Confidence boosting beautiful smiles

Here at Forest Dental, your dentist in Loughton, we see time and time again the transformation in people after they invest in a beautiful smile.

Not many people are naturally blessed with a beautiful smile, especially in the western world. What we consider to be gorgeous in the smile department, rows of well aligned, white teeth on a broad jaw, is the result of a lot of chewing. Chewing makes your jaw longer and broader when you are young, and gives room for all those teeth to line up well.

Dentist in LoughtonStraightening

The problem with modern jaws is that they don’t get enough chewing and so they are smaller. Modern teeth, however, are just as big as they were millennia ago when they evolved to cope with a diet that required a lot more chewing. So, today, we have too-small jaws and too-big teeth.

Braces can fix that problem and that’s why so many children and adults come to us for alignment issues. Braces in the modern world don’t have to be chunky metal affairs. There are finer, almost invisible devices that make going through the straightening treatment a whole lot more pleasant.

Damage

But straight teeth are not the whole story. Teeth can also get damaged. To fix damaged teeth, we can cover over dings and dents with veneers, which are sheaths of dental porcelain that are cemented over the front of the teeth. They can last for at least 10 years if you take good care of them.

Discolouration

You are what you eat and drink, and nowhere more so that on your tooth enamel, which collects tiny traces of pigment from what you consume. If you’re into tea, coffee, red wine, berries or smoking, your teeth will be stained. Teeth whitening can remove these stains and also lighten the enamel itself by oxidising it, so that you can have those lovely pearly whites that everyone wants.

You can either have each treatment done separately, as and when you need it, or you can lay out a game plan to follow by having a consultation for a smile makeover.

Make 2019 the year you transform your smile and boost your confidence.

The importance of dental hygiene

It can seem like a real drag to have to stand at the bathroom basin cleaning your teeth for 2 minutes, morning and night. It’s tempting to rush. In the morning you’ve got to get to work, college or school, or you’ve got to get someone else out the door. In the evening, you just want to hop into bed and go to sleep.

Dental Hygiene in LoughtonBut those 2 minutes twice a day are what will allow you to keep your teeth well into your later years, if not for life. So, if you have not already got into a disciplined habit of brushing and flossing, now is the time to start. Why not make it your New Year resolution for 2019?

If you’re not sure what you are actually doing when you brush and floss, let us explain:

It’s all about plaque

When you brush your teeth, you are removing the build-up of dental plaque from the surface of your teeth and around your gum line. It’s also a good idea to give your tongue a good brush too, or you can even buy a tongue scraper to clean it.

Plaque is a film of bacteria that deliberately cling to the surfaces of the mouth to stop themselves being swallowed in our saliva. They feed on the sugars in our mouth (so rinse after eating sugary foods or drinking juice or fizzy drinks) and give off acids.

The acids eat into our tooth enamel, creating holes for decay-causing bacteria to get in through. The acids also irritate and inflame our gums, and then can get under them to eat away at our jawbone and tooth roots, causing infection and loose teeth.

The end result of decay and gum disease is tooth loss.

Trapped food

Brushing and flossing are also important for removing food that has got trapped between our teeth. As you get older, and your gums recede a little, the gaps between the teeth get bigger and offer more places for food to get caught. There it can start to rot and cause infection.

So, make proper dental hygiene a priority in 2019, and don’t forget to come in for your check-ups at Forest Dental in Loughton.

New year, new you

Here we go again. It hardly seems like we’ve had time to blink and it’s already the end of 2018 and time to think of resolutions that we will faithfully see through. OK, so the gym resolution didn’t exactly go according to plan, but now you can have another shot at it. But there is another way to get healthier and that’s by looking at your diet and oral health.

Oral Health in LoughtonJust how good are you at brushing your teeth? Did you know that to have great oral health, you need to brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes, using a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste. You also need to floss once a day to get rid of trapped food. Interdental brushes also do a good job.

Twice a year, you also need to get yourself along to the hygienist at Forest Dental in Loughton to get any remaining plaque and tartar removed. This won’t just make your teeth last longer by protecting them against gum disease, but it will also help protect you from other systemic diseases, as will having a healthy diet.

It’s important to remember that everything in your body is connected to everything else.

For example, did you know that:

Diabetes

If you have got diabetes, you are more liable to get a serious oral infection than a non-diabetic person. This could be from gum disease, tooth decay, or dry mouth.

Gum disease links

Gum disease starts off with inflammation of the gums. Inflammation is directly linked to many diseases, and chances are that if your gums are inflamed, there is inflammation going on elsewhere in the body. So, there are direct links between oral health and heart disease, stroke, as well as premature births and low birth weight.

Oral bacteria

Oral bacteria are also linked to other health issues, such as lung disease, kidney disease and even brain health. This is because, if you have a lot of bacteria in your mouth, you can breathe them down into your lungs where they can pass through the lung wall and into your bloodstream.

Make 2019 the year you improve your oral hygiene routine and you could see knock-on health effects all over your body.

Everyone needs general dentistry

It may seem like the entire nation is fixated on having the whitest, most even glorious set of teeth. Goodness knows, even the judges on Strictly have been making comments about smiles before getting down to critiquing footwork and body position. And beautiful smiles are important, but they only work if the teeth and mouth are in good nick. There’s no point in investing in cosmetic dentistry if your teeth are going to fall victim to dental decay or gum disease.

General Dentistry in LoughtonHere at Forest Dental in Loughton, we love making beautiful smiles but only if your teeth and gums are in good oral health to start with. We are not going to ignore that filling you need so that you can have the veneers you fancy. It would be like putting expensive statement wallpaper on a wall with rising damp. It may look lovely to start with, but it isn’t going to last.

So, please don’t wilfully ignore your general dentistry needs in favour of your cosmetic dentistry desires.

What is general dentistry?

These are the check-ups and basic treatments that keep your mouth and teeth in good working order.

Check-ups

We encourage all our patients to come for a check-up twice a year, perhaps more if you have particular health conditions that will affect the mouth or if you are a smoker. Check-ups are our opportunity to spot problems in their early stages when they are easier and cheaper to correct. A small filling is going to cost a whole lot less than a crown, or an extraction followed by a dental implant, for example.

Scale and polish

Get your hardened plaque removed twice a year by the hygienist and you dramatically reduce your chances of getting gum disease.

Other general treatments

General dentistry at Forest Dental also covers restorations such as crowns, which are porcelain covers for a tooth that is badly damaged but still has a healthy root, allowing you to hang onto your own teeth for longer. You will need a crown if you have to have root canal therapy, another general treatment.

Many general treatments are available on the NHS, and cost less than private treatments.

Don’t be one of the 6,800

Every year around 6,800 people in the UK are diagnosed with mouth cancer in the UK. The figure is rising: rates of mouth  cancer have jumped by 68 per cent over the past 20 years.

And yet there is little reason to be one of the mortality rate statistics for these cancers because detection is easy to do and the cancers are easy to catch in their early stages, when they are also easy to treat.

Mouth Cancer Screening in LoughtonAll you have to do is make sure that if you are over about the age of 35, you have a mouth cancer screening every year. We can do a mouth cancer screening in Loughton for you here at Forest Dental after we have done one of your bi-annual check-ups.

What is mouth and throat cancer?

Cancers of the mouth and throat are caused by damaged cells that start to grow uncontrollably into tumours. They occur in the lips, gums, tonsils, palate, the lining of the mouth, the tongue, under the tongue and in the throat. These are all places that are pretty easy to examine, and while there is no national compulsory programme for mouth cancer screening, we are trained to carry them out.

What does a mouth cancer screening involve?

We carefully examine your lips and all around inside your mouth (using a small angled mirror to get a really good look). We look for lumps, bumps and lesions. If we find one, we will send you to get it cut out and analysed for cancerous cells. You won’t have to wait long for an appointment.

After we have checked your mouth, we will also carefully feel around your neck, checking for more unexpected lumps in the glands and throat.

We will also ask you if you have had any odd hoarseness, tingling or lumps that won’t heal. If you do have any such symptoms that last longer than 3 weeks when you are between screenings, make an appointment with us to get them checked out.

Mouth Cancer Action Month

November is Mouth Cancer Action Month in the UK, so you will probably read and see lots about it. If you want any more information, please don’t hesitate to ask us.

For mildly misaligned teeth

If you got through your early years without the dentist suggesting that you needed braces, chances are that you were lucky enough not to suffer from severe alignment issues with either your bite or your teeth. However, you’d have to be extremely lucky not to have a little bit of misalignment; hardly anyone’s teeth come through perfectly. Most of us have a bit of a twist, a lean in or out, a cross-over, or a tooth that didn’t quite make it all the way down.

Orthodontics in LoughtonBack in the day, no one would have thought anything more of such minor alignment issues, but here we are in 2018, when perfect teeth are becoming mandatory, and you could well be one of the many people who’d like to get that little alignment problem sorted out, if only you could find a quick and easy way to do so that wasn’t going to make your teeth look like the insides of a cutlery drawer.

Well, here at Forest Dental in Loughton, we think we have got the answer to your orthodontics issues. We use Cfast, which is a quick, easy and discreet way of straightening mild misalignments on the front 6 teeth. In the dental profession, these are known as the ‘social 6’ because they are the ones that people get to see the most of when you speak, eat or laugh.

Fortunately, they are also the ones with only one root; the ones at the back have 3. Having only one root to move makes realignment quicker and easier to do with gentler forces. You could find that you have got rid of the wonky look within a matter of only 8 weeks, for example. The average treatment time is 5 months.

Cfast braces are bracket and wire braces, which give more predictable movements than clear aligners. The clear ceramic brackets are cemented onto the teeth and linked together with tooth-coloured wires. The tightness of the wires and the angle at which the brackets go onto your teeth are what get the teeth to move.

Once your teeth are in their correct position, you will have to wear a retainer for some time to keep them in place while everything settles down.

Make your oral health a priority

It’s tempting to think of each body part as somehow separate from all the others, but the truth is that they are all connected and problems in one part of the body can lead to problems in other parts.

The mouth is no exception. We breathe through it, so it is directly connected to the lungs and through them to the bloodstream and therefore to every other part of the body. We also use our mouths for eating and so there is a direct connection to the digestive system and from there to a lot of organs as well as, once again, to the bloodstream.

Oral Health in LoughtonNo wonder then that various diseases are directly linked to our oral health. Having a healthy mouth can make so much difference to our overall health.

Oral health problems

The main culprit when it comes to oral health issues is bacterial plaque. This is that sticky layer of white stuff that builds up on the surfaces of the teeth and soft tissue throughout the day.

Plaque doesn’t look so good but that’s not the main problem with it. The main problem is that the bacteria that make it up give off acids when they feed. These acids eat away at our tooth enamel to cause decay. They also irritate and inflame our gums, before getting under them to attack our tooth roots and jawbones.

Both problems can result in tooth loss, but they also have direct links to diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis, with these diseases affecting oral health and vice versa. Researchers are also investigating links with rheumatoid arthritis, lung diseases and obesity.

Keeping your mouth healthy

The basics are your responsibility. You need to brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes with a fluoride toothpaste. You also need to floss or use interdental brushes to remove plaque and trapped food from between the teeth. Getting to a dental check-up with us at Forest Dental is also a vital part of your oral health in Loughton. We can spot problems long before you are aware of them, and our hygienists can remove plaque that has hardened into calculus.

Little by little, or one fell swoop?

Having strong, healthy teeth is important, but what if yours are and you still aren’t happy with them? Our teeth work hard all day, and over the years they can take quite a battering. The thing with teeth is that people really notice them. Eons ago, baring our teeth in an engaging grin was a non-verbal way of demonstrating that we were not an enemy or a predator. You can still see this behaviour in our ape and monkey relatives, and even now, the smile remains an important tool in our communications toolbox, and one that people are hardwired to respond to with warmth and generosity.

Cosmetic Dentistry LoughtonYes, people notice your teeth. And they make subconscious decisions as to your health and age based on what they see. There’s no getting away from the fact. So, if yours have started to show a bit of wear and tear, now’s the time to get them back into tip-top shape.

Here at Forest Dental in Loughton, cosmetic dentistry treatments can be done as and when you need them, or all at once in a mini or full smile makeover. It’s up to you to choose, but even tidying the tiniest imperfection, like having worn edges to your teeth, can make a dramatic difference to your appearance.

Worn edges

We call this treatment cosmetic contouring. If you are having your teeth whitened with us, we tend to perform this treatment alongside it routinely, but you can also have it without whitening. It’s quick to do and painless to receive. We just use our polishing discs to reshape the edges of your teeth, and then, wow! What a difference!

Other structural imperfections

We also have treatments to cover over chips, cracks, gaps and deep stains that whitening won’t remove, as well as mask gaps between teeth. You can choose between veneers, porcelain sheaths, or componeers, which use composite bonding sculpted over your teeth on the spot.

We have other treatments too. We may suggest treatments to enhance your teeth after you have some kind of remedial treatment, or you can book yourself in for a consultation for a smile makeover, or ask us about anything when you next come for a check-up.

What can you expect from general dentistry in Loughton?

One of the best ways to avoid extensive dental procedures is to keep up-to-date with your regular check-ups. At Forest Dental, we want to help you do this by offering excellent general dental services in a welcoming environment. We have a helpful, professional team on hand to support you.

General Dentistry LoughtonWhat can great general dentistry achieve?

Everyone is busy these days so it’s handy to find a dental practice that takes this into account when planning your appointments. We want to encourage you to take care of your teeth so we do everything we can to make your treatment fit into your lifestyle.

Even if you have anxiety around visiting the dentist, we can help. If you visit Forest Dental, we use gentle techniques so that you do not feel discomfort during your visit. This creates a positive experience that makes you more inclined to visit us again in the future.

Perhaps one of the most important tasks in general dentistry is the early detection of tooth decay. At Forest Dental, we use modern technology to detect cavities in the early stages. We work with DIAGNOdent detection to monitor the quality of your teeth. If we detect any deterioration we can act fast with effective, non-invasive treatment to prevent decay developing.

At Forest Dental, we also monitor the health of your gums. We can help with problems like bad breath or sensitive teeth and we offer a mouth cancer screening service. These are just some of the services we provide to keep you healthy.

What else is on offer at Forest Dental?

Once your general oral health is taken care of, you can begin to consider cosmetic dentistry. This could involve a single procedure or a combination of treatments for a smile makeover. You can do something subtle or make a dramatic change for the better when you work with us at Forest Dental.

What can you do?

Apart from your regular check-ups, you can support your dental health at home with a good oral hygiene routine. At Forest Dental, we can give you guidance on how to take care of your teeth and gums so that they serve you well for a long time.

Why should you replace missing teeth?

Having your missing teeth in Loughton replaced can seem like a big step. There are a number of different restoration methods you can consider when you visit Forest Dental. It can be tempting to delay but, generally speaking, the sooner you have your teeth replaced, the better it is for the health of your mouth. Swift action can, in some cases, give you more options and a better chance of successful replacement.

Missing Teeth in LoughtonIf you have missing teeth, you are probably already feeling the repercussions in your life. These are just some of the ways that gaps in your smile can have a detrimental effect on your experience of life:

  • Aesthetics – your smile is a key component of the way you look. A complete smile is balanced and aesthetically pleasing. Gaps can affect this symmetry and change the overall impression that you make;
  • Confidence – once the appearance of your smile is compromised, this can have an effect on your self-esteem. Gaps can occur for a myriad of different reasons but you may still feel like yours make a negative statement about your age, health or oral hygiene, which can lead to smiling less.
  • Reduced functionality – chewing might seem like a simple action but your mouth and the position and shape of your teeth are specifically designed to perform various functions that are supported by the whole structure. When you have missing teeth, it can affect your ability to eat the foods you want while also having a knock-on effect on the remaining teeth. They may be subject to uneven wear and deteriorate more quickly than they would as part of a complete smile;
  • Health of your mouth – missing teeth can have an effect on your other teeth, your gums and your jawbone. The latter can begin to deteriorate once you have missing teeth because it is no longer being used in the areas where you have gaps. If you have multiple missing teeth, this can end up affecting the appearance of your face.

Fortunately, the friendly team at Forest Dental are standing by to talk you through your options for tooth replacement. We help you make informed choices about your restoration and face the future with a complete smile.