Those Snacks Between Meals Could Be Causing You Problems With Oral Health

Why regular small treats outside of mealtimes could cause more trouble than you think

DentistTraditionally, people in the wealthier parts of the world have eaten three main meals; breakfast, dinner and tea, or breakfast, lunch and dinner depending on what part of the UK you are from. This has been the basic eating pattern for a long time, with most of the meals being home cooked. The last twenty or thirty years though has seen a change in eating patterns, with fewer people cooking and relying more on takeaways and microwave meals.

As we have mentioned previously, many of these ready made meals and snacks have a higher level of sugar than you might expect, and certainly more than would be found in most home cooked meals. This isn’t the only problem caused by ready to eat foods though and even the old pattern of eating is changing.

Whilst many of our Chelmsford patients probably do stick to the three meals a day routine, they may also ‘graze’ more, snacking as they go throughout the day. Even if this results in the same quantity  of food being eaten, which it rarely does given the rise in obesity, it can present problems of its own for our overall oral health.

Unhealthy snacks

The first part of the problem is that these additional snacks are rarely healthy and tend to be high in fats and sugars. Whilst the fats can lead to general health issues, sugar can also cause problems such as tooth decay for patients of Blue Sky Dental. Even now, many people attempt to cut down on their sugar consumption by putting less in their tea and coffee but still often ignore the large amounts of sugar in snacks and ‘treats’.  Some of these are fairly obvious, such as chocolate bars and other confectionery, but even savoury snacks will contain sugar, sometimes in quite large amounts. Added together, these can significantly increase the amount of tooth damaging sugar that we consume each day.

Acidity and remineralisation

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Looking After Your New Dental Implant

Dental implants can last for a very long time, but require appropriate aftercare

Dental implant in the jaw boneWe have discussed the pros and cons of dental implants, and the treatment process in previous Blue Sky Dental Blogs. Let us presume then that you have decided to go ahead and have chosen them as your preferred option to replace a missing tooth. Your treatment has been carried out and you are now back home with your new replacement tooth. What should you do from this point on?

What you shouldn’t do, of course, is presume that now you have your new implant, there is no need to take care of it. Although made from artificial materials and therefore unable to decay, there are still serious problems that lie ahead if you don’t look after your new tooth implant. Some of these, such as periodontitis or peri-implantitis may even result in its loss. Any patients of our Chelmsford dental practice then who have had an implant placed, should heed the following advice along with the personalised instructions we will provide for you.

Aftercare immediately following placement

At this stage, your new implant is particularly vulnerable and you will need to take good care to look after it whilst the implant bonds with the bone into which it has been placed. There will most likely also be some initial discomfort and sensitivity around the treatment area, so it pays to go easy on your new implant for a while. The most obvious thing to state here is not to use your implant to eat anything that would mean putting any force on the replacement tooth. Liquid food such as soup is recommended for a short period so that this doesn’t happen. You will also need to keep the area clean. This can’t be initially done using a toothbrush and you should ‘tip’ a warm, but not hot, saline solution around the area several times a day to keep the implant and surrounding gum tissue clean.

Short term aftercare

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Don’t let Easter Excesses Damage Your Oral Health!

Blue Sky Dental’s top oral care tips for the bank holiday weekend

Oral care productsAlthough it may not have the same religious popularity as it once did, Easter is still a time that a lot of us look forward to. It’s the first bank holiday of the year and comes at a time when we hope that the weather will be a little warmer as it appears to be this year.

Although there are always chances of showers in this country, there is little doubt that barbeques and other outdoor events will still be taking place.

Given the events of recent years, and ongoing, it is important that we take time out to enjoy ourselves and relax. This though, will inevitably include things that could be potentially harmful for our oral health. Today, we offer a guide for Chelmsford patients of Blue Sky Dental, to help you avoid the worst of the potential pitfalls.

Alcohol

Perhaps the biggest cause of dental accidents at any holiday or weekend comes from accidents caused by drinking too much alcohol. By all means, enjoy a pint or two but do try to keep your consumption down to a moderate level. Hospitals too will be grateful for a quieter A&E, especially as they are forecasting a busy weekend with Covid cases too. Being too much under the influence of alcohol (or other drugs) can lead to teeth being broken or even knocked out. Remember too that dental practices also close for the long weekend so you are unlikely to be able to see your usual dentist and will be referred elsewhere for urgent treatment.

Alcohol also leads to a drier mouth which in turn, helps bacteria thrive in the dry environment. When this happens, there is a higher risk of gum disease too. Our advice to you would be to moderate your drinking and also drink plenty of water to help stay hydrated.

Easter Eggs

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Tips For Younger Looking And Healthier Skin

Our experienced Chelmsford facial aesthetics team offers useful advice

Great skin and smileMost of the blogs that we post on our website are about dental care and oral health in general.

However, there is another cosmetic service available at Blue Sky Dental which, whilst less well-known, is one that many people find useful when it comes to looking the best that they can. We are, of course, talking about our facial aesthetic treatments that can help you have younger and smoother looking skin.

As with oral care, there are a number of things that you can do yourself to help keep your skin looking healthy and younger with just a few changes to your daily routine. In today’s blog then, we will take a look at some of these as well as taking a brief look at the safe and effective facial aesthetic treatments that we offer at our dental clinic.

Don’t smoke and moderate your alcohol intake

Smoking and drinking alcohol are two of the surest ways to age your skin quickly. Dehydration is a real problem if you partake in these habits. Not only that but the chemicals in cigarette smoke especially will deplete some of the vitamins that are necessary for healthy and glowing skin. Have the occasional drink, by all means, but don’t drink to excess, and don’t smoke at all and seek help to quit if you currently do.

Use sunscreen

Even in the UK there are days when our skin is exposed to the sun for long periods of time. The sun is one of the biggest causes of wrinkled skin as can be seen from the faces of older people who live in warmer climates than ours. Make sure to protect your skin with a high SPF factor sunscreen and remember too, to stay well hydrated.

Drink plenty of water

Whether it is hot or not, our skin and our bodies require sufficient water to function healthily. Don’t make the mistake of drinking soft sugary drinks as these are simply full of empty calories and are also likely to cause enamel erosion to your teeth when drunk in excess. Water is freely available and is the best thing to drink to stay hydrated and to quench your thirst.

Eat more fruit and veg

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Better Dental Hygiene For The Spring

As the warmer weather approaches, now could be a good time to ring the changes in your approach to oral health

Woman brushing teethIt’s been said that humans are largely a creature of habit. Whilst some of us might consider ourselves as more spontaneous, the truth is that nearly all of us live a largely organised life. It is true that we may break this from time to time by doing something out of the blue, but by and large, our daily lives probably follow a similar pattern. Whilst some of this might be down to work demands, it also often applies to those little things that we do on a daily basis such as our morning routine.

We suspect that many of our Chelmsford patient’s mornings go something along the lines of ‘wake up, shower, breakfast, clean teeth, go to work’. This is probably true across the country and whilst there will be variations; perhaps a trip to the gym or a morning run, it is the ‘clean teeth’ part that we, as dentists, wish to focus on today.

Brushing your teeth

We know that whilst some people are quite organised in the morning, others are much less so and are likely to be rushing to get to work on time. There is a concern when this is the case that one of the things that gets rushed is the morning brushing of the teeth. There can be a tendency to think that this is less important than the pre bedtime brushing, but even though we may not have eaten anything since our last brushing, the reality is that bacteria will have built up during the night and formed a fine film over our teeth and on the gums. These bacteria are potentially harmful and can lead to gum disease and even tooth decay if not managed well. It is important therefore that we don’t simply give a cursory brushing or worse still, just swill with mouthwash. Whilst these are better than nothing, they won’t be sufficient to keep your teeth and gums in good health.

A spring refresh

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Teeth Straightening With ‘Invisible’ Braces

Modern orthodontics helping Chelmsford patients to have straight teeth more discreetly

Invisalign braceIf there is one thing that tends to put people off having their teeth straightened, it is the thought of having to wear dental braces. When we think of this, we tend to think of the more traditional style braces that were made from dark coloured materials and were very visible when worn.

Perhaps unsurprisingly then, a large number of people would probably choose not to have these unless their teeth were very crooked. The idea of wearing braces to correct a small problem such as a minor overlapping of the teeth, would almost be out of the question, often leaving an attractive smile spoiled by this small issue.

These days, things have changed. Teeth braces are now available using methods that mean you can wear them but they are barely detectable by those around you. There are even new systems which do away with wires and brackets altogether. You can’t simply pick these off the shelf though as different systems are designed for different purposes, and if you have crooked teeth that you want to have straightened, you will need to have a consultation at Blue Sky Dental to determine which is the most appropriate system for your need.

Transparent tray orthodontics

The newer type of orthodontic can be seen in popular brands such as Invisalign. This is a very popular way of straightening teeth but which is often used where significant correction needs to take place, including the less visible teeth at the side and rear of the mouth. This system doesn’t use wires and brackets but uses a series of transparent trays which fit over your teeth. Each tray is designed to move the teeth a little more than the previous one, with each one being worn for a short while before being replaced with the next in the series.

These trays are custom produced for each individual. This not only ensures that it works to correct your own specific crooked teeth issue, but also helps to make them more comfortable for you to wear. As this type of teeth straightening often takes a year or more, this additional comfort factor is important for a lot of patients.

This type of orthodontic system is also very convenient and helps you to keep your teeth and gums in good health too. Although they are made to be worn for twenty hours or more a day, they are also designed so that you can remove them when you are eating and for cleaning your teeth. This means that you can eat without the problems associated with traditional braces, and also not getting food trapped in them. The fact that you can brush and floss your teeth and gums as usual also means that you should not only have a straighter smile once the treatment is complete, but a healthy set of teeth and gums as well.

Inman aligners

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Gum Disease – Prevention And Treatment

Gingivitis and periodontitis – take them seriously!

PeriodontitisMost of us probably pride ourselves on the fact that we take good care of our teeth, brushing and hopefully flossing on a daily basis. This is a good thing of course, but equally, many of us probably pay much less attention to the health of our gums.

Although we may not suffer the same pain that a sudden toothache can cause when our gums become infected, they can still cause significant discomfort and can even result in tooth loss if care isn’t taken.

The good thing is that gum disease can be prevented with just a little extra care and regular dental visits mean that it can also usually be treated during its earlier stages with a less invasive treatment than the more advanced stage would require.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease occurs when the number of harmful bacteria in our mouth increases. This can be caused by several things. The most obvious of these is poor oral care i.e., failing to brush and floss regularly. Smoking and excess drinking are also likely to increase the risk of this as are some medical conditions such as diabetes. All of these cause a buildup of plaque and tartar on our teeth and eventually cause them to become infected.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of gum disease are varied and indeed, it is possible for you to barely have any at all. This is one of the reasons why we strongly recommend that you have a regular oral hygienist appointment at Blue Sky Dental every six months, or more frequently if you are in a high risk group.

Some symptoms are more likely as the problem becomes more advanced but you should take care to check for any of the following.

  • Painful, tender or inflamed gums
  • Bleeding gums, especially when you brush your teeth
  • Pus between the teeth and gums
  • Halitosis (bad breath)

There are many more but these are some of the most noticeable. If you detect any of these, please contact our Chelmsford based clinic for an appointment to have your gum health assessed.

Preventing gum disease

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Teeth Whitening Or Dental Veneers?

Which procedure to improve your smile? It depends….

Teeth whitening before and afterFor many people, having nice attractive teeth is just as important as having healthy ones. Thankfully, you don’t have to choose, and by seeing our experienced Chelmsford team for regular checkups, we can help you keep your teeth and oral health in the best possible shape. We can also help you to improve your smile with the wide range of cosmetic dentistry that we provide at Blue Sky Dental.

The most common cosmetic issue that local Essex people come to see us about is their dull or discoloured teeth. These can range anywhere from mildly discoloured to heavily stained, meaning that different treatments are often needed for different situations. In today’s blog, we are going to take a look at the two main treatments used to improve teeth like these, and discuss which one you might need.

Teeth whitening procedure

Generally speaking, teeth whitening is preferred where discolouration is mild to moderate. Some light staining can be removed this way and your teeth can also be whitened if they are starting to look dull from your age.

The treatment is entirely non-invasive and can be repeated many times with no harm coming to your teeth. We use a teeth whitening system that allows you to whiten your teeth at home whilst you read or watch TV. You will be given a set of trays in which the whitening ingredient is placed; the trays are then placed over your teeth and worn for a short time each day. You will be given full instructions regarding this and times may vary from person to person depending on your requirements. The trays are made from impressions that we take of your teeth to ensure a comfortable fit and to prevent the whitening ingredient from leaking out.

For those who wish to have the ‘whitest of white’ smile, as seen on many celebrities, we can also offer a ‘top up’ in our dental clinic after you have completed your treatment. Whilst we are sure that you will be delighted with the results from using the trays, for those that want just that little bit extra whiteness, we are happy to help!

Dental veneers

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Dental Implants – Your ‘Root’ To Stronger Replacement Teeth

Dental implants – a superior tooth replacement option

Multiple implantsIt will probably happen to most of us eventually. We can do all that we can to keep our teeth healthy and indeed we should; but even this is no guarantee that we won’t lose a tooth in the end.

Accidental damage can happen at any time and a tooth that has been weakened may fail when we least expect it.

However much we may dread the thought of losing a tooth, especially at the front of the mouth, when it does, we are left with the decision of how to replace it.

Many people in this situation will probably think of dentures. Some people find these perfectly acceptable and there is no doubt that modern dentures are a great improvement on older versions. For some people though, they lack stability and can move around in the mouth when speaking. For others, they can limit what foods they feel comfortable eating. For people who wish to have a stronger and more stable tooth replacement, Blue Sky Dental can offer them an excellent option in dental implants.

Why dental implants?

There are many good reasons why implants generally provide a better option than dentures for replacing missing teeth. It isn’t just the fact that this is a modern procedure, whereas dentures have been around since the 7th Century BC in some form or another. Newer is not always better, but in this case it very often is.

Let us then take a look at some of the advantages that dental implants provide over dentures.

Stability

The key ‘problem’ with dentures is that they sit on top of your gums. Even using denture adhesives may not prevent them moving around, especially when you eat. Not only can this cause problems with eating certain foods, but the continual movement can cause friction on your gums, potentially leaving them sore and uncomfortable. This isn’t a problem with teeth implants as these do not sit on top of the gums but are stabilised by a replacement artificial tooth root (this is the actual titanium part). Before the crown is attached to this new root, it is allowed to fuse with the bone in the jaw in which it has been placed. Providing that you keep your gums healthy, the bonding between the implant and bone means that the crown that will be attached will be held firmly in place, leaving you to eat anything that you would with a healthy natural tooth.

Strength

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Four Great Ways To Improve Your Smile In 2022

Making the most of cosmetic dentistry and our experienced Chelmsford team

lovely white smileThe new year is already here and although it might feel that things haven’t got off to the greatest of starts with the spread of Covid, it is likely that as the weather starts to warm up, a degree of normality will return and we will start to socialise more and plan for holidays. At least we can hope!

With the warmer months just a relatively short while away, in the greater scheme of things, it might be a good time to start planning if you are looking for ways to give your smile the boost it deserves. Our team at Blue Sky Dental is here to help you do just that. With our experience and a wide range of cosmetic dentistry treatments at our disposal, we are confident that we can help you improve your smile!

Let us take a look at some common problems that can spoil a smile and at ways that our dentists can help you improve them.

Missing teeth

There are typically three ways to replace a missing tooth; dentures, a bridge or dental implants. There are pros and cons to all three methods and we will discuss this with you at your initial consultation. We do recommend that you consider teeth implants though as although these do require some minor surgery, they are strong, long lasting and generally trouble free once they have become established. You will need to look after them correctly but they are also easier to keep clean and care for than other options. Despite the higher initial cost for implants, we feel that the benefits that they offer makes this well worthwhile.

Crooked teeth

Quite a few people retain a crooked smile simply because they don’t want to be seen wearing braces. Whilst the visible types are still available, our range of almost invisible teeth braces, means that we can help you have a straighter and more even set of teeth without the embarrassment of the old style ‘train track’ metal braces. There are two main types of invisible braces; those that are designed for purely cosmetic work to correct the front teeth that are more visible when you smile, and those that are designed for more comprehensive orthodontic problems. Some of these are removable for cleaning and eating whilst others, usually those which are for more minor correction and don’t have to be worn for so long, are not. In both cases though, they allow you to have straighter teeth in a much more discreet way, allowing you to go about your daily life without worrying.

Chipped or cracked teeth

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