Category: Blog

What is Dental Enamel?

Dental enamel is the outermost layer of the tooth, which covers the crown of the tooth and protects it from damage. Here are some facts about dental enamel:

  1. Dental enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, even stronger than bone.

  2. Enamel is made up of mostly calcium and phosphate minerals, and it also contains trace amounts of other minerals like fluoride.

  3. Enamel is not alive and cannot regenerate itself once it’s been damaged.

  4. Tooth decay and erosion can damage enamel over time, leading to sensitivity and discolouration.

  5. Enamel is translucent and allows the colour of the underlying dentine to show through, which is what gives teeth their unique colour.

  6. Enamel is also responsible for protecting teeth from temperature changes and acidic foods.

  7. Enamel is only found on the visible part of the tooth, as the roots of the teeth are covered by a different material called cementum.

  8. Enamel is thicker on the biting surfaces of teeth, where it is subjected to more wear and tear.

  9. Enamel is affected by dental treatments like teeth whitening and braces, as well as habits like teeth grinding and clenching.

  10. Proper oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing regularly, can help protect enamel and prevent damage.

Dentistry and environmentally friendly?

Yes, dentistry can become more environmentally friendly by reducing the use of single-use plastics. Dental offices and clinics can take several steps to become more sustainable and reduce their environmental footprint.

One of the most significant sources of single-use plastic waste in dentistry is disposable items such as dental bibs, gloves, and plastic barriers used to cover equipment. Dental clinics can reduce this waste by switching to reusable alternatives, such as cloth bibs and sterilizable equipment covers.

Another way to reduce single-use plastics in dentistry is by switching to eco-friendly products. For example, dental clinics can use biodegradable dental floss and compostable toothbrushes, reducing the amount of plastic waste generated by the practice.

Dental clinics can also adopt energy-efficient practices, such as using LED lighting and investing in energy-efficient equipment. Reducing energy consumption not only helps the environment but can also save money in the long run.

Finally, dental clinics can implement recycling programs to ensure that waste is disposed of correctly. Proper recycling can significantly reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and help conserve resources.

In conclusion, dentistry can become more environmentally friendly by reducing the use of single-use plastics and adopting sustainable practices. By making small changes, dental offices and clinics can help protect the environment and improve public health.

Is it realistic to use reusable products in a dental practice and adhere to CQC regulations- now thats a question for another time.

Can implants really help with confidence?

Because I have studied and work in the field of dentistry, I wasn’t aware that many people may not know how one missing tooth that is near the front of the jaw could have an impact on self consciousness.

There was once this situation when a patient who was very quiet for most of the time that I have known them had completely changed and become more confident after they had a dental implant.

I later found out they had always been self-conscious about the gap in their front teeth. They had tried various methods to hide it, such as smiling with their mouth closed or wearing braces to try and close the gap, but nothing seemed to work.

Despite their efforts, the gap in their teeth continued to cause them embarrassment, especially in social situations. They found themself avoiding situations where they would have to smile or talk in front of others, and this was affecting their confidence and self-esteem.

So many years ago when I first started placing implants I discussed their options for fixing the gap in their teeth. One of the options I suggested was a dental implant, which is a permanent replacement for missing teeth that look and feel just like natural teeth.

Initially they were hesitant about the idea of getting a dental implant, but after learning more about the procedure and its benefits, they decided to go through with it.

The dental implant procedure involved placing a titanium post into the jawbone, which would act as a replacement tooth root. Once the post had fused with the jawbone, a crown was attached to the post to replace the missing tooth.

The entire process took a few months, but my patient was thrilled with the results. Not only did the implant look and feel just like a natural tooth, but it also gave them the confidence to smile and speak in public without feeling self-conscious.

No longer did the patient have to worry about hiding their gap in their teeth, and they could now enjoy social situations without feeling embarrassed. The dental implant had truly made a difference in their life and had given them the confidence they had been missing for so long.

by Sal

Should I go to the dentist regularly?

It is important to see a dentist regularly for several reasons:

  1. Preventive care: Regular dental check ups and dental cleaning can help detect and prevent oral health problems, such as cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer. A dentist can identify early signs of these issues and take steps to prevent them from progressing.

  2. Professional cleaning: Even with regular brushing and flossing, it’s easy for plaque and tartar to build up in hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. A dentist can provide a professional cleaning that removes these build ups and helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

  3. Personalised advice: A dentist can provide personalized advice on how to maintain good oral health based on your individual needs and risk factors. They can recommend specific products and techniques for brushing and flossing that can improve your oral hygiene routine.

  4. Detecting systemic health conditions: Oral health is closely linked to overall health. A dentist can identify early signs of systemic health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, that can manifest in the mouth.

  5. Treatment for oral health issues: If oral health problems are detected, a dentist can provide treatment to address them. This can range from fillings for cavities to periodontal treatment for gum disease.

  6. Preventing tooth loss: By detecting and treating oral health problems early, a dentist can help prevent tooth loss and the need for more extensive and costly dental procedures down the line.

Overall, seeing a dentist regularly is essential for maintaining good oral health and preventing more serious health problems. It’s generally recommended to see a dentist every six months for a routine check up and cleaning, although some people may need to see a dentist more frequently based on their individual needs.

Can dental floss really help clean teeth?

Dental floss is an important tool for maintaining good oral hygiene, and it offers a number of benefits, including:

  1. Removes food particles: Flossing can help remove food particles and plaque that can get stuck in between teeth and in hard-to-reach places, where a toothbrush can’t reach.

  2. Prevents gum disease: Flossing can help prevent gum disease by removing bacteria and plaque that can irritate the gums and cause inflammation and infection.

  3. Reduces bad breath: Flossing can help reduce bad breath by removing bacteria and food particles that can contribute to halitosis.

  4. Promotes healthy teeth: Flossing can help prevent tooth decay by removing bacteria and plaque that can erode tooth enamel and lead to cavities.

  5. Saves money: Flossing regularly can help prevent the need for costly dental procedures down the line, such as fillings, root canals, and gum surgery.

  6. Improves overall health: Poor oral health has been linked to a number of systemic health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and respiratory infections. Flossing regularly can help improve overall health and reduce the risk of these conditions.

Overall, flossing is a simple and effective way to maintain good oral hygiene and promote overall health. It should be incorporated into a daily oral care routine along with brushing and regular dental check ups.

So should I use mouth wash?

Mouthwash, also known as oral rinse, can be a helpful addition to an oral health routine as it provides a number of benefits:

  1. Freshens breath: Mouthwash can help freshen breath by killing the bacteria that cause bad breath.

  2. Reduces plaque: Mouthwash can help reduce plaque build up on teeth and gums, which can help prevent gum disease and tooth decay.

  3. Reduces gingivitis: Some types of mouthwash contain ingredients like chlorhexidine or essential oils that can help reduce inflammation of the gums and improve overall gum health.

  4. Prevents cavities: Some types of mouthwash contain fluoride, which can help strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities.

  5. Reduces dry mouth: Some mouthwashes contain ingredients that can help stimulate saliva production, which can help reduce dry mouth and its associated risks, such as bad breath and tooth decay.

  6. Helps with oral hygiene: Mouthwash can be a useful addition to brushing and flossing as it can reach areas that a toothbrush and floss might not be able to reach.

However, it’s important to note that mouthwash should not be used as a substitute for brushing and flossing. It should be used in conjunction with a proper oral hygiene routine for optimal oral health. Additionally, it’s important to choose a mouthwash that is appropriate for your specific oral health needs and to follow the instructions for use carefully.

How to protect your teeth from sticky foods

Consuming sticky foods can be harmful to oral health, but there are some steps you can take to protect your teeth and gums afterwards:

  1. Brush and floss: Brushing and flossing can help remove any food particles and plaque from the teeth and gums. It’s especially important to brush and floss after consuming sticky foods to prevent the sugars from lingering in the mouth and causing tooth decay.

  2. Rinse with water: After consuming sticky foods, rinse your mouth with water to help remove any lingering sugars and debris. Swishing water around your mouth for 30 seconds to a minute can help dislodge food particles and reduce the risk of tooth decay.

  3. Chew sugar-free gum: Chewing sugar-free gum can help stimulate saliva production, which can help neutralize the acids in the mouth and wash away any remaining food particles.

  4. Wait to brush: If you’ve consumed acidic or sugary foods or drinks, it’s best to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. This gives your saliva time to neutralize the acids and prevent damage to the tooth enamel.

  5. See your dentist regularly: Regular dental check ups and cleaning can help detect any early signs of tooth decay or gum disease and prevent them from progressing. Your dentist can also recommend additional steps you can take to protect your oral health after consuming sticky foods.

Consuming sticky and sugary foods

Sticky or sugary foods can cause a number of problems for oral health, including:

  1. Tooth decay: Sticky foods tend to cling to teeth and can get stuck in between teeth for prolonged periods of time. Bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugars in these foods and produce acids that can erode the tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay.

  2. Cavities: If tooth decay is left untreated, it can lead to the formation of cavities, which are holes in the tooth that can be painful and require dental treatment to repair.

  3. Gum disease: Sticky foods can also contribute to the development of gum disease, which is an infection of the gums that can cause swelling, bleeding, and even tooth loss.

  4. Bad breath: Sugary and sticky foods can promote the growth of bacteria in the mouth, which can lead to bad breath.

To maintain good oral health, it’s important to limit consumption of sugary and sticky foods and brush and floss regularly to remove any food particles and plaque from the teeth and gums.

What if the Dental Health Budget was cut?

It is possible that the government may choose to cut dental budgets as a cost-saving measure. However, it is important to note that the decision to cut funding for dental programs would have significant consequences for public health.

Oral health is closely linked to overall health and well-being, and neglecting dental care can lead to serious health problems, such as gum disease, tooth loss, and even heart disease. In addition, untreated dental problems can result in costly emergency room visits, which may ultimately increase healthcare costs.

Therefore, while cutting dental budgets may provide short-term cost savings, it could have long-term negative consequences for public health and healthcare costs. Instead, governments should consider alternative cost-saving measures that do not compromise the importance of oral health, such as improving efficiency in other areas of the healthcare system or finding new sources of revenue.

Crisis! What Crisis can it impact oral health?

There was a global health crisis that affected every aspect of people’s lives. One of the many ways this crisis impacted individuals was by changing their access to dental care.

As people faced financial uncertainty and job loss, many found it difficult to afford routine dental check ups and treatments. Moreover, with lockdowns and social distancing measures in place, dental clinics were forced to close or limit their services, making it challenging for people to receive timely and necessary care.

The impact of these changes became apparent as time went on. Without regular dental visits, people were more likely to develop oral health problems, such as cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay. These issues could go unnoticed for longer periods, exacerbating the problem and causing more significant dental issues down the road.

Furthermore, as people spent more time at home, they turned to comfort foods and sugary snacks, leading to a spike in dental problems. The increase in stress levels due to the pandemic also led to an increase in teeth grinding and jaw clenching, further damaging oral health.

The consequences of this dental neglect were severe. Many people suffered from toothaches, infections, and even tooth loss, leading to a lower quality of life and increased health risks.

As the crisis continued, dental professionals worked tirelessly to adapt and find ways to provide care safely. Dental clinics implemented new safety measures, such as air purifiers, and extra personal protective equipment, to ensure the safety of both staff and patients.

In conclusion, the current living crisis has had a significant impact on people’s access to dental care, leading to an increase in dental problems and potentially severe consequences for oral health. However, dental professionals are working hard to adapt and find new ways to provide care safely, highlighting the importance of prioritising oral health during times of crisis.

It’s important to prioritise oral health and seek dental care when necessary, even during challenging times.