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Patient education

Frequently Asked Questions FAQ’s

Oral Health Questions

What kind of toothbrush is recommended? How should I care for it?

Your toothbrush should be approved by the British Dental Association. Select a soft to medium brush whenever possible. Many different brushes exist on the market today. Children’s brushes come in exciting colours and characters, creating visual interest and helping motivate them to brush. Your toothbrush should be visually inspected regularly and should be replaced every 3-4 months, or when the bristles become damaged or frayed. Toothbrushes are personal and should not be shared, as bacteria will be transferred, potentially increasing the risk of infection. Brushes should be rinsed after use, air dried stored upright and away from other toothbrushes or objects.

Should I brush or floss first?

The most important aspect of oral care, is regularly brushing twice a day and flossing daily in an effective manner. The order isn’t important, just schedule it in your day. Select an approved appropriate toothbrush and replace when worn or after 3-4 months. If you want to know if your brushing is effective, discuss your technique with our dental team. We love to assist our patients with ongoing preventive care. Sometimes, we recommend plaque disclosing tablets. One tablet is chewed thoroughly in the mouth immediately after tooth brushing. The red dye will stick to plaque, clearly illustrating areas that need more attention in brushing. They tablets are available over-the-counter at a pharmacy or at our dental clinic.

How can I prevent gum disease?

This common ailment affects 7 out of 10 adults. It is caused by plaque and tartar adhering near and under the gumline, causing inflammation and infection. Proper brushing and flossing technique and frequency, as recommended at our dental practice, is vital in the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. Brushing should be gentle, covering each tooth surface and especially at the gumline where the tooth and gum meet. This should ideally be done twice a day. Flossing gently between each tooth is important and should be done daily. Regular visits to your dentist for early detection, cleaning and treatment are also key.

How can I prevent cavities?

Cavities are caused by bacteria that live in your mouth. They feed on food residue that contain different types of sugars, starches or carbohydrates such as milk, soda, raisins and candy. Acid is then formed, eroding tooth enamel and causing tooth decay or cavities. To prevent this form occurring, it is recommended you brush twice a day with an approved fluoride toothpaste, use dental floss once a day, east nutritious snacks and meals, obtain fluoride treatments from our dental clinic and have regular dental visits for evaluation and cleaning. Cavities are not just for kids, as adults can get them around older fillings and near the gumline, as tooth roots are easily susceptible and are increasingly exposed with gum disease.

Does my child need sealants to prevent cavities?

Teeth sealants are applied to chewing surfaces of molar and premolar adult teeth, located at the back of the mouth. These teeth are usually exposed enough at six years old. The sealant is a thin clear plastic coating, applied directly to the teeth, which acts as a protective barrier from plaque and acid. They seal the surface of the tooth, which is often uneven with grooves, pits and fissures. The sealant can be applied at any age, including adults, but is best done at an early age to prevent a lifetime of cavities on those specific teeth. Brushing and flossing is still recommended for effective cavity prevention, as the sealant does not protect against cavities between the teeth or on the other teeth surfaces.

What causes bad breath and what can I do about it?

Bad breath can occur for a variety of reasons. Seeing your dentist may help you to identify the cause and develop a plan to effectively treat it. Bad breath can be caused by eating specific foods, infrequent eating, food molecules being trapped between the teeth, dry mouth, tobacco use or a medical condition. Regular and thorough brushing, flossing and the use of a microbial mouthwash can help in reducing bad breath. For recurrent bad breath, discuss your symptoms with a dentist.

Treatment questions

I am nervous about going to see a dentist. What can I do?

Some people are nervous because of past experience or anticipation of imagined dental procedure. Our dentists are trained to help ease anxiety and help relax you. Dentistry is continually evolving and there are numerous innovations and progress. Discuss any questions or concerns you may have with our team. It may be helpful to arrive early and choose a time in our clinic that is less occupied, reducing distractions and allowing our dentist to have more time with you. You are encouraged to use a portable audio system such as an MP3, to play your favourite music before and during a procedure. Some patients find it helpful to try visualisation techniques, imagining they are by an ocean, on a golf course or relaxing on a beach.

How often should x-rays be taken?

The suggested schedule depends on your age, your history and the observations we make about your current oral health. This will be tailored individually for each client in our dental practice. New clients are often x-rayed on the first visit to determine if any hidden concerns are present and to establish a baseline to which future x-rays may be compared.

I have older silver-coloured fillings. When should they be replaced?

Dental fillings can wear, chip or crack with continual use. There may not be visible signs or pain from the individual’s perspective. During routine clinical examinations, our dentists examine the filling and its seal for signs of weakness. Treatment is recommended if breakdown or leakage issues are present as further cavity development or infection can result. Considered safe and in use for more than one hundred years, these dental amalgam fillings have a typical lifespan of 5-8 years. There are many options to replace fillings when the need arises including white filling materials, porcelain inlays and tooth-coloured composite resins including fibbers’. These choices have a cosmetic advantage and can be functionally sound. Material selection depends on the location, extent of area and cost. Recommendations will be made for your specific situation. In some cases, the tooth is unable to support a filling due to further decay and structure limitation and a crown may be the best option.

I’d like a whiter smile. What should I do?

Discuss your goals with your dentist. He or she can help select an effective treatment strategy, combining techniques to get you the desired results. He or she will form an individualized plan based on your current dental situation and previous dental work completed. Teeth whiteners are effective for many situations but may not work on tooth-coloured fillings. Other options are available for treated teeth, such as tooth veneers or dental bonding.

Is teeth whitening safe?

Teeth whiting is a safe and effective method to achieve the desired look of a healthier and happier smile. There is no permanent damage to tooth enamel or oral structures. Occasionally, some patients report tooth sensitivity, but this is transient for 1 or 2 days. Our patients return to their normal level of teeth sensitivity.

I am afraid of root canal. Is it painful?

Today’s root canal is highly successful and uses new techniques and equipment to effectively save teeth which would otherwise need to be removed. This generally takes between 1-3 visits. The area is carefully frozen, allowing our clients to remain comfortable. The soft dental pulp, found between the tooth layers, and sometimes becomes infected. Adults do not require the dental pulp. The infected pulp is carefully removed, and the area is filled and sealed. This allows your tooth and surrounding tissue to remain healthy. Left untreated, the tooth would need to be removed and replaced, which can be more costly.

Why does going to the dentist cost so much?

Dentists are highly trained health care providers who are the only experienced and qualified team dental team member to advise you about oral health concerns and treatment options. They have as much medical education, training and experience as a physician: they are considered as physicians in their field of dentistry. They have high overhead costs including staff, equipment and operating costs. Each dental practice sets their rates independently. Our dental practice makes every effort to curtail these costs, allowing our clients to receive the best care at reasonable competitive prices. Regular preventive dental care costs significantly less than resolving dental problems that could have been prevented and require multiple treatments.

How do I pay for my treatment?

Payment is conventionally made immediately following each treatment at our dental clinic. For your convenience, we accept cash. Credit and debit card. If there are issues regarding payment of services, please talk to our friendly staff who may be able to make suggestions for your specific situation.

Romford dental practice

123a South Street
Romford
Essex
RM1 1NX

Phone: 01708 751 745
Fax: 01708 752 140
Stratford dental practice

35 Vicarage Lane
Stratford
London
E15 4HG

Phone: 0208 534 3402
Fax: 0208 519 2662
© 2016 Uksmiles Ltd