Choosing The Right Toothbrush For Your Child

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

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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Making Your Dental Visit In Chelmsford A Positive Experience

Helping you to get the best out of your visit to Blue Sky Dental.

Right from the early days of our Chelmsford dental clinic, we have strongly believed in creating the most positive environment for our patients. Whilst having a modern, well-equipped practice, with experienced and highly qualified dentists is our prime concern, we also believe that it is important that we don’t let the ‘little things’ slip in doing so.

We understand that some people don’t look forward to seeing a dentist, with a few positively dreading it. To help with this, and to encourage patients to keep up regular visits to have their oral health checked, we believe it is important to make sure that the environment and service provided by us is first rate, calm and relaxing.

A welcoming smile

We often say that your smile is important to us, and it is. Just as important though, we feel, is the smile that you are greeted with by our reception team. This is most patient’s first point of contact when they come through our front door and we want to make sure that this is a positive experience. All of our reception team are fully trained and made aware of issues such as patient anxiety and how to help as much as they can, within their role.

From a practical viewpoint, we also know how important it is when you bring children to our practice, to process your appointment as quickly as possible so that you can go back to reassuring them. To this end, we have a very efficient system of registering incoming patients which avoids you having to spend too much time filling in forms etc.

We think that you will also find our waiting rooms to be comfortable and welcoming, with facilities such as a TV, magazines and toys for children to distract them. We are always happy to receive feedback on how we can improve this part of the experience for you.

Treatment rooms

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Alzheimer’s – Is Gum Health Associated With This Disease?

Looking after our gums well could help to prevent this degenerative problem.

At Blue Sky Dental, we have long emphasised the importance of good overall oral health care for our Chelmsford patients.

Traditionally, this has been because gum disease is not only unpleasant in itself, but is also known to lead to tooth loss if not treated. More recently, gingival problems such as periodontitis have been linked with a whole host of other health issues, including heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and now, increasingly, with diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

If you have a friend or relative who has Alzheimer’s, you will be all too aware of how awful it can be, both for the sufferer and those around them. Although there is still a long way to go with the research into the possible link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s, it now appears to have reached a stage where a clinical trial on humans is set to take place.

What has been found?

Anyone wishing to read highly detailed information about this latest research can do so on the Science Advances website (1). For most people though, this will be too detailed and we will attempt to sum up the findings here. Samples were taken of brain tissue, spinal fluid and saliva of Alzheimer sufferers, both dead and alive. In these, scientists found bacteria that is present and linked with gum disease. Further tests, on mice, showed that these bacteria could be transferred from the mouth, to the brain. Drugs were then developed which were found to stop the degeneration of the brain tissues in the mice.

Of course, we are not mice, and this does not conclusively prove a link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s; but it is a potentially positive development in the fight against this horrible disease. The next step is to develop a new drug that is suitable for humans and, it is hoped, clinical tests will be carried out on humans with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease later this year. This is the latest in a series of investigations that have shown possible links. The hope is that we are now getting closer to being able to halt the progress of this disease, if not find a ‘cure’ for it.

Your gum health

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Resolving Tooth Sensitivity With Dental Veneers

Painfully sensitive teeth can be a thing of the past using porcelain veneers.

Tooth sensitivity can vary in degree of severity. Some patients may notice only a mild version of this, very occasionally, when they drink really hot or cold drinks.

Most people in this situation, are able to live with this occasional  level of discomfort and may well do nothing about it. Even mild sensitivity should be checked by a dentist though, as it may indicate the first stages of enamel erosion, or even a cracked tooth. Even if no treatment is decided on at this stage, your dentist may offer advice on diet and cleaning so that the rate of erosion is, at least, slowed down.

Whilst these patients may decide to simply live with the occasional inconvenience of tooth sensitivity; for others, this is much less of an option.

Painful tooth sensitivity

For some patients, sensitive teeth can be much more than ‘uncomfortable’ and can leave them in a significant amount of pain. In some cases, this can be triggered by even mildly warm or cold drinks and even cooler air passing over the teeth on a cold day can make going outside something of a challenge.

At this stage, it is often too late to do anything to ease or correct the problem through preventative mean such as changes in diet and cleaning regimes. Intervention by one of our Chelmsford dental team, however, can make a radical difference to the quality of life for these patients through the use of porcelain dental veneers.

Why veneers are needed

Our teeth are made from a number of ‘layers’. The external layer is made from enamel, a very hard and non porous material. Although the enamel on our teeth can take a lot of pressure before cracking, certainly enough for us to be able to eat most foods comfortably if the enamel is healthy, it can be weakened through consumption of too many acidic food and drinks.

A diet, as ‘nature intended’ would certainly contain these acids, in the form of citrus fruits for example. This would not be a major issue though as the enamel on our teeth regenerates if we give it sufficient time. Unfortunately, in modern society, we consume far more acidic food and drinks, not just in the form of citrus fruits, but also in soft drinks and many other high sugar beverages, in addition to any sugary foods that we eat.  Add to this the fact that we increasingly tend to snack, rather than eat three main meals, and the enamel on our teeth simply does not have time to remineralise, and the enamel gradually wears away.

Replacing your tooth enamel

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Delivering High-Quality Dental Care For Children

Dr Hiten Pabari looks at some of the challenges of ensuring good oral care for kids in our high-sugar age

There is little doubt about it; even if we aren’t actually addicted to sugar, most of us take pleasure in the sweet taste it produces. This has probably happened for as long as man has existed, with honey being an obvious source in the early days.

Whilst all sugars will lead to tooth decay without good care, man’s diet at this time would have been largely sugar free, with just the occasional ‘treat’. These days though, the story is entirely different.

The fact is that sugar is everywhere, and not just in the obvious places. Whilst, as adults, we can control our sugar intake to some extent, by reducing the amount of sugar we add to tea or coffee and watching what we eat, the reality is that sugar is added to almost everything, including many savoury products. This may be challenging for us, but our children simply don’t have that ability to distinguish what is healthy for them and what is not.

Most kids love sugar

You will be very hard pushed to find a young child that does not like sweets, and whilst we may have some control over their consumption, they are still likely to find ways of accessing it through friends and perhaps relatives. Add to that, the fact that they may not brush their teeth as well as they should, and it is probably not surprising to know that needing to have extractions under general anaesthetic is one of the leading reasons for young children to be admitted to hospital.

Investing in their future

You may have read in a past blog, or elsewhere, that it is advisable to bring your child to see a dentist around the time of their first birthday. We know that children can find the dental environment a little strange, and may even refuse to open their mouths or even sit in the dental chair on their first visit. It is pointless trying to force them to do this (unless there is a real clinical and urgent need) and, at Blue Sky Dental, should this happen, we simply use the time to talk to them, helping us to gain their trust. After a few visits to our Chelmsford practice, the vast majority of children will allow us to examine their mouth with little problem. This ‘bond of trust’ between dentist and patient, and especially younger patients, is very important in the provision of effective dental care.

Benefits to parents

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A New Year Smile Makeover For 2019?

Christmas may not be here yet, but it never hurts to plan ahead!

Most of us are probably currently busy buying presents, putting up the Christmas tree and making travel arrangements to visit friends and relatives over the forthcoming festive period. It won’t be long though, until our thoughts look further ahead to the New Year and all the resolutions that many of us regularly make.

New Year resolutions vary in scope and also, possibly, realism in many cases. Even though we spend millions each year on gym memberships, deep down, many of us know that our determination will not last and we will have spent a lot of money for little gain. There are ways that you can spend money though, that will bring great results. This applies to our Chelmsford patients who are determined to see an improvement in the appearance of their teeth and smile for the New Year ahead.

Smile makeover

Some patients may need quite significant intervention to radically improve their smile. Especially where teeth are missing and there has been a period of neglect, restoring the mouth to a functional state is likely to be a priority. This might include advanced procedures such as the use of dental implants to replace any missing teeth.

For the majority of patients, this will not be necessary and they may be looking to ‘fine tune’ their smile. At Blue Sky Dental, we are able to help you to achieve this through the use of one, or a combination of procedures, that come under the category of a smile makeover.

The stages of a smile makeover

Before any cosmetic treatment can commence, it is important to make sure that your mouth is in generally good health. There is little point in having beautiful white teeth if they are likely to fall out due to periodontitis, for example. We will treat any instances of decay, most probably using a white dental filling where this is needed to retain the natural appearance. We also recommend that you have a thorough scale and polish, which can be carried out at our Chelmsford dental clinic by the hygienist. Once we are happy that you have a healthy mouth, your smile makeover can begin.

Orthodontics

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Dental Aftercare For Extractions

Looking after yourself, and the extraction site, will lead to a faster and more comfortable recovery

We all want to avoid needing to have a tooth extracted, especially when it is an adult tooth that has to come out. Thankfully, with the range of specialist services available at Blue Sky Dental, we can offer many ways to hopefully avoid this final outcome.

In some situations though, removing a tooth is the best, or only, option that is realistically available. We have discussed the actual extraction procedure in an earlier blog and today, we take a look at how you can help to look after yourself and also aid the healing process for a speedy recovery.

Initial aftercare

Once a tooth has been extracted, the dentist will apply some sterile gauze to the area which you should keep in place for a short while until they remove it. This acts to stem the blood flow from the site and initiates the formation of a blood clot. This clot protects the socket and starts the healing process. You should do everything possible not to dislodge the clot (more of that later) and you will be given some extra gauze for use at home in case it does come out. If the clot comes out again after you have used this additional gauze, you can use a CLEAN handkerchief to stem the flow again. Once the dentist is happy that the clot has formed, you will be able to leave our Chelmsford dental surgery.

Caring for the clot

It is important not to dislodge the blood clot as this will slow down the healing process and may lead to a ‘dry socket’ where the extraction site is exposed. This can be very painful and can also lead to infections. If you are in any discomfort following an extraction, please contact us straight away. There are many ways that a clot can be dislodged; for example you should avoid poking it with your finger, tongue or any other object. Also please avoid using that part of the mouth for eating and avoid any ‘aggressive’ actions such as spitting. You should not brush that part of your mouth although you will need to keep it clean to prevent infection.

Keep it clean

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Are Dental Implants Painful To Have?

Implant dentist, Dr Hiten Pabari, puts your fears to rest.

More and more people are now aware of dental implants and increasingly, we are receiving more enquiries about this procedure than we have in the past.

The reality is that nobody wants to lose a tooth, and especially when it is one of the visible teeth at the front of the mouth. Most patients are cautious about using dentures to replace the missing tooth though, due to their sometimes unstable nature, and a wobbly front tooth is not a good look! With dental implants, this problem is eradicated as we will explain later.

At Blue Sky Dental, we want our patients to have the best treatment possible, and, for patients that are suitable candidates for dental implants, this is considered to be the best way to replace a missing tooth, or teeth. Despite this, some patients do have genuine concerns about the nature of the procedure, sometimes fueled by exaggerated cases that they may have read about. In today’s blog, we attempt to answer one of the main concerns we often hear about this treatment; namely, is it really painful to have it?

Planning the procedure

Placing a dental implant means precision. It is also important that the implant is placed into an already healthy mouth in order to minimise the risk of infections such as peri-implantitis. Before any treatment starts, we will have a full consultation with you where the treatment will be discussed. We will also assess the available bone structure to determine whether the implant can be placed immediately or requires a prior bone graft. Scans and x-rays will be used in order to determine the exact placing of the titanium implant, taking into consideration important factors such as the position of nerves etc. If, during your pre-procedural examination, we discover issues such as gingivitis, this will be treated before your procedure can take place.

Anaesthetic

As the fear of painful treatment is one of the things that deters some patients from having dental implants, it is worth reminding our Chelmsford patients that modern anaesthetics are very powerful indeed. Whilst we accept that you are unlikely to actually ‘enjoy’ any invasive treatment, pain is unlikely. You may experience some discomfort but this should be manageable. In reality, it is often the anticipation of pain, rather than any actual physical pain, that people tend to experience.

On the day of the procedure

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How Does It Feel To Have Botox Treatment?

Facial aesthetics is becoming increasingly popular, but some patients still have reservations. Is this valid?

In addition to both family and cosmetic dentistry, we offer a selection of facial aesthetic treatments here at our Chelmsford dental practice.

These are growing in popularity, perhaps boosted by some of the popular reality TV programmes. Despite being safe and successful when carried out by qualified practitioners, some people still have some reservations about them. Below, the facial aesthetics team at Blue Sky Dental offer answers to some of these concerns.

Safety first

Botox has suffered from some negative press in the media. Most of us will have seen extreme examples of Botox treatments, whether requested by the patient or a procedure gone wrong. We can assure patients that we take all precautions to prevent this from happening. Our facial aesthetics team are fully trained and qualified and we reserve the right to refuse treatment where we are concerned either for the patient’s safety if the procedure should go ahead, or where extreme treatment is requested.

A natural look

Another concern for many people is that it will leave them with ‘puffy lips’ or a ‘frozen face’ where they are unable to smile. Again, providing that the treatment is carried out correctly, your lips and face should appear natural, albeit with less facial wrinkles than before. You will be able to laugh and smile as much as you want. It is worth mentioning that there may some minor localised bruising at the sites of the injections. These only last a few days but you may wish to arrange your social calendar around your treatment.

A painless procedure

The only sensation that you will feel during your procedure is a small pricking as the needle enters the skin. The needle used is very fine and the Botox is added in small quantities; so there is no need to be concerned about any discomfort you think you might feel.

Growing old gracefully

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