Quick Tips for a Whiter, Brighter and Healthier Smile

The media is full of images of people with perfect teeth, and it’s something that most of us would really like to achieve. However teeth do change with age and begin to show signs of wear and tear due to normal everyday activities such as eating and drinking as well as other habits such as teeth grinding and smoking. The good news is that it is easier than ever to improve the look of your teeth, and excellent preventative dental care can do a lot to help keep your smile in the very best condition possible. Orpington Dental Care can offer the complete range of cosmetic dentistry options to help restore your smile to its former glory.

Let’s Start with the Basics

teeth whiteningBrushing and flossing can do a lot to help brighten up your smile. Brushing removes much of the plaque build-up from the surface of the teeth and which if left in place would quickly harden into tartar, a yellowish substance that can dull your smile and increase the likelihood of gum disease and tooth decay. Flossing helps complete the process and is vital for gum health. It removes plaque from those hard to reach areas in between your teeth, as well as food debris that would otherwise give you bad breath.

Brightening up That Smile

Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures available as it’s fast and effective. If you’re interested in brightening up your smile then it’s best to book an appointment with Dr Helen Loubser to find out if this treatment is suitable. You need to be in good dental health to whiten safely. Orpington Dental Care can provide you with custom-made whitening trays and will prescribe the correct strength of whitening gel for your teeth so you can whiten safely and comfortably.

Need a Little Extra Help?

There are numerous cosmetic dentistry options available which can help lift your smile, and they don’t necessarily have to cost a fortune. For example dental bonding is a quick and easy fix to cover up chipped teeth and to replace areas that have been worn away. You might also be able to benefit from enamel contouring, as this is a process that removes the tiny amount of dental enamel from your teeth to reshape them, helping to remove minor imperfections. It’s often a great choice of treatment to use in conjunction with dental bonding. Porcelain veneers are more permanent and can help close up gaps in between teeth and can cover up teeth that are discoloured or stained.

Missing Teeth?

We have the perfect solution as many people will be suitable for dental implants in Orpington, a method that inserts a small titanium post into the jawbone, replacing natural tooth roots and providing a strong anchorage point for dental crowns, bridges or dentures. The effects are very long-lasting making this treatment one of the top choices for tooth replacement in the longer term.

If you are interested in improving your smile then probably the best thing to do is to book a checkup and hygiene appointment at Orpington Dental Care. You can discuss your options with your dentist in Orpington, and having your teeth professionally cleaned is a great way to begin to brighten them up while keeping them healthy.

Get a New Denture

Dentures are a common solution for missing teeth. They’ve been around in some form or other for centuries – in fact, the first dentures can be traced back to the time of the ancient Egyptians! Fortunately, the materials and technology used to create dentures is ever-evolving, meaning they are now more comfortable and practical than ever, and can restore both your confidence in your smile and your ability to eat a varied, healthy diet.

dental denturesIf you have one or a few missing teeth, a partial denture is used. If you have lost all your teeth in one arch of your mouth (the top or bottom jaw) you will need a full denture. In both cases dentures can either be removable or can be fixed using dental implants.

Dentures are made from durable, hard-wearing material designed to look like natural teeth and gums. They are designed to fit your mouth perfectly for maximum comfort. Removable dentures can be taken out for cleaning, and you need to ensure you follow the hygienist’s advice on how to properly clean and care for your denture to avoid problems such as gum disease or bad breath.

It often takes a few days to get used to wearing a removable denture, but you will quickly adapt to chewing, eating and speaking. Over time, you may experience gum recession, which may make your dentures loose, so you will need to visit us again to have them adjusted.

Another solution is to have your dentures fixed with dental implants. This involves a minor surgical procedure, during which implants (bionic metal artificial tooth roots) are placed in your jawbone. After a healing period, your dentures are fixed using special attachments. They can still be removed for cleaning, but there’s no danger of them becoming loose or falling out an inopportune moment. Dental implants can usually be placed under local anaesthetic, although sedation is also an option.

Mouth Cancer Screening

We know that cancer is a scary word. Cases of mouth cancer are on the rise and, like any form of cancer, early detection vastly increases the chances of making a full recovery. That’s why we undertake mouth cancer screening as standard during your regular dental check-ups.

mouth cancer screeningAs dentists we have the experience and equipment to spot the early stages of mouth cancer, even before you may have noticed anything yourself. However, if you do find anything suspicious between your regular check-ups, please make an appointment to see us straight away. Remember: the earlier mouth cancer is spotted, the better your chances of recovery are.

Symptoms of mouth cancer include:

  • Lumps in the mouth, tongue or throat
  • Red or white patches in the mouth or throat
  • Ulcers which do not heal
  • Persistent mouth pain or pain/problems swallowing
  • Swollen lymph glands in the neck
  • Changes to speech or voice
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Problems moving the jaw
  • Bleeding/numbness in the mouth
  • Teeth that become loose for no obvious reason

Should you notice any of these signs, or anything else suspicious, book an appointment straight away. One of our dentists will carry out a thorough examination of the whole of your mouth, using a special hand-held device to scan any lesions or lumps they may find. This helps to highlight any risk factors; if we do find anything suspicious, we will refer you to a hospital consultant for further investigation.

In many cases, anything we find may be benign. However, because of late detection, mouth cancers have a higher number of deaths per number of cases than the more widely publicised conditions breast cancer, cervical cancer or skin melanoma. Currently there about 2,700 deaths from mouth cancer in the UK every year.

For more information about mouth cancer, including diagnosis, treatment and support groups, please visit the Mouth Cancer Foundation website.

Replacing Missing Teeth

If you’ve lost one or more of your natural teeth, you’ll know how distressing an experience it can be. We see patients who have lost teeth for a variety of reasons, from tooth decay or gum disease to accident or injury.

dental implantsWhatever the cause, it can be very traumatic and can lead you to be embarrassed about smiling in public. In addition, it can cause a range of other health problems, from difficulties in maintaining a healthy diet because many foods are suddenly off the menu to further dental health problems as your other teeth move out of position into any gaps, while gums and bone start to recede.

Fortunately, we offer a wide range of options to replace missing teeth. The best treatment for you will depend on your individual needs and circumstances, which we’ll discuss with you at an initial consultation. Here are some of the choices:


Dental bridges can replace one or two adjacent missing teeth. They are usually made of a precious metal base and may also contain porcelain to make them look natural. Bridges usually use surrounding teeth for support, so these teeth will need to be strong and healthy. They may be attached using crowns or wings on supporting teeth, with a false tooth or teeth in between. Sometimes, bridges are attached to dental implants.


Dentures may be fixed with dental implants or be removable. Partial dentures replace a few missing teeth while full dentures replace an entire arch (jaw) worth of teeth. Dentures are made from hard-wearing material and look a lot like natural teeth and gums.

Dental implants

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots made of titanium. They are placed directly in the jawbone, where they can support replacement teeth in the form of crowns, bridges or secured dentures. Unlike other tooth replacement options, implants support bone growth, helping to prevent bone loss.

Replacing Old Crowns and Veneers Dental crowns

Dental crowns and veneers are two popular treatment options for patients with missing, damaged or gappy teeth, and those who are otherwise unhappy about how their smile looks.

dental crownsCrowns are used to restore teeth that have been broken, have very large fillings, have been weakened by decay or root canal treatment, are worn or have been otherwise damaged. They act like a cap to your tooth, providing extra strength and building it up to look and act like a natural tooth again.

Veneers are usually used on the top teeth to aesthetically improve their appearance, giving you a smile you want to show off to everyone. They are very thin slivers of porcelain placed on the front of your teeth. A single veneer may be used to, for example, cover one discoloured or badly stained tooth, while a full set (usually between six and eight veneers) can give your whole smile a makeover, closing small gaps, correcting a chipped or slightly misaligned tooth and otherwise disguising imperfections.

With good care and regular dental visits, your crowns and veneers should last you a long time. However, sometimes they can become damaged – just like natural teeth – and in need of replacing. At Orpington Dental Practice, our expert team can restore you smile with new crowns or veneers, using the latest techniques and materials for a completely natural-looking result.

Crowns have been used in dentistry for many years. They were – indeed still are – made from a range of materials, including gold, which was a popular choice as it is very strong and durable. However, it is also very noticeable, meaning many people don’t want a gold crown near the front of their mouth. We can replace old crowns with natural-looking tooth-coloured crowns, which thanks to advances in materials can be matched to the natural shade of your teeth.

If your veneers are damaged or have been badly fitted, we may be able to repair them or can fit a new set that are precisely made to match the shade and shape of your existing teeth, creating a beautiful, natural new smile.