Manish Patel explains how our teeth develop, from the womb, through to our adult years.
It may seem a long time ago for many of us, but can you remember when your first tooth came out? For some of us it may have been a surprise to find our wobbly tooth stuck in a toffee or other sticky food. Others may have had theirs pulled away from the gum by an over-zealous parent or other non-recommended method (please don’t do that by the way!)
Our ‘baby teeth’ or ‘milk teeth’ only last us a few years before being replaced by our adult teeth; but we should take care to keep both sets as healthy as possible.
Very early tooth development
It may surprise our Bedford patients to know that, although we don’t see any teeth for several months, they actually start to develop whilst we are in the womb. This development starts in the foetus at around six weeks as a collection of cells. These gradually grow beneath the gums until the time is right for them to erupt after we are born. This eruption usually occurs between the ages of six to twelve months, although this will vary with each individual. If you are concerned about your child’s tooth development, or lack of, at this stage, you should discuss this with your local family dentist.
When a tooth starts to erupt or ‘come through’, it can be a distressing time for the child, and cause a lack of sleep for some parents too. There are children’s medications that are available from the chemists that can help ease any discomfort associated with this. You may also find allowing the child to chew on a clean wet cloth will help to sooth them too. Although it can certainly be a trying time for both baby and parents, it is a healthy sign that their teeth are developing as they should do. Interestingly, girl’s baby teeth tend to erupt sooner than boys. Whatever the case though, although these teeth will fall out eventually, you should make sure to keep them clean and healthy and, if you are registered with The Dental Centre Bedford, you should register your child too.
Losing baby teeth
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Dental surgeon, Sarah Nackasha offers some advice for those wavering.
Although there are probably some smokers who will never stop unless absolutely forced to do so, the majority of people who smoke would probably prefer to quit if they could. A combination of health awareness, rising costs and a lack of places to smoke in public (1) means that some of the ‘pleasures’ associated with smoking cigarettes have largely been taken away.
As some of our Bedford patients will be aware, we will soon be coming up to ‘Stoptober’ a month of public health information, provided by Public Health England, which is designed to help and encourage people to stop smoking. For today’s blog, we thought that we would offer our own contribution to this debate a little earlier than usual. Here are some of the main reasons that the team at The Dental Centre Bedford came up with when we asked them why they thought people should ‘stub it out’.
Money and health
If you can’t convince people that smoking isn’t good for them, the dramatic rise in the cost of cigarettes over the past few years should go some way to correcting this. If you smoke even 10 cigarettes each day, at an approximate price of say £10 for 20 (and that is cheaper than many!); over the course of a year, you would have spent £1,825.00. We are pretty sure it’s easy enough to think of lots of things where that sort of money would be better spent!
Health is an issue that we perhaps close our eyes to when it isn’t affecting us directly. Anyone who knows someone who suffers from a smoking related disease though, is very likely to make more effort to stop. Don’t wait until it affects you or someone else; help to avoid health issues all round by stopping smoking.
The ageing process
You can often tell a long term smoker by their complexion as many smokers generally have dry and old looking skin. Smoking dehydrates the skin and, over time, it will lose its elasticity at a faster rate than a non smoker, leaving you looking older than your years.
Oral health issues
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Dr David Nolte Reviews Options at The Dental Centre Bedford.
Cosmetic dentistry is extremely popular at the moment because it is simply much more accessible now than it used to be.
Celebrities never used to talk about their gorgeous smile secrets, prices were only suitable for A list bank balances, and techniques weren’t quite as advanced a decade or so ago. These days there are treatments to suit most budgets, and treatments are more widely available than ever before. Not only that, but there are monthly plans to make payment for treatments easier, and the treatments have been carefully designed so they are as efficient and convenient as possible.
Dr David Nolte, a highly experienced dentist in our local team, takes a close look at your options below.
Are You Considering Cosmetic Dentistry?
Lots of people want the ‘perfect’ celebrity smile and so seek dental treatments to achieve that. They may want a straighter, whiter smile, or even strive to reach the most “perfect” smile possible. For many people, this type of treatment is transformational, leading to improvements in their social and business lives.
Your Bedford dentist has a wide range of cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry available to completely restore and transform your smile regardless of its current state. We are not here to judge, we are only here to help, so please get in touch for more information.
Versatile Treatments Options
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Dental care in the early months in Bedford
Here at your local Bedford dentist we are proud of our professional services offered to the whole family, all the way from pregnant mothers and baby’s with their first teeth, to retirees needing high-quality dentures or implants.
We also have a central focus on preventative care so patients can maintain excellent oral health of their own teeth for as long as possible. This preventative care starts from baby’s first tooth, and you can start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they come through. Caring for your child’s teeth and helping them understand why, is so important because it means they will also learn to care for their teeth well.
Hopefully it means they will grow healthy, beautiful teeth which stay with them into adolescence, and then into adulthood. You are the first step in protecting their precious smile and your Bedford dentist is here to help you.
Our hygienist and dental care professional Hilary Sinclair offers advice on early years care.
Brushing From The Beginning
Even before baby’s first tooth emerges you can start gently cleaning their gums with a soft, wet, clean washcloth. When the first tooth comes you can begin brushing it with a smear of toothpaste. You might not be able to brush much at all in the beginning, but the important part is simply getting your child used to teeth cleaning as a normal part of the daily routine.
Oral Care As Your Child Grows Up
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Dr Sarah Nackasha says get a custom built mouth guard and look after your teeth!
The World Cup may not have gone exactly how we wanted it to in the end, but it didn’t stop many people getting inspired by the ‘beautiful game’ and lots of enjoyment was had.
The weather has also brought many of us out of our homes, into the fresh air to enjoy healthy outdoor exercise like football, rugby, rounders and tennis.
These types of activities are fantastic for cardiovascular health and for mental well-being, and should only be encouraged for all age groups. However, they do have a hidden risk that you may not be aware of. All sports, but especially contact sports or sports using balls carry a risk of dental injury. This is where the teeth or gums (or both) along with the soft tissues in the mouth are damaged during sport. These injuries can be as minor as a bruise or small cut, or as extensive as a broken jaw, teeth knocked out and deep soft tissue damage.
The risk of injury is certainly minor in comparison to the huge benefits of regular exercise. However, there are things you can do to minimise the risk for yourself when you play sports, so that you don’t have to endure the pain, costs and inconvenience of a dental injury.
Keep Your Teeth Healthy
Weaker teeth will be damaged much more easily than strong, healthy teeth. If you have teeth which are already wobbly or damaged by decay, they are much likely to be damaged or come out during a moment of impact than if they are completely healthy. Eating and drinking a healthy diet, avoiding smoking and excessive drinking, maintaining an excellent oral health regime, and visiting your Bedford dentist regularly will help to ensure your teeth are as healthy as possible.
Avoid Sugary Sports Drinks
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Unwanted gappy smile?
Celebrities like Madonna have made gaps between the teeth very appealing and desirable for some.
However, gaps between the teeth aren’t a feature some people want to maintain, and some people would prefer not to have any gaps between their teeth at all.
In some instances, gaps between the teeth can cause dental issues that can cause damage to the teeth over time and so need to be addressed.
Do you have gaps between your teeth that make you feel self conscious? Do you wish your smile could be gap free? If so, there are some excellent modern dentistry options available to you here at your Bedford dentist so you can get the smile you have always wanted.
Depending on how many gaps you have, or where the gap is, it may be appropriate for a bridge to be fitted. A bridge may be all it takes to effectively ‘close the gap’, simply preparing adjacent teeth to support the crowns which hold the bridge in place.
Veneers are used for a wide variety of reasons, because they can completely transform a smile. They are very thin sheets of porcelain which fit over prepared teeth, presenting teeth that are whiter, and the exact shape you desire. So they can be made wider to close the gaps between the natural teeth, creating the perfect gap-free smile!
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Keep your teeth and smile looking younger for longer.
As we grow older, invariably we will notice the changes in our appearance. The desire to spend boisterous nights out recedes and we perhaps care a little less about the style of clothes we wear, opting for function over design. Our natural activity levels can also drop and some of us will force ourselves to go to the gym to compensate.
Another side effect of ageing is that our teeth and gums can start to show signs of wear and tear. For some, long term negligence in cleaning finally catches up and fillings and even extractions are a consequence, as is gum disease. Even if we have looked after our teeth well though, our teeth are unlikely to look as nice as they used to do when we were younger.
It is widely believed that discoloured teeth are caused by eating or drinking staining products, and through smoking. Whilst these certainly do have a major effect, the reality is that older people do tend to have duller looking teeth. Although surface staining may be a factor, this also occurs naturally as the inner part of our teeth darken with age, making our teeth look discoloured.
The good news for the more mature patient of The Dental Centre Bedford is that this can usually be reversed using relatively straightforward treatments. Our custom home teeth whitening kit can brighten the appearance of your teeth significantly and all in the comfort of your own home. After a couple of weeks of use of this user-friendly system, you will find that your teeth have regained the sparkle that you may have thought had gone forever.
Badly stained teeth
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New laws restricting the use of mercury based fillings came into law from July 2018.
From July 1st 2018, new laws came into being in the UK, restricting the use of amalgam fillings. From that date, they can no longer be used in patients under 15 or in pregnant or breastfeeding women, unless there are genuine medical reasons for doing so.
This new ruling has led to some of our Bedford patients asking us whether anything needs to be done about their teeth that already have amalgam fillings.
One of the main reasons for this new ruling is related to the use of mercury compounds in this particular treatment. However, it is important to note that this is not considered to be because of any danger from its presence in amalgam, but because of concerns about the level of mercury that reaches the environment from this process. To all intents and purpose, the General Dental Council’s agreement is that amalgam fillings are still safe and patients should not be concerned. However, we do understand the various concerns and we support a controlled phase out of amalgam for this purpose.
So despite the declaration that it is still safe to use, it is reasonably likely that we will continue to see further restrictions placed upon it and cosmetic white fillings increasingly used as a matter of routine for dental fillings.
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Feel relaxed and confident on your holiday with healthy and attractive teeth!
Most of us look forward to our annual holidays. A few weeks in the sun, or on the ski slopes, can certainly give us a chance to relax and wind down, before heading back to our normal lives. Understandably, when we go, we want to look our best. For some, this means going to the gym or going on a diet, in the hope of attaining a body that looks good on the beach.
For others though, it is often a great opportunity to take action to really improve their smile.
As most people will be going on holiday during the summer months ahead, this rules out some treatments which can take several months for the process to be completed. There are a couple of procedures though that can change your smile for the better in just a short time.
Having a teeth whitening procedure is one of the easiest ways to give your teeth a pre holiday boost. From an initial examination to completion of the whitening treatment can take just a couple of weeks using our “at home” system. We provide customised whitening trays which are designed especially for you, to ensure a safe and comfortable fit. These trays hold the whitening gel which gently and safely bleaches the surface and internal parts of your teeth to create a great new smile!
The trays provided are yours to keep and can be used again at a later date if you wish to top up the whiteness. Just two quick points of caution here. If it has been a long time since you used the trays, or if you have had dental work done since the last time, do have them checked by your Bedford cosmetic dentist. Loose fitting trays may lead to leaking of the whitening agent which could cause irritation to the lips and gums. Secondly, always buy the gel from your dentist, and never over the internet. There are potentially dangerous whitening gels available and it really isn’t worth the risk for a few pounds less.
Looking for something a little more permanent?
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Why healthy bone is necessary for implant placement, and how bone grafts can help
Implant procedures are becoming more routine than ever for replacing a missing tooth. As we have mentioned before, in our Dental Centre Bedford blogs these offer a strength and longevity that no other tooth replacement method can equal.
It is worth remembering though, that although the procedure is more widely used, certain conditions have to exist in order for the implant to be placed and remain healthy.
For example, smokers and drinkers who refuse to stop for several months are not ideal candidates for this treatment. The increased risk of periodontitis means that the titanium implant may not bond successfully with the bone and may well fail altogether.
Whilst implants are suitable for the majority, there are other categories of people who may not be suitable, and one of those is where there is bone loss in the jaw area.
What causes bone loss?
Both smoking and significant alcohol consumption can contribute to bone loss. Whilst these habits are largely avoidable, loss of bone density also occurs when a tooth is lost. As one of the main roles of the jawbone is to hold teeth in place, when a tooth is no longer present, bone is re-absorbed and its resources are then used elsewhere in the body.
Because the titanium implant requires sufficient healthy bone for placement, this can create a problem for the patient, so a bone graft procedure is necessary before treatment can proceed.
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