Why dental hygiene is so important

We know we bang on about dental hygiene all the time, on our website, our social media and, of course, when you come to see us, but it’s because dental hygiene is the foundation of your oral health.

We find that repetition is key to the message of the importance of dental hygiene sinking in and being put into action. So at the risk of repeating ourselves, yet again, let’s take another look at why cleaning your teeth is so important and how to do it.

Dental Hygiene in OrpingtonPlaque never stops and neither should you

When you clean your teeth, what you are aiming to do is brush away the bacterial plaque that builds up on your teeth, gums and soft parts of your mouth. Plaque never stops feeding on the sugars in your saliva and using that energy to reproduce itself. It’s a busy bacterium, and as it goes about eating and making little copies of itself, it also gives off acids. The acid is the problem, not the bacteria in themselves. It eats away at your tooth enamel, creating little holes for decay causing bacteria to get into your teeth.

Those acids also irritate and inflame your gums, causing them to bleed and pull away from your teeth. Plaque can then get underneath and start corroding your tooth roots and jawbone.

Whether it’s gum disease or tooth decay, the final end is your teeth falling out.

Your dental hygiene routine

You need to brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes. The best thing to do is get a soft-bristled brush, and gently brush the plaque away. If you have a new electric toothbrush, it can count down those 2 minutes in 30 second increments, making sure you brush each half of each arch thoroughly before moving onto the next. Using a fluoride toothpaste helps to strengthen the teeth against decay.

Back this up with flossing and interdental brushes to remove plaque and trapped food from between the teeth. Do this at least once a day.

And don’t forget to come to our hygienist twice a day for a deep clean to remove plaque from all those places your brush doesn’t reach so well.

Strictly teeth

Are you glued to Strictly every Saturday and Sunday like most of the rest of the nation? What bedazzles you the most? Is the moves? Is it the sequins and swirling skirts? Or is it those sparkling smiles? Dr Ranj Singh’s smile was a thing of wonder and beauty and got almost as much attention from the judges as his footwork.

Tooth Whitening in OrpingtonThey all commented at some point or other on the power of his wonderful, white smile, hammering home the message to millions of Strictly fans that your smile is just as important as your other messages.

Teeth whitening for winter

As we head into the depths of dark winter, your smile becomes even more of a beacon. As your most important non-verbal tool of communication, having it in top white form for winter helps it stand out in the darkness of the long nights and the dark winter clothes we all tend to favour.

Getting your teeth whitening is a cinch too. You can choose between 2 methods of whitening here at Orpington Dental Care, here in Orpington.

Power whitening

You can get your teeth lightened by several shades in around 60 minutes by coming into our dental practice and letting us do the whitening for you. As professionals, we can use more powerful whitening gels, using brands such as Enlighten and Zoom!. First of all, we use a colour chart to help you choose the right shade of white for your teeth, mouth and age. We protect your soft tissues (gums and lips) with plastic barriers. Then we paint the whitening gel onto your teeth. Then you relax while a UV lamp activates the gel and it gets going on your teeth.

At home whitening

This uses a milder gel, and you put it into mouth trays made to fit your teeth. Wearing them for a short period each day will lead to the shade that suits you in a couple of weeks or so.

Topping up

Whitening is not permanent so you will need to top up your whitening every several months, either by coming in for another session or by buying more gel to use in your bespoke gel trays.

More than just a pretty face

Did you know your dentist and your dental surgery can offer you so much more than just looking after your teeth and gums? At Orpington Dental Care, we take your oral health seriously and for this reason we offer additional services that ensure you and your family are taken care of.

Mouth Cancer Screening in OrpingtonMost people are aware of the link between smoking and cancer, and because of the increase in mouth cancer incidents we offer you information and support as you cut down or stop smoking altogether.

Smoking and its effects on your teeth

The chemicals in cigarettes damage the health of your teeth and gums in many ways. Smoking actually damages the cells of your gums making them prone to infections and diseases. Without healthy gums your teeth are undermined, leading to the possibility of tooth loss and decay. In addition, the nicotine and tar in your cigarettes stain your teeth and cause bad breath, and can also lead to jawbone loss, shrinking gums, mouth sores, decreased sense of taste and smell and poor healing of your mouth. Overall, smoking’s not great for your health and is one of the key indicators for cancer.

In Orpington, mouth cancer screening is available to you and your family.

We offer a yearly screening for mouth cancer for all our patients. If you have or are giving up smoking, it’s vital that you attend your screening and ensure that the health of your mouth and gums are normal.

When you attend your screening, your dentist will give a thorough examination of your mouth, throat and around your tongue. Using a handheld device, they will assess your health and look out for any abnormalities, so we can then provide you with swift treatment or refer you on if this is needed.

You can ask Dr Loubser any questions about smoking cessation and your yearly mouth cancer screening. She is dedicated to your oral health and ensuring all our patients receive the best dental care. If you would like to discuss any issues raised in this blog, call our reception for an appointment. At Orpington Dental Care you don’t have to worry, we put you at the centre of our practice.

See through to straight teeth

If you could get your teeth straightened without looking like a teenager, would you go for it? Of course, you would. You wouldn’t be alone in your choice either, as we have found out here at Orpington Dental Care in Orpington since we introduced clear braces.

We offer 2 types of clear braces, both designed to deal with mild to moderate misalignment issues. One type is fixed, the other is removable.

Clear Braces in OrpingtonFixed braces

Our clear fixed braces are called Six Months Smiles, so named because the average amount of time they take to straighten your teeth is just 6 months. They work on the front 6-8 teeth only. These are the ones most visible when you talk, eat and laugh and they have only one root. This means that the forces required to move them are less and so the braces themselves can be smaller. The brackets are smaller than traditional metal braces and are made of clear ceramic. There is just one wire, which is finer than usual, and coated in a tooth-coloured material. The wire is tightened through the brackets, which are cemented onto the teeth at carefully calculated angles. Together they pull the teeth into position. You need to be careful with these braces to keep your teeth scrupulously clean in and around the brackets.

Removable aligners

These come from Invisalign and feature transparent, very thin plastic aligner trays that look like mouth guards. You get a series of them, and wear one after the other, each for about 7-10 days. Each one has a slightly different set of pressure points built into it and these nudge the teeth into alignment. You take them out to eat and to clean your teeth. You need to be disciplined to wear these every day for at least 20 hours to keep the alignment process going.

Retainers

Moving teeth is a process of removing and replacing bone tissue around the tooth. Once the teeth are in alignment, you will need to wear a retainer while the bone settles down around the teeth properly. Otherwise, they might start to wander about.

Straightening your teeth has never been easier

If you’d like to straighten your teeth, Invisalign braces in Orpington are easy to use and manage, have short treatment times and are very discreet. Think you’ll have to be able to remove your braces sometimes? Invisalign gives you that option. This is a teeth-straightening system made to fit your lifestyle.

Braces in OrpingtonDoes the idea of wearing metal braces make you cringe?

Traditional metal braces do a great job, but their appearance isn’t great. Many people would prefer not to straighten their teeth at all when faced with metal braces as the only option. This is one reason why Invisalign aligners are so popular. They are made of a discreet transparent plastic.

Do you want to be able to make your teeth straighter without anyone noticing?

The transparent plastic used for Invisalign braces in Orpington is thin. The aligners are almost invisible once you’ve put them over your teeth. This means you can wear them out in public and nobody will be able to see your braces. Great news for adults who don’t feel comfortable with wearing obtrusive train track braces for months or years on end. Invisalign braces offer a truly modern way to straighten your teeth.

Treatment times are usually shorter than traditional braces in Orpington

The advanced technology behind the Invisalign aligner system means your teeth can be straightened in a relatively short time when compared to traditional braces. You can expect to wear your aligners for around a year. Everyone is different, so your treatment may take a shorter or longer time, depending on your tooth straightening needs.

Want to know how Invisalign works?

The custom-made aligners fit over your teeth. You’ll have a series of aligners to wear throughout your treatment. Each set in the series should be worn for 7-10 days. They must be worn in the right order. The aligners move your teeth by applying pressure to them. When you follow the instructions your dentist gives you, and wear the aligners for 22 hours per day, you will have a beautifully straight smile at the end of your treatment.

Interested in Invisalign braces in Orpington? Give us a call at Orpington Dental Care to find out more.

Helping you keep your teeth for life

At Orpington Dental Care, we are all about the smiles. We do all we can to help you maintain a healthy, happy smile for life. There are many ways we do this, including our preventive treatments, such as scale and polish cleaning and mouth cancer screening.

Another way we help you keep your teeth for life is with braces in Orpington. Although many people associate braces with cosmetics, especially for adult patients, teeth straightening also creates healthier teeth that have an increased chance of lasting longer.

Braces in OrpingtonStraighter teeth are easier to clean. With fewer irregular gaps in between teeth, such as you find with crooked, crowded and gapped ones, it’s easier for brush and floss to do their work. And, it also means that there are fewer nooks and crannies for plaque and bacteria to build up in, meaning you are less likely to develop tooth decay and need extensive and expensive tooth repairs and restorations later in life.

So, while you many need to wear braces in Orpington for up to 18 months, it really is a short-term pain for long-term gain.

To make this process a little easier, we offer two types of discreet braces in Orpington: Six Month Smiles and Invisalign.

Six Month Smiles use brackets and wires to pull the front 6-8 teeth into position. However, unlike their traditional metal counterparts, Six Month Smiles braces are made from tooth-coloured and ceramic materials, meaning that they blend into the teeth, rather than stand out from them. And, as they name suggests, they do the job quickly. Treatment takes 4-9 months, depending on the severity of the misalignment.

Invisalign is even more discreet. These clear, plastic aligners are near invisible. They are like thin mouth guards, and only a close friend or a dental professional would be able to spot them once in place on the teeth. Invisalign can deal with more extensive misalignments, across the whole set of teeth. Accordingly, treatment takes longer, 12-18 months on average.

After both procedures it is necessary to wear a retainer to keep the teeth in their new positions. A small price to pay for a happier and healthier smile.

Beat the fear: you can have dental implants in Orpington

Are you one of the many adults in the UK who experiences dental phobia? The sinister dentist with their scary set of drills may be a common joke, but it hides an issue that affects a huge number of dental patients.

Dental Implants in OrpingtonDental phobia ranges from a reluctance to book an appointment to a full-blown panic attack when sitting in the dentist’s chair. If you are somewhere on this spectrum, then maintaining your teeth is no laughing matter. It could mean that you haven’t had your teeth checked for years, which in turn makes it more likely that you will need work done. If, when you do bring yourself to the dental practice it turns out you need a tooth replacing with, for example, dental implant surgery, that’s only going to send your phobia back into the stratosphere. So, what’s the answer?

Well, first, we want you to know that here at Orpington Dental Care, we don’t judge anyone for the state of their teeth. We are well aware of how many people experience dental phobia, and, however long it’s been since you saw a dentist, we will welcome you in a warm and friendly way and listen to your questions and concerns.

If it turns out that you do need a treatment such as dental implants in Orpington, our highly experienced implant dentist will talk you through each stage of the procedure step-by-step. We’ll provide you with a detailed treatment plan before you agree to go ahead with any work, including all costs, so you can make an informed choice.

We also offer conscious sedation for nervous patients. This isn’t instead of anaesthetic: it’s an additional medication that helps to calm the nerves. It can be taken through inhaling a gas, or by injection, whichever you prefer. It works instantly, and you will remain awake but relaxed throughout the procedure.

You may feel drowsy afterwards, so it’s a good idea to ask a friend to drive you home.

Don’t let fear of the dentist put you off having dental implants in Orpington. Talk to our implant dentist today about how we can make the treatment as smooth and easy as possible.

Veneers are the real Hollywood smile

One of the best things to come along in modern dentistry is our ability to cover over teeth that aren’t looking so great. Veneers were first created in the 1920s in Hollywood as a way to change actors’ appearances. Veneers were stuck on over the actors’ real teeth to allow them transform themselves. But veneers weren’t very good back then; made of acrylic, they would only stay on for a few minutes and they made it harder to speak.

Porcelain Veneers in OrpingtonThings got better when dental porcelain came along, and there was another step forward in the 1950s when a dentist discovered a way to etch tooth enamel to create a better bonding surface. But it was not until the 1980s that veneers really started to come into their own for the general populace when dentists discovered a way to bond them permanently to the teeth.

Veneers in 2018

Now you can reap the benefits of all that research with veneers in Orpington at Orpington Dental Care, where we regularly use them to improve the look of our patients’ teeth. You can expect your veneers to last for at least 10 years if you look after them well too.

Versatile cover-ups

Veneers can be used to cover over chips, cracks, mild misalignments, gaps and also discolouration that can’t be removed with whitening. Dental porcelain can be crafted so that your veneers are indistinguishable from your other teeth. They can be coloured, sized and shaped to match. Or you can have them a few shades whiter than your teeth and have your teeth whitened to match.

One thing veneers can’t do is be bleached, so if you want whiter teeth, you need to get this done when you have your veneers done.

Two appointments

It only takes 2 appointments to get veneers. One for us to take measurements, agree on colour, and prepare your teeth by removing a thin layer of enamel so that they have a good bonding surface and your veneers will lie flush with the rest of your teeth. The other appointment is to fit them. It’s so easy and it can transform your smile.

The invisible brace is here

It may sound a little futuristic, but invisible braces in Orpington are real, and here to stay. In fact invisible braces have been around for a while now and people all over the world are sporting beautiful smiles thanks to the innovative modern brace system Invisalign. Invisalign offers a convenient solution to your teeth straightening needs that is easy to manage, and fits in with your daily routine effortlessly. No fixed metal parts that can irritate your mouth to be found here. Invisalign does a wonderful job of straightening your teeth in a relatively short period of time when compared to traditional brace systems. The average treatment time for Invisalign is one year.

Braces in OrpingtonWho is Invisalign good for?

Many of our patients opting for Invisalign are adults with professional careers who prefer not to wear metal fixed braces for months or years. Invisalign works really well for patients who have mild to moderate alignment issues. In these cases, Invisalign offers an easy, convenient fix.

How can Invisalign benefit you?

Invisalign will straighten your teeth in a relatively short time period. It can be used on your top and bottom rows of teeth for a beautiful smile. Invisalign gives you flexibility. The clear Invisalign aligners are removable, you can take them out to eat, drink, brush and floss. As straighter teeth are healthier teeth, Invisalign brings dental health benefits. A properly aligned set of teeth means fewer gaps for food to get stuck in and plaque to build up. Straightening your teeth with Invisalign therefore helps to protect you from gum disease and tooth decay. Invisalign braces in Orpington can therefore improve your aesthetics and your wellbeing.

Think invisible braces in Orpington are for you?

Are you someone who feels unhappy about the alignment of their teeth? If so, Invisalign could help you change that forever. Visit us here at Orpington Dental Care for a consultation. During your appointment we can tell you if Invisalign will work for you. We can also give you detailed pricing information and an estimate of how long your treatment will take. So, to get a clear view of how invisible braces in Orpington can work for you, give us a call today.

As close as science gets to real teeth

If you could have anything you wanted to replace your lost teeth, wouldn’t you choose more natural teeth? Of course, you would. Why is that? Is it because they look better, chew better, stay put better and are easier to take care of than prosthetic teeth? Well that might have been the case once, but not anymore. Now you can choose something that mimics your lost teeth so closely that you may forget that they are not natural. And for sure, no one else will be able to tell they are replacements. These are dental implants in Orpington.

Dental Implants in OrpingtonAt Orpington Dental Care, we have been using dental implants in Orpington to replace lost teeth for quite some time now, and even we are still delighted every time we put them in for one of our patients.

Eat what you like again

We know that before too long, you will be back to eating all sorts of delicious crunchy or chewy delights. The kind of thing you don’t miss until you can’t have it anymore, like being able to bite into a crisp, fresh apple without fear of leaving your teeth behind in it. Or being able to order your favourite steak in a restaurant rather than having to settle for a cottage pie.

How dental implants in Orpington work

The actual implant bit is a tapered post, often screw-shaped that we insert into a channel in your jawbone. We do this under local anaesthetic, having carefully drilled the channel to avoid all blood vessels and nerves. The implant has an internal screw.

We leave the implant to heal for a few months. During this time the titanium implant triggers the jawbone to grow new tissue all over it, which holds it firmly in place, like a natural tooth.

Once this is done, we put a connecting device called an abutment into the implant and add your custom-made replacement crowns on top. One implant can hold up to three crowns on a bridge.

If you would like to have dental implants in Orpington, please book a consultation with us. This will involve checks to see if your jawbone is strong enough.