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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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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