Healthy Foods To Assist With Good Oral Health

Some everyday foods and drinks that will help to maintain your teeth and gums in tip top shape.

As great believers in holistic dental care in Epsom, we naturally want our patients to take responsibility for the health of their teeth, supported of course, by professional monitoring by one of our friendly dentists.

As a part of this care, we thought it would be useful to take a look at some food and drinks which are actually beneficial for your teeth and gums.

As you would expect, a healthy diet, low in sugars and full of useful nutrition is good, not only for supplying essential minerals such as calcium, but for your overall health too. Whilst avoiding the more esoteric foods sometimes favoured by some, today’s list looks at foods that are widely available and could be useful for your teeth and gums.

Water

Yes, we all drink water, but most of us do not drink enough of it. Staying well hydrated helps to keep the bacteria in our mouths under control. Drinking water will also help to wash away food particles that become stuck between the teeth. Doing this with a high sugar drink simply replaces the food with sticky sugar leaving things no better, and potentially worse, than before – so reserve those for treats or preferably not at all.

Leafy greens

Whilst perhaps not high on a lots of people’s favourite foods, leafy greens are very high in vitamins and minerals. They are also high in calcium which is important to help preserve healthy protective enamel and help protect against decay.

Carrots

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Eating After Dental Implant Surgery

Food does not have to be boring whilst your implant heals!

If you have recently had dental implant surgery at The Clock Tower Clinic in Epsom, you will have been told that you must eat soft foods for a period of time to avoid damaging the implant whilst it integrates with the bone.

There is also the matter of looking after the area of surgery which may be a little sore and tender for a short while. It therefore makes sense to be careful what you eat during the healing period.

On the surface of it, a diet of soft foods, even for a short time, may seem a little boring, but it doesn’t have to be this way. In today’s blog, we look at some aspects of eating and food selection in the period following your implant placement.

What NOT to eat

Before we take a look at some of the foods that you can eat following your surgery, it may be useful to take a look at some foods that you should definitely avoid.

Spicy foods – especially in the immediate period, the heat in spicy foods may well irritate and inflame vulnerable soft tissue.

Seeds and nuts – anything that is small and hard may become trapped in the area of the surgery and cause infections.

Hard foods – avoid anything that requires pressure being put on the new implant.

Crumbly foods – avoid crisps, popcorn etc, for the same reason as seeds and nuts (see above)

What you CAN eat (with care)

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Have You Considered Dental Implants?

A look at why more and more people are turning to this procedure to replace their missing teeth.

It is never a good idea to leave a gap in your teeth. Although this may be an obvious statement where the gap is visible; even leaving a gap where it is hidden can have unwanted results, including the movement of nearby teeth which may eventually cause your teeth to become crooked.

Traditionally, dentures or a bridge would have been used to replace the lost tooth, but the use of dental implants is now becoming more and more common at The Clock Tower Dental Practice in Epsom, Surrey.

The implant procedure

One reason why some patients are deterred from having dental implants is the procedure itself. It is true that the use of dentures often requires no invasive treatment, unlike implants. However, although the implant procedure is more complex, it should prove to be no more uncomfortable than many other procedures and is not to be feared at all.

Our state of the art equipment means that the procedure can be carried out both accurately and efficiently, and the local anaesthetic will minimise any discomfort that you might feel. There is also the option to have sedation for this treatment if you prefer. This may be especially beneficial for nervous patients and is also known to make lengthy procedures seem to pass by more quickly for anyone who has it.

Why dental implants?

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Are Dental X-Rays Safe? Your Epsom Dentist Explains

Patient safety is top priority at the Clock Tower Dental Clinic.

X-rays are routinely used by dentists to detect problems that can’t be seen with a straightforward visual check. They can be used to gauge the extent of a cavity or to see if there is an infection of the tooth root that may require root canal treatment. Patients will have noticed that, when an x-ray is taken, members of staff move to an area where they are protected from the rays. This can lead some patients to question the safety of this aspect of dental care.

What are x-rays?

X-rays involve the use of a low dosage of radiation to produce the images that we are all familiar with. Radiation is perhaps best known for sickness caused by leaks from nuclear power plants and other similar situations, but the quantity of radiation used in a dental x-ray however is very minimal, and, under normal circumstances, should be perfectly safe for most patients.

There may be certain medical conditions which mean that x-rays should only be used when absolutely essential. These are far and few between, but it is still important that you inform us of any changes in your general health and also any medications that you may be taking.

Children and x-rays

Naturally, parents always want to protect their children and some may question the safety of x-rays for younger patients. The fact is that although children are more susceptible to radiation, the levels used in our Epsom dental practice are still low enough to be perfectly safe for all members of your family.

Pregnancy

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Root Canal Treatment At Your Dentist In Epsom – 6 Steps

dental check

A simple explanation of this often misunderstood treatment.

Visitors to The Clock Tower Dental Clinic often tell us that the procedure that concerns them the most is the root canal procedure. This probably comes as no surprise to our readers who may have heard horror stories about this particular treatment which likely arise from a time before modern equipment and anaesthetics became available.

Unfortunately, the root canal procedure is one of the most misunderstood treatments and is certainly nothing to be feared. In today’s blog, we explain to our Epsom patients, in layman’s terms, what actually happens during this procedure, in easy steps.

Check up and x-rays

The first step is, of course, to diagnose the problem. This is done using x-rays so that we can see the inner canals of the tooth where any infection may be present. This is also an important stage as we check for the presence of any abscesses. If any are found, they will be treated before the procedure can go ahead.

Anaesthetic

As with any invasive procedure, a local anaesthetic is given to minimise any potential discomfort. We can administer this using ‘The Wand’, a much more comfortable way of delivering anaesthetic than traditional methods. We will check to make sure that it has taken effect fully before we start the procedure.

Accessing the root canals

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Going Vegan? Some Things To Consider About Your Teeth

A vegan diet may be ‘healthy’, but can pose challenges for your oral health.

Barely a day goes by without veganism appearing in the news. It is, without a doubt, a growing trend, especially amongst younger people. There are many reasons that people choose this diet, and some would say, lifestyle;  from concerns about animal welfare, to improving food supplies across the world.

These are all admirable concerns, and our Epsom patients are, of course, free to choose the lifestyle that they wish to live. From the perspective of the dental profession, there are a few issues which would-be vegans may wish to consider before embarking on this diet.

Sugars

It is a well established fact that sugar is responsible for most tooth decay. Whilst most vegans would probably claim that their diet is healthy, it should be remembered that it doesn’t have to be this way. It is unlikely but entirely possible to be a vegan and eat nothing but cakes and sweets for example. Whether you are a vegan or meat eater, you still need to watch your sugar consumption, even those of natural origin, such as honey or fruit sugars.

Citric fruits

Most of us eat fruit, but vegan diets may contain more fruit than most. This is great from a health angle as fruit is generally high in vitamins and low in fat. Caution should be exercised though as some fruits, especially citric ones such as oranges and lemons, are highly acidic. Eating large quantities of citric fruits means that your tooth enamel can become eroded, increasing the risk of toothache and decay.

Don’t you need milk?

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Can Toothpaste Prevent Erosion Of Your Teeth?

Clocktower Dental Implant and Facial Centre

Are enamel protecting toothpastes enough to prevent this increasing problem?

You have probably noticed a growing trend for toothpastes that focus on one particular aspect of oral health care.

These may include gum disease, teeth whitening and now enamel erosion. Often, these seem to offer a quick solution for common dental problems, but do the claims always stand up?

Most of us probably know toothpaste as just toothpaste. Providing that it is a reliable brand and contains fluoride, it will probably do a fairly good job of keeping your teeth clean and in reasonable health. Cleaning our teeth is just a part of the solution though, and although some enamel erosion toothpastes may offer some additional protection for our Epsom patients, the reality is that tooth erosion can be caused by a combination of factors and is not so easy to protect against simply through brushing alone.

Acidic diet

The fact is that our western diet is becoming increasingly acidic. High sugar consumption plays a significant role in this, though it is hoped that the newly introduced sugar tax will help to reduce this over time. Whether sugar consumption ever falls to an acceptable level, only time will tell, but any reduction has to be a good thing.

What then, can patients of The Clock Tower Dental Clinic do to help prevent enamel erosion?

Reduce sugar consumption

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Types Of Dental Filling – Your Options In Epsom

white teeth smiles

How to choose the filling type most suitable for you.

It reasonable to suggest that few people actually enjoy having a tooth filled. Here at the Clock Tower Dental Clinic in Epsom we completely understand this and we try to help our patients have as comfortable an experience as possible when they do need a tooth filled.

Options such as ‘The Wand’, a gentler anaesthetic device, and even sedation means that most patients can undergo any necessary fillings without too much stress.

When it comes to the choice of filling material though, things can become a little confusing for the layperson. In today’s blog, we take a look at some of the main choices that are available to fill a dental cavity at our Epsom practice.

Amalgam

Amalgam dental fillings have been around for a very long time and are still the standard material used when a tooth needs to be filled. It is fair to say that its strength is probably the main reason for its longevity. There are a number of disadvantages to its use though:

  • It is very dark in colour and therefore highly visible
  • Over time, tiny gaps can develop at the edges of amalgam fillings. These allow bacteria to enter, with further decay likely to follow
  • Some patients are uncomfortable with the use of mercury in this type of filling, although it should be noted that is has been deemed safe to use by the regulatory bodies, albeit with some conditions.

At the Clock Tower Dental Clinic, our team are experienced in the safe removal of amalgam fillings, should patients wish, and replacing them with a mercury-free alternative.

Gold fillings

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Are You Brushing Your Teeth Correctly?

Our Epsom dentist discusses some of the common mistakes we make.

From a very young age, we are all taught to brush our teeth “well”. This usually means both morning and evening, giving them a vigorous brushing. Although this advice is given with the best of intentions, it often leads to a number of mistakes that can actually harm your teeth, rather than protect them.

At The Clock Tower Dental Clinic in Epsom, we believe that prevention is key to maintaining strong and healthy teeth. With that in mind, we take a look below, at some of the most common errors that we make when brushing our teeth.

Old toothbrushes

Do you change your toothbrush, or head of an electric one, at least every three months? The likelihood is that many of us don’t. Sometimes a new brush can feel a little hard and we get used to the comfortable feel of a well worn toothbrush. Unfortunately, the worn bristles that contribute to this comfort are a lot more ineffective at removing bacteria from the teeth than a new one that is in good condition. You should change your toothbrush at least every three months and throw the old one away.

Hygiene

If your toilet is in the bathroom, please make sure to keep your toothbrush well away from it. Bacteria spread easily and we probably don’t need to go into detail about why your toothbrush should not be too close to the toilet!  It is also worth mentioning that if you have an illness such as a sickness bug or flu, you should treat yourself to a new brush to prevent re-infection.

Be gentle

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Suffering From Yellow Smokers Teeth?

Solutions in Epsom to restore stained teeth.

Tooth discolouration can be caused by a number of factors. Some, such as that caused by regular tea drinking, can accumulate over a long period of time.

One of the habits most likely to cause severe discolouration though, is smoking.

Perhaps through the combination of health advice and the availability of a smoking alternative in vaping, fewer and fewer people now smoke tobacco based products such as cigarettes or cigars. Whether you still smoke or have recently stopped though, several years of this  habit will almost certainly have resulted in badly stained teeth.

Yellow teeth

The tar and nicotine in cigarettes will gradually accumulate on the surface of your teeth, finding its way into the tiniest of cracks and crevices. Tar especially is very sticky and is therefore almost impossible to remove through brushing alone. Those who have smoked heavily for a very long time, may even find that their teeth are closer to brown in colour than yellow.

If you have recently stopped smoking and especially if you need an extra motivation not to start again, this is an excellent time to have your teeth whitened, reminding yourself how your teeth could look if you don’t start smoking again.

Teeth whitening

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