What Is The Quickest Way To Whiten Your Teeth In Chelmsford?

Taking full advantage of our flexible home teeth whitening treatments.

Teeth whitening before and afterModern life is fast, and many of us want things to happen almost immediately. For some things, this is OK, but when it comes to our teeth, faster is not always better. A good case in point is orthodontic treatment, where a longer, gentle treatment is often the preferred way to avoid damaging the teeth.

When it comes to having whiter looking teeth, it can be tempting to look for shortcuts.

Unfortunately some of the most popular of these are promoted by ‘influencers’ online and may not only be less effective than claimed, but could also cause potential harm to your teeth.

A quick first step

We will come to the various cosmetic teeth whitening options shortly. Before we do that, it is worth mentioning a positive side effect of the ‘scale and polish’ procedure that is carried out by the hygienist at Blue Sky Dental. This non invasive treatment is primarily aimed at gum disease prevention and is something that all of our patients should have on a six monthly basis.

While it is a great procedure for removing hardened tartar from the teeth and gum line, it also has the effect of removing some of the surface staining from your teeth too. The sonic tool that shatters tartar build up, followed by the high speed brush, can remove quite a lot of surface staining and give your teeth an instant whitening boost. Especially if you feel your teeth only need improving a little, this is a great place to start, and one which will also contribute towards a healthy mouth.

As regular readers of our blogs will know though, not all tooth discolouration occurs on the surface, and often stems from a darkening of the dentin layer that lies below the enamel. Where this is the case, no amount of surface brushing will change this and a professional teeth whitening procedure is necessary.

Our home teeth whitening kits

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Some things about being a dentist that you might not have considered!

A lighthearted look at the working life of a dentist.

DentistHave you ever thought about becoming a dentist? You might possibly view us as being people that you would like to avoid as much as possible (in our professional role of course), but have you ever wondered what the life of a dentist is really like and why we do it, and the the things that we notice that you think we don’t?

In today’s blog, we are going to try to give a view of what inspires us to become dentists, how we achieve that and some other little things that we learn along the way.

Why become a dentist?

The reasons why people choose a route into the dental profession are many. This applies with our Blue Sky Dental team in Chelmsford as it almost certainly does at other practices across the country.

Some people may just think ‘money’. It is true that dentistry can offer financial rewards, although there are many sacrifices that have to be made for this as we will see later on.  Some people also continue in a profession that their parents started, sometimes taking over the family business. Others may have experienced significant dental problems themselves when they were younger are are determined to help others have healthier mouths. Although individual reasons do occur, very often it is a combination of factors that lead people to choosing a career in dental care.

Getting into dentistry

Before you can advance to dedicated dental studies, you will need to have some relevant A level qualifications. These are usually in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics and maths. This is only the start. Whilst 4 year courses are available for those with previous qualifications, most people have to attain a bachelor degree following a period of 5 years of intensive studies. This is actually a very popular degree and competition for a place is very high. Once you are qualified, you will then be able to practice general dental care.

Studying doesn’t always stop there though. For some, further studies will need to be undertaken if you wish to, for example, place dental implants. This can take another three years of study due to the complexity of the procedure. There is also ongoing training needed throughout our working lives as new technologies come along and new medical evidence is found.

Working as a dentist

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Edentulism – Full Mouth Tooth Loss

Restoring your mouth when all teeth are missing – Blue Sky Dental in Chelmsford

Implant stabilised arch of teethAlthough the numbers are now declining with the advance of better education surrounding oral care and the advances that have been made in the dental industry, there are still many people who have no natural teeth at all (2.7 million people in the UK in 2009 (reference 1).

Many people have the odd missing tooth and as dentists we would always advise a suitable replacement. However, if we have no teeth at all, we are almost certain to take quick action to replace them, simply in that we need teeth to eat our food effectively.

There are a number of ways that this can be done, and we will look at those later on in this blog. For those of our Chelmsford patients who have not yet reached the stage of life where tooth loss starts to become more of an issue, it is worth looking at some of the main contributing factors so that action can be taken to minimise the risk.

Risk factors for edentulism:

Old age

There’s not much that we can do about this one, but we can make sure that when we eventually arrive at this phase of our life, our oral health is as good as it can be. Focus on avoiding tooth damaging foods, establish a good home cleaning regimen, and make sure to see one of our Blue Sky Dental dentists and hygienists on a regular basis.

Smoking

If you have been a smoker for any length of time, you are at a higher risk of tooth loss than those who haven’t. It is best to stop smoking when you are younger, or better still don’t start, as less damage will hopefully have occurred. It is never too late to stop though and there is now more support and nicotine substitutes available than ever before.

Genetics

Some people are just more naturally susceptible to tooth loss because of their hereditary genes. There is nothing that you can do about this, but looking after your teeth at home and through professional dental care will help to delay any tooth loss.

Accidents and teeth grinding

There are many things that can damage our teeth, from a poor diet to unexpected accidents. Those who suffer from stress may also grind their teeth at night, causing them to weaken and making them more prone to damage, with eventual tooth loss a distinct possibility.

When prevention fails

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Preparing For Oral Cancer Month

It makes sense to start early in taking action that can help to prevent cancer.

November in the UK is Mouth Cancer Action month. It is organised by the Mouth Cancer Foundation and promotes good oral health, putting special focus on promotional material and education around the country.

Far too few people are fully aware of the dangers of this particular type of cancer and may not be taking the preventative action that they need.

Although Blue Sky Dental is fully behind this, and similar campaigns, it is also true that there is no time like the present, and there is no need for our Chelmsford patients to wait until November to start to take the necessary actions.

Oral (mouth) cancer

Although this is not one of the best known types of cancers, it can and does kill a number of people each year. Survivors may also suffer some facial disfigurement and have ongoing problems such as with speech or even with swallowing. It is certainly not an issue that should be ignored.

The good news is that, like many forms of cancer, there is much that we can do ourselves to minimise its risks. This isn’t a guarantee, of course, but it does greatly reduce the chances of it occurring.

Your dental check ups

Before we move on to preventative care, it is important to emphasise the need for you to have a regular dental check up. Yes, this is necessary anyway to detect and treat any early stage tooth decay, but it also enables us to examine the soft tissues of your mouth too.

Although we are not doctors, we are in a good position to monitor your mouth at regular intervals. We may not be able to tell if sore or inflamed patches, lumps in the mouth etc are cancerous, but we can encourage you to see your doctor as soon as possible to have them checked out and perhaps investigated further. If we do recommend that you see your doctor, please don’t panic. It may well be something entirely innocent, but it is important that you do so. If you delay having a problem professionally checked and it does prove to be cancer, you may need to receive more extensive treatment than if you had gone earlier.

Kick out bad habits

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The Growth In Adult Orthodontic Treatment

Mature patients increasingly seeking a straighter and even smile.

In recent years, many dental practices in the UK have seen a growth in the number of patients coming to them for private orthodontic treatment.

Of these, approximately 80% of them are between the ages of 26 to 55. Although most of us probably think of teenagers as being the most likely group to wear dental braces, it seems as though this is no longer the case.

There may be a number of reasons for this increase, and we will look at this shortly. It is probably no coincidence though that having to wear braces no longer means a highly visible metal brace, and the wider range of discrete orthodontic treatments available at Blue Sky Dental means that our local Chelmsford patients can now have an even smile without the embarrassment of a highly visible appliance.

Social media and reality TV

There can be little doubt that some TV programmes such as Love Island, and its related social media content will have had an effect on some in the younger range of adults. The sight of a cast with almost perfect teeth may lead some people to investigate the possibilities of achieving this themselves too. Those that do this and are happy with the results, may also post their new smile of social media, reaching an even wider audience.

The fact that it is not only the females on this particular programme who have great smiles, but the men too, may explain some of the increase in males who ask for this treatment. There was a time, not so long ago, that a man asking to have their teeth straightened for cosmetic purposes would have met some significant derision from their male friends. It seems that this is no longer the case, at least in certain circles, and men are generally more likely to take pride in their appearance as can be seen by the increase in expenditure on male grooming products.

Self confidence

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Why You Should Never Share A Toothbrush

And what to do when you have forgotten yours….

There have been some recent surveys carried out about people’s toothbrush sharing habits. The results showed that around one in four of us would happily share our toothbrush with members of our own family and perhaps close friends too. The highest group for this was younger males under the age of 20.

Under normal circumstances, few of us would share a toothbrush and each family member would have their own brush. There may be times though, when we simply forget to pack ours when we go away for a weekend or to visit relatives. The most obvious thing to do then is to buy a new one to replace it, even if it is just a cheap temporary ‘stop gap’ one.

Where this is not possible, the temptation may be to share a toothbrush with other family members. There are many good reasons why you should not do this as our Chelmsford family dentist explains.

Cross infection

The biggest risk of sharing a toothbrush with anyone is the risk of cross infection. Although saliva contains bacteria, lots of it, both good and bad, it is where blood infections are passed on that it can be particularly serious.

We may know, or at least think we know, the habits of our nearest and dearest which eliminate the most serious of these risks, but anyone can, and most people do at some point, have some degree of periodontal disease. The risk of passing this on is much greater if you share a toothbrush with someone.

Although someone with bleeding gums caused by gingivitis or periodontitis is more likely to pass on this infection, the gums don’t have to be bleeding for this to be a risk. A toothbrush will collect bacteria from within the gum pockets which can then easily be passed to anyone you share your brush with.

It isn’t just bacterial infections either. Viral infections such as colds, flu and even cold sores can be passed on in this way.

Hepatitis and HIV

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Additional Challenges For Your Teeth During The Summer Months

Continuing our blogs on maintaining healthy teeth through the warmer weather.

In our previous blog we looked at what you should do if a dental problem flares up whilst you are on holiday and the bulk of it focussed on what to do when abroad.

With the relatively warm UK temperature in July, and as many hope, into August and beyond, not all of us will take a holiday abroad and possibly stay in the UK instead. Whether you holiday in the UK or not though, you will almost certainly encounter many of the temptations of summer during your daily life.

In today’s blog, we take a look at some summer oral health tips that will help you to avoid the most common problems that can occur during an extended warm weather spell.

Keep brushing and flossing

Whether we attend barbecues late into the evening or just feel exhausted at the end of a hot working day, you should always take time to brush and floss your teeth as well, if not better, than you normally do. It can be tempting to simply give it a miss when we are tired, but especially in warmer weather, this is likely to lead to bacterial infections and tooth decay. A good way to make sure that you are cleaning your teeth and gums as best as you can is to see the hygienist in the Blue Sky Dental clinical team for an update on your cleaning methods.

Hot weather temptations

It is completely understandable that on a hot day, you may be tempted by ice creams and ice cold fizzy drinks, possibly including alcohol. Make sure that you do so in moderation though. Ice creams and the like are very high in sugar and we don’t need to explain how destructive that can be to your teeth. Fizzy drinks are not only full of sugar, but also often highly acidic as well. These factors are likely to lead to enamel erosion.

Hydration

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What To Do When A Dental Problem Flares Up On Holiday

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

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?

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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