Children’s Oral Health Care When Off School

This extended break could lead to younger children falling out of their usual routine.

Children showing great teethDuring the current Coronavirus/Covid-19  situation, many of us will have our children at home for longer than we originally anticipated.

Although there is a possibility that schools may go back before the summer holidays begin, this seems increasingly unlikely.

It can be difficult for parents to keep their children entertained at home and sometimes we have to get creative, and the same applies when it comes to encouraging them to continue to look after their teeth when they are out of their usual routine.

Blue Sky Dental believes that it is important that our Chelmsford patients take time and care to make sure that their children look after their teeth well during this difficult time. Below we offer a few simple suggestions to help you to help them keep their teeth and gums healthy.

Don’t overindulge their sweet tooth

Nearly all kids enjoy eating sweets. This is likely to be even more the case when they are bored of sitting around, unable to play with their friends. Although it is important that we look after our children’s mental well being at this time, perhaps allowing more leeway than usual, it is still important that we don’t allow them to over indulge.

By all means, let them have occassional treats, but do take care to restrict the amount of sugary foods that they eat. You might think that you are helping them to get through the boredom, but sugar has no sympathy and will cause tooth decay at this time, as at any other.

If they are getting bored, try to come up with some creative ideas, based on what you know they like, whether that be mermaids or dragons. Colouring competitions or ‘dress up’ can be fun, and you can join in too. Perhaps use sweets as a reward for these activities rather than allow them to dip into the sweet jar as they wish.

Make sure they clean their teeth

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Coronavirus And Your Dental Appointments

Current advice from Blue Sky Dental in Chelmsford.

Blue Sky Dental in ChelmsfordThe spread of the Coronavirus has reached a point where few of us can be unaware of it. It may not have reached the level in the UK that it has in some other countries but this could well change in the near future. Patients should listen to advice given by experts, such as washing your hands well for 20 seconds, but it can also be difficult to avoid the more sensationalist and even false news as well.

It is understandable that some of our Chelmsford patients will be concerned about the virus in general, and may be particularly concerned about both catching and spreading it if they go to see their dentist. This is understandable, but as things currently stand, we believe that there is no reason to cancel your appointment unless you believe you may have been infected or unless the Government advises. In today’s blog, we look at some of the dental related issues around the Coronavirus.

Cross infection Control

Cross infection is always a small risk when you receive dental treatment but great care is taken to keep this to an absolute minimum. Dentists will always wear face masks and protective gloves whilst performing any procedure, including check ups. Both of these are used for one time only and then carefully disposed of.

All multi-use equipment is thoroughly sterilised after being used on each patient and any viruses that linger will be killed during the process.

Our dental practice is always thoroughly deep cleaned and although we always do make sure this is done well, the Coronavirus has obviously highlighted the need to do this extremely thoroughly.

It is not just the surgeries which are cleaned. The waiting room and all other areas are kept clean as well, minimising the risk of infections being passed on when you visit our Chelmsford practice.

How real are the risks?

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Do You Have A Complex Dental Problem? If So, We Can Help

Blue Sky Dental practice provides specialist dental care for those difficult to treat oral health problems.

Dental Specialist in Chelmsford, EssexThe vast majority of our patients will go through life with a few, hopefully none too serious dental issues that can be resolved by a dentist who has undergone the necessary training to be allowed to legally practice general dentistry in the UK.

Unfortunately, this won’t be the case for everyone and some of us will need treatments that are more complex and which may not be able to be performed by their current dentist.

If you live in Chelmsford or indeed, in Essex generally, our specialist dental service will enable you to receive the necessary treatment with a dentist who has undergone the additional training that allows them to perform treatments that are outside the scope of general dentistry.

The following are some of the specialist services that we offer at our Chelmsford dental practice.

Oral surgery

An oral surgeon is a highly trained specialist who can treat not only the teeth and gums, but also other areas of the mouth including the soft tissues of the neck and jaw. This is especially useful for anyone who has undergone significant facial trauma such as in a car accident. They are also able to remove wisdom teeth, especially where the circumstances are more complex. To qualify to be an oral surgeon requires three additional years of training so you can be sure that you will be in safe hands.

Prosthodontics

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The Use Of Bonding In Dentistry

This composite material has many uses, both practical and cosmetic.

white teeth and dental mirrorOver time, dentistry has become more sophisticated. From invisible braces, dental implants that replace the root as well as the crown part of the tooth, and computerised technology that speeds up processes whilst also providing a greater degree of accuracy and reliability, it is safe to say that things have changed for the better in the world of dental care.

It is interesting though that some forms of dental care have changed little over time and are relatively ‘basic’ in their application. They can still have a useful role to play though and one that is often used at our handy Chelmsford dental surgery is a case in point, and that is bonding.

What is bonding?

Also sometimes referred to as ‘cosmetic bonding’ as it is often used for this particular purpose; dental bonding is a composite resin that, as the name suggests, bonds, or sticks, to surfaces like the teeth. It requires no invasive treatment to apply it in most cases and offers a quick and relatively straightforward way to a number of problems.

What can it be used for?

Bonding is often used to cosmetically improve the appearance of teeth. It can be used to ‘fill in’ those tiny chips and cracks that can appear over time through wear and tear but that are not deep enough to cause any structural problems for the tooth. The bonding can be made in a shade to match the natural tooth and this helps to make it blend in well. This is especially beneficial when it is used to improve the colour of a tooth so that it matches those around it.

Dental bonding can be used to close small gaps between the front teeth (diastema) in some situations and also, potentially, to reshape or lengthen the appearance of a tooth. It can also be used for smaller fillings of the tooth so that they can barely be seen. Finally, where the gums have receded, it can be applied to protect the now exposed part of the tooth which would otherwise be potentially more vulnerable to decay and sensitivity.

How effective is it?

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Can Dental Braces Really Be Invisible?

New style orthodontics allow patients much more discreet wearing.

Invisalign braceAs part of having an attractive smile, straight and even teeth are essential. Teeth can be made whiter through the use of cosmetic dentistry, but if they are uneven, having them whitened will only serve to highlight this fact. For many years, the procedure for straightening teeth was a highly visible one in the form of metallic dental braces. Thankfully, this no longer has to be the case.

There are now a number of orthodontics available which offer a way of straightening your teeth without people really noticing. Systems such as Invisalign and Damon Clear manage to achieve this and are sometimes referred to as ‘invisible braces’. In today’s Blue Sky Dental blog, we will take a look at this recent dental phenomenon.

Old style braces – a deterrence?

Before we move on to modern braces, it is worth asking why older type braces are no longer the most rounded solution for straightening uneven teeth. The truth is that these braces do work well and achieve their aims, but they aren’t without problems and their high visibility for our Chelmsford patients is just one of them.

Having to wear very visible braces certainly deters some people from having their teeth straightened, simply because of their appearance. Traditional braces such as these can sometimes cause issues with the patient’s oral health as well.  The wires and brackets that are used can make cleaning of the teeth more difficult, whilst at the same time making it easier for food and bacteria to collect. A combination of these factors can mean that decay is more likely if you wear dental braces of this type. Modern clear braces can help to avoid this problem as we shall see shortly.

Invisible braces

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‘Deep Cleaning’ – What Is It And How Can It Be Avoided?

Our Chelmsford periodontist explains what a deep clean, or ‘root planing’ is and how to avoid it.

Dr Edward Sammut - Specialist DentistOver the years that we have been posting our blogs, we have tried to instil in our Chelmsford patients the importance of looking after not only our teeth, but our gums too. Gum diseases are responsible for a significant amount of tooth loss; the tragedy being that it is, by and large, fairly straightforward to avoid.

Gum disease is caused by a buildup of bacteria that attacks the gum tissue. It can also cause further damage to the roots of our teeth and the surrounding bone material. As our teeth rely on healthy jawbone tissue to hold them in position, where this is compromised, teeth can become loose and even fall out.

At Blue Sky Dental, whilst we do encourage patients to take care to avoid this happening, there are ways that we can treat or manage it when it does occur.

Hygienist appointments

In addition to good home cleaning with regular brushing and flossing, patients should also see a dental hygienist every six months. This enables us to offer advice on better ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy, based upon what we detect when your teeth are examined. The scale and polish procedure provided by the hygienist is also an important step in gum disease control and management. It removes hardened bacteria and mineral deposits from the teeth and gum line by breaking it up with a sonic tool before a high speed brush is used to remove the rest of it.

For those in a higher risk group such as diabetics or heavy smokers, we recommend that more frequent cleaning is undertaken, usually around every three or four months.

For those who don’t see a hygienist, and especially where poor home oral care is present, there is a real risk that what may otherwise be a relatively mild, and treatable, case of gingivitis can result in periodontitis, a more advanced form of the problem that is more difficult to treat.

Treating periodontitis

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2020 – A New Year, A New Smile

Mark the start of this new decade with a smile makeover at Blue Sky Dental!

Great smileFirst of all, we would like to wish all of our Chelmsford patients a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. We hope that you are rested and ready for the year ahead following the Christmas break.

As always, in addition to offering first class oral care to all of our patients, we will be continuing to blog about dental issues that will hopefully help you to have a healthy and better looking smile for this year and those that will follow.

As the new year often signals a new start for many people, we thought that we would start 2020 with a look at a few options that you may wish to consider to give your smile a boost for the coming months.

See the hygienist

This might not seem the most obvious place to start when looking at ways to improve the way that your teeth look, but there are a couple of good reasons why this is an important place to start.

First of all, the most important aspect of your teeth and gums is their health. If you have tooth decay or gum disease, there is no point in having a cosmetic dental procedure. White teeth that are decaying or a dental implant placed into infected gum tissue is both a waste of time and money. We will always make sure that your mouth is healthy before we carry out a cosmetic treatment.

Secondly, seeing the hygienist is a good first step if you want whiter looking teeth. Whilst it can’t change the appearance of teeth that are yellow due to discolouration of the inner part of the tooth, the scale and polish procedure carried out by the hygienist will remove a great deal of surface staining whilst also removing hardened bacteria from the teeth and gums. This is a great and very affordable way of giving your mouth a real boost, both from a health point of view and an aesthetic one.

Teeth whitening

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Taking Care Of Your Teeth Over The Christmas Holidays

Oral care is important all year round, but this time of the year can pose some special challenges!

Woman at the dentistPerhaps the forthcoming election has distracted us a little, but it won’t be long before most of us will be looking forward to Christmas as a break from work and time spent with friends and family becomes even closer.

At this time of the year, most of us let our hair down a little, with diets and exercise regimes often going out of the window, even if only for a week or two. We all deserve this of course, but some things that we might let slip could have longer term implications. This is the case if we don’t look after our teeth over the holidays, for example.

In today’s Blue Sky Dental blog, we will take a look at some of the potential pitfalls of this time of the year and how you can make sure that you come out the other side with your teeth and gums in good health.

Watch the sugar

Christmas is a time of excess, and one of the things that most of us consume in this way is sugar. Whether it be in the festive puddings or the boxes of chocolates that end up in our Christmas stockings, most of us will probably double (or more) our intake of sugar at this time of year.

We are realistic enough to know that this may not change, but we would encourage our Chelmsford patients to at least try to minimise any increase in your sugar intake. Instead of reaching for chocolates as we watch TV, try to have alternatives available. Nuts, crispy vegetable dips and small pieces of cheese make for much tooth friendlier snacks.

Smoking

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Oil Pulling, Chewing Gum And Other Dental Ideas

Brushing and flossing are essential for healthy teeth and gums. Some people, though, may look to other methods, but do they work?

Blue Sky Dental in ChelmsfordSometimes it seems that no matter how much we, at Blue Sky Dental,  try to convince people that they need to look after their teeth by the simple methods of brushing, flossing and seeing a dentist and hygienist regularly, a few people always seem tempted to continue to look elsewhere for further, and often alternative, advice. Much of this advice comes via the internet and whilst we would once have had to actually search for this information, much of it now comes directly to us from social media, whether that be through friends sharing or promotions from celebrity influencers.

Because there is so much of this type of information now widely available, we thought that we would take a look at some of the more popular ones, from the good to the potentially harmful.

Oil pulling

Although this does seem to have taken something of a back seat more recently, it still has its adherents. Coconut oil is often, although not exclusively used. The practice stems from an Indian folk tradition and was widely believed to have benefits for your teeth and gums.

The theory is that by ‘swishing’ the oil around the mouth for usually between five and twenty minutes, it will not only pull pieces of food that have become trapped between the teeth, and on the gums, but bacteria too.

Whilst this practice may offer some benefits, it is probably no more so than if you swilled water around the mouth for a similar amount of time. There are also potential drawbacks too. A mouthful of oil can taste quite unpleasant, and especially if you accidentally swallow some, you may feel sick. Dehydration, sore jaw muscles and excessive thirst are also not uncommon in people that practise this method.

Chewing gum

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Comfort Eating And Other Dental Health Pitfalls Of Colder Weather

Advice for our Chelmsford patients regarding the winter months ahead

Wondering about tooth careIt probably doesn’t seem that long ago when we were warning you about the risks to your teeth of summer does it? The cold drinks and ice creams potentially damaging our teeth were discussed in this blog but those days probably seem a long time ago now, especially with the recent heavy rain that the country has experienced.

The colder winter months are certainly here to stay for a while, and though ice creams may be well down the agenda, there are still plenty of things to watch out for if we want to keep our teeth strong and healthy during winter.

Take care with what you eat

Especially if we spend a large amount of our time outdoors, our bodies require energy to keep us warm. Although we can reduce the energy intake during the warmer months, eating salads and light meals, when the colder weather comes, we tend to reach for those which provide more energy.

These high energy meals don’t have to be harmful for our teeth, with stews and hearty soups being a good example. Especially where we are time poor though, we are very likely to go for convenience foods that are quick and easy and require just a few minutes in the microwave.

Although the quality of the food may vary from product to product, if you take a look at the labels, you will find that most of them contain sugar, and often in relatively high quantities. These ‘hidden’ sugars are just as bad for your teeth (and your weight) as the sugar that you see if you put it in your tea or coffee. Whilst making your own meals is best, if you really don’t have the time, make sure to check the labels and choose the meals that are lowest in sugar.

Cakes and biscuits

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