Posts Tagged ‘dental’


Wednesday, 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


Toothpaste (written by Samantha Roden, hygienist)

Thursday, 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



Tuesday, 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




Thursday, 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.





Wednesday, November 6th, 2013




This event is organised each year by the British Dental Health Foundation to help raise public awareness of Oral Cancer.


Many people are unaware of Oral cancer and also of the risk factors associated with the disease, unlike other better known cancers such as lung cancer or cervical cancer.


The Basic Facts

On average 6500 new cases of mouth cancer are diagnosed in the UK each year.

Over 1900 people die from the disease in the UK each year.

People are more likely to die from mouth cancer than other better known diseases such as malignant melanoma or cervical cancer. The main reason for this is that the disease is often diagnosed too late.


What do I look for?

Mouth cancer presents in many ways. The most common would be a mouth ulcer that does not heal within around 3 weeks.

Other signs could be a white or red patch in the mouth which again is there for more than 3 weeks.



What causes mouth cancer?

Like many other cancers the risk factors are similar.

  1. Excessive alcohol intake particularly the strong spirits such as whiskey or vodka.
  2. Tobacco use such as smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipe smoking but also chewing tobacco, betel quid, gutkha and paan are particularly dangerous. 
  3. Smoking together with alcohol consumption at the same time is a particularly high risk factor.
  4. The human papillomavirus (HPV), often transmitted via oral sex. This virus is also strongly linked to cervical cancer
  5. Poor diet low in vitamin A C and E
  6. Over exposure to sunlight can cause cancer on the lips


How can I reduce the risk and keep my mouth healthy?

The easy way to stay healthy is to avoid excessive use of alcohol and tobacco. Practice safe sex by avoiding sleeping with multiple partners and always use a condom. Eat a healthy diet to ensure you get all the vitamins that you require.

When going out in the sun apply sun screen to your lips.

Finally ensure that your mouth is checked regularly by your dentist.

The Good News.

Mouth cancer when detected early can often be cured .Most of the severe cases of mouth cancer are due to late diagnosis.   At Eckington Dentist we thoroughly examine your mouth at each examination. We are able to check the areas of your mouth which you cannot always see yourself such as underneath your tongue and the back of the mouth.

This is one of the benefits of regular dental health checks.

Remember that if you wear dentures then you should still have your mouth checked at least once a year. It is important that should you get an ulcer from a rubbing denture which does not appear to be healing that this is checked by your dentist. Often it just means that the denture needs adjusting and the ulcer will then heal,