Questions that people will not ask you

The idea of being constantly asked about their braces can put a lot of people off getting treatment. No one wants to have to deal with a barrage of stares and invasive questions on a daily basis. But surely there is a way to get teeth straightened that doesn’t mean having to also deal with other people’s curiosity?

Invisalign in OrpingtonWell there is at Orpington Dental in Orpington, where we fit Invisalign invisible braces for mild to moderate alignment issues.

In fact, to call Invisalign braces doesn’t really do them justice. They don’t have brackets and wires and they are not cemented onto your teeth. Instead, Invisalign clear aligners look more like very thin mouth guards. You put them on over your teeth and because the transparent plastic is only 0.3mm thick, they can’t be seen once they are in place.

Invisalign does its straightening by way of carefully placed pressure points inside each aligner. When you come for treatment with us at Orpington Dental, you will receive a series of aligners. You wear one after the other. Each aligner takes 7-10 days to move your teeth by pressing on them. Once the pressure wears off, you ditch that aligner and move onto the next in the series.

Because Invisalign clear aligners are removable, meal times are as easy as ever. You can eat whatever you like. All you have to do is remember to clean your teeth thoroughly before you put your aligners back in. If you don’t, the pigments in the food may discolour the plastic, rendering your aligner visible.

Using Invisalign obviously takes a bit of discipline. Teeth move with sustained pressure. If the pressure is not sustained, the process of dissolving and rebuilding the bone around the tooth stops and it takes about 72 hours to get it going again. So, you must wear your Invisalign aligners for at least 20 hours a day if you are going to stick to your treatment schedule. On average, it takes about a year for this treatment.

We’d love to tell you more. Why not come in for a free consultation?

Your teeth? Who can tell?

When you look at some people with dentures, you can tell those aren’t their real teeth. Sometimes the tops of the dentures are not in line with the rest of the teeth. Sometimes, the denture clicks, or you see the person moving their teeth around. Sometimes they are too perfect and white and even to be real teeth in a person that age.

Dental Implants in OrpingtonNow you need to replace some teeth. How are you going to do it? Are you going to go down the denture route? Or maybe you are thinking about fixed bridgework? Or perhaps you are more inclined toward dental implants.

All 3 methods of replacing teeth have their pros and cons, but, when it comes to looking after the rest of your teeth and the health of your jaws and gums, at Orpington Dental Care in Orpington, we think that dental implants tick more boxes.

About your jaw

One of the things that ages people is a shrunken jawbone. The bone loses size and density, and, eventually the chin seems to be closer to the tip of the nose. This is what people draw when they want to do cartoons of witches: the big nose, the pointy chin. It’s not actually old age that causes that look, it’s lack of teeth.

Without your teeth, your jawbone starts to dissolve itself, thinking it is no longer needed because there are no vibrations coming down through the roots to tell it otherwise.

Dental implants are the only way to replace lost tooth roots and prevent this from happening.

The rest of your teeth

It’s not a good idea to live with gaps for too long as the surrounding teeth can start to tip into the gap and eventually fall out. However, if you replace the lost teeth with fixed bridgework, it will require the loss of 2 more teeth, one on either side of the gap. These have to be ground down into pegs onto which buttress crowns for the bridge are fitted. With dental implants, the crowns are anchored into the jaw on their own posts, so there’s no need to sacrifice healthy teeth.

To find out more, why not come in for a consultation?

Fillings? What fillings?

If you had a fair few fillings when you were a kid, and let’s face it, not many of us didn’t, then you can feel like your amalgam fillings never quite let you forget about all those sugary snacks and drinks you had, and all that toothbrushing you skipped.

General Dentistry in OrpingtonLugging around your amalgam fillings is like lugging around the evidence of a misspent youth that everyone gets to see every time you open your mouth to have a good yawn or a big loud laugh.

Thankfully, when it comes to advances in general dentistry, one of the most important, as far as patients are concerned, is the advent of white fillings. White fillings have been around for a quite a while now. When they first became available, the materials weren’t all that strong and it wasn’t uncommon for people to have to get them replaced every few years, especially if they ground their teeth at night.

Now, however, the white fillings we offer at Orpington Dental Practice in Orpington are much stronger and therefore last a lot longer.

White fillings are made of composite resin, which is a mixture of glass and plastic. They go in differently from amalgam fillings. We put the composite resin in in layers and after each layer, we use a UV light to harden, or cure, it. It can take several layers of composite resin to fill a cavity, and when we have, the filling will come level with the top of the tooth. What we do then is use tools to sculpt and shape the composite resin as we recreate the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Between each shaping attempt, we get you to bite down on a piece of blue marker paper so we can see where we need to remove a bit more resin.

Getting white fillings takes longer than getting amalgam fillings, but the end result is something that looks just like your tooth. Now when you laugh or yawn, no one will be able to look into your mouth and see that you were ever anything but a saint with the toothbrush and the sweets.

Get rid of your winter stains

The trouble with winter in the UK is that it seems to go forever. Short, dull days interspersed with long, dark nights. We eat heavier comfort foods in an effort to feel snug and it’s no wonder that along with all those stews and heavy puds, our consumption of comforting hot drinks, such as tea and coffee, and hearty red wines can go through the roof.

Teeth Whitening in OrpingtonCome the spring, you can be forgiven if your teeth are showing the stains of all those mulled spicy drinks, those hot berry-apple crumbles, those heavy tomato-based stews. All these things leave tiny traces of themselves as surface stains on your tooth enamel.

Your teeth look duller and your smile looks older. You may not even want to smile so much. But don’t shy away from a good smile, just get the stains removed with safe teeth whitening treatments from us at Orpington Dental Care in Orpington.

We have 2 ways that you can whiten your teeth. You can either come in and we can carry out the treatment for you, or you can do it yourself at home. Both methods have different advantages, and with both you can choose how white you want your teeth to be.

In-clinic whitening

The advantage of in-clinic whitening is that it’s done in around about an hour. You can pop in during your lunch hour, or get it done after work. You relax while we protect your soft mouth parts (lips and gums) with a plastic barrier and paint your teeth with whitening gel. In around an hour, your teeth will be several shades lighter and you can get on with your day. That’s all there is to it. This is a great treatment if you need to look your best for an important event that is happening very shortly.

At-home whitening

For this, you get a pack containing a weaker concentrate of gel, along with 2 gel trays that have been made from impressions of your teeth so that they fit you exactly. It takes about 2 weeks of wearing the trays each day to reach the shade you want. And you can buy more gel every time you need a top-up treatment.

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.


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.