Benefits of Fluoride

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Have you ever thought about what the fluoride in our toothpaste does?

Fluoride is a natural mineral that is found in many foods and in all drinking water. Most toothpastes also now contain fluoride, and it is the main way that most people get their fluoride.

Many reports have been published throughout the world about fluoride. After many years, the scientific conclusion is that fluoride toothpaste and correctly fluoridated water are of great benefit to dental health, help to reduce decay, and cause no harmful side effects to general health.

Tooth decay is a major health concern worldwide and is still a big problem in the UK. Despite being preventable, it is one of the most common reasons for hospital admission in children.

Brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste is one of the most effective ways of preventing tooth decay.

Fluoride Benefits

Fluoride is beneficial to teeth because it helps to:

  • Rebuild weakened tooth enamel.
  • Slow down the loss of minerals from tooth enamel.
  • Reverse early signs of tooth decay
  • Prevent the growth of certain harmful oral bacteria.

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Fluoride Levels

A range of toothpastes are available containing different levels of fluoride.

  • All children up to three years old should use a toothpaste with a fluoride level of at least 1000ppm (parts per million).
  • After three years old they should use a toothpaste that contains more than 1,000ppm fluoride.
  • Adults should use a toothpaste containing 1350ppm to 1500ppm fluoride.

Oral hygiene advice

It is important that although over the past year all our routines have changed, that we make sure not to forget our oral hygiene.

  • Brush at least twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste for two minutes.
  • Use interdental cleaning aids to clean between teeth in those areas that brushing alone misses. There are a wide range of interdental products available so there is bound to be one for you: floss, tape, interdental brushes, floss picks or an air flosser.
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  • Parents should supervise their children’s brushing, starting brushing as soon as their first tooth appears and using only a pea-sized smear of fluoride toothpaste until they are about 7 years old.
  • Spit your toothpaste out after brushing and do not rinse. This will help to ensure that the fluoride stays on your teeth longer.
  • If you use a mouthwash use this at different times to brushing to ensure that you do not wash away the beneficial fluoride from your toothpaste.
  • Aim to limit sugary foods and drinks to mealtimes to reduce the number of acid attacks your teeth must contend with each day.

If you would like more oral hygiene advice, call Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre on 01622 682 029 to book an appointment with our hygienist today.

The Dangers of DIY Braces

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Over the past few years there has been a large increase in the number of people looking to improve the appearance of their teeth with options such as clear braces and clear aligner therapy. DIY braces and at home teeth straightening options are popping up everywhere, promising dentist quality results at a fraction of the price. The convenience of mail order teeth straightening seems unbeatable, allowing you to straighten your teeth without the need for regular dental appointments. Unfortunately, things that sound too good to be true most often are!

With this in mind there are some things the team at Maidstone Dental & Implant Centrewant to make you aware of regarding your choice of teeth straightening.

What is mail order teeth straightening?

Companies have started to offer cheaper alternatives to attending the dentist for teeth straightening. These companies will send you an at home impression kit to take impressions of your teeth. Once these are sent back, they will be reviewed by one of their technicians, who determines if you are suitable for these aligners. If so, aligners are sent back to be worn for a prescribed period.

This may seem very similar to the process of teeth straightening through the team at Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre, but there are some very big differences.

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Teeth straightening requires supervision.

Moving teeth is a medical procedure and needs personal supervision by a dentist. The dentist can monitor how your teeth are moving and if necessary, they will adjust your treatment plan to ensure your teeth move at the most safe and efficient rate.  Moving teeth without a thorough assessment of the overall health of the teeth and gums could result in the loss of teeth, which can cause expensive and lifelong dental problems.

Training

Dentists have years of training and they will identify and treat serious oral health concerns before they even consider offering their patients’ teeth straightening treatments. Serious oral health problems, like gum disease and cavities can be overlooked with home kits because there is not a lot that can be seen from photos or impressions. Mail order teeth straightening  do not use x-rays to see the structure below the gum line and with mail order teeth straightening there is no way of knowing what level of training the people assessing your photos and impressions have.

More expensive in the long run

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Moving teeth too fast or with poorly fitting aligners can result in serious problems. A dentist adjusts treatment along the way to correct any orthodontic errors that crop up. Mail order aligners instead operate along the lines of wear it and hope for the best. This can mean that having paid for your mail order teeth straightening, you will then have to pay even more to see a dentist to repair the damage caused.

Teeth straightening is a medical treatment. Straightening your teeth and aligning your bite is a considerable commitment, that requires an experienced dentist. Why trust your smile to anyone else?

If you would like to find out more about teeth straightening, call Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre today on 01622 682 029 and book a consultation.

3 benefits of wearing a mouthguard

Do you or your children participate in sports? Then read on. As an athlete or a parent, you’ve probably heard about mouth guards, the flexible piece of plastic you can wear over your teeth. Mouthguards are not required for every sport, so it can be easy to forget about it or let it slide, but it is estimated that over 3 million teeth are knocked out every year in kids’ sports! Mouth guards significantly minimize the risk of sports injuries to the mouth and jaw and while it is obvious that a mouth guard is beneficial during collision and contact sports, you may not be aware of the benefits of wearing a mouth guard for other sports to. Basically, for any sport where there is a risk of face contact with other people or surfaces, a mouth guard can reduce the risk of suffering a dental injury.

So, although mouth guards may not be the coolest thing to wear, there are three big benefits that may quickly change your mind.

1. Protect your teeth

Without a mouth guard, your teeth are more likely to be chipped, broken teeth or even get knocked out (tooth loss). Saving you money in the long run, by reducing the risk of needing root canals, dental crowns, bridges, dental implants and splinting or TMJ treatments.

2. Protect your face and mouth

A mouth guard can prevent bruising and cuts to the lip, tongue, or face. This is especially important for anyone with a fixed orthodontic appliance.

3. Protect against other serious injuries

This includes root, bone damage and jaw fractures. Mouth guards can help avoid a situation where the lower jaw jams into the upper jaw. Also, mouth guards may reduce the severity of concussions by acting as a buffer to a blow.

For more information about protecting your teeth during sports or athletic activities, talk to your Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre dentist at your next appointment. They will be able to help you select the most effective protection for your specific needs. Call today on 01622 682 029 to book your appointment.

Make Brushing Fun!

With all the children now thinking about heading back to school, we look at the vital part a good oral hygiene routine plays in keeping teeth healthy from an early age.

In this article we look at some of the common problems in achieving this and tips to ensure your children’s teeth stay in tip top condition.

  • Not brushing thoroughly

It is common for children to rush through brushing their teeth, meaning that parts of their mouths are missed.

Get your child to imagine their mouth is divided into four segments and they need to brush each segment for 30 seconds. This will mean that it is more likely that they will brush all the surfaces of their teeth.If you think they have missed any teeth, follow up by brushing their teeth yourself when they have finished.

  • Not brushing for long enough

Many young children have no concept of how long two minutes is. A great way to ensuring that they are brushing for the required length of time is to introduce a fun timer using their favourite song, an egg timer, or an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer. This way they get a clear idea of how long they need to be brushing their teeth for.

  • Not wanting to brush their teeth

Making brushing fun is the best way to ensure successful brushing.

  1. You could allow them to pick their own toothbrush with a favourite cartoon character on it.
  2. Make a special toothbrush holder with stickers and coloured paper
  3. Brush along to a favourite song
  4. Fill in a brushing reward chart every day leading to a reward at the end of the month

Top tips for children’s teeth brushing

  • Use a toothbrush recommended by your dental team and get your children to choose their favourite colours or characters
  • Use a suitable fluoride strength toothpaste for their age group:
    Under three years old – 1000ppm

    Over three years old – 1350-1500ppm

  • Find a toothpaste that they like the flavour of
  • Children easily swallow toothpaste, so it is best to use a smear of toothpaste for babies and children up to three years of age, and a pea-sized blob for children aged three to six
  • Brush for two minutes, twice a day. This should be last thing at night and on one other occasion during the day – usually in the morning.
  • Divide brushing into four sections in the mouth and brush each quadrant for 30 seconds – upper left, upper right, lower right, lower left.
  • Brush in a circular motion and brush each surface of each tooth – tops and sides.
  • Spit the toothpaste out after brushing but do not rinse. Rinsing washes away the protective fluoride

If you would like some more help and advice on ensuring your children’s teeth stay healthy, call Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre on 01622 682 029 and book an appointment today, all our staff are highly experienced dealing with children and can ensure that any visit is fun and stress free!

University Oral Health Survival guide

The key risk factors for students heading off to university regarding their oral health are from excessive alcohol consumption, caffeine dependence and a poor diet.

The team at Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre have therefore come up with some top tips to ensure that you can enjoy university without worrying about your oral health.

  • Oral hygiene routine

Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste and clean inter-dentally daily. This will help to ensure that you remove any food and plaque trapped between teeth, where brushing alone misses, reducing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay

  • Use a straw

Sounds silly right? Drinking from a straw helps prevent stains because you avoid direct contact with the front of your teeth. It also reduces the time harmful acids are in contact with your teeth reducing the risk of acid erosion.

  • Limit your sugar intake

Sugar is one of the biggest factors that contribute to tooth decay. While having sugar in your diet is essential, most people tend to have too much. Try to limit sugar to mealtimes wherever possible and avoid constantly grazing on sweet treats to help reduce the risk of tooth decay.

  • Donot constantly sip

Sugar in wine, mixed drinks and fizzy drinks combine with bacteria in your mouth to form acid which then attack the teeth. This ‘attack’ generally has a life span of 20 minutes so every time you take another sip, the cycle restarts. The long-term effect is weakened enamel and susceptibility to tooth decay.

  • Visit the dentist

Whether you choose to register with a dentist at university or remain with your dentist at home, it is important that you attend for regular, routine appointments as often as your dentist recommends to maintain your oral health.

Want to ensure that you can hit the ground running when you arrive at University? Why not book in for a routine dental appointment and ensure that your oral health is top notch before you go. Call Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre on 01622 682 029 today to book your appointment.

Do I really have gum disease?

Gum disease is a swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth. The initial stage of gum disease is gingivitis and if left untreated it can progress to periodontal disease which is irreversible. Gingivitis is where the gums around the teeth become very red and swollen and the gums will often bleed when they are brushed.

Gum disease is caused by poor oral hygiene which allows plaque to build up on the surface of teeth and gums. As well as affecting your teeth and gums, poor oral health can cause or make worse heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and lung disease. Gum disease is also the leading cause of tooth loss in adults in the UK

Signs of Gum disease

Gum disease may progress painlessly, producing few obvious signs, even in the late stages of the disease. Although the symptoms of periodontal disease often are subtle, the condition is not entirely without warning signs. Certain symptoms may point to some form of the disease. The symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Inflammation of the gums, causing them to be red, swollen and to bleed easily, especially when brushing
  • An unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Regular mouth infections
  • Changes in the way teeth fit together upon biting down, or in the fit of partial dentures

If you notice any of these signs you should speak to your dentist who will be able to investigate further.

Keeping your smile healthy

During a dental exam, your dentist typically checks for these things:

  • Gum bleeding, swelling, firmness, and pocket depth (the space between the gum and tooth; the larger and deeper the pocket, the more severe the disease)
  • Teeth movement and sensitivity and proper teeth alignment
  • Your jawbone, to help detect the breakdown of bone surrounding your teeth

The goals of gum disease treatment are to promote reattachment of healthy gums to teeth; reduce swelling, the depth of pockets, and the risk of infection; and to stop disease progression.Your dental team will remove all the plaque from your teeth and advise you on the best dental aids to use to maintain your oral hygiene routine in between visits. The best way to prevent gum disease is to put in place a good oral hygiene routine.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Clean your teeth interdentally daily using floss, tape, or interdental brushes
  • Stop smoking
  • Attend for regular dental appointments

If you are at all concerned about your teeth or believe you may be suffering with gum disease call Maidstone Dental & Implant Centre on 01622 682 029 and book an appointment for a consultation today