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:


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.


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.

The start of a wonderful relationship

Creating good habits that last a lifetime is much easier to do when your children are very young, and if there’s one good habit that they need to pick up as soon as possible, it’s going to the dentist.

The best way to ensure that your child will take care of their teeth long after they have moved away from home is to start bringing them in to see us at Forest Dental in Loughton as soon as you can.

Childrens Dentistry in LoughtonWe recommend bringing your baby to your own appointments so that they can become accustomed to the dental environment long before they first need to sit in the chair. Children learn best by watching and copying so if they see you having a great visit at the dentist, it won’t be long before they want to have a go in the chair too.

In Loughton, children’s dentistry is somewhat different from adult dentistry in that it is mainly focused on decay prevention. Decay is more prevalent in children for two reasons. Firstly because they are still learning to brush their teeth, and find it hard to spend two minutes doing anything let alone standing still brushing their teeth. Secondly because children tend to consume more sugary drinks and snacks than adults. Decay in children’s teeth is serious because, if it is left untreated it’s not just the baby teeth that are affected, the adult teeth behind them can also be affected and may not come through correctly or may even need to be extracted.

For this reason, we offer a couple of treatments to help prevent decay. Fluoride treatment helps to mineralise the dental enamel against decay. We put fluoride gel into tooth trays and fit these over the teeth. Your child wears this for several minutes before removing the trays and rinsing away the excess. If this is done regularly, it can help prevent decay.

We also offer fissure sealants for the back teeth, where decay tends to happen as it can be hard for kids to brush their back teeth. We paint the back teeth with a transparent plastic sealant that stops plaque from building up and the acids it gives off being able to reach the enamel.

What happens when you get dental fillings?

Fillings can either be metal or composite and are used to restore and strengthen decayed or broken teeth. Composite fillings are made of a mixture of resin and glass and are more aesthetically pleasing compared to metal fillings. Moreover, they provide enhanced stability, since they surround the tooth structure, instead of just filling it in.

At Forest Dental in Loughton, white fillings are used as an alternative to amalgam fillings, which don’t look so good. The process of filling cavities is a fairly simple and easy one that can be done in the dentist’s chair in one appointment.

White Fillings in LoughtonWhat to expect

Composite fillings are a quick procedure and rarely require more than one appointment to the dentist. Prior to the procedure, your dentist will take x-rays if needed, guide you through the treatment and assess the health of the rest of your teeth.

Before filling your cavity, they will numb your teeth, gums and surrounding areas in order to avoid any pain or discomfort during the procedure.

Next, they will drill into the cavity, clean it thoroughly, let it dry and apply the composite material in layers. Each layer is cured with a special light and the final layer is sculpted to fit with your bite.

Apart from cavities, white fillings can also be used to repair damage to teeth caused by teeth grinding or to replace part of a broken tooth or chipped tooth.

When to replace a filling

Composite fillings can last for many years with proper care and maintenance, but sometimes they may need to be replaced. If you clench or grind your teeth, you may need to have tooth fillings replaced sooner than most people.

If you notice signs of wear on your fillings, it is advised to visit your dentist to have the filling replaced as soon as possible. Continuing to chew with a damaged filling can cause the tooth to crack and require additional repair, which is usually more extensive and expensive.

Get in touch

If you need a filling, get in touch and we will book an appointment for you. Our helpful team is here to answer all the questions you may have.