Bradley and Partners
St Peters House, 2 St Peters Lane,
Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2BP

Managing Stress Levels To Help Protect Your Teeth

Tooth damage caused by bruxism and poor diet

tooth painStress levels appear to be rising across the UK and perhaps it’s not surprising. Firstly there was the stress associated with potentially catching Covid-19, followed by the anxiety associated with being in lockdown for weeks on end. Finally, just at the time when things seem to be improving slightly, some are reporting concern at being encouraged to return to work in an environment in which they don’t feel entirely safe.

Perhaps anxiety is inevitable at times like these, but it remains a fact that stress can have a negative effect on our overall health and also on our teeth and gums.  In today’s Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic blog, we will take a look at two ways in which stress can affect our mouth health as well as offering some suggestions to help alleviate it.

How does stress affect our oral health?

There are two main ways in which our anxiety can be harmful to our teeth and gums. The first of this is Bruxism, or teeth grinding.

Although we may have seen characters do this in cartoons when something untoward happens, the reality is that for most of us, any teeth grinding tends to happen when we are asleep. This makes it very difficult to prevent, although mouth guards may be helpful in some cases. Grinding our teeth together for any length of time will inevitably have consequences and in more extreme cases, the teeth may even break or fracture. This is perhaps more likely where teeth have been previously weakened through damage or decay. Although this is dramatic, it is relatively rare and most of us who grind our teeth will suffer mainly from progressive enamel erosion.

As we grind our teeth together, the friction will slowly wear away the enamel layer of our teeth which helps to protect them from decay. Other problems associated with worn enamel include sensitive teeth and even root canal problems. There are options to restore teeth that have suffered in this way, such as crowns or dental veneers, but it is generally advisable that this is done when the patient has managed to stop grinding their teeth together.

The second way in which our teeth and gums can be harmed due to stress is when we let our diet slip and start to eat foods that are less ‘friendly’ for our mouths.

Most of us will probably admit to eating less than healthily when we are feeling under pressure. The chances are that we will start eating a lot more ’comfort foods’ including those that are high in sugar levels such as biscuits and sweets. In addition to this, we are likely to consume these products over a period of time, not allowing our saliva time to wash away much of the sugar. This ‘grazing’ method of eating is not good for our teeth even with healthier food, but with foods high in sugar, it greatly increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Reducing stress levels

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Maintaining Your Dental Restorations

 Canterbury dentist, Dr George Mathioudakis, offers advice

Smiling couple good teethAs we have previously mentioned, our dental practice is currently closed for face to face consultations due to the Covid-19 situation.

Unfortunately this means that, at present, we are unable to carry out any treatments, even ones that would usually be done fairly promptly.

In our last blog we discussed how you should make sure to take good care of your teeth and gums during lockdown restrictions. In today’s blog, we will look at why you shouldn’t forget to look after your dental restorations too.

From a small filling to a dental implant placement, although these are made from artificial materials, you still need to remember to look after them. Neglect could lead to problems and discomfort that you might have to tolerate until such a time that we are open again, unless we are able to refer you to an emergency treatment centre in the meantime. With this in mind, below we offer some suggestions with regard to looking after your dental restorations.

Fillings

Fillings are the most common way of restoring teeth that have suffered from decay. At Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic we offer both amalgam and composite fillings. In both cases, the most important thing to remember is that you need to brush your teeth well. Although the filling won’t decay, if the natural tooth does, the filling may become loose and even fall out. If you suspect that a filling is loose, under normal circumstances, you would come in to see us straight away, but unfortunately this isn’t possible at the moment. For the time being, unless it causes you pain and distress, it is probably best to avoid using that tooth to eat foods that could dislodge the filling, including sticky or hard foods. Please remember that we do have staff on hand to offer telephone advice should you need it.

Crowns

Crowns are normally very secure and are attached to the prepared tooth using a strong dental adhesive. This will eventually lose some of its effectiveness however and crowns can become detached in certain situations. As at any time, please do not attempt to reattach the crown yourself, instead please call us for advice.

Dental implants

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Covid-19 Lockdown – An Extra Challenge For Our Oral Health

Canterbury dentist, Bob Dubbins offers patients some timely advice

Woman flossing teethHopefully, all patients of Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic are following government guidelines at this difficult time and staying indoors except for essential trips and a little daily exercise. It is a challenging time for many of us and it looks set to continue, in some form, for a few more weeks yet.

Fortunately, to help us through, there are thousands of articles available online, covering subjects such as how to get creative, keep fit or maybe even learn a new language etc. So even with the restrictions, some people will be able to draw positives, whilst for others, simply getting through it by relaxing as much as possible may be their preferred option.

As your Canterbury dental practice is currently closed for physical visits, and will be until we are allowed to open again, it is particularly important that our patients make sure to really take care of their teeth. We are currently unable to treat even minor problems such as a toothache or a lost filling, so below we offer you some tips to help you come out of the current ‘lockdown’ with healthy teeth and gums.

Brushing and flossing

One of the most important things that you can do is to keep your daily brushing routine, and, if you don’t already, add flossing to it as well. Even remembering to brush our teeth twice a day might be challenging for some of us, with our usual daily routines dramatically altered. Remembering to brush our teeth at night might be easy enough as little may have changed there, but our morning routines will possibly be quite different. We recommend that you find a new regular time to brush your teeth in the morning, perhaps before you go for your morning jog, or whatever fits in with your own daily schedule.

When you do brush your teeth, check how you are doing it. If you currently brush hard with the bristles flat to the surface of the teeth, try a different approach. There is no need to ‘scrub’ your teeth, and in fact, this can damage the enamel surface. Instead brush gently using a circular motion. The other thing that you should do is to point the bristles towards the gums. This allows the bristles to reach beneath the gum line and clean out hidden debris and bacteria that might otherwise lead to decay and/or gum disease. Make sure too that the bristles of your brush are not worn out and change your toothbrush if they are (or the head of an electric one).

For those of you who don’t use dental floss, this is a good opportunity to learn how. Flossing is an excellent and simple way of improving your overall oral health, tackling bacteria and food often gets trapped between the teeth and which is difficult to remove by brushing alone. There are lots of useful videos online that can teach you how to floss. You might find it difficult at first, but there is plenty of time to learn and time is something that a lot of us will have at the moment; so why not use it constructively where you can.

Be careful with your diet

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Restoration Of Neglected Teeth

It’s never too late to turn the tide on poor oral health.

Tooth crownHopefully, even in these troubled times, our Canterbury patients are still making sure to look after their teeth as well as they can.

The upcoming weeks may be a challenge for many of us and some potentially harmful habits may result from our dramatic change in lifestyle and routine.

Boredom might be a problem for many people and, especially if you are using the time to watch a lot of TV and films, reaching into your chocolate and sweet supplies might be very tempting.

A lack of regular routine may also mean that we skip cleaning our teeth if we are used to doing it before we leave for work and are no longer doing so. The usual ‘rules’ for healthy teeth apply. Please watch what you eat and clean and floss your teeth regularly.

With a little luck, this period of relative isolation should be short, but oral health neglect often lasts for much longer. This may be due to a poor understanding of oral health care or even a fear of visiting the dentist. However badly you have looked after your teeth though, it is never too late to start to return them to better health. At Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic in Canterbury, we offer a range of treatments that can be used to restore your teeth following a long period of neglect.

Hygienist services

Even if you look after your teeth well, some bacterial and mineral deposits will build up in places around the teeth and gum line. If you have neglected them, this will be much worse. Along with any obvious and noticeable problems such as bad breath, you could also be suffering from gum disease. This is not only be unpleasant for the patient, with sore and bleeding gums a possibility, but in its advanced stage, can cause teeth to become loose and even fall out. This is due to damage to the supportive bone structure.

Our hygienist can help to reverse this if caught early enough, with a straightforward and non-invasive treatment called a ‘scale and polish’. This removes the tartar from the teeth and gum line. However, if the disease has reached below the gum line, you may also need to see a suitably qualified dentist for a deep clean, below the surface of the gums.

Fillings

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Introducing Our Dental Team – George Mathioudakis

A quick look at the roles of team members here at Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic, Canterbury.

Dentist with x-raySince opening in 1880, our Canterbury dental clinic has seen many changes including, of course, members of staff. The methods of treating patients will have changed dramatically in that time as well; something that our patients would definitely appreciate if they could travel back in time!

The training, skills and experience of our dentists now means that most dental problems of all types can be effectively treated within our practice. Our clinical team is trained in general dentistry, but as you might expect, most dentists have fields in which they are particularly interested too.

In today’s blog, we take a look at some of the treatments that Dr George Mathioudakis who joined us in 2005 as a full time associate, previously practicing in Athens, Greece, can provide.

George has two areas of particular interest which we will take a look at now. They are restorative dentistry and endodontics.

Restorative dentistry

Most of us are probably familiar with some restorative dental treatments, with fillings being the most widely used. These are used where tooth decay has occurred and is used to fill the decayed area either with traditional amalgam or, increasingly, with a more natural coloured ‘composite’ filling.

Another common way to restore a tooth is the use of a dental crown. These are generally used where a tooth has suffered either decay or has fractured or broken to a degree that it can’t be restored using a filling. Produced in both shade and shape to match the patient’s other teeth, they help to protect the tooth from further decay, whilst also adding a significant level of strength to the affected tooth, helping the patient to eat normally again. They are also often used in both of George’s particular areas of interest, the restoration of dental implants and root canal treatment.

Endodontics

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Taking Care Of Teenage Teeth

This stage of life can be problematic for young teeth

tooth painAs parents, we do the best that we can when our children are younger, to make sure that they look after their teeth well. We encourage (and probably ‘nag’ a little) to get them to brush their teeth both morning and night.

Indeed some of us may wish that we had received the same encouragement when we were younger, as we may have grown up with less than healthy teeth ourselves.

Providing that we are diligent with this and supervise and encourage them not to eat too much sugar, most of our children will arrive at the teenage years with at least a reasonably healthy set of teeth, many of which will be their final adult set. Once the ‘teens’ start though, it can be a different matter altogether and things can start to go awry.

Early teens

As we probably know from our own experience, our early teens are where we really start to exert our own independence.  This is a natural part of growing up but it does come with many potential pitfalls, and this applies to our oral health as well. As adults, we may have been able to push our children to clean their teeth and keep an eye open to make sure that they were doing so when younger, but it becomes increasingly difficult to do so as they grow up. When they say they have cleaned their teeth, we generally have to believe them.

As they get older, it isn’t just neglect that can cause problems for their teeth and gums, but other factors come into play too.

Mid to late teens

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Sports And Exercise Following Dental Implant Placement

How long after implant placement can you resume your usual physical activities?

Single dental implantWhere once, physical activities were largely found at organised sports clubs, seeing someone jogging along the road or cycling as exercise is a very common occurrence these days. Add to that, those that go to gyms or exercise at home on fitness machines and it seems that some of us at least, are seeking a healthier lifestyle than before.

Exercise is good for us, and very few people doubt that anymore. When we start, it makes sense to continue as much as we can, avoiding it only when we are ill or injured. A general dental treatment such as a large filling or extraction may mean that it is advisable to rest for a day or so before resuming exercise. When having dental implants placed at Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic though, patients sometimes ask us about when they can resume exercising. Let’s take a look below.

Immediate post surgery care

Elsewhere in our blog we have covered immediate aftercare of a dental implant when it comes to cleaning and eating. Once the implant has been placed though, is it OK to start exercising again the same, or next day?

We strongly advise against this and indeed it is unlikely that you will want to exercise for a few days anyway. The procedure does require some minor surgery, so you may feel soreness and even a little discomfort for a few days afterwards. Because of localised trauma caused by the procedure, we do recommend that you rest for a few days to allow yourself time to recover properly and also allow the wound to heal. Even gentle exercise may cause some jarring and therefore some discomfort in the area of the procedure. It may also slow down the initial healing process.

Resuming exercise

After a few days rest, you might be itching to get your running shoes back on, hoping to pick up from where you left off. This should be thought through carefully and will depend, to some extent, on the type of sport or exercise that you do.

The following is general guidance for participants and we do still recommend that you discuss this with your Canterbury implant dentist before resuming any sporting activity.

Running and jogging

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Oral Problems Resulting From Trapped Food

Even if you brush your teeth well, lingering food debris can still cause problems….

Oral inspectionFrom a very young age, we are taught by our parents to brush our teeth well. The way that we do this will change over time as techniques develop and new technologies, such as electric toothbrushes, come into being.

Making this a habit twice a day every day is the foundation of good oral health care. Too often though, parents forget to tell their children how to clean between the teeth.

Whilst toothbrush bristles will, to some extent, help to clean in the spaces between the teeth, there are areas that are almost certain to be missed. Without making an effort to remove the small pieces of food that become trapped there, along with the accompanying bacteria, tooth decay and gum disease are likely to follow.

With this in mind, we asked our hygienist at  Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic to offer advice on the various ways that patients can help to clean between their teeth.

Water

A good start to removing trapped food is to swill our mouths with water after we have eaten. This won’t remove all of the food and bacteria but it will help to remove the bulk of it. This is especially useful at times when you won’t be carrying out your usual brushing routine for a few hours, such as at lunch time.

Mouthwash

As above, swilling mouthwash around the mouth and spitting will help to remove some food and bacteria from between the teeth. Some mouthwashes have additional antibacterial properties which may also help. There are some brands that also use an effervescent which ‘fizzes’ and expands and can help remove tiny trapped particles more effectively than those which don’t have this property. It is important to remind our Canterbury patients though, that the use of mouthwash should be additional to, and never a replacement for brushing your teeth well.

Toothpicks

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Are You Looking For An Improved Smile in 2020?

Our Canterbury based dental team can help you to achieve your aims.

People smiling with great teethIt is not only the start of a new year, but the start of a new decade too, and what better way to go into this new era with a smile that you are proud to show off to the world. You may think that your current smile is a long way off this at the moment, but cosmetic dentistry can really change it for the better and often boost your confidence too!

Everybody is different, and some patients may require a relatively varied course of treatments to achieve their aims, whilst others may only need a single treatment. The best way to assess your options is to arrange a no obligation consultation with one of the cosmetic dentists at Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic.

Let’s start by taking a look at some of the treatments that we currently have available to help you.

Dental implants

With our own laboratory, and a wealth of experience in our team, we are well placed to be able to offer dental implants to any of our Canterbury patients who have missing teeth or are unhappy with their current replacements. Dental implants are now a well established and highly effective way of replacing missing teeth and have a number of advantages over other methods.

Teeth implants are not only long lasting, with a typical lifespan of 20 years or more with good care, but they are also straightforward to look after. No more messy cleaning rituals as with dentures; you can simply treat them as though they are natural teeth. In addition to this, implants not only replace the crown part of a tooth, but the root too, helping to prevent bone loss from occurring in that area of the jaw.

Orthodontics

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Take Care Of Your Teeth This Christmas

Have fun, but don’t let overindulgence compromise your oral health!

Woman flossing teethChristmas is just around the corner and it’s a great time of year when we can get together with family and friends. Many of us will probably let our hair down a little more than usual and perhaps suffer the consequences the next morning!

Of course there is nothing wrong with enjoying ourselves at this time of the year, but it is important that we don’t let our teeth and gums suffer because of it.

There are a few things that we sometimes do (or don’t do) over the holiday period that could have a detrimental effect on our mouth health. So in today’s blog, we offer our Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic, tooth friendly guide to Christmas!

Snack healthily

If you have been around the shops in Canterbury, you can’t help but have noticed all the extra sugary goodies on sale. Whether sweets, chocolates, cakes or biscuits, all that additional sugar is not good for our teeth (or our waistline).

Instead of the extra chocolates and sweets, why not snack on more tooth friendly foods such as nuts, cheese and vegetable dips over the holiday period? Chocolate can be very nice but we can have too much of a good thing. As we know, high sugar consumption is very likely to lead to tooth decay if it continues over a period of time.

Cigarettes and alcohol

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