October 6th, 2014

What are the adverse effects of smoking within the oral cavity?

Listed below are the damages smoking has in the mouth:


  • Bad breath
  • Tooth discolouration
  • The risk of developing gum disease and tooth loss is greatly increased
  • Increased risk of oral cancer
  • Delayed healing after an extraction, gum treatment or oral surgery, therefore more risk of post infection
  • Can lower the success rate of dental implants



At our practice we encouraged patients to stop smoking, we offer a referral service to a smoking cessation specialist




What is STOPTOBER? STOPTOBER is the 28 day national stop smoking challenge. It is carried out in the month of October.

Stopping smoking for 28 days means your five times more likely to stop for good.

Thousands of people successfully stopped after taking the 28 day challenge last year.


Why not join today. Simply type STOPTOBER into your search engine to apply for your information pack, read hints and tips and let STOPTOBER guide you through your 28 day journey.


For more information speak with your dental professional.


April 9th, 2014



Teeth whitening is a fantastic way to improve the appearance of your smile. It will improve the shade/colour of your teeth.

Airflow polishing removes any staining caused by drinks such as tea/coffee/red wine and foods such as curries along with nicotine staining caused by smoking.  If you are happy with the shade of your teeth but are concerned with the stubborn stains associated with the above then an “airflow” polish could be for you.


There are two ways to whiten your teeth:

  1. Take home whitening
  2. In surgery whitening

- Take home whitening is a simple yet effective way to whiten your teeth and will usually take between 10 and 14 days. It is carried out by you, the patient, at home.

Whitening trays are made to fit your mouth comfortably. You will then be instructed on how to place the whitening solution in the trays and length of time you should wear them for.

Once you are happy with the shade of your new white smile keep your trays clean and safe ready to top up as and when you wish.


- If you want to reach a whiter shade in a shorter period of time, for example, you are getting married in a few weeks or going on holiday, then in surgery whitening could be the best option.

A dental professional will carry out the pain free teeth whitening in practice so you will leave that day with whiter teeth. You will then take home some extra whitening solution to carry out at home until you reach the desired whiteness. Think of the in surgery whitening as a “jump start”.


tooth whitening






Airflow polishing



-    Airflow polishing uses a jet of air, water and fine powder particles to quickly and gently remove stains and plaque on the tooth surface


-    Both our dental hygienists Lisa and Sam can provide you with an airflow polish, either alongside your routine hygienist visit or on a separate occasion. If you have a special occasion on the horizon and wish to vanish those stubborn stains or just want that clean, confident smile.








Feel free to ask your dentist or hygienist if you have any questions regarding tooth whitening or airflow polishing or  BOOK AN APPOINTMENT



April 8th, 2014




Anti wrinkle injections are a highly effective, non-surgical procedure for the softening and smoothing of facial lines and wrinkles. Lines and wrinkles are a natural maturing process caused by a combination of ageing, sun damage
and the everyday motions of smiling, laughing and frowning. The treatment works by relaxing the tiny facial muscles
which create expression lines. The muscles no longer contract as forcefully so the overlying skin stays smooth and
crease-free. The result is a more relaxed and youthful look. The procedure is very simple and straightforward. After around two or three days the effects are seen, with the full benefits becoming visible up to fourteen days after treatment. Average results last around four to five months before repeat treatments are required.
Here at Eckington Dentist, treatments are carried out by Debbie Houghton, a highly qualified practitioner.
You will have a full consultation before treatment is undertaken. All aspects of the procedure will be fully explained and you will have the opportunity to ask  questions. Debbie’s gentle touch and attention to detail guarantees a pain free experience and exceptional results.

botox_before_after eyes 2beforeafterbotox forehead

       Call us now on 01246 432994 or email

info@raleighfamilydentists.com arrange your FREE CONSULTATION

WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS? (written by Stuart Bright)

January 30th, 2014

What Are Dental Implants?


Dental implants provide a fixed, permanent solution to missing teeth. The implant is usually made out of titanium and is placed into the jaw bone where the tooth is missing.


It is essentially a substitute for a natural tooth root and grows together with your jaw bone to function just like a natural tooth. Once fitted, implants provide the foundation for long-term support of crowns, bridges or dentures.

Dental implants are a well established, tried and tested treatment and over 95% of modern implants should last many years with the right care.


Single implants


A dental implant provides an excellent, permanent tooth replacement option for a single missing tooth.

  • It can feel and function just like a natural tooth.
  • It can preserve the health of the adjacent teeth by eliminating the need to grind down the teeth next to the gap for support.
  • It can stimulate bone tissue and gums, which ensure an attractive and pleasing result over time.

implant photo



Multiple implants


When a number of teeth are missing, there are various options available.


You may choose to have a denture but over time, your gums will recede and the denture may not fit as well.

Multiple dental implants could be placed to help eliminate the discomfort with large gaps or ill fitting dentures, so you can eat, speak and smile with confidence.

Implants can be used to stabalise a denture or can be used to support a full arch of teeth which are permanently fixed in place to completely avoid the need for a denture

Diet and the effect it can have on your children’s teeth (by Samantha Roden)

January 14th, 2014

Diet and its effect on teeth

When sugar is consumed either through foods or drinks it sticks to our teeth.  When plaque is left on the teeth through not brushing or incorrect brushing bacteria  in the plaque turn the sugar in to an acid, which then attack’s the enamel.


Most of the time saliva can protect the teeth, but when sugary foods and drinks are consumed throughout the day the teeth are open to acid for a lot longer and the saliva cannot repair the teeth and therefore decay can start to happen.


fruit and veg

To avoid this form happening you should limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks by having them at mealtimes only.  Try to stick to fruit, cheese, vegetables and milk or water between meals.

Citrus fruits like oranges are good for vitamin C.  But remember that this type of fruit is acidic, so whilst it is OK to snack on fruit between meals eat it all in one go.


Your child has 20 baby teeth up until the age of around 6 years old.

At the age of 6 you may notice your child complain of slight pain  at the back of their mouth.  At this age their permanent adult teeth are coming through their gum behind their baby teeth.

It is very important to ensure that your child brushes further back now when brushing their teeth.  In a lot of cases children present at checkups with decay in their first adult teeth as they have not brushed them properly.



fissure-sealants-preventative-dentistry These teeth have deep fissures (see tooth on the left) in them where food can get trapped and may not be easily removed.  In some cases the dentist may wish to place a fissure sealant (see tooth on the right) – a coating which is painted onto the tops to make the teeth easier to clean and food less likely to stick here.


Remember to book your child in for regular check ups.

Toothpaste (written by Samantha Roden, hygienist)

December 12th, 2013


As a dental hygienist one of the most frequent questions I get asked is “which toothpaste is the best


Fluoride is the most important aspect when choosing a toothpaste.


Fluoride helps strengthen the tooth enamel (the outer surface of the tooth) and along with a good brushing technique and minimising your sugar intake throughout the day will help to prevent the need for fillings.

If you are using a toothpaste with the wrong amount of fluoride your teeth could potentially be at risk of developing tooth decay which could lead to pain, abscess, bad breath and in some cases tooth loss.

You can find how much fluoride your toothpaste contains by looking on the ingredients list of the tube or outer packaging of your toothpaste. If unsure ask your dental hygienist.



  • Children up to the age of 3 years should be using a smear of toothpaste with no less than 1,000 ppm fluoride. Children over 3 and adults should be using a pea sized amount of toothpaste containing 1,350 – 1,500 ppm fluoride.


After brushing you should spit out the excess toothpaste and not rinse with any water or mouthwash for maximum fluoride benefit.


Patients who have a high risk of developing dental decay can be prescribed a higher strength fluoride toothpaste to help prevent this.


Some other toothpastes you may find are sensitive, whitening and toothpastes aimed at helping prevent gum disease.


Sensitive toothpastes work really well for patients suffering with sensitivity, different brands work better for different people, if one doesn’t suit you try a different make. Sensodyne and Colgate pro relief are the main ones on the market at the minute. They contain an ingredient that helps stop sensitivity.


Once you have found one that suits you, the same brand should be used from then on to gain the full benefit from your toothpaste and remember not to rinse with water or mouthwash after brushing.

If you have any particular areas that are more sensitive than others for example an area of gum recession, you can dry the area and rub the sensitive toothpaste on with your finger.


Some Abrasive whitening toothpastes can damage teeth, Janina whitening is a good low abrasive toothpaste that we recommend. If you wish whiter teeth you can discuss professional teeth whitening with your dentist or hygienist.


Toothpastes with stannous fluoride may help in reducing gingivitis and early signs of gum disease.


Feel free to ask your hygienist if you have any questions regarding toothpastes  BOOK AN APPOINTMENT



December 3rd, 2013




Why clean in between teeth?


Daily interdental cleaning is imperative. Plaque build up between teeth will not be cleaned by a toothbrush or a mouthwash and can lead to tooth decay, calculus/tartar formation and gum disease


Tooth decay


When interdental cleaning doesn’t take place plaque will stagnate between teeth, when sugary foods and drinks are consumed the plaque will turn to acid causing tooth decay. If the plaque between teeth is removed effectively on a daily basis this can be prevented.


Gum disease


Bacteria in plaque can irritate the gum and cause inflammation, initially the gum will be slight red, puffy may bleed when brushing but not necessarily be painful, this is why gum disease sometimes goes unnoticed by patients. If gum disease is left untreated and allowed to progress, the plaque bacteria will not only irritate the gum but start to eat away at the bone that supports the teeth which eventually can lead to tooth loss.


What is the best way to clean in between?


For interdental cleaning, the choices are endless (floss, tape, sticks, single tufted brush, superfloss, brushes) but your hygienist will advise you on what is the best for you, they will choose the correct aid based on the size of the interproximal spaces and the ability and motivation of the individual.



Flossing – floss picks/floss/tape are passed in between teeth and a sweeping action used to clean underneath the gum. Most patients will use a sawing action which is wrong and can make the gum sore.




Interdental brushes - come in a range of different sizes and textures to accommodate different size gaps

- The brush is passed directly through each gap as close to the gum line as possible to achieve effective plaque/food removal.









Airfloss/water jets - a jet of water and air is passed through each gap in between the teeth, flossing and/or interdental brushes are recommended alongside these devices to mechanically remove the plaque as plaque is a very sticky substance and not removed by airfloss/water jet alone.


“My gums bleed so I don’t clean in between”  


When you first start to clean in between you may notice bleeding. If this happens then persevere, don’t be put off, the gum is bleeding because you are dislodging the old plaque that is irritating the gum.


It is important to clean between daily to stop the plaque from stagnating. It may take a few weeks for bleeding to stop completely so don’t be disheartened if your doing everything you should and don’t notice the bleeding stop straight away.


If certain areas bleed more than others don’t avoid them and concentrate on those areas more possibly cleaning between twice a day until the bleeding stops.



If you are unsure whether you are using the correct interdental cleaning aid or performing the wrong technique, your hygienist will be happy to go through this with you at your next appointment.  BOOK AN APPOINTMENT




November 28th, 2013



A mouthwash or mouth rinse is a good addition to your oral home care regime. They are NOT a substitute to brushing or interdental cleaning


A mouthwash can be used by anyone over the age of 6 years. There are different types of mouthwash, your dental hygienist can recommend the best one for you. Always choose an  alcohol free version if available


They are to be used at a separate time to brushing to gain the maximum benefits. We advise waiting at least an hour after brushing or at a separate time completely, for example, after lunch


2 main ones are, a fluoride containing mouthwash and one that can help with gum disease


A Fluoride mouthwash contains fluoride, the same ingredient found in toothpaste, it gives your teeth added protection against tooth decay by strengthening the enamel. The fluoride helps reduce tooth decay by inhibiting demineralisation (where the tooth becomes weak) and promoting remineralisation (making the tooth much stronger)


A Chlorhexidine based mouthwash helps to reduce dental plaque and bacteria in the oral cavity. Chlorhexidine is the active ingredient and found in mouthwashes such as the well known Corsodyl and less well known Curasept. Curasept contains the same active ingredients as Corsodyl but doesn’t tend to stain teeth as bad, which is the major disadvantage for most patients.

Your hygienist may recommend Curasept if you have signs of gum disease


Listerine is also good as an anti plaque mouthwash, patients prefer the taste of this mouthwash to the Chlorhexidine based ones and is good for freshening breath


Another mouthwash called Peroxyl is chosen by some patients as they find less staining builds up on there teeth due to tea/coffee and foods with strong colourings. Used once a day at a separate time the oxygen bubbles help lift extrinsic staining (staining on the outside of the teeth)

The mouthwash will not whiten teeth, if you wish a whiter, brighter smile then speak with your hygienist or dentist and they will go thought he different options with you.



mouthwash image


November 21st, 2013


Gum disease is very common, but easily prevented.


If you have gum disease your gums will become swollen, red and may bleed very easily, bad breath is also associated with gum disease.


In its early stages gum disease is called gingivitis, the disease isolated to just the gum which can easily be reversed with regular visits to your hygienist and a good oral health regime at home.


In severe cases of gum disease, periodontitis can develop.  It affects the tissues that support the teeth and hold them in place.  If periodontitis is not treated, teeth can become loose and eventually fall out.


What causes gum disease?


Gum disease is caused by bacteria in plaque.


Plaque is the sticky white substance that you remove when cleaning your teeth.  Some of the bacteria in plaque can be very harmful and if it is not removed effectively it will stagnate and irritate your gums, this leads to inflammation (swelling of the gums etc)


How to prevent gum disease?


  1. Brushing
  2. Interdental cleaning (see next weeks blog)
  3. Regular visits to the hygienist










November 14th, 2013

Hygienists specialise in looking after gums.

They are highly trained dental professionals that help to prevent and treat gum disease.

Gum disease can be prevented by regular visits to your dental hygienist where they will provide an excellent service in removing hard and soft dental plaque and by helping you understand what is the best way to prevent gum disease at home by teaching you the correct techniques to effectively remove plaque.

Read about how our dental hygienists’ Lisa Bright and Samantha Roden may be able to help you.