Synergy Parkside Dental Centre
Goldsworth Park Health Centre
Woking GU21 3LQ

Brushing Your Teeth Twice A Day Is Essential

So, why are only 1 in 8 of us doing so since lockdown?

Dentist in surgeryA recent study has indicated that during and following the easing of lockdown, only one in eight of us have been brushing our teeth twice a day.

Perhaps equally worrying are the findings that nearly half of those asked admitted that they only brushed their teeth once a day at most and nearly 20% admitted to not brushing their teeth regularly on a daily basis at all!

Although we appreciate that lockdown disrupted our lives in many ways, it appears that some of this may have lingered on for longer afterwards, and probably into the future as well unless we change our habits.

As dental professionals, we find these results a little staggering. It is common knowledge that brushing your teeth is the single most important thing that you can do to protect your teeth on a daily basis. It appears though, that there are still some significant misunderstandings about how important this is. For the benefit of the Woking patients of Synergy Parkside, we attempt to address some of the likely issues below.

The ‘once a day is enough’ myth

It seems that some people believe that you only need to brush your teeth at night and that the mornings are much less important. The logic for this, we presume, is that this follows a day of eating, whereas, in the morning, you haven’t eaten anything since you went to bed so there is no need to brush. Whilst this might seem logical, it is a big mistake.

Although it may be true that you haven’t eaten whilst you slept, this is a time when potentially harmful bacteria can build up in the mouth, and in significant numbers, especially if you have a dry mouth. This can lead to both gum disease and tooth decay.  It is thought that over 3/4 of millennials have undetected tooth decay, and this could be one of the reasons why.

Not only will these bacteria accumulate overnight but, if you don’t brush your teeth in the morning they will stay with you for the rest of the day. This lengthy period means that a lot of damage can occur before you eventually brush your teeth at night.

Changing your habits

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The Consequences Of Leaving Gaps In Your Teeth

Why our Woking dentists believe you should always choose a tooth replacement treatment

Two dental implantsPerhaps as we enter our final years, we may not be too concerned about missing teeth, either from an aesthetic or general viewpoint. Even in our 70s and beyond though, many of us now live an active life, socialising with others. If we lose our teeth even earlier, this is particularly an issue as missing teeth can also have an ageing effect on our facial appearance.

With the wide range of modern techniques available at Synergy Parkside to replace any teeth that have been lost, we take a look at the reasons why leaving a gap in your teeth isn’t a good idea and how we can help you resolve this.

Front teeth vs rear teeth

You may think that there is a difference between losing a front tooth and a rear one. In some ways this is true. The loss of one or more teeth at the front of the mouth affects the way that we look in a quite obvious manner. It is very likely that nearly all of us will look at the various available tooth replacement options if we lose a front tooth.

If we lose a rear tooth though, it can be very tempting to just ignore it. Sure, it might be a bit inconvenient but it isn’t a major issue surely? The fact is though, that any tooth loss, wherever it occurs in the mouth, can have an ongoing impact on the rest of our teeth.

Bone loss and tooth drift

We tend to think of the loss of a tooth as affecting the tooth alone. Unfortunately, when we lose a tooth, it also has an impact on the underlying jawbone. The role once performed by this, in securing the tooth in place, is no longer necessary and our body will then start to reabsorb the minerals that make up the bone in this area for use elsewhere in the body.

This loss of bone can have two effects. Firstly, and especially where several teeth are lost, it can cause a ‘sunken’ appearance of the face in that area. This can make us appear older than our years. It also means that it becomes easier for the teeth around the gap to start to ‘drift’ into the space vacated by the tooth.  As one tooth moves, it also leaves a space for others to encroach into. Over time, it is quite possible that our teeth will start to become uneven and crooked.

Additional strain and wear

Another issue when we lose a tooth is that we can transfer its role onto other teeth. If we lose a couple of rear teeth, for example, their prime role is in the grinding and breaking down of food. As they are no longer available for this we are likely to use other teeth that are not designed for this purpose. This can easily lead to premature wearing or even breakage of these teeth.

Replacement options

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Time To Get The Whiteness Back!

Has the ‘lockdown’ lifestyle left your teeth looking duller than usual?

White smileWith dental practices, including our own, now up and running, it is worth looking at some of the things that may have happened to your teeth and gums whilst we were closed.

We covered some of the clinical problems that could have occurred and how we could help in recent blogs, but today we are going to take a look at the aesthetic aspect of your smile and how it may have suffered over the last few months.

Aesthetic consequences of lockdown

There are a number of potential reasons why our teeth may have become duller whilst we were all in lockdown and under the various restrictions enforced. The following is not an exhaustive list but suggests some of the most likely ways that our Woking patients may have ended up with darker looking teeth than they’d ideally like.

Diet – Most of us will probably admit to a change of diet during lockdown. Especially in the earlier stages where we were more confined to our homes, many of us would probably have found ourselves at a loose end (despite our good intentions of learning new skills etc). One thing that a lot of us will do when we are bored is eat, and very often foods that offer little nutritional value and which may also affect the surface enamel of our teeth. The additional tea and coffee drunk during this time will also have played a role.

Lack of care – Although most of us will probably have managed to keep to our usual oral health regimen of regular brushing and flossing, for some folk, this time will have been especially stressful and usual norms may not have applied. When we are feeling anxious or depressed, we may neglect ourselves a little and this may include failing to clean our teeth as often or as well as we should. It is quite possible that some of us may even have started smoking again which is especially likely to turn our teeth yellow.

No hygienist – Anyone who sees the hygienist at Synergy Parkside in Woking on a regular basis for a scale and polish will know that, in addition to helping to protect our oral health, it also removes much of the surface staining from our teeth. Although it requires a teeth whitening procedure to lighten teeth where the inner part has darkened over time, this surface stain removal is certainly a benefit worth having. With our practice closed for a few months, some of you will have missed out on this and you may have noticed more discolouration in your teeth than normal.

Time to shine?

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The Challenges Presented To Teenager’s Teeth

Synergy Parkside dentist, Dr Dani Sharma, offers advice for those difficult teenage years

Group of smiling young peopleAs parents, it can be hard to let go, but let go of our children we will inevitably do at some stage. As our children start to grow up and gain more and more independence, they will almost certainly make a number of decisions that we are not entirely happy about.  This is all a part of the process of growing up of course, but some of the decisions that they take may affect them for many years to come.

This is often particularly true when it comes to how they look after their teeth and gums. It may have been a long time since we were able to stand in the bathroom singing ‘row your boat’ whilst they cleaned their teeth under our supervision, but that doesn’t mean that we care any less about how they look after them.

Teenage years

As our children grow older, they naturally want less interference from their parents, especially in those day to day things like cleaning their teeth. As we know though, teenagers are not generally great at organising their life to do the more mundane things, instead always looking forward to going to see friends or playing the latest games on their X Box. In addition to perhaps neglecting to clean their teeth as well as they should, a teenager’s diet is likely to be high in sugars as they eat snacks that give them quick energy, or alternatively, tasty, but often unhealthy, ‘junk’ foods. A combination of these factors means that their teeth, which we had managed to help them keep healthy for so long, are now at risk.

Rotting teeth and sore and bleeding gums are a real possibility if care is not taken. Add in the possible addition of smoking, alcohol and even, regretfully, drugs, as they reach their later teenage years and there could be a lot of problems in store that could potentially leave them with poor quality teeth throughout their adult life.

How can you help?

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Straighter Teeth For A More Attractive Smile!

Orthodontic treatments offer a great way to a beautiful, even smile.

Invisalign Straight TeethWith the additional time that many of us have involuntarily had over the last few months, we may have idled some of it away by dreaming, or looking in a mirror and thinking that there are some things we would like to do to improve our appearance.

The first step towards this for many, will likely have been a trip to the newly opened hairdressers for a long overdue haircut. Others though, will possibly be looking at longer term goals as well.

One problem that we may have noticed about our appearance, and especially when we smile,  is something that happens over time and which cannot be corrected overnight. We are talking about uneven or crooked teeth of course.

As teeth start to leave gaps or to overlap, they not only spoil an otherwise attractive smile, but can also make cleaning more difficult and potentially lead to oral health issues such as decay and gum disease.

So if you have been considering doing something about your crooked teeth, the Synergy Parkside Dental Centre can help!

Invisalign

One of the most popular orthodontic systems available at our Woking practice to correct uneven teeth is Invisalign. This system uses an entirely different method to traditional braces. Whilst older style braces use a series of wires and brackets that exert pressure on your teeth to reposition them, Invisalign uses a series of plastic trays to the produce the same effect. These trays are made from impressions that we take of your own teeth and use a high quality medical grade transparent plastic. This customised method means that any discomfort is minimised, with each tray applying a small amount of pressure to gradually coax your teeth into the correct position.

The trays are transparent and are fairly discreet when wearing, indeed they are barely visible to those around you. They are also removable and should be taken from the mouth when you are eating and when you brush and floss your teeth in the morning and evening. It is important to make sure that both your teeth and the trays are cleaned well before you return them to your mouth. Failing to do so could mean that sugars, acids and bacteria are trapped between the tooth enamel and the trays.

We are currently offering a free consultation and free scan for potential Invisalign patients. Why not contact us on 01483 766355 to find out more?

Inman Aligner

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Diabetes and Your Oral Health

Dental considerations for diabetic patients in Woking

Dentist examines patientIt is important for all of us to look after our teeth and gums well. Damaging them can have a significantly negative impact on our quality of life and can cause problems with eating and even our speech in some cases.

Gum diseases are also increasingly being linked to health issues such as heart disease. For most of us, looking after our teeth is a relatively straightforward issue. We brush and floss our teeth well and see a dentist at Synergy Parkside every six months for a check up.

There are some groups of people, however, who are at a higher risk of oral health problems than others. These include older people and cigarette smokers amongst others. One of the most common health conditions that can lead to more problems is diabetes.

Diabetes

Diabetes causes blood sugar level problems in the body and can lead to damage to the heart, kidneys, feet and eyes. In addition to this, high blood sugar levels can cause damage to the blood vessels which subsequently reduces the amount of oxygen supplied to the gums. Because of this, our Woking patients who are diabetic are typically at a higher risk of gum disease than non diabetics.

Due to this increased risk, it is important that diabetics not only follow their GPs advice and take any necessary medication to keep the diabetes under control, but also pay additional attention to their oral health.

Gum disease problems

As we mentioned earlier, gum disease has been linked with a number of general health issues. Because of this alone, it is worth making sure that your gums are looked after. With poor gum health come a number of unpleasant symptoms which might include soreness, inflammation, bad breath and wobbly teeth. This latter symptom is a particularly worrying one as it indicates that the infection has also affected the bone which supports the teeth.

This stage of gum disease, known as periodontitis, occurs when the bacteria causing the disease has reached beneath the gum line and has attacked the roots of the tooth and the surrounding bone tissue. As the bone degrades, it causes the roots of the teeth to become loose and wobbly. When this happens, there is a real risk that tooth loss can occur. Although a treatment known as ‘root planing’ or a ‘deep clean’ can be used to attempt to reverse this, it is not always successful and it is a far better approach to try to prevent gum disease from occurring in the first place.

Good gum care for diabetics

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Our Woking Dental Practice Is Open!

Welcoming patients back for treatment

Dentist in surgeryIt has probably felt like an eternity for some, and especially those of you who have suffered dental problems that did not qualify for urgent emergency care.

Troublesome teeth can seem all consuming and even a relatively short wait for treatment can seem like forever. For those who have had to wait almost three months, it has probably been a very difficult time indeed.

The good news is that we have now opened our practice again following the lockdown. This means that you can finally start to receive treatment again and we look forward to seeing you all as we try to catch up on lost time. There will, of course, be some changes with how we operate and we will cover some of these factors in today’s blog.

Appointments

Our reception team is now awaiting your phone calls for appointments but please do bear in mind that we may not be able to see you as quickly as we did before the pandemic. There are a lot of operational changes being made which are likely to reduce the number of patients that we are able to see each day. Our Woking dental practice team will obviously do all that they can, but the safety of our staff and patients must come first.

We will also be doing our best to see those of you who are in more urgent need of dental care. We certainly don’t want you to suffer unnecessarily and will do what we can to treat you as a priority. To the rest of you, please bear with us whilst we work our way through the most urgent cases. We are sure that you would want us to do this if it was yourself that was suffering.

PPE

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Is Stress Affecting Dental Patients?

Synergy Parkside Dental looks at the possible oral health consequences of ‘lockdown stress’.

Stressed dental patientAlthough there is no formal news about dental practices opening yet and it may still be a little while away, things do seem to be slowly improving in the Covid-19 crisis and some shops are now gradually planning to re-open (with appropriate distancing and other precautions) in the near future.

We are also hopeful that the government will look at the options for opening dental practices soon as there will be an increasing number of people who are suffering with fairly uncomfortable oral problems.

Whilst treatment is available in special dental units for the most serious cases, even a moderate toothache can be very distressing even with the use of painkillers. There will be other problems too that people will be having to deal with without professional dental support.

All of this will add to the general stress of the restrictions that have been placed on us. In today’s blog, we take a look at some of the ways that this stress may have affected your teeth and gums.

Reduced home dental care

Even if unintentionally, it is quite possible that some of us will not have brushed our teeth as often or as well as we used to do. This is likely to apply more in the morning as we are out of a routine. Even a small reduction in this could have an effect on our teeth and gums, leading to possible tooth decay and gum disease. If you suspect that you may have been ‘guilty’ of this, remember that it is not too late to start to improve this now with regular brushing and flossing.

Increased snacking

There have been reports that, perhaps unsurprisingly, there has been an increase in snacking during lockdown. Whether this is through boredom or stress doesn’t really matter in terms of the result. Any snacking over a period of time is not good for the oral health of our Woking patients. Even relatively healthy foods, if consumed in this way, can be harmful as there is insufficient time in between snacking for our saliva to clear the mouth of food particles and excess bacteria. In addition to this, many ‘snack’ foods tend to be high in sugar, a well known problem for our teeth.

If you do snack; in addition to brushing and flossing, try to drink water after your snack, swilling it around your mouth before swallowing. This will help to remove some of the offending food particles.

Bruxism

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Children’s Tooth Care During the ‘Stay At Home’ Period

Challenges and solutions for looking after your children’s oral health at this difficult time.

Children with parentsDespite the slight changes initiated this week to start the easing of lockdown, the fact is that many of our Woking patients will probably still be spending most of their time at home.

Some will be working from home whilst others will not be able to work because the sector in which they normally do so is not yet allowed to open.

This, on its own, can be challenging enough, but for those of us at home with young children, the lockdown presents additional challenges. In addition to ensuring that they are not overly stressed, are getting a reasonable education and generally looking after their wellbeing, there is also the problem of making sure that their oral care is catered for.

Watch the ‘sugar treats’

It is likely that most of our Synergy Parkside patients who are parents of young children will have noticed an increased demand for sweets and fizzy drinks! The reality is that many young children will be bored, despite our best efforts, and will also have a lot more time on their hands. As many of them will probably know where we hide the sweets, and those that don’t will make demands until we finally relent, there is every likelihood that our children’s sweet consumption will rise during this period of lockdown.

Although we may allow a little more leeway than usual, it is still advisable to try to keep sweet consumption down to a sensible level. At all times, especially now, it is also important that we make sure our children are cleaning their teeth well.

Where young children are concerned, we need to make sure that they are brushing their teeth twice a day, both morning and the last thing before going to bed (with nothing but water afterwards). There are two things that we particularly need to do.

Firstly, their routine is likely to be very different now, and whereas they may have previously brushed their teeth before going to nursery or school, they may be going straight from bed to the TV. Make sure that you find a new regular time for them to brush their teeth in the morning before they settle into their new routine. Secondly, this is a good time to make sure that they are brushing their teeth correctly and for long enough. To do this, we may need to supervise our children when they brush their teeth. Remember, routine dental treatments can’t currently be carried out and a child at home with toothache is not going to be fun for the child or the parents!

Oral health education

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Don’t Ignore Your Gum Health!

‘Stay at home’ lockdown isn’t great but it does give us chance to review personal oral care

Healthy teeth and gumsMany of you will still be at home, unable to work, or perhaps working from home. One thing that undoubtedly is happening though, is that many of us are having to find ways of filling time that we didn’t previously enjoy.

While some people are learning new skills, others may just be watching more TV; everybody has a different way of coping with the current situation and that is fine. Sometimes though, it is good to turn off the TV and do something practical. In today’s blog, your regular Woking dentists offer a small suggestion that will only take up a few minutes of your day, but could significantly contribute to you having a healthier mouth.

Looking after your gums

How much do you think about your gums when you are cleaning your teeth? Most of us probably think little about it unless they feel sore or are inflamed, or perhaps even bleeding. Like most things to do with our health, it is better to look after it in a preventative way than have to treat it later. The same applies to our gums. If we neglect our gums, not only will we often suffer from discomfort, but, if left untreated, it can result in teeth becoming loose or even falling out.

There are 2 key stages to gum disease; these are generally known as gingivitis and periodontitis.

Briefly, gingivitis sometimes causes symptoms such as sore or inflamed gums, bleeding and also halitosis (bad breath). Periodontitis can have similar symptoms but also affects the roots of the teeth and potentially, the surrounding bone structure. When this becomes infected, teeth may become loose and even fall out.

Prevention of gum disease

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