drinking something makes the problem worse. This typically occurs with foods that are either really hot or really cold. Many people also notice the pain is worse at nights than at any other time of day.
You’ll get tooth pain when the dental pulp located in the innermost layer of the tooth is inflamed. Dental pulp basically refers to delicate tissue that contains numerous blood vessels and sensitive nerves. There are many potential causes of inflamed dental pulp and the main ones include:
- Tooth decay
- Damage to the tooth
- Broken or loose fillings
- Periapical abscess
- Receding gums
When you suffer with tooth decay, it causes small cavities in the hard surface of your tooth. You may also have some damage to the tooth, such as a small crack. Often these cracks are extremely tiny and difficult for the naked eye to see.
If you have a bacterial infection, it can cause pus to build up at the end of the tooth. A Periapical abscess can be extremely painful.
Finally receding gums can expose the softer, sensitive roots of a tooth and that can lead to a lot of pain and discomfort.
Other causes of tooth pain
While the majority of tooth pain is caused by a problem with the dental pulp, there are a few other causes that could be to blame. These include:
- Periodontal abscess
- Swollen gums
- Joint injury in the jaw
A collection of pus could form in the gums if you have a bacterial infection. If a tooth is breaking through, you could also experience pain and swelling in the gums surrounding it. Or there could be a problem with the joint in the jaw.
If you are planning on getting away for some sun in the final few months of the year, you may be interested to learn more about some of the facts surrounding holidays and how particular types of holiday can have implications on your oral health.
Beach holidays and trips to hot countries are understandably a very common choice of holiday for British people. These types of holidays are not quite as popular with dentists, however, as the warmer climates often encourage a short but intensive change in dietary habits for the duration of the holiday.
Spending time on such holidays more often than not leads to an increased intake in food and drink products that have a high sugar content and/or are highly acidic. Such products include ice cream, candies, carbonated soft drinks, ciders, red wines, olives and vinaigrettes.
Maintaining a conscious effort to eat healthily whilst on holiday and with the recommended eating routine of three square meals a day will limit the vulnerability of your teeth to attack from sugary and acidic products.
If you would like an assessment of your oral health, or further advice on how to keep your teeth and gums healthy, please do not hesitate to contact us via our website or directly by telephone at the practice.
Teeth are vital to our overall health, helping us to bite and chew food. How much do you know about them?
Babies’ teeth begin to develop before they are born, but in most cases don’t come through until they’re between 6 and 12 months old. Most children have a full set of 20 milk or baby teeth by the time they’re three years old. When they reach five or six, these teeth will start to fall out, making way for adult teeth.
By the age of 12 to 14, most children have lost all their baby teeth and have their adult teeth. There are 32 adult teeth in total, 12 more than in the baby set. The last four of these, called wisdom teeth, usually emerge later than the others, generally between the ages of 17 and 21.
Wisdom teeth removal
If wisdom teeth don’t come through properly, or at all, it may be necessary to have them removed.
What are teeth made of?
The part of the tooth that you can see above the gum is called the crown. This is covered in hard, shiny enamel. Enamel is the hardest substance in the body and protects the more sensitive inner parts of the tooth.
Underneath this is the dentine, a sensitive substance that makes up most of the tooth. Dentine is a hard substance, though not quite as hard as enamel.
Dentine protects the inner part of the tooth, called the pulp. The pulp is where each tooth’s blood supply and nerve endings are found. The blood supply is what keeps the teeth alive and healthy. The nerve endings send messages to the brain, such as whether you’re eating something hot or cold or if you have a decayed or damaged tooth.
The pulp goes all the way into the root of the tooth, which is hidden under your gum. Cementum covers the root of the tooth, and periodontal fibres connect the tooth to the jawbone.
Types of teeth
There are four different types of teeth:
Incisors: These are your four front teeth on the top and bottom jaw. They’re used for cutting and chopping food.
Canine teeth: These are sharp, pointy teeth. You have one on each side of your incisors on your top and bottom jaw, making a total of four. They help to tear food.
Premolars: Next to your canine teeth are your premolars (also called bicuspid teeth). You have eight premolars in total, four on your top jaw and four on the bottom. They are bigger and wider than your incisors and canine teeth, and are used for crushing and grinding food.
Molars: You have eight molars, four on top and four on the bottom. These are your strongest teeth and work with your tongue to help you swallow food, mashing it up until it’s ready to be swallowed safely.
Below are several useful tips that may help ease your concerns about making an appointment to visit the dentist:
Speak to people you know who have had dental treatment. Ask them about how comfortable their dentists made them feel, and how they felt about the treatment they received. Consult as many people as you feel necessarily, and select your dentist from the recommendation you either trust most or were most impressed by. If possible, ask the person who referred you to your new dentist to attend your appointment with you.
Prior to making a firm booking with a dental practice, ask the practice you are thinking about visiting about coming to see them so that they can show you around their premises and introduce you to their team. Explain to them that the reason for this is that you are not feeling very confident about visiting the dentist, and this should prompt them to do everything in their power to make you feel at ease.
Something to remember when you come to book your appointment is to try to book it as early in the day as possible. It sounds simple, but by booking an early morning appointment you will spend less of your day worrying and will be far less anxious by the time you see your dentist.
Essentially, there is genuinely nothing to worry about in terms of your first appointment. Your first trip to the dentist will merely be a consultation, and if any further treatment is required, it will almost be certainly scheduled for a different day. It is highly unlikely that any of the dental treatments you dread will be performed during your initial consultation.
If it is cosmetic dental surgery that you are ultimately interested in, then it would be a good idea to try a less intensive treatment first (such as polishing or teeth whitening) in order to allow you to become accustomed with receiving dental treatment. From here, you may feel more willing to approach the prospect of the treatments you are more interested in which require more work.
If you do require a procedure or treatment that you feel worried or anxious about, then discuss this with us before it commences. Please call us on 0207 385 6532 to make a booking.
There are many misconceptions surrounding how often people believe they need to visit their dentist for a routine check-up, and that is because the frequency at which a person needs to see their dentist is relevant to the individual. For example, a dentist may wish to see a patient again after three months if a problem or condition has been identified, whereas a patient with good oral health may not need another appointment for up to two years.
The main reason that dentists recommend routine check-ups is so that any dental issues or conditions that could conceivably arise are not left untreated and therefore allowed to cause significant harm to your oral health. As with many medical or health conditions, the earlier the point at which they are identified, the more efficiently and effectively they can be dealt with.
A standard dental appointment should involve:
a) A discussion of any problems a patient has been having with the teeth, gums, or mouth.
b) A thorough examination of the teeth, gums, and mouth.
c) A discussion about how general lifestyle and dietary habits may be affecting your oral health.
d) Advice on effective tooth brushing and cleaning, and which methods and products would be best suited to your needs.
e) A clear recommendation on a recall period and how soon you should be soon for your next dental appoint.
If you’re interested in booking a dental check-up or simply have some questions regarding our services, please contact us via our website or call us directly at the practice on 0207 385 6532 and a member of our team will be more than happy to help you.
Why Choose Us?
- Experienced dentist and periodontist specialist
- Member of the British Dental Association’s Good Practice Scheme
- Free no obligation consultation
- 12 months interest-free credit available
- Convienent location Fulham