Digital Smile Design (DSD) at Shifnal Dental Care!
We are launching a new cosmetic dentistry treatment at Shifnal Dental Care.
Digital Smile Design (DSD) uses the latest dentistry technology to design and create the perfect smile for your face.
To find out more about Digital Smile Design and the benefits of this treatment, visit our new Digital Smile Design page.
Form Easy Habits That Will Improve Your Oral Health
It can often be difficult to make sure you’re looking after your teeth, especially if you lead a busy lifestyle. Below we outline some ways in which you can improve your oral health, without the hassle.
Changing a few habits here and there and being aware of what you’re putting into your body cannot only help your oral health, but your overall health as well.
Drink More Water
This one seems super simple, but its surprising how many people don’t drink water on a regular basis. It is so easy to swap out fizzy drinks for water, and your teeth will thank you for it!
Water has no sugar or calories so is great for your general health and your oral health.
If you drink mineral (fluoridated) water, this can also help fight tooth decay due to its ability to strengthen tooth enamel.
Stop Unhealthy Snacking
A busy life can often mean more snacking! In between main meals, you should be trying to eat healthy snacks that do not contain sugar. Options can include cheese, veg sticks, nuts and breadsticks. Sugary snacks cause an attack on your teeth as the sugar reacts with the bacteria in tooth plaque, and this can last for up to an hour.
If you are eating sugary snacks every few hours, this can mean a continuous attack on your teeth, causing more cavities. Cutting down and eventually ditching this type of snacking is the best way to avoid this problem.
Chew Sugar Free Gum
Why not pop a piece of sugar free gum in after eating? Xylitol is in some sugar free gum and kills the bacteria that causes cavities. Chewing gum increases saliva levels, and therefore helps to bring down acid levels. You should chew for 20 minutes after you have eaten.
Chewing gum is also good for helping to break unhealthy snacking habits by developing a new one. Chewing sugar free gum is a good habit to have. It can also help to protect your teeth and gums in between meals.
Smoking regularly can cause stained teeth, bad breath, a diminished sense of taste and mouth cancer. Over a long period of time, smoking can have disastrous effects on your overall health. Smoking is also one of the most significant risk factors associated with gum disease. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your oral and overall health.
Brush Your Teeth
It only takes a minimum of 4 minutes a day to brush your teeth effectively, and this should be number one on your to do list when you get up in the morning and before you go to bed at night. Flossing is also important to make sure your oral health is up to scratch.
Visit the Dentist
Although visiting us at Shifnal Dental Care will take time out of your no doubt busy day, you are only likely to need to go once a year (this could be more or less dependent on your personal needs) and we are here to help you every step of the way. Your health and wellbeing is always at the forefront of our minds, and in the long run, poor dental hygiene would result in more visits to the dentist and more time off work.
Stay on top of your oral hygiene and make an appointment with us at Shifnal Dental Care – our treatment coordinator Katherine will be happy to speak with you. Give us a call today on 01952 460119.
CEREC Introductory Offer – Until 31st January 2018
We currently have an introductory special offer for our registered member patients – until 31st January 2018, costs for CEREC treatments will start from £300 (normally from £450)!
For more information, visit our CEREC page.
For esthetic ceramic crowns, partial crowns or veneers in a single visit, ask Shifnal Dental Care about CEREC. Call our surgery on 01952 460119.
A Guide to Aftercare: How to Take Care of Your New Filling
The fourth part of our aftercare series looks at the common dental procedure, tooth fillings, and how to take care of them after the treatment.
For a short while after receiving a filling, the affected tooth and the area surrounding it can become very sensitive. On the other hand, white composite fillings set almost straight away so you won’t have to be as careful primarily, however, white fillings do require more long-term care.
Here, we have provided our best top tips for looking after your dental fillings.
Top Tips for Looking for Looking After Your New Filling
- We advise our patients to avoid food and drink until the anaesthetic wears off as you may end up biting the side of your cheek or cracking the filling.
- Make sure that you take full care of your fillings by brushing and flossing every day and after meals when you can – this will prevent staining and further damages.
- Eating a lot of strongly coloured foods and smoking tobacco products regularly can cause white fillings to become stained, therefore consuming these should not be done excessively.
- Don’t consume too much sugar as this will increase the likelihood of needing more fillings, and it could cause decay around the current filling.
- It is normal to feel some sensitivity in the affected area, so you should avoid hard and sticky foods which could increase the sensitivity.
- Make sure that you get regular check-ups at the dentist to make sure that your filling is still strong and in place.
At Shifnal Dental Care, we provide white fillings as an alternative to silver amalgam fillings. Our dentists can also replace silver amalgam fillings with tooth coloured fillings. To arrange a consultation, call 01952 460119 or use our online booking system.
A Guide To Aftercare: Invisible Braces & Invisalign
As part of our aftercare series, we’re looking at how best to care for your teeth when you’ve had invisible braces or Invisalign aligners fitted. Both treatments are a commitment so we have advice on how to look after your braces, in and out of your mouth.
Invisalign treatments include wearing removable aligners which are resized and replaced every two weeks. Because they’re removable, it is important to keep the aligners, and your teeth, clean and cared for throughout your treatment to ensure best results.
Clear and Invisible braces are similar to traditional braces, but use strong transparent or white plastic rather than metal brackets and wires.
Tips for looking after your Invisalign aligners
It is vital to keep your aligners clean during your treatment to avoid bacteria build-up and discolouration. To keep them as invisible as possible just follow these straightforward steps.
- DO use Invisalign crystals to soak the aligners in rather than damage them with harsh chemicals.
- DO brush your teeth after every meal or drink & before putting on any aligners to prevent bacteria build-up and discolouration.
- DO rinse aligners after taking them out to avoid staining.
- DO gently brush your aligners with clear anti-bacterial liquids.
- DO keep your aligners in a box when not in use – mainly so you don’t lose them!
- DON’T use mouthwash or toothpaste to clean your aligners – this will damage them.
- DON’T drink dark liquids such as coffee, cola and wine with your aligners in, and brush before putting them back in.
Tips for looking after your invisible braces
Invisible braces are fixed just like a normal brace, meaning they can’t be removed and cleaned like an Invisalign. This means it’s even more important to look after your teeth and practice good oral hygiene during your treatment, to ensure you achieve the best results with no staining to your teeth.
- DO use a fluoride mouthwash to reach the parts of your mouth your toothbrush can’t.
- DO buy interdental brushes, to get behind the wire of your brace.
- DON’T eat hard boiled sweets, which can snap the wires of your brace.
- DON’T, or at least try to avoid, eating or drinking things that’ll stain your clear braces – this includes coffee, wine, curry and tomato-based meals.
For more information about invisible braces and Invisalign, visit our Invisible Braces page, or call Shifnal Dental Care on 01952 460199 to book a consultation with our treatment coordinator, Katherine.
A Guide to Aftercare: Teeth Whitening Aftercare Advice
If you continue with habits that discoloured your teeth in the first place, it is likely that your teeth will become discoloured again, wasting the money spent on your treatment.
Maintaining your teeth after treatment shouldn’t feel like hard work. It is important to make sure that you improve your dental hygiene routine until it just becomes second nature to you.
The following tips provide the best ways to maintain your whiter, brighter smile!
The process of teeth whitening provides excellent results; however, the treatment is only the beginning of the journey. From the moment that you walk out of the dentist, the decisions you make are crucial to maintaining the gleaming white colour of your teeth.
During the first 48 hours following teeth whitening treatment, the pores in the teeth are still open which means that they are at risk of absorbing colour from the food and drink that you consume and therefore becoming discoloured.
During this period, it is essential that you avoid drinking dark liquids such as:
- Red wine and
- Foods with strong colouring such as pasta sauce, red meat and fruits.
It’s also recommended that for the first few months, you should brush your teeth and rinse every time you eat, drink or smoke any tobacco products.
For a long-term method of maintaining the whiteness of your teeth, you should visit a dentist and a dental hygienist regularly. Professional teeth cleaning means that surface stains can be polished away, fighting discolouration without having to repeat teeth whitening treatment.
In addition to this, we advise thorough home cleaning and flossing twice a day. Cleaning your teeth with a whitening toothpaste and a whitening mouthwash can help to oxidise stains from the teeth and prevent them from becoming discoloured again.
For information about our teeth whitening treatments, visit our Teeth Whitening page.
To enquire about having your teeth whitened, please contact us on 01952 460119 or complete our contact form.
A Guide To Adult Braces
Are you unhappy with the alignment of your teeth? Or maybe you had braces as a teenager and are underwhelmed with how your teeth look now.
If you ever had braces as a teenager, you’ll probably remember having to endure them for 1-2 years accompanied with the pain staking task of choosing what colour your train tracks should be next. However, you’ll be pleased to hear that braces come in all kinds of discrete forms and in many cases can straighten your teeth in around 6 months which make them a lot more appealing to many adults!
There are many options to straighten your teeth as an adult including three options we provide at Shifnal Dental Care – Cfast, Invisalign and Smile TRU.
Cfast is a non-invasive, short term treatment that corrects alignment issues with the top and bottom front 6 teeth or the ‘social six’. This option is ideal for moderate overcrowding, gaps and crooked teeth which is visible when you talk, laugh or smile.
Cfast gently moves teeth through a combination of traditional orthodontic techniques, modern materials and tooth coloured nickel titanium wires. This typically takes around 6 months to straighten teeth with regular visits every 4-6 weeks to make adjustments.
More and more adults are now choosing Cfast because it provides excellent results in a short period of time when compared to traditional braces or aligners. Cfast treatment is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a quick fix and don’t like the idea of wearing highly noticeable traditional metal braces.
. Offers a quick fix to straightening teeth.
. Virtually invisible to others.
. Cfast braces are comfortable to wear as the nickel titanium wires are a lighter material than traditional fixed braces.
. It is an affordable treatment as the shorter treatment time dramatically cuts the cost.
. Not suitable for teeth that require a lot of movement or complex issues such as an entire arch or the bite.
. Can’t be removed when eating or teeth cleaning, so a higher level of oral hygiene should be maintained throughout the duration of the Cfast treatment.
. Only works on the front teeth only so if there are problems with other teeth a different orthodontic treatment will need to be considered.
Invisalign is another type of orthodontic treatment we provide here at Shifnal Dental Care. Teeth are straightened through a series of clear, removable aligners which are custom made especially for your teeth.
Your dentist will create a computerised treatment plan which will show you how your teeth move during the treatment, along with what your teeth could look like post treatment. If you decide that invisalign is the right treatment for you a series of aligners can then be made that will be used throughout the duration of the treatment.
The aligners are made from a smooth and comfortable plastic which sits over your teeth. Your teeth will gradually move into their desired position through replacing these aligners every 2 weeks.
For successful treatment, it is important to wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day to allow teeth to be moved effectively to their desired position. The aligners should be worn day and night and only taken off to eat or drink and when you are cleaning your teeth.
The length of the treatment varies from patient to patient, depending on the complexity of each case, but typically takes between 9 and 15 months. During this time you will have regular assessments to monitor your progress.
Invisalign can treat a range of malocclusion including overcrowding and spacing.
. Nearly invisible
. Aligners can be removed for eating, drinking, brushing and flossing
. Comfortable to wear
. Have to be committed to wearing the aligners for 22 hours a day for the most effective treatment.
. Advised to brush teeth after each meal to avoid staining.
. More regular visits to the dentist than Cfast braces.
Smile TRU is similar teeth straightening option to Invisalign. Both Invisalign and Smile Tru are effective at moving teeth and are comfortable and easy to wear and come without the complications of fixed braces.
As with Invisalign, Smile Tru aligners are custom made for your teeth after an impression has been made during a consultation with your dentist. After this impression has been created an individual treatment programme can then be developed.
Smile TRU also works by a step by step process where different sets of aligners are worn when the previous starts to feel loose.
The main difference between Smile Tru and Invisalign is that with Invisalign, the entire treatment programme can be monitored via a computerised treatment plan where tweaks in the teeth movement can be made. This provides a useful guide for both the dentist and patient to be able to see clearly how many aligners will be required to gain the desired smile right from the outset.
Invisalign is usually recommended for more complex cases, whereas Smile Tru is designed for more minor movements. For example, if you have previously worn braces as a teenager and now your teeth have been to move back to their original position.
Smile TRU and Invisalign are both popular choice for many adults to straighten their teeth who prefer not to wear the wire and brackets used in traditional braces. As these aligners are practically invisible, teeth can be straightened without anyone knowing you are actually wearing a brace!
. Ideal for adults who have previously worn braces as a teenager and require small teeth movements.
. Generally offers minimal discomfort.
. Virtually invisible to others.
. Minimal impact to daily life.
. Good oral hygiene can be maintained.
. Smile TRU is not suitable for everyone – in some cases other orthodontic treatments may need to be used.
. Affects speech.
. The process of straightening teeth is longer than other alternative methods.
If you are interested in straightening your teeth, make sure you book your free consultation with Katherine who will help you find which treatment is best for you.
Choosing The Right Toothbrush
It’s time to choose a new toothbrush, but which one should you buy?
Is it time to fork out for a fancy, self-timing electric toothbrush or should you stick with the standard manual toothbrush? As there is an extensive range of toothbrushes available to buy, we can understand the dilemma you may be in.
A Brief History Of The Toothbrush
The toothbrush has been around since 3000BC where the Ancient Egyptians used the end of a twig with frayed ends to clean their teeth. Various changes have thankfully been made to improve the performance of toothbrushes over the years. The toothbrush we are familiar with today was invented in the late 1930s using nylon bristles with softer bristles being introduced in the 1950s.
Today, both manual and electric toothbrushes are available in many shapes and sizes, offering different desired effects.
There are particular characteristics that you should look out for when purchasing any new toothbrush – manual or electric.
Firstly, look at the size. The ideal size of a toothbrush head should allow you to be able to easily brush all surfaces of your teeth, including those hard to reach areas at the back of the mouth. Most toothbrush heads are around ½ an inch wide and 1 inch long as this size provides the most effective way to clean every tooth. However, depending on personal choice, there are larger heads available.
Next, you should look at the bristles. Choosing the correct level of hardness of bristles again depends entirely on what you are most comfortable with using. Softer bristles are good for people who suffer from sensitive teeth although medium to hard bristled toothbrushes can actually damage gums and protective tooth enamel.
Manual Vs Electric
As long as you clean your teeth regularly using the correct brushing technique, you should be able to reduce plaque build-up and keep gums healthy regardless of whether you are using a manual or electric toothbrush.
Electric toothbrushes make rapid, automatic movements either back and forth (oscillation) or rotates in circles which is perceived by some as being better at cleaning teeth than a manual toothbrush. However, some people don’t like the vibrating feeling so opt for a manual toothbrush. It is at the end of the day, entirely your own personal preference.
The best toothbrush for you is down to which one you are most likely to use. If you enjoy using your toothbrush, you are more likely to clean your teeth for the recommended 2 minutes. Some electric varieties have built in timers or play music whilst you brush your teeth to increase the likelihood that you will brush for the optimum time.
Other electric varieties have pressure sensors where the toothbrush will flash red or stop completely when you are applying too much pressure. Applying too much pressure, especially around the gum line can cause significant damage, so this technology prevents this from happening before it becomes a problem.
There are even toothbrushes available where you can sync your toothbrush to your smartphone over Bluetooth. Information about your brushing technique is recorded in an app and graphs are used to present how often you brush your teeth, if you have brushed for the appropriate amount of time and which areas you need to brush more. You can also set goals to continue to improve your oral health.
Battery Operated or Rechargeable?
Battery operated toothbrushes are cheaper and more portable than rechargeable ones, so they could be a good introduction if you are not sure if you should pay out for an expensive rechargeable toothbrush.
When deciding which one to buy, it is important to consider the price of replacing the batteries and that a battery operated toothbrush may lose effectiveness as the battery begins to drain away.
A rechargeable toothbrush typically holds its charge for a week’s worth of brushing two times a day, but some can last for up to 6 weeks.
One of the most obvious differences between a manual and electric toothbrushes is the cost. Ranging from less than £1 to over £100 for a top of the range electric toothbrush. Other things to bear in mind is the cost of replacement heads which can cost £30 for 4 subject to where you buy them from. But, if an electric toothbrush keeps your teeth cleaner, you may make up for the costs in a reduction in dental costs.
There have been a wealth of studies carried out to find out if electric toothbrushes are actually more effective than the manual variety. Some studies have shown that you can achieve the same results using a proper brushing technique, a fluoride toothpaste and a manual toothbrush. However, a recent American study found that electric toothbrushes were 20% better at removing plaque and 11% better at preventing gingivitis over a 6 month period than manual toothbrushes.
The trick with using electric toothbrushes is to know how to use them correctly. The most common mistake is assuming you still use the same sweeping technique you would using a manual toothbrush. Instead you should just place the toothbrush head against the tooth and the pulsations do the work for you!
Choosing a toothbrush for your child
When choosing a toothbrush for a child it is important to select one that they will use. Most child’s toothbrushes are available in bright colours or a favourite TV character to encourage them to use a toothbrush regularly.
Electric toothbrushes can help children to brush their teeth better as they do not have to put in as much effort as a manual toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are not suitable for under 3 years old and parents should supervise brushing up until the age of 7.
We hope this guide has helped you decide which type of toothbrush is better suited for you, if you would like any further information we recommend booking an appointment with your dentist who will be more than happy to advise you about what the best options are for you.
Should You Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth have long been associated as a source of problems. So, why do we have them?
It is believed our ancestors had larger jaws with more teeth. However, due to evolution, our mouths have become gradually smaller meaning we struggle to accommodate the extra teeth in adulthood.
Adults can have up to 32 teeth, the wisdom teeth appearing last, right at the back of the mouth. These commonly appear between the ages of 17 and 25, although sometimes even later. Some of us will never develop wisdom teeth, but most people have four wisdom teeth, one in each ‘quadrant’.
As our jaws and mouths have become smaller, it can lead to a series of problems. In most cases, the wisdom tooth will grow in at an angle, emerge partially or get trapped beneath the gum. If you have ever suffered from any of these complications, you will undoubtedly sympathise with the excruciating pain that can occur if these complications cause an infection (pericoronitis).
Pericoronitis is the inflammation of the gum tissue when a wisdom tooth partially breaks through the gum resulting in a flap appearing above the tooth. This causes bacteria to collect underneath the gum, making it difficult to clean the area properly causing irritation and the infection.
This is a temporary problem that can be dealt with effectively by using mouthwashes and antibiotics.
However, if the infection keeps reoccurring, it may be recommended by your dentist to get the tooth removed.
Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure, with over 75,000 people in the UK having to endure the procedure each year.
Symptoms which might indicate pericoronitis:
- Painful and swollen gum tissue surrounding the area of the affected tooth.
- Difficulty opening your mouth.
- Pain when biting and chewing food.
- A bad smell or taste in the mouth.
- Discharge of pus from the affected gum tissue.
- Swelling on the affected side of the face.
- Muscle spasms in the jaw.
- Swollen lymph nodes under the chin.
Diagnosis of an infected wisdom tooth:
A dentist will diagnose cases of pericoronitis based on the symptoms outlined above and x-rays are usually taken to determine the position of the root and to decide whether there is enough room for the tooth to grow into a stable position.
Treatment of an infected wisdom tooth:
A wisdom tooth infection is unlikely to heal fully unless the flap of gum is removed, the wisdom tooth grows completely and at a straight angle, or if the wisdom tooth is removed.
To treat the affected tooth there are surgical and non-surgical options available.
Your dentist may recommend surgically removing the wisdom tooth to prevent further problems. Removing the wisdom tooth is the most suitable form of treatment if it is unclear whether the tooth will grow into a useful position without causing pain and discomfort or if the tooth has partially grown through and has started to decay.
Depending on how far the pericoronitis has progressed, antibiotics and other non-surgical procedures may be suggested by your dentist to help tackle the infection. In early diagnosis, non-surgical techniques are successful in treating the infection and reducing the need for surgery.
Oral antibiotics are effective for short term treatments of acute pericoronitis. These antibiotics are generally taken for a week and helps to reduce the pain and swelling associated with the infected wisdom tooth. Alternatively, you may be prescribed with an antimicrobial mouthwash or gel to help control the build-up of bacteria around the affected gum tissue.
After getting your wisdom teeth removed, you are likely to experience some degree of pain and swelling. The length of recovery will depend of how badly your wisdom tooth was impacted/infected. Generally, recovery takes 3 to 4 days, but sometimes up to two weeks.
To help ease the pain, it is recommended to take prescribed or over the counter pain relief such as ibuprofen. Swelling can be reduced by placing an icepack over your jaw to reduce the inflammation and provide comfort. It is also important to refrain from eating solid foods and drinking alcohol and hot drinks for the first few days following surgery whilst your gum heals.
For both surgical and non-surgical treatments you will be advised by your dentist on how to keep your mouth clean to prevent further infection occurring.
Don’t delay treatment for wisdom teeth infection! Shifnal Dental Care is conveniently located between Telford and Wolverhampton, just 5 minutes from junction 4 of the M54 and a minutes’ walk from Shifnal train station.
We provide emergency appointments during Shifnal Dental Care opening hours including emergency appointments on Saturdays 9am-1pm, so if you are experiencing an infected wisdom tooth, don’t hesitate booking an appointment with us today!
Do You Really Know The Importance of Your Teeth?
Teeth… What do you do with your teeth? It’s obvious, right? You chew, bite and rip open a packet that your hands just aren’t capable of. But why overlook all the little things they do? Your teeth really do equate to a happy and healthy life. Our teeth play a vital part in our lives which is easy to overlook. This could be a contributing factor to the complacency some people have with the general upkeep of their teeth, as the real importance of our teeth may never have been pointed out to us before…
We only see the true positives of things when we lose them. Losing your teeth is something that no one wants to happen. It can cost you what seems endless amounts of money, serious pain and other problems people don’t think about when they “forget” to brush.
Starting off with the most obvious function, eating. The food we put in our mouth is ground down so the nutrients in the food can be easily digested. By breaking the food down into smaller pieces, we are increasing its surface area. This means the acids in our stomach and enzymes in our saliva find it easier to digest and extract the nutrients. Digestive disorders are often linked to losing teeth –It may sound bizarre but they really are! If you were to lose your teeth and not replace them, the food you eat may not be broken down enough to get the suitable nutrients from it. This can result in illnesses such as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, IBD and IBS.
Think of your teeth as cement in a wall. The cement keeps everything together, but when it goes, the foundations left are not stable and the bricks begin to cave in.
Your teeth give you facial support. Without them your facial tissues are not supported, therefore your face will begin to show signs of wrinkles due to the tissues “sinking” into the mouth. So effectively, teeth are the essence of youth and we should do as much as possible to keep the youthful look on our face, right?
We can’t get away from the fact that our teeth are a major part of everyday life. They play a huge part in the way we speak as well. We have evolved to use our teeth for speech and so losing that necessity means we no longer have the ability to make certain sounds, meaning our speech becomes warped, which could really affect our social presence. This could lead to a loss of confidence over time as it becomes frustrating to seem different by not being able to express ourselves as clearly. The way we appear to others affects how we are judged by them, from clothing to how our hair looks. The BBC wanted to prove that people’s perceptions of others change based on their teeth. They were correct…
In a documentary called ‘The Truth About Your Teeth’, Dr Chris Van Tulleken went to the public asking simple questions about 3 different pictures. These three pictures were the same person but with different teeth and the results were staggering and really put things into perspective.
Watch the video here
Often people who have problems visually with their teeth have lower self-esteem and feel unhappier than those without problems. It’s sad that something so small can affect someone’s quality of life, but that’s what teeth do. They give us confidence if they’re good and can really knock us if they’re not. Something as small as losing a few teeth can have major influences on our day to day life and can emotionally impact us. We don’t thank our teeth enough for what they do. They play a huge part in our lives and it’s time to recognise that.
Our team will endeavour to make you feel healthy, confident and happy. We only provide the highest quality of patient care and treatment and aim to give you a beautiful smile. Give us a call today on 01952 460119 and arrange your free consultation.