When dental hygiene is key to oral health

You may have heard that washing every day is not so good for you as it stops important bacteria that live on your skin being able to build up enough to protect you. This may be true, but please don’t think that it also applies to the bacteria that live in your mouth.

Dental Hygiene in Harley StreetWhile the bacteria in our mouths are harmless, and even play an important role, they can also go a bit crazy on all the sugar we eat. They feed on whatever sugars are in our mouths and when they do, they proliferate and start to build up on our teeth in a sticky film called plaque. They also give off acids and it’s these acids that cause the damage, because they are corrosive.

Acids can eat through our tooth enamel, creating tiny holes through which decay-causing bacteria and infection can enter. This is tooth decay.

The acids also attack the gums. Think how much lemon juice can hurt if you get it in a crack in the skin on your hand, and now imagine having it leaking onto your gums. It’s no wonder they get sore and inflamed and can start to bleed. This is the early stage of gum disease. In the advanced stage, the sore, swollen gums pull away from the teeth and bacterial plaque sneaks into the pockets underneath, where it starts to corrode your tooth roots and the bones holding them in place. You teeth can become loose and wobble and then fall out.

Brushing and flossing

The only way to prevent decay and gum disease is with good dental hygiene. You need to brush well for 2 minutes using a soft brush with fluoride toothpaste on it, twice a day. You also need to floss between the teeth, making sure to curve up under the gums to remove plaque. Interdental brushes are also good as you get older, to remove trapped food.

You also need to see the dental hygienist here at Harley Street Dental Clinic in Harley Street, twice a year to remove any plaque you’ve missed. Do all this and you have a good chance of keeping all your teeth all your life.

Clean as a whistle

Oral health is all about keeping bacteria at bay, and the best way to do this is to keep your mouth clean and healthy.

It’s not that these bacteria are bad in themselves. Our mouths are populated with these little critters, they live on the surfaces of our teeth and gums and soft tissues, and do no harm. It’s what they produce that is the problem. They feed on sugars in our mouths, and release acid. The acid is what causes the problems.

Dental Hygiene in Harley StreetThe problems with plaque

When plaque is left to fester, and it loves hanging out around the gum line and in crannies and crevices where it’s hard to get at with tooth brushing, it thickens and hardens into tartar. The bacteria nearest the tooth enamel then release acid that starts to erode the enamel of the tooth. If the acid gets into the dentin and pulp that lie underneath the enamel, tooth decay sets in. The acid also irritates the gums, resulting in the inflammation of early gum disease, and later on, can attack the bone below the gums, causing teeth to loosen in the sockets, and even fall out.

Dental hygiene to the rescue

This is why at Harley Street Dental Clinic in Harley Street, dental hygiene is one of our top priorities. We want each patient to see the hygienist at least twice a year. Some patients may have to come more often.

Pregnant women need to come more often as their elevated hormone levels cause a quicker build-up of plaque and there is a higher chance of developing what is known as pregnancy gum disease.

Smokers are also more at risk because smoking constricts the blood vessels, reducing the amount of oxygen reaching the gum tissues. Diabetics may also need more frequent check-ups as diabetes slows healing.

Our hygienists will remove the plaque from your teeth and gums with special equipment which scrapes away the hardened tartar. When everything is all cleaned up, they will polish your teeth, making the surfaces smooth and shiny so that plaque has a harder time sticking to it.

If you have not had this done for a while, you may need more than one appointment to get all that tartar off.

What to expect during a dental check-up in Harley Street

Even if you brush and floss your teeth thoroughly at home, visiting a dentist for regular check-ups is still essential. Your dentist can look for early symptoms of decay, gum disease, oral cancer or other health issues and take proper action. Moreover, professional cleaning including tooth scaling and polishing, helps to get rid of calcified plaque and tartar.

At Harley Street Dental Clinic in Harley Street, we go the extra mile to ensure optimal oral health for our patients. A routine visit to our dental clinic will include examining your teeth and professional cleaning. Your Harley Street dentist will also discuss your health history, your oral hygiene habits and general issues that may affect your oral health (i.e. alcohol consumption, smoking). Here’s what to expect during a dental check-up in Harley Street.

dentist-in-harley-streetCleaning your teeth

At Harley Street Dental Clinic we offer thorough teeth cleaning including getting rid of plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums. Your Harley Street dentist or hygienist will then polish your teeth with a slightly coarse paste and finish up with anti-plaque treatment if necessary. Smooth-tooth surfaces make it more difficult for plaque to build up before your next dental visit.

Examining you teeth

Once your teeth are properly cleaned, your dentist will examine them for signs of decay or gum disease. Redness, sensitivity, swelling and blood in your gums are all signs of gum disease. Your Harley Street dentist will also check for irregularities in your bite and will look for evidence of tooth grinding.

Your dentist will also examine your neck and lymph glands as well as the soft tissues of your mouth for signs of infection or oral cancer, especially if you are 35 or older. Early discovery of oral cancer is crucial and regular dental visits can help.

Should you require any dental treatment such as fillings, crowns or root canal treatment, your Harley Street dentist will guide your through the procedure and prepare a full treatment plan. If no treatment is necessary, your dentist will let you know when you should come for your next routine check-up.

Why visiting a dentist is important for your health

The increasing cost of healthcare in combination with a busy lifestyle means that many people keep postponing their dental visits. But sometimes a visit to the dentist can mean the difference between a saved and lost tooth. Regular visits to a dentist in Harley Street will not only help keep your teeth and gums healthy, but will also help keep the rest of your body healthy.

At Harley Street Dental Clinic in Harley Street we offer general and preventative dentistry services to patients of all ages, in a caring and friendly environment. Our dentists and dental hygienists are using the latest treatments and equipment to provide high-quality dental care. While brushing and flossing your teeth are crucial to keeping them healthy, a professional tooth cleaning every six months can get rid of plaque build-up.

dentist-in-harley-streetHere are some ways a Harley Street dentist can help you keep your mouth healthy and fit.

Prevention is better than cure

If you are visiting the dentist with toothache or bleeding gums, you are probably visiting them too late. Before that happens, it is essential to be aware of the problem before it deteriorates. By visiting a dentist on a regular basis, you will know exactly how to take good care of your teeth at home. This knowledge will prevent future problems.

Moreover, your dentist can help prevent common oral hygiene problems with fluoride treatments, thorough teeth cleanings, tooth decay prevention and early detection of oral diseases. Identifying problems before they become extensive can save you time and money in the long run.

Improved overall health

It’s important to realise that your dentist sees much more than just your teeth. During a routine check-up, they look for signs of oral health problems such as gum disease or mouth cancer. Advanced gum disease can cause diabetes or heart disease if left untreated. Furthermore, if you have any specific health concerns, your Harley Street dentist will be able to advise you on these and conduct the proper checks.

By visiting the dentist in Harley Street at least twice a year, you can prevent damage to your teeth and be aware of any impending health problems. Visiting our practice today can save your smile and maybe even your life.

How can I look after my teeth?

At Harley Street Dental Clinic in London, dental hygiene is something we view as a high priority and are here to give our patients advice on keeping their pearly teeth as healthy as possible. What is dental hygiene? I hear you ask! Well, looking after the area of your mouth and teeth is what we consider to be dental hygiene. There are various ways that you can ensure your oral health is on top form, especially with all the delicious and naughty things there are to eat in London. Dental hygiene can be improved by ensuring you brush your teeth twice a day at least, especially after a high-sugar meal. Did you know that fizzy drinks contain a high level of refined sugar? If you take your oral hygiene seriously, start to read the nutritional information onprocessed food and drinks, so you know how much sugar your teeth are in contact with. Brushing for at least three minutes, reaching all the teeth front and back, is recommended.

dental-hygiene-LondonDo you go to the dentist for regular check-ups? Well you should if you want to keep your mouth in healthy order. It is always better to have a plan for prevention rather than paying the big bucks to cure the resulting problems. A check-up will allow our dentist to observe the health of your teeth, as well as look for gum disease or cavities. If this is found, we will give you the option of how to rectify this as quick as possible. Another way to improve your dental hygiene in London, is to visit an oral hygienist, so they can give you a polish and have you flashing your shining teeth again. This is a service that we also offer at our clinic, just book at the reception desk or over the phone.

How often should I visit a dentist?

In order to keep your teeth healthy, a visit to a Harley Street dentist is recommendedat least every 12 months. If we locate any problems, then we will book you in for more regular appointments until the problem is solved.

How your dentist and hygienist help look after your whole body

Your dentist and hygienist should both be vital members of your general health and wellbeing routine. Harley Street Dental Clinic offers a range of general dentistry services which help to protect not just your oral health, but can help to keep your whole body in healthy condition.

dental-hygienistGood dental hygiene is important to keeping your teeth and gums in good condition, of course, but when you think about it you can see why healthy teeth and gums help to protect your whole body. We need good, strong teeth to bite and chew food so that we can get all the nutrients we need to stay fit and strong. Failure to visit your dentist and hygienist on a regular basis is a major contributory factor to premature tooth loss.

At Harley Street Dental Clinic we fully understand that the thought of visiting the dentist can be a terrifying prospect for some people, enough to bring on a panic attack. Dental phobia and anxiety are common conditions – if you suffer from it you may feel isolated, but in fact one in ten people is so nervous about visiting the dentist that they just don’t go at all.

The team at our Harley Street clinic fully empathises with the needs of phobic and nervous patients. We are committed to working with every patient as an individual to help them devise their own unique route back to good oral health. This may involve using in-chair entertainment, such as listening to your favourite radio show or watching a film, to take your mind off treatment, or carrying out any required procedures under conscious sedation.

Fighting gum disease involves team work between you, your dentist, and your hygienist. Gum disease is very common and is easy to treat if caught early. However, if left untreated it can lead to tooth loss. It has also been linked to a number of serious general health conditions, including heart and lung disease and diabetes, so preventing and/or treating it is essential.

The team at Harley Street Dental clinic includes periodontal specialists, who can treat even advanced cases of gum disease successfully.

Why regular visits to the dentist and hygienist are so important

How often should you visit the dentist? At Harley Street Dental Clinic we believe you should attend regular dental check-ups at least every six months. Some patients may need to visit more frequently, particularly if you have a condition such as gum disease that needs careful monitoring, and you should always follow your dentist’s advice.

dentist-hygienistHarley Street Dental Clinic is open six days a week and the opening hours are 8.30am to 7pm Monday to Friday and 8.30am to 6pm on Saturdays. Late night, Sunday, and bank holiday opening are also options by special arrangement, because we know it is important to fit around your lifestyle as much as possible.

Your dentist is in prime position to spot the early signs of common problems such as tooth decay or gum disease – often before you notice any symptoms yourself. We also provide mouth cancer checks as standard as part of our general dental check-up. Mouth cancer has a high proportion of deaths per number of cases diagnosed compared with other cancers, so early detection is vital. You will be referred to a hospital consultant immediately should we find anything suspicious.

As well as visiting the dentist regularly, you should make frequent visits to the dental hygienist. When most people think about hygienists they picture professional tooth-cleaning – a scale and polish using special pastes and equipment. However, the hygienist also provides many other vital roles.

Your hygienist will show you the best techniques and equipment to clean your teeth, and will also provide dietary advice, including how cutting down on not just sugary but also acidic foods and drinks can help you to keep your teeth healthy.

We offer full hygienist services to patients of all ages at Harley Street Dental Clinic. New patients should contact a member of our friendly reception team to book an appointment.

Why regular dentist and hygienist visits are so important

How often should you visit the dentist? The simple answer is “as frequently as your clinician advises”. At Harley Street Dental Clinic we know that many patients have busy and hectic lifestyles, which is why we offer extended opening, including Saturday and evening appointments, enabling you to get the treatment you need without time constraints being an issue.

dental hygiene servicesWe also offer full dental hygiene services from our experienced hygienists – who play a vital role in keeping your mouth healthy.

Standard advice is to visit both the dentist and hygienist every six months for a general dental check-up and professional tooth-cleaning. However, every patient’s needs are different, so the number of times you need to attend will depend on your circumstances. Your dentist will advise you how often you should have a check-up, and you should always follow this advice.

It’s all too easy to think that, if you have been given a clean bill of health by your dentist, you don’t need to visit so often. At Harley Street Dental Clinic our entire team is passionate about preventative dentistry – doing everything we can, together with you, to ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy and more invasive treatments are not required. Routine dental and hygiene appointments are vital to maintaining good dental health.

When you come to our Harley Street clinic for a check-up, this will be carried out by a qualified and experienced dentist, who will look out for the early signs of problems such as gum disease or tooth decay. Often they will spot early warning signs even before you’ve noticed a problem yourself, meaning that it can be treated swiftly and effectively.

Your hygienist also plays a vital role in both preventing and spotting the early signs of decay and disease, and can furnish you with appropriate home-care advice to treat and/or manage conditions.

How your dentist can help combat gum disease

Gum disease is a common problem that your dentist and hygienist can work with you to combat once and for all. At Harley Street Dental Clinic, as well as standard dental and hygiene treatment designed to prevent gum disease from arising, we also offer the services of a dedicated periodontist – a dentist who has undergone additional specialist training to specialise in the treatment of gum disease and other gum problems.

Why gum disease happens

hsdc-gum-diseaseThe main cause of gum disease is dental plaque, which builds up on the surfaces of the teeth. This plaque bacteria starts to irritate and attack the gums, leading in the first instance to gingivitis – the milder form of gum disease.

Even if you have a good home cleaning routine, there may be areas of your mouth that are difficult to reach with brushing and flossing alone. It is here that plaque bacteria can start to collect, and it is essential to visit your dentist and hygienist regularly to remove any plaque build-up.

From gingivitis to periodontitis

Many people will experience mild gum disease (gingivitis) at some point in life. Regular visits to your dentist help to catch the condition early, sometimes even before you have noticed any signs at home.

Left untreated, gingivitis can develop into the more serious form of gum disease, periodontitis. This requires specialist treatment in order to save your teeth. At our Harley Street clinic, our periodontal specialist Dr Pedja Pavlovic is highly experienced in treating even complex cases of periodontitis.

As well as working at Harley Street Dental Clinic, Dr Pavlovic lectures in Periodontology at the Royal London Hospital.

Gum disease symptoms

The best way to prevent gum disease is good dental hygiene. Some of the common symptoms of gingivitis include:

  • Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth
  • Swollen gums (with or without pain)
  • Bad breath

If you spot any of these symptoms, book an appointment with your dentist immediately.

Why visiting the dentist regularly is essential

Visiting the dentist on a regular basis is key to maintaining good dental and general health. At Harley Street Dental Clinic, we appreciate that many patients have busy schedules, which is why we are open from 8.30am until 7pm every Monday to Friday, to 6pm on Saturdays, and on Sundays and bank holidays by special arrangement.

harley-street-dental-clinicBecause we know that sometimes you will need an emergency dentist outside of regular practice opening hours, we also have an emergency call-out line that is open from 10pm to 8.30am – call us straight away on 020 3553 8200 if you require emergency dental treatment.

Most patients are advised to come for a check-up every six months. Sometimes, if there is a particular condition that we are treating or monitoring, your dentist will recommend more frequent appointments. You should always follow their guidance to ensure your oral health remains in excellent condition.

At Harley Street Dental Clinic we are passionate about preventative dentistry. Regular visits to the dental practice help to prevent common problems such as tooth decay or gum disease from arising in the first place, but if they do develop, the earlier your dentist catches them the easier they are to treat.

Even if you have good dental health and a strong homecare routine, it is still advisable to make regular trips to the dental practice. This is because the early symptoms of conditions such as gum disease are often quite difficult to spot at home, whereas your dentist is in a prime position to notice and treat them before they become serious.

Gum disease remains one of the leading causes of tooth loss for adult patients in the UK, so stopping it as soon as (or preferably before) it starts is vital.

Harley Street Dental Clinic offers the services of a wide range of specialists, from dental hygienists to maxillofacial surgeons; whatever treatment you need, you can get it all under one roof at our modern London practice.