What To Do When A Dental Problem Flares Up On Holiday

Dr Bhavin Bhuva at Blue Sky Dental

Dr Bhavin Bhuva of Blue Sky Dental offers some advice for patients in this situation.

As the summer is finally here, many of our Chelmsford patients will be flying off to warmer countries for their family holiday. Most will go through their holiday with no dental problems, of course, but they can strike, and when they do can really spoil your holiday.

With your own Chelmsford dentist so far away, what should you do if this happens to you?

There are many permutations of dental issues that could potentially strike, but in today’s blog, we take a look at some of the more common scenarios.

UK holidays

Whatever the dental issue is, if you are on holiday in the UK, you should be able to find a local dentist that will examine you and recommend the best course of action to take. For minor instances of tooth decay, a small filling may be given for example. For more complex issues, they may offer a temporary treatment to relieve your discomfort and recommend that you see your own dentist. In fact, depending on where you are holidaying, it might be worth considering returning to see your own dentist. If you call our receptionist, we will do our best to see you as quickly as we can so that you can return to your holiday afterwards.

Holidays abroad

It can be worrying when you have a toothache or damage a tooth when you are abroad, especially in the more remote parts of the world. In a European country, you should be able to find a dentist to treat you, perhaps with a little help from local people. Where the treatment required is not too significant, this should be relatively straightforward and not a major concern. Where the problem is more complex, or when you are in a less developed country and are reluctant to trust their health system, this does pose problems. A bad toothache or a broken tooth can really spoil a holiday and you may spend the rest of it wishing your time away so that you can be treated.

Whilst prompt professional treatment is usually the best choice, for those who are unable, or unwilling, to access this, there are a few options available to help you get through the rest of your holiday.

Be prepared

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Receding Gums

Dental examination

How to help avoid this common dental problem.

Gum recession is quite a common problem, especially amongst older Chelmsford patients.

It is one of the side effects of growing older, although it can also happen to younger people too if they don’t look after their oral health correctly. Unlike say, our knees, where skin will grow back if we fall and cut or graze them, once our gums have receded, they will not grow back.

There are two key issues with this. Firstly, an aesthetic one. As the gums recede, they expose more of the teeth and can make your teeth look longer than they are. This can have a ‘horses teeth’ effect and is probably where the saying ‘long in the tooth’ comes from, where it applies to older patients.

The second issue can have more serious consequences. As the gums recede, the root of the tooth that is exposed, is less well protected than the enamelled part of the tooth which shows above the gum line. As the root is not protected by enamel, the risk of tooth decay and sensitivity is much higher.

What causes receding gums?

This is a problem that we see at Blue Sky Dental from time-to-time. It has a number of potential causes, some of which can be avoided, whilst others less so. The following are some of the main reasons why people suffer from receding gums.

Ageing

First of all, let us start with three reasons that we have no real control over. Getting older means that things start to change with our bodies. We may pay little attention to our gums amongst the aches and pains and wrinkles that are commonly more pronounced as we get older, but recede they do. All that we can really do at this stage is to take care of our teeth well so that the risk of tooth decay is minimised.

Family genes

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What Causes Rough Tooth Enamel?

Hygienist Samantha Henly

Chelmsford hygienist, Samantha Henly, discusses this relatively common problem.

What happens if you run your tongue along the surface of your teeth? Do you feel a smooth and even surface or one that feels a little rough and ‘grainy’?

If it is the former, then hopefully all is well and the enamel surfaces of your teeth are in good health (although that is not an excuse not to see the dentist!) If you notice that the surface feels rougher though, it is advisable to have this checked out by one of the Blue Sky Dental team.

You might think that it doesn’t really matter if your tooth surface isn’t smooth, but this seemingly trivial thing could be both a warning sign that things are not as they should be and also that you may have already suffered from enamel erosion.

Tartar

One of the reasons for a rough enamel surface is that you may have tartar building up on it. Tartar is a hardened form of plaque which includes some of the potentially damaging bacteria that live in your mouth. The problem with this is not that it doesn’t feel nice to run your tongue over a rough surface, but that this roughness also helps further bacteria and deposits to attach.

As bacteria collect on your teeth, your risk of gum disease and caries grows as the enamel becomes damaged by the acids that they produce. Once the enamel is compromised, the bacteria and acids can enter the inner part of the tooth where the nerves are located. This may well result in toothache and the need for a filling or eventually a root canal procedure.

On another note, this rough surface also makes it much easier for staining to occur than it would on a smooth surface.

Solution to tartar build up

Hopefully, any build up will have been minimised through a good home cleaning regime bu if tartar has formed, it can only be removed by a scale and polish carried out by a dental hygienist. This is a non invasive procedure that will not only give you a smoother tooth surface but will also greatly reduce the likelihood of decay and gum infections caused by the bacteria.

Worn enamel surface

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Playing Sports – Dental Implants And The Alternatives

dental implant in bone

Dentist Dr Hiten Pabari, offers advice on tooth replacement options for those who play sports.

Despite the rise in popularity of games and apps on our phones, many people still take part in sporting activities on a regular basis. By and large, this is good for our health and even if we are not particularly good at our chosen sport, it does give us some exercise and often acts as a social function as well.

From playing football in our younger years, to more leisurely pursuits such as golf or bowls as we get older, participation in sport still seems to be rising.

Dental threats

Each sport not only has its individual skills that are needed, along with different levels of fitness, but also pose different levels of risk. Some, such as fast car racing are obvious, but even less potentially dangerous sports can cause injuries such as broken bones, and, from our perspective, broken and knocked out teeth.

Even though there are different levels of risks, ultimately, it is the participant’s decision whether to protect their teeth or not. Some sports, such as boxing, make it pretty much essential that a mouth guard is worn. Others, such as cricket, have a relatively low risk of damage to the teeth, although it can happen. Football, perhaps the most widely played sport, comes somewhere in between. Whilst most of us may play for many years with no damage to the mouth area, there is always a risk of a ball or a stray elbow coming into contact with our teeth, causing serious damage.

Our Chelmsford dental team are always pleased to offer advice on mouth guards to anyone wishing to have more information about protecting their teeth during sporting activities.

When it come to replacing missing teeth….

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Half Price Orthodontic Assessment

clean teeth brace system

Save £60 at Blue Sky Dental and discover the best way to straighten your teeth.

If you take a look at our special offers page, you will find a number of money saving ways to help have healthier and more attractive teeth. These offers change from time to time and it is well worth popping back to see if we have anything that appeals to you.

In today’s blog, we are going to take a look at one that will appeal to many of our Chelmsford patients who are unhappy with their smile because of crooked teeth. Many patients will know that dental braces are the way to correct this problem, but most will probably only be familiar with the traditional type of dental brace, and be put off having them because they are so visible.

Different types of orthodontics

It is no longer the case that the only orthodontics available are the metallic wire and brackets design. Modern cosmetic dentistry now enables patients to have an even and attractive smile, using orthodontics that are much less visible.

It can be confusing though, as there are a wide range of orthodontics available, and not all are designed to treat the same specific problems. For this reason, it is not possible to pick them ‘off the shelf’, so to speak, and, in order to have the right dental braces for you, an assessment will be necessary.

When you have your assessment at Blue Sky Dental, you will be seen by a specialist in this field. Because of this, you can be sure that the most suitable orthodontics will be used for your teeth straightening treatment.

There are a number of orthodontic systems that we supply at our Chelmsford dental practice. Two of the most popular are Invisalign and the Six Month Smiles. Generally speaking, Invisalign are used where a large number of teeth need straightening, whilst the Six Month Smiles, focuses on the teeth that are visible when you smile and can largely be said to be cosmetic orthodontics. However, there is some cross-over between the approaches.

Your assessment

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Ready For The Summer Season?

Smile makeover

Getting your smile in shape for the sunny months ahead!

Perhaps we are being a little optimistic as a few days of sunshine at Easter does not a summer make. However, given the heat of last year, let’s hope that we will see pleasant weather against this summer. In preparation for this, our Blue Sky Dental patients might wish to use this time to get their smile into shape in order to look their best for the warmer summer months.

We recommend two stages to achieve this, starting with making sure that your teeth and gum are healthy. There is little point in having cosmetic dental treatment if your mouth is in poor health. Once any problems have been treated and any damaged teeth restored, we can then move on to looking at the best way to improve your smile.

Healthy teeth and gums

Hopefully, all of our Chelmsford patients are in the habit of seeing the dentist on a regular basis. If so, then you should be able to move relatively quickly to cosmetic treatment. Not everyone will be this diligent though, and, if you haven’t seen your dentist for a while, now would be a good time to do so. If you need to have any fillings and are aiming to have a nicer smile too, then do mention this to the dentist who will be able to discuss using white fillings instead of the dull coloured amalgam ones that are widely used.

Your general treatment should not end there though, and to make sure that your teeth are as healthy as possible, do make an appointment to see the hygienist. They will provide a thorough clean that is excellent for removing surface staining, along with  hardened bacteria (tartar) that can cause problems such as gum disease.

Stage two – cosmetic dentistry

Having ensured that  your teeth and gums are as healthy as they can be, we can now start to consider how to improve their appearance. There are a wide range of procedures that are available to replace missing teeth (bridges, dental implants and dentures), as well as a number of different orthodontic treatments (Invisalign and Six Month Smiles) for those with crooked smiles. For the purpose of this blog though, we will take a look at some of the ways that we can improve the appearance of your teeth in a shorter space of time and certainly in time for summer around the corner.

Whiter teeth

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Dealing With The Trauma Of Your Child’s First Wobbly Tooth

Children showing great teeth

Helping your young children through this potentially difficult time.

Thankfully, most children can barely, if at all, remember the experience of when their first teeth erupted. This process can be sore and uncomfortable for them but usually happens at an age when they will not be able to recall it happening.

Providing that they look after these first teeth, with the assistance of their parents or guardians, they should last them for a number of years. Eventually though, these teeth will start to become loose and will eventually fall out, making way for their adult teeth.

As grown ups, we are fully aware of the way that this happens, but for a young child, the first time that they discover a loose and wobbly tooth in their mouth, it can be quite worrying or frightening, especially when the tooth is wobbly for some time, making it difficult to eat.

Mum, my tooth is all wobbly!

It will probably come as an unpleasant surprise to a child when they first notice that their tooth is loose. Rather than simply say ‘it’s OK’, this is a good opportunity to sit down with them and let them know what is happening. They will be reassured to know that this is perfectly normal and that there is another tooth just waiting to come through.

Although it may be a little more difficult, children should still be encouraged to brush around this tooth so that the gum remains healthy for when the new tooth erupts.

For some children, their first wobbly tooth eventually falls out whilst they are eating. For others though, it can reach the stage where it is simply hanging on to the gum itself, past a stage where it is useful for eating, and is very often a hindrance. This can be very irritating and distressing for some children, and may require a little assistance to speed up the process.

Put the pliers down!

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Four Top Dental Tips

Woman brushing teeth

Your local dentist offers some timely advice for Chelmsford patients.

Much dental care is simply common sense. Most of us know that whatever we eat, we need to keep our teeth clean, as residual sugars, acids and bacterial build-up will soon start to destroy our teeth if we don’t.

Sometimes though, even simple advice can get lost in the storm of information that we are bombarded with each day of our lives.

Dental care is very important though, and we offer some essential tips for our patients which will hopefully help them to keep their teeth and gums in good health for many years to come.

Clean your teeth well

We don’t want to cover old ground too much on this one, but it is the most essential thing that you can do to keep your teeth healthy. Make sure to brush your teeth both morning and last thing at night for at least 2 minutes using a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Don’t spit afterwards so that the fluoride comes into contact with your teeth for a longer period of time. Also, make sure to use dental floss to clean the areas between your teeth. For further advice on how to improve the way that you do this, we recommend that you arrange an appointment with the hygienist at Blue Sky Dental.

Act quickly if you suspect there is a problem

Few people enjoy having dental treatment and this can lead to some putting off a visit, especially where they suspect there might be a problem. Whilst most people will keep their regular check up appointments, they may defer making an additional one when they have minor discomfort in a tooth or have noticed some inflammation or other relatively ‘minor’ issue.

Although this might be understandable, to do so would be a very bad move. In almost all circumstances, any ‘minor’ dental problems that arise will get worse if they are not treated. Especially if you are a nervous dental patient, it is to your benefit to have any treatment done as soon as possible. A problem such as a small throbbing sensation in a tooth may indicate that decay is present. If you act quickly, this may well be rectified with a simple filling. However, if you leave it for any length of time, the decay will spread and you will need to have a larger filling at best, and possibly even a root canal procedure or extraction. If you suspect anything is wrong, see one of our Chelmsford dental team as soon as you can!

Avoid dental fads

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Choosing The Right Toothbrush For Your Child

child in dentists chair

Our Chelmsford children’s dentist looks at this basic, but important, piece of dental care equipment.

As a parent, there are many things that we have to teach our children, almost from the moment that they are born.

It is widely believed that children learn much about the world around them within the first few years of their life, refining this as they grow up.

Because of this, it is important that we enable them to understand the importance of looking after their teeth from an early age. Some of this is within our immediate control, such as making sure that they don’t eat too many sweets, but some will depend on them learning good habits from their parents.

One essential area which we can teach them as soon as possible, is how to clean their teeth well in the morning and at night. Whilst young children should be supervised until we are sure that they are doing this correctly and efficiently, it is good to encourage them to take the bulk of responsibility as early as is practical.

Baby gums and bacteria

Before we look at buying a toothbrush, parents should be aware that, even before they have any teeth, oral care is important. Whether being breast or bottle fed, bacteria will accumulate on the baby’s gums and these should be cleaned, after feeding, with a clean damp cloth. Once the first set of teeth come through though, it will be necessary to buy a toothbrush for them, in order to keep their teeth clean and healthy.

Below, the children’s dentist at Blue Sky Dental offers some thoughts for parents with children approaching this age.

What toothbrush to buy for young children

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How To Help Our Dental Practice Help You

check in at dental reception

Our Chelmsford dental team offers their advice on patient co-operation.

Dentists and their teams are highly skilled people. Not only have most spent many years at university, studying to enter the profession, but many also go on to do extra years of intense study in order to be able to carry out more complex procedures such as dental implant placement and endodontic care.

Contrary to the opinion of some, we don’t actually enjoy having to perform sometimes uncomfortable procedures, and like a doctor would, we would much rather that patients look after their teeth so that these procedures become almost redundant. Sadly, in this high sugar diet world, the likelihood of that happening is probably a long way off. There are though, many things that patients can do to help us, and in turn, help themselves.

General care

The most obvious thing that you can do is to take responsibility for your own oral health. This is a topic that we have covered previously, but essentially, and briefly, means eating a sensible tooth friendly diet and brushing your teeth effectively twice a day. Also using dental floss at the end of the day for better gum health and making sure that you receive regular professional care at Blue Sky Dental.

In addition to the essentials above, there are a number of things which will enable us to take good care of you when you visit our Chelmsford practice.

Please keep your appointment

We understand that there may be occasions when you need to cancel an appointment for a genuine reason. All we ask are two things. Firstly, do make sure that you re-arrange, preferably at the same time that you cancel. If you intend to do so a little later, there is always a chance that you may forget, or simply not get around to it.

Secondly, if you need to cancel and re-arrange an appointment, please give us a minimum notice of 48 hours wherever this is possible. This will allow us to fill that spot, possibly with someone who is in real pain with a toothache. We know that you would want a fast appointment if you were in this situation, so please be considerate and help others who may be too.

Arrive on time for your appointment

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