Perfect smile

4 Ways to Have Whiter Teeth

 

Previous consumer studies have proved that a beautiful smile will make you more attractive. But according to research conducted by Beall Research & Training of Chicago, a new smile will make you appear more intelligent, interesting, successful and wealthy to others as well.

The research looked at before and after cosmetic dental treatments and indicated that an attractive smile does have a broad range of benefits:

  • More attractive.
  • More popular with the opposite sex.
  • Wealthier
  • More successful in their career.

The change in perception was statistically significant in all areas.

You only have to search Google on how to have whiter teeth to be inundated with an array of tips, methods and examples of how bloggers have found ingenious ways to whitening teeth.

In this blog post we going to look at always that you can have whiter teeth and how you can enjoy that gleaming smile.

The four way you can enjoy whiter teeth are:

  • Looking after your teeth to preserve their natural whiteness.
  • Teeth whitening.
  • Dental bonding.
  • Dental veneers.

1. Looking after your teeth to preserve their natural whiteness

Brush the right wayIt might sound obvious, but looking after your teeth and keeping them naturally white is the simplest and most cost effective way of enjoying a beautiful smile.

As well as brushing in the right way. We recommend:

  1. Brushing at least twice per day. This will keep plaque at bay, this is the sticky covering over your teeth which can look dark and yellow.
  2. Cleaning in between your teeth with either dental floss or a GP brush. This gets to be difficult to reach areas in between your teeth, these areas tend to build up plaque and look darker quicker.
  3. Use a fluoride mouthwash at least once per day and at a different time to brushing. Toothpaste contains more fluoride than mouthwash so it’s best to keep the toothpaste on your teeth after cleaning. Use mouthwash in between meals as a way to freshen up your breath, remove debris and give your teeth a quick clean.

Following this daily dental healthcare routine will help to keep your teeth white.

2. Teeth whitening.

Tooth whitening is the process of removing stains and discolouration from teeth through a bleaching process to make them look “whiter”. Some tooth staining can however be removed by a dental hygienist and this can noticeably improve the appearance and make them look “whiter”

Professional home whitening kits

Teeth whitening tray
Teeth whitening tray

To make a professional home whitening kit, our dentist will take an impression (mould) of your teeth. Our dental technician will then use this to make your custom teeth whitening trays. Once these trays have been made you use them with our professional whitening gel until you are happy with the results. Depending on the teeth whitening system, some trays need to be worn overnight while others for only 1-2 hours a day.

Suitability for whitening

Many people are not suitable for teeth whitening and our dentist will assess your suitability during a consultation. If you have gum disease or other dental health problems, you may not be suitable. The teeth whitening process does not change the colour of crowns, veneers or fillings so it is important to understand that you may need to change these to match the colour of your whitened teeth.

How much whiter will my teeth look?

This varies from individual to individual; some people respond very well to teeth whitening and have dramatically whiter teeth as a result, whereas others may notice very little difference at all. People with heavily stained yellow teeth tend to have more dramatic results than those with slightly discoloured teeth. Our dentist will be able to advise you on the likely results following a consultation.

Does it hurt? What are the side effects of teeth whitening?

Some people experience no pain or sensitivity with their teeth. However, the majority of people will experience some kind of sensitivity either during and/or after the initial treatment. This is usually described by patients as sporadic, sharp shooting pains coming from their teeth. This should settle down after approximately 48 hours though. Our dentist may give you a special gel or mousse to apply to your teeth to help with the sensitivity.

3. Bonding to whiten teeth.

Dental bonding is the process by which small amounts of tooth coloured composite resin material are added to your teeth in small and incremental layers. These layers are built up to slowly cover your tooth.

Normally dental bonding would only be used if corrections to the tooth shape are required. Typically, chips and small breaks in the teeth can be rebuilt with dental bonding and if the composite resin used is whiter than the natural teeth then a whitening effect also happens.

One of the problems with dental bonding is that the composite resin may pick up stains over time, typically red wine, tea, coffee and strongly coloured food can stain the composite resin. This can be polished off by your dentist but will require regular dental visits in order to maintain the bonding colour.

4. Veneers and crowns to whiten teeth.

In the most extreme cases where teeth whitening is not able to whiten teeth enough then veneers and crowns can be considered. If the tooth has become revitalised (died) then teeth whitening may not in itself be enough to whiten the tooth to the correct colour. In this instance, a dental veneer can be made to cover the dark tooth.

Veneers are highly cosmetic thin coverings of dental ceramic which are bonded to your natural tooth.

…and finally… How about whitening your teeth at home without a dentist?

Interestingly, many of the searches in Google call these “Natural ways to whiten your teeth”, the only truly natural way to whiten your teeth is to keep them clean – mixing things like baking soda, coconut oil, household bleach, lemon juice and cider could have adverse reactions on your teeth.

Some of the items mentioned are highly acidic and can react with one another, this acid could attack your teeth and inflame your gums. Inflammation of the gums could lead to gingivitis, which is the beginning of gum disease.

We highly recommend that if you decide to have whiter teeth that you visit your dentist and seek professional advice. Our dental practice in Wimbledon is able to help with teeth whitening as well as other forms of cosmetic and preventive dentistry.

 

healthy-mouth-healthy-body

Does a healthy mouth = a healthy body? Here we find out…

There are indications from a recent study that people who stay fit and healthy are 40% less likely to develop tooth-threatening gum infections, possibly leading to gum disease. It was also found that not exercising, not keeping to a normal body weight and unhealthy habits made a person much more likely to get advanced gum disease.

If you are serious about your general health and your teeth, you will want to exercise, eat a healthy balanced diet and keep to a normal body weight.

There are also new findings that support what dental health professionals have suspected all along that infections in the mouth can cause health problems in the body.

Problems that can be caused by poor dental health include: (we have included links to studies and articles related to each of these health issues, please follow the links to read more)

  1. Heart Disease
  2. Stroke. researchers found that subjects with severe periodontitis had a 4.3-times-higher risk of cerebral ischemia than subjects with mild or without periodontitis!
  3. Diabetes
  4. Lung disease
  5. Premature and low birth weight babies
  6. Alzheimer’s Disease

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How can I keep my teeth fit & healthy?

Fighting dental problems is a joint effort between you and your dental team working together. For the dental problems to be eliminated there must be motivation from both sides to focus on eliminating current problems and preventing similar future problems.

Our role as Dental Health Educator is paramount in helping you prevent dental problems so that you can keep your teeth for life. Care can be provided tailored to your needs and wishes.

  1. Brush your teeth twice daily for 2 minutes with a fluoride containing toothpaste. You have to be shown how to brush for brushing to be effective.
  2. Get the correct dietary advice which is appropriate for your lifestyle.
  3. Fluoride supplements may be necessary if you are at high risk of developing decay.
  4. Floss your teeth at least once daily.
  5. Use a mouthwash that is right for you to combat decay, gum disease or bad breath.
  6. Have regular dental checks at an interval as agreed between you and your dentist.

What to look out for that would indicate my teeth and gums are not healthy.

Early problems are usually silent and simple to correct. If left undiagnosed, the problems multiply and compound until the teeth become loose, sensitive, crack or develop abscesses.

gingivitis

Watch out for signs of bad breath, holes in a teeth, pain on biting, unusual movement of teeth, clicking joints, unsuspected lumps or bumps, ulcers that persist, signs of tenderness or swelling or even headaches.

If your gums are infected they will feel sore and swollen.

Should I be watching my diet to try to keep healthy teeth? If so what should I eat?

You must have a balanced diet making sure you have your daily intake of fruits and vegetables.  Many people think that it is a high level of sugar in your diet that causes decay, but it is not so.

It is how often you have sugar in your diet, not the total quantity of sugar that causes problems. It takes an average of 40 minutes for the mouth to neutralise the acid caused by eating and drinking sugar. It is therefore important to limit the number of attacks by restricting sugary foods and drinks to mealtimes.

After consuming a meal always end by having a piece of cheese or sugar free chewing gum. This helps to neutralise the affects of acid that is present in the mouth.

Avoid too many fizzy drinks and when drinking use a straw. Too many fizzy drinks will cause the teeth to decay and also cause erosion of the enamel.

Drink fizzy drinks through a straw to reduce contact with your teeth
Drink fizzy drinks through a straw to reduce contact with your teeth

Never consume sugary food or drink just before going to bed. This will cause harm to teeth overnight as the acid will linger in the mouth during the night causing decay. If you are consuming such food or drinks then avoid going to bed for another 40-60 minutes.


 

Smiles @ Preventive Dental are a local dental practice for Southfields & Wimbledon, the principal dentist, Dr Morris Weinstein has a passion for working with the local people to help them prevent dental disease. The mantra of the practice is to offer quality care and exceptional personal service at all times.

Tooth coloured orthodontic braces

Teeth Braces. A Comprehensive Guide

It is quite common for people to want straighter teeth yet there is often confusion about the different types of braces that are on offer, what they can do and which one is best suited. People often make decisions based on brand-name and marketing and so we thought we’d write a blog post which explains simply and easily the various forms of orthodontics to enable you to make the best decision.

Tooth Form vs Function

The arguments between form and function exists in many things in life, dentistry is no different. Classically an orthodontist will want to achieve two things, firstly a beautiful smile which is straight and in-line. Secondly an arrangement between the teeth (known as the occlusion) which works in harmony with the jaw joint and muscles of the face, head and neck.

Having a straight smile is cosmetically or form driven orthodontics, having teeth that work in harmony with each other and the surrounding anatomy is functionally driven.

Most people are not aware of this functional aspect of their teeth, or rather, they are not always aware of the dysfunction, known as malocclusion. When an orthodontist looks into your mouth they will be aware of any dysfunctional arrangements between the teeth and will probably want to correct them. Cosmetic orthodontics does not seek to correct the dysfunctional arrangements between back teeth and it is the fact that we are now distinguishing between form and function which often allows us to have different forms of orthodontic treatment.

Orthodontics classically fall into 4 categories:

  1. Conventional fixed orthodontics.
  2. Rapid orthodontics.
  3. Invisible orthodontics.
  4. Orthopaedic orthodontics.

Let’s look at each of these in turn.

Conventional fixed orthodontics

Fixed orthodontics
Conventional fixed orthodontic braces

Sometimes known as train track braces these have now been around for years and are used extensively. They have many advantages:

  • A long history of success.
  • Able to tackle the most complex of case.
  • Completely flexible for the orthodontist.

Because these braces can be used for a wide range of treatments including front teeth, back teeth, top and bottom plus they enable the orthodontist to move the tooth and root in exactly the direction they want, they are able to give an extremely predictable result.

For this reason they are extremely popular amongst orthodontists as they actually serve the patient’s needs best in the long run by producing excellent results. They are however not always favoured by patients, especially patients in late teenage years or indeed adults.

Tooth coloured orthodontic braces
Tooth coloured orthodontic braces

In more recent years tooth coloured orthodontic brackets and wires have been invented. These have proved to be extremely popular in adult orthodontics.

Generally speaking most orthodontists are able to substitute the metal braces for tooth coloured ones but there are a few clinical situations where this is not suitable, only a detailed consultation with your orthodontist will let you know whether your particular case can be suitable for this newer type of orthodontic brace.

There isn’t much branding around orthodontics when conventional metal braces are considered however a few of the brands which are available for tooth coloured Orthodontics are*:

Rapid orthodontics

It has always been possible to move teeth rapidly but the technology and know-how didn’t exist up until a few years ago. The driver has been cosmetic dentistry which has meant that more people are looking to achieve a more cosmetic smile.

As we have previously discussed there are two types of orthodontic treatment, those considering the form of your teeth and treatments considering both form and function.

Rapid orthodontics generally only works with the form, in other words, it seeks to realign and rearrange the top and bottom front six teeth only. These have smaller root systems and the back teeth and are subsequently easier to move.

Rapid orthodontics include treatments such as:

You may notice that some of the treatments listed above also come under the tooth coloured orthodontics category, making them extremely versatile.

Inman aligner

The Inman aligner is a removable orthodontic brace which utilises a revolutionary new spring system which polls and pushes your teeth at the same time.

This double action spring enables rapid movement of teeth, typically achieving results in 12-16 weeks, much faster than any other orthodontic system.

The Inman aligner is removable orthodontic appliance which means that you can take it out to eat and to clean. You need to ensure that you wear your Inman aligner at least 20 hours per day.

>>Further information about the Inman aligner in Wimbledon

Invisible/Hidden Orthodontics

This is one of the most rapidly growing areas of orthodontic treatment. More more patients are seeking to have orthodontics without anyone else knowing. There are classically three ways of having invisible orthodontics.

  1. Clear aligners.
  2. Tooth coloured/clear brackets and wires.
  3. Lingual orthodontics (brackets applied to the inside of your teeth.

Clear Aligners

Clear orthodontic alignersThe most famous system for these clear aligners is Invisalign® (available from our dental practice in Southfields, Wimbledon).

These clear orthodontic aligners work by placing a small amount of pressure onto your teeth to move them in the desired direction.

Once you’re tooth is moved a tiny amount you replace the aligner with a new one, this process is repeated once every two weeks for approximately 18 months to 2 years.

image-teeth-02The Invisalign system works by taking a dental impression of your teeth which is then sent to the Invisalign centre where it is digitally scanned.

image-teeth-03Once your teeth being digitally scanned a skilled technician move the teeth digitally into their new position.

This finalised, post treatment smile is then sent back to your dentist for review. You will then visit the dental practice to see this post treatment smile and approve it before going ahead. You will also be able to see an animation of your teeth by way of a digital simulation (Known as a Clincheck ™) which is an amazing innovation in digital dentistry.

Tooth coloured/clear brackets and wires

We’ve already discussed these in the fixed orthodontics section above, so we won’t go into any more detail here.

Lingual orthodontics

apparatur_seite_newThese are orthodontic brackets which are placed on the tongue side of your teeth, known as the lingual. Probably the most famous system is known as Incognito© 

lingual orthodontics can often be very tricky as they need to be exceptionally thin, custom-made for you and not interfere with the function of the way your teeth bite together. Not everyone is suitable for this type of orthodontic treatment for this reason.

incognito-brases

As you can see, it’s possible to have a full mouth of orthodontic brackets with no one else knowing that you’re having treatment. This makes lingual orthodontics particularly appealing to adults who don’t want anyone else to know they are having braces.

Orthopaedic orthodontics

This is the final section in our brief runthrough of the various orthodontic systems and treatmants available and is primarily concerned with treating jaw and to position problems during the growing stages of life.

Sometimes the jaws do not develop properly in young children; the upper jaw is sometimes too small or the lower jaw may be too far back or forward, all of which can result in:

  • Functional problems with the bite
  • The adult teeth not having enough room to grow in straight
  • Compromised aesthetics of the face and teeth

Further information about managing the teeth relationship in developing children can be found here.

There are two primary orthopaedic treatment options.

Jaw Expansion

If treated early enough, the upper jaw can be expanded with a simple appliance over the course of a few months, correcting bite problems and giving more space for all the adult teeth to develop properly.

Jaw advancement

Orthopaedic appliances can be used to bring the lower or upper jaw forward, putting the jaws in harmony with each other and the rest of the face. This is most effective at around the age of 8 – 9 years old although later treatment may also be successful.

Mandibular (Lower Jaw) orthopaedics  is carried out for the correction of a lower jaw which is too small resulting in the top teeth seeming like they stick out.

For choice this type of treatment is carried out around 9-11 years of age, although older patients can also benefit if facial growth is still taking place. Patients of this age are generally much more amenable to treatment with removable appliances and tend to spend more time with parents than older children.

 

This results in more conscientious use of the appliances, essential for effective progress. Younger children around 9 years of age are also growing proportionately at the same rate as they would do later on during their adolescent growth spurt. These two factors generally combine to allow for rapid progress to be made.

Summary of orthodontic options

As you can see there are a wide range of orthodontic options depending upon your overall objectives, age, speed which you want the treatment to take place and whether you are happy for other people to see your orthodontic appliance or not.

At our dental practice in Southfields, Wimbledon we offer orthopaedic orthodontics for younger children, fixed orthodontics, Invisalign and the Inman aligner for almost invisible and rapid treatments respectively.

We do hope you have found out orthodontic blog post to be useful and interesting, these feel free to share and comment.

 

 

 

 

*This list is not to be considered exhaustive.

 

Options to replace missing teeth

Replacing

Pin this…

Many people living in the Wimbledon area of SW18 come to our dental  practice wanting to replace their missing teeth, it’s a conversation we have often and so we thought it would be a good idea to write a blog post to help these people out.
So, what are your options if you have missing teeth?

There are 4 different ways to go about solving this particular problem:

  1. Do nothing and live with the space
  2. Dentures.
  3. Dental implants.
  4. Dental bridges.

Do Nothing

Whilst this is a very valid option in many instances there are a few problems associated with doing nothing and leaving the space, these problems are:

  1. The bone where the tooth has been extracted will resorb overtime, this resorbtion makes the adjacent teeth look longer as the gum pulls away. This also means that if you wanted a dental implant later on in life there may not be enough bone, or the procedure may be more uncomfortable or costly if bone grafting is required.
  2. The adjacent teeth on either side of the gap will have a tendency to fall into that space, potentially creating problems with your bite.
  3. The opposing teeth on the opposite jaw will have a tendency to over erupt and drift down into the gap, potentially creating problems with your bite again.

Dentures

partial-dentures-small1Often these are the least preferred option for patients as they are removable and you need to be careful when you are eating. They are however an extremely good solution to the problem of missing teeth. Dentures tend to be the most cost-effective option and with modern alternatives can be made to look exceptionally good, most people would never know that you are wearing dentures!

On the subject of dentures to replace missing teeth we recommend that when you clean them you always do this over a sink half filled with water. One of the most common causes of broken dentures is when people drop them into the sink whilst cleaning, if you half fill the sink then this is less likely to happen.

When you have dentures made it is important to opt for a quality dental practice. One of the common causes of problems with dentures is where they do not fit quite as well as they should, they then slip and press on the gum. This results in what is known as ‘gum stripping’ and can result in a loss of the gum around the teeth.

As a patient it is very difficult to know whether this would happen to you, so we recommend you ask your dentist about how they can prevent this problem and support your denture to prevent it slipping.

Dental Implants to replace missing teeth

implant_anatomy1Of all the options dental implants are generally the more preferred choice, for a number of reasons:

  • Dental implants support the bone and prevented resulting
  • Dental implants also do not impact the adjacent teeth, which means you retain more of your healthy dentition
  • Implants can last many years and so can often be the most cost effective option over a period of time.

Many patients around our London dentists have dental implants as they are considered an excellent solution to the problem of missing teeth. A dental implant is a titanium replacement for your natural tooth, with your mouth integrating completely with it you will find that, in most cases, a dental implant becomes an absolutely solid and permanent replacement for a missing tooth.

The surgery for a dental implant is simple and for the most part pain free. Any mild post operative pain can normally be treated with over the counter painkillers.

If you have missing teeth we would strongly urge you to consider dental implants as the preferred option for the reasons mentioned above.

Dental Bridges

dental-bridgeThese are the final option that we offer from our dental practice in the heart of Euston, London. A dental bridge is made by gently reducing the teeth either side of the gap to accept a new Crown (or commonly called a ‘cap’). With a new crown on the teeth either side of the gap we can suspend a new tooth and join it to these two new crowns, creating a dental bridge made of three components all joined together – the new Crown on either side and the false tooth suspended in the middle.

Dental bridges have been made for many years and are an exceptionally reliable treatment option to replace missing teeth, their biggest drawback is the fact that potentially healthy teeth either side of the space has to be drilled down to accept the new supporting crowns or ‘caps’.

From a financial or cost point of view we also end up having
to provide three new teeth, one for each side of space and the tooth to replace the missing one. This can have a cost implication which you may want to consider.

Summary of what your options are to replace missing teeth

When ever possible we would encourage you to take action to replace your missing teeth in order to prevent possible future problems with bone loss in that area and your bite. Only by having a full dental consultation will you be able to know for sure what your best option is, how it will impact you and what the likely costs of replacing missing teeth can be.

 

Many dental practices in Wimbledon also offer easy payment options and finance plans, so it is worth checking these out before making a final decision over which dentist you are going to choose.

Welcome to our brand new dental advice blog

Welcome to our brand-new blog. On this blog we will be regularly posting dental health care advice with information on things like:

  • How to keep your teeth clean
  • How to spot signs of gum disease
  • What to look out for with oral cancer
  • What does it mean if your gums bleed when you brush?
  • When should you take your kids to the dentist?
  • plus loads more…

The posts will be happening roughly every 4 weeks so if you live locally in Wimbledon, Southfields or South West London areas and would like regular information updates about keeping yourself dentally fit then why not Subscribe to Advice from Preventive Dental by Email on the sidebar of this website.

We very much look forward to developing this blog into a useful resource to help you keep your teeth bright and healthy for life.