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Keeping up to date with the latest news

From cradle to grave and everywhere in between

February 2018

Parents are often unsure when to take a child to the dentist for the first time, should you wait until all the teeth are through or until there is a problem?

The answer is simple really. Bring them as soon as you can to get them used to the sights and sounds of the dental surgery. Ideally we like to see the newest members of the family before their first birthday or as soon as the first baby teeth have erupted. The first visit familiarises your child with the staff and the surgery and if all goes well a ride in the chair and a sticker is all that needs to be achieved. This lays the foundation for future visits in a relaxed way in order to count the child’s teeth and address any concerns. From this point on six monthly family check ups will be completely normal and nothing to worry about.

There comes a time as families grow and the children are spreading their wings and off to further education or travelling abroad when dental check-ups are way down the list of priorities! However, dental check- ups are vital when the diet may not be too good, oral hygiene is not great either and wisdom teeth start to erupt. It’s worth knowing that not all over eighteens have to pay for their NHS treatment and our receptionists can give further information and advice.

We get enquiries about teeth whitening and orthodontics (teeth straightening) as a confidence boost before a wedding or after landing a new job and these options are available to our patients at any time and advice is always available.

At any age our patients are regularly screened for oral cancers and other abnormalities and this is a vital part of the usual check-up.

Sometimes patients going through stressful times or even preparing for exams can clench or grind their teeth, causing facial pain. Soft bite guards can be provided to protect the teeth during these times.

For our more senior patients who wear dentures, a dental check-up is still sensible every couple of years just to check that there is nothing unusual happening to the soft tissues where the denture rests and to make sure the dentures still fit well and do the job that they were designed for.

So, you see – the dental team is there at every stage of life to advise and support all our patients and ensure that good oral care is always a priority.

January is Go!!

January 2018

Christmas seems like a distant memory and here at The Corner House Dental Practice we are back to our normal busy selves! At this time of year we are bombarded by the media and social networks with ideas on how to get fit or stick to resolutions made as January dawned.

If there was one thing that we could do to improve our oral health in January then it would be, without a doubt, taking a little more care of our gums. For most of us brushing our teeth twice a day is the norm and it is very important. We can all be proud of ourselves for ticking that box but let’s go a little further and concentrate on the one surface of the teeth that the brush cannot get to. Unless we use something in between our teeth we are leaving bacteria sitting there having their own little New Year party!

We have a great little poster in the room that our hygienists use and it is quite an eye opener. Leaving the bacteria that cause gum disease in between our teeth can have a detrimental effect on the rest of our body. There have been very credible studies done and we now know that there is a link between gum disease and increased risk of a fatal heart attack and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Bacteria from the mouth can be inhaled into the lungs and cause pneumonia. Chronic gum disease can be very detrimental for those with diabetes and smokers with diabetes increase the risk of tooth loss by 20% and people with type two diabetes are three times more likely to develop the most serious type of gum disease than non-diabetics.

Reduction in bone mass is also associated with gum disease and tooth loss and women with severe gum disease run the risk of preterm or low birth weight babies because oral microbes can cross the placental barrier.

All this information can seem pretty worrying but it is good to know why we put so much emphasis on good oral hygiene. If you are visiting the hygienist then look out for the poster.

We wish all our patients a happy and gum healthy 2018 and if you do one new thing this year them make it interdental cleaning! All the dentists and hygienists are here to support you.

Seasons Greetings

December 2017

The Christmas trees have been put up in the waiting rooms, signalling that time of year for most, when children have a rosy glow and an air of expectation and adults are feeling the pressure to get everything bought, wrapped and cooked in time for the big day. The countdown is definitely on for those of us who celebrate the big day.

A change in routine can disrupt our usual oral hygiene routine at this time of year and of course we are going to indulge in sweet treats and a little tipple! However, here are a few tips to keep us all on the right track over the Christmas break.

1. Try not to ditch the routine altogether. Teeth take a bit of a hammering at this time of year. Christmas morning is an exciting time, especially if you are a parent but try to make sure everyone is brushing with a fluoride toothpaste for two minutes, twice a day

2. Cheese is great for the teeth, it helps to return the mouth to its natural acid balance and reduces the chance of developing tooth decay. Even a little piece of cheese after a main meal can be beneficial. The same can be said for sugar free chewing gum but it's not quite as festive!.

3. Beware of the mince pies, Christmas cake and pudding, all traditional festive foods but they are laden with dried fruits which are high in sugar and can stick to the teeth very easily. These kinds of treats can cause the most damage, particularly if we are having them frequently throughout Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

4. Never ever use your teeth as a bottle opener! Please remember that your teeth are not tools. Should the worst happen and you lose a tooth, first of all, don't panic. Get to the dentist as soon as possible. With the right care the tooth can be put back into the socket. Ideally though, it should be put back straight away without handling the root. Try to keep the tooth within the cheek if possible or keep it in some milk until you see the dentist. Chipped or broken teeth may be sensitive or sharp and will need some treatment..

5. Moderation is the key word over the Christmas period and of course we all want to enjoy the festivities without having to compromise on what we eat and drink. The trick is to remember that it's not how much sugar we have but the frequency of sugary foods during the day. Try to have the extra treats as part of a meal and sneak in a few tooth kind foods as well.

The whole Corner House team would like to wish all our patients a happy and peaceful Christmas time.

Sugar isn’t always called Sugar!

November 2017

When we talk to our patients about sugar in the diet there seems to be a lot of confusion around sugar, sweeteners and ‘no added sugar’. To help clarify the situation here is a brief explanation of sugar in its various guises as found on the ingredients labels. XYLITOL – found in specialist foods, medications and oral health products such as toothpaste and sugar free chewing gum is the most well known product containing this sweetener. It is a helpful alternative to sugar as it does not contribute to tooth decay.

AGAVE NECTAR – this sweet syrup can be bought from health food shops and supermarkets and is popular with those wanting a sugar substitute as it is labelled as a slow-release carbohydrate. This syrup is detrimental to oral health as it forms acid in the same way as traditional granulated sugar and there are no advantages to choosing it.

STIVIOL GLYCOSIDES – This sweetener is 250-300 times sweeter than sugar and is found in sugar-free products such as jams, yoghurts, cakes and deserts, it is also useful in cooking. Since it is calorie free it is useful for those trying to lose weight as it has no calorific value. This product is tooth friendly and an excellent alternative to sugar but still advisable to check the labelling as there my be traditional sugar added as well.

SYRUP – such as honey, maple syrup sugar, black treacle, (molasses), golden syrup, date syrup all fall under this heading. Available in many products and used for the flavour they can add to products like cakes and coffee. All these syrups are harmful to teeth and should be used sparingly.

LACTOSE (milk sugar) – this is the sugar found in milk and dairy products commonly known as lactose. The amount of lactose is similar whether the milk is from a cow, goat or sheep and whether it is semi skimmed or skimmed. Lactose is tooth friendly and does not cause decay as long as there are not other sugars added as in the case of milkshakes. Plain milk and dairy products with no added sugar such as natural yoghurt are good tooth kind choices. The only time milk may be become detrimental to dental health is when it is given to babies and toddlers in a bottle which the child sucks as a comforter over a long period of time on a regular basis. This habit can cause bottle caries and is a very distressing situation for all concerned.

ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS (sucralose)- this is used to sweeten hot drinks and in cooking and has no calorific value and does not cause tooth decay. This type of sweetener is a good alternative to sugar and as long as good oral health is maintained can be of great benefit.

So there we have it! Sugar isn’t always sugar and reading food labels is imperative if we want to do all we can to to avoid tooth decay in old and young alike.

Fads Fashions and Whitening Toothpastes

October 2017

Who would have thought that the latest craze in toothpaste is charcoal? Through the centuries various concoctions [including soot, salt and chalk] have been used. Ancient Egyptians made a kind of brush by splitting the end of a twig and some of the more bazaar ideas included powdered ox hooves and burned egg shells. Try these if you dare!

Activated charcoal is a modern day take on the old idea of how to keep teeth stain free and clean. At this point in time there there is insufficient clinical and laboratory data to substantiate the claims of charcoal based oral health products.

Many toothpastes which claim to whiten our teeth are simply removing surface stains, and will not offer the long lasting white smiles that consumers are looking for. Further more some of these products may do more harm than good as they do not contain the effective ingredients to help prevent tooth decay. Toothpaste needs to contain 1350 to 1,500 parts per million [ppm] of fluoride to protect teeth from decay.

There are many reasons why you may want your teeth whitened and our advice is to do your homework and speak to your dentist for the best option. It is worth mentioning at this point that any whitening offered on social media or in beauty salons is illegal. Some of these products can be too abrasive and if used often can erode enamel and cause extreme sensitivity.

It is important to understand that the only way to get the white teeth that you want is by professional whitening provided by your dentist.

Why do we care about your gums?

September 2017

Did you know that gum disease isn't just bad news for your teeth, it's also linked to serious health problems in other parts of your body?

Gum disease may increase your risk of other health complications including stroke, diabetes and its control, rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease. The link between oral health and overall body health is well documented and backed up by robust scientific evidence.

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth. It's mainly caused by bacteria from plaque build up. In some people who are susceptible to gum disease, the body over-reacts and causes too much inflammation. The result is that it also affects the blood stream, and is believed to slowly damage blood vessels in the heart and brain over a long period of time.

Recent research has suggested that there may be a link between gum disease and Alzheimer's. The thought is that when the bacteria reach the brain they may trigger an auto immune response (like they do in the mouth) killing brain cells. This was a small study with big implications if proved right.

So now you know why we take your gum health so seriously and assess your gums at every routine check up. Please talk to your dentist or hygienist about your gum health and treatment available.

The good news is that brushing your teeth properly and looking after your gums can prevent and treat gum disease, improve overall health and help reduce your risk of health problems.

If you are unsure about your brushing regime then a free session with our Oral Health Educator might be the option for you.

After all - where would you be without your gums!!

Mind the Gap!

August 2017

No one wants to have a tooth taken out but sometimes it is the only option left. Once the tooth is removed the source of your problem is gone and the area will soon heal but what next?  
It may be that doing nothing about the space is right for you and it is a perfectly reasonable option especially if the gap is at the back or does not have an opposing tooth to bite on. 
However there are good reasons why your dentist may recommend  that you replace missing teeth. Reasons include improving your appearance, making eating more comfortable and keeping your mouth healthy. 
The options that you may want to discuss with your dentist are-

  • Bridges - if only one tooth is missing your dentist might suggest this option. Bridges are made of porcelain and metal. They come in various designs depending on the location in your moth and are cemented in. 
  • Dentures - A denture may be recommended to replace a larger number of teeth and can be made of acrylic or metal. Dentures need to be taken out at night to let your mouth rest. Getting used to dentures may take time but can be a good option. 
  • Implants. - A dental implant is made of titanium and is placed directly into the jawbone at a specialist centre. Dentures, bridges or a single tooth can then be screwed onto the implant back in the surgery by your dentist. Having an implant is a surgical procedure and your gums need to be healthy.    
If you would like to talk to further about any of these options then please contact our receptionists who will be happy to book you in for a chat with your dentist to plan future treatments

A Little Too Sensitive!

July 2017

Of all the topics raised during a patient consultation, sensitive teeth is one of the most common.

Having sensitive teeth can mean anything from getting a mild twinge to discomfort that can last several hours.

Many people suffer from sensitive teeth and it can start at any time, although it is more common in people aged between 20 and 40 and women are more likely to be affected than men.

The part of the tooth we can see has a layer of enamel that protects the softer dentine underneath.

If the dentine is exposed a tooth can become sensitive. This usually happens where the tooth and the gum meet and the enamel layer is much thinner.

Here are some causes of sensitivity

• Brushing too hard and brushing from side to side can cause the enamel to be worn away. The freshly exposed dentine may then become sensitive.

• The loss of tooth enamel caused by attacks of acid from acidic foods and drinks.

• Gums may naturally shrink back and the roots of the teeth become exposed and can be more sensitive as root surfaces do not have enamel to protect them.

• Gum disease can cause the gum to recede down the tooth and even destroy bony support making the area difficult to clean.

• Tooth grinding is a habit which involves clenching and grinding the teeth together. This can cause the protective enamel to be worn away making the teeth sensitive.

• A cracked tooth or filling can cause sensitivity to extreme temperature especially if the crack runs from the biting surface of the tooth to the root.

• In some patients tooth bleaching can cause sensitivity for a short time but this is easily managed with advice from your dentist before treatment starts.

You may find that hot,cold,sweet or acidic drinks or foods such as ice cream can bring on sensitivity so you may want to avoid these. If you have sensitivity when brushing your teeth with cold water you may need to use warm water instead. It is important to keep brushing your teeth regularly and spit the toothpaste away without a final rinse as there is de- sensitising properties in the fluoride.

During your check up your dentist will talk to you about your symptoms and may treat affected teeth with special de-sensitising products not available over the counter.

There are many brands of toothpaste on the market made to ease the pain of sensitive teeth and as well as brushing twice a day you can also rub it onto the affected areas and leave it over night. These toothpastes can take several weeks to take affect and your dentist can give you advice on the best one for you. Sensitive teeth can be managed effectively so don't suffer in silence!

Here Comes Summer

June 2017

June is here and it has felt a lot like summer. Lots of sunshine and the trees in The Causeway are in full leaf, no sign of the spring blossom now. Staff and patients alike are glad of the air conditioned surgeries and although we are well aware that it can rain at any moment a bit of sunshine makes us all feel better!!

A lot of us will be taking holidays soon and a change of routine can mean that our teeth get a little neglected.

Many of you know that dentists and hygienists recommend the Oralb 2000 electric toothbrush but how many of you abandon your electric brush in favour of a manual brush at holiday time?

We would like to encourage you to take a multi adapter plug in your suitcase. The benefits of an electric toothbrush have been well known a very long time and to keep your mouth in tip top condition it should be fully charged and used consistently, change the head every three months and you are set for better oral hygiene. The electric brush does all the work for you. All you have to do is hold it against each tooth in turn at a 45% angle to the gum.

If you are unsure about the brushing technique with an electric toothbrush then your dentist,hygienist or oral health educator will be happy to help.

So here's to a happy summer and if you are traveling for business or pleasure please take your electric toothbrush with you, your teeth with thank you for it!

National Smile Month

May 2017

You may think going to the dentist is nothing to smile about but we beg to differ! National Smile month has just started and if you come into the practice between now and June 16th you may see the smile promotional goodies dotted around. In a nutshell, National Smile Month is the largest and longest running campaign to promote oral health. The crux of the message is to highlight three things,

They are;.

- Brush your teeth last thing at night and at one other time during the day with fluoride toothpaste.

- They are;.

- Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they come recommended.

Our teeth have such an important role to play in our lives. They help us chew and digest food, they help us to talk and speak clearly and they also give our face shape. A healthy smile can transform your visual appearance, the positivity of your mind-set as well as improving the health of not only your mouth but your body too. Because of this, it only makes sense to give our oral health the best care possible. National Smile Month is our chance to give our oral health the best care possible. National Smile Month is our chance to look at our oral health, learn more about why a healthy mouth is so important and share tips on how to improve and maintain it.

We believe that prevention is much better than cure and to that end we want to provide all our patients with information for managing good oral health at home..

The new Oral Health Education initiative is part of that, providing one to one sessions along with the advice given by your dentist and hygienist. That is why we are interested in what type of toothbrush you use and whether you floss or little brushes at home. All this information helps us provide a tailor-made regime for you to follow at home.

Looking after your teeth is a team effort and we want to encourage our patients to ask for support where it is needed so that together we are working towards a healthier mouth.

CQC Inspection

June 2016

We had a CQC inspection on 19th April 2016. The inspection involved looking to see if the practice is safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led

We are glad to report that the inspectors were very impressed with the way the practice is run and led. You can read the full report by downloading the report.

We have also been acknowledged by the local County Times for our good work. We hope to keep providing a high level of care to our patients.

Visiting the Hygienist

June 2016

Fay Eves and Marie Fitt are our dental hygienists. They are specially trained to work as part of our dental team, to give care to patients.

Their main work is to prevent and treat gum disease. This includes professionally cleaning your teeth by removing plaque and tartar. However, perhaps their most important role is showing you the best way to keep your teeth free of plaque. Plaque is a sticky coating that forms constantly on your teeth.

Some dentists will do this type of work themselves. However, the hygienist has been specially trained to carry out simple or complex scaling and spend longer with you. They are also expert at teaching you how to look after your teeth and gums. Often the hygienist will spend a number of appointments getting the gums healthy ready for the dentist to restore the teeth with crowns and fillings.


April 2016

Every time you eat or drink anything sugary, your mouth becomes acidic. This is because the sugar will react with the bacteria in plaque (the sticky coating on your teeth) and produce harmful acids. So it is important to have sugary foods or drinks just at mealtimes, limiting the amount of time your mouth is at risk. Constant snacking can leave the teeth on a constant acid attack. You should never brush your teeth for at least an hour after a meal.

Many processed foods have sugar in them, and the higher up it appears in the list of ingredients, the more sugar there is in the product. Always read the list of ingredients on the labels when you are food shopping.

The lower the pH number, the more acidic the product. Anything with a pH value lower than 5.5 may cause erosion. pH 7 is the middle figure between acid and alkali. Have a look at these common foods:

  • mineral water (still) pH 7.6
  • milk pH 6.9
  • cheddar cheese pH 5.9
  • beer pH 4.4
  • orange juice pH 3.8
  • grapefruit pH 3.3
  • cola pH 2.5
  • red wine pH 2.5
  • vinegar pH 2.0
  • Ketchup pH 3.9
  • Raisins pH 3.5

NHS England Inspection

March 2016

The Corner House Dental Practice had a NHS inspection of the practice on 21st January 2016. Most practices have this done every three years.

The inspection is very thorough and includes looking at dental records, the premises and speaking to staff.

Two inspectors were present on the day. One looked at policies, audits and continued professional development (on going training) for all staff. This was to ensure that the practice is up to date and continually improving its services.

The second inspector looked around the surgeries and practice itself. This was to confirm that the practice is clean, maintaining a high standard in cross infection, all materials and drugs are in date, looking at x-ray machines and making sure equipment is serviced on a regular basis.

They were really pleased with the practice and one said we ‘passed with flying colours’. They were really impressed with the iPads to update all the information. We are proud to be providing a high level of care to all our patients.

Simple Rules for a Healthy Smile

29th March 2016

Teeth and gum disease is preventable. These simple tips will make it easier to keep their mouth healthy.

Limit sugary snacks – Stop grazing on sugar-filled foods or sipping on sugary drinks between meals is a great way to protect your teeth against excess sugar and acids. The more you snack outside your main meals, the mouth never has a chance to rest and neutralize and is on a constant acid high!

Brushing – Brushing twice a day for two minutes is the best way to look after your teeth and gums. We recommend using an electric toothbrush making your life easier and it clinically proven to reduce plaque. After brushing spit the toothpaste out and don’t rinse out with water.

Flossing – This doesn’t have to be a chore. Flossing can be simple and there are many things on the market now to make it easier for you. Many patients book in with the hygienist to help them look after there teeth and gums but also get to learn ways to look after them.

Chewing gum – Sugar-free chewing gum is proven to help reduce dental cavities. After a meal, chewing gum increases saliva so helps bring the acid levels to a neutral level.