Your Essential Christmas Oral Health Guide From Kent Smile Studio

Keep a healthy smile over Christmas with this important guide from your local Maidstone dentist.

Kent Smile Studio in Chatham and MaidstoneChristmas is such an exciting time of the year, when every family relaxes and enjoys the festivities.

From parties to pantomimes, chocolate caramel barrels to Christmas carols, there’s so much to enjoy during the holidays.

Through all the smiles and memory making though, the Christmas period can be quite risky for your smile. All the sugary drinks, the alcohol, starchy carbs and chocolate, amongst other risk factors, can mean your oral health takes a hit throughout December and January.

This could simply mean you struggle with sensitive teeth temporarily or being on the back foot with your oral hygiene. But it could trigger painful issues that leave you having to get emergency treatment over Christmas. You could also exacerbate problems that were previously being managed well, such as gum disease.

In order to help get through to New Year with a healthy, pain-free smile that looks great, your Maidstone dentist has created an essential guide for you to take a look at:

Make Good Choices When You Can

Obviously there are lots of things you can avoid on the buffet or in the office (we’ll get to that in a minuteā€¦) but there are lots of great things that you can have that are good for your teeth. Cheese, for example, is a great source of calcium. Crudites like peppers are a great source of vitamin C and paired with humous you get a great protein hit too. Stews, chillis and other one pot meals are also great for providing nutrients for your mouth and body, especially if they contain lots of vegetables. In general, anything naturally colourful on the buffet is a great idea. In terms of drinks, following food with water and drinking water in between alcoholic drinks, will also help your oral health. Sugar-free chewing gum is also a good thing to have after eating, to stimulate saliva and help clear your mouth of tartar-forming debris.

Avoid Using Your Teeth As Tools

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Dry Mouth

What Is It And How Does It Affect Oral Health?

Kent Smile Studio Dental SurgeryIf you are currently suffering from dry mouth, or you have had it before, you know all too well how uncomfortable it can be. It makes it hard to talk, to express yourself, eat and generally function day to day.

At Kent Smile Studio we know all too well how difficult dry mouth can be to manage, and how it can impact not only your quality of life, but your oral health too.

Dry mouth can be caused by a number of things, but most importantly it needs to be diagnosed and managed, particularly when it comes to oral health, to avoid it causing any lasting harm. We also want to help you feel as comfortable as possible, and there are suggestions we can make to help with dry mouth once we know why you have it.

So, What Exactly Is Dry Mouth?

As it sounds, dry mouth means you are lacking in saliva in your mouth making your mouth feel dry. Tissues in the mouth may feel hard or stick to other parts, especially in the morning when you may not have been able to add any lubrication to your mouth at all. Dry mouth means that the natural saliva your mouth should have, is missing and it can cause you to have:

  • Swallowing problems
  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Dry lips
  • Speaking problems
  • Eating problems
  • Thick or stringy saliva
  • A cracked tongue
  • Tooth decay
  • Bad breath
  • Mouth sores
  • Irritated gums

A person may experience additional symptoms because of their dry mouth, or because of the cause of their dry mouth.

What Causes Dry Mouth?

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Common Dental Terminology

The team at Kent Smile Studio explains common dental terms

Dentist in surgeryNo matter how nice your dentist is or how comfortable you feel with them, sometimes there are elements of the dental world that can still be a bit confusing.

Of course you can always ask your dentist here in Maidstone to explain anything you don’t understand, but sometimes it is good to know a little bit more about how the world of dentistry works to be able to better navigate it.

A great start is simply understanding some of the terms and words used when it comes to oral health.

With that in mind, here is some useful information to help you understand common dental terminology a little bit more:

NHS Dentist

This means that the surgery has an NHS dentist on staff who may be able to take you on as a patient, where you will then pay for treatment as per NHS treatment band terms. The surgery may also have private treatment available, as well as treatment that doesn’t come under the NHS, such as teeth whitening.

Private Dentist

Private dentistry is care and treatment that is paid for completely by the patient and not subsidised by the NHS. All costs should be quoted to you before you agree to any treatment.

Periodontal

Periodontal means anything to do with the gums and gum care. If you have periodontal charting by the hygienist, it means they are measuring your gum health, checking for pockets in the gums that need healing and charting their depth for progress. A periodontist is an expert in gum care and they often treat periodontitis, which is a form of advanced gum disease.

Root Canal Treatment

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Understanding Your Tongue And Soft Tissues In The Mouth

Dental Education From Kent Smile Studio

examining a dental x-ray at Kent Smile StudioThe health of your teeth and gums are top priorities when it comes to dentistry. However, there are other parts of your mouth that are very important too and it is a really good idea to understand how they work, and to let your dentist know if you spot any issues with them.

We’re mainly talking about the tongue and the soft tissues in your mouth and these delicate parts need care and attention so that your mouth can feel comfortable and function well. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at these commonly overlooked areas of the mouth.

The Tongue And Oral Soft Tissues

Your oral soft tissues are both inside and outside the mouth and make up a large part of your oral cavity. The cheeks and lips, the roof of your mouth, your throat and the area below the tongue are all part of the mouth and there are many names that your dentist may have used when charting your oral health; you just may not have recognised the words. For example, did you know that the word used for the cheeks and certain soft tissues is ‘buccal’?

The tongue is not a soft tissue and rather it is a muscular organ in its own right and it is covered in little bumps and tissues. The tongue is incredibly complex and forms an important part of the digestion process, helping you move food around your mouth and push it down the throat.

The gums form part of your oral soft tissues and they keep the teeth snugly in place. They are so important to good oral health and they have their very own category of dentistry called periodontal care. Within this discipline, hygienists are focused on gum maintenance and helping you take care of the gums yourself, and periodontists are specialists in gum conditions and associated treatments.

Soft Tissue & Tongue Injuries

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Keeping Your Teeth Clean & Your Mouth Comfortable With Adult Braces

Dr Shushil Dattani - Kent Smile Studio

Orthodontic tips from Kent Smile Studio in Maidstone

Ideally, children and young adults who require help correcting an uneven bite or crooked teeth would have access to braces nice and early.

A typical time for straightening teeth is about the age of 13, as everything is still developing and growing and it ensures a corrected bite and straighter teeth in time for adult life.

However, for many reasons, not everybody gets their teeth straightened as children. Although this isn’t ideal, all is not lost and there are a multitude of options for adult teeth straightening so you aren’t stuck with a smile you don’t love.

Here at Kent Smile Studio in Maidstone we offer a wide range of adult teeth straightening options. Although the objective is achieving a beautiful, straight smile, there are a few extra things you need to do during treatment to ensure your mouth stays healthy, including cleaning your teeth well.

If you do not clean the teeth and gums well during brace treatment you are at risk of staining, tooth decay and even gum disease. You could even damage the braces if you do not take care of them well, potentially even breaking them completely.

In this guide, we want to give you some handy tips to help you keep your teeth clean and healthy whilst wearing two popular adult brace treatments we offer here at your Maidstone dentist; clear braces and traditional braces:

How To Clean Your Teeth With Traditional Braces

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Male Beauty Trends – Facial Aesthetics

Smiling young people

The Modern Face Of Male Grooming In Maidstone

Male beauty has often taken a back seat in UK culture for lots of reasons. But the idea of what masculine means has certainly changed over the last 10 years, and nowadays, men can feel freer and more able to look after themselves in the way they want to.

In addition, social media has contributed to the pressure a lot of men feel to look younger, fresher, more muscular and generally more preened.

Kent Smile Studio based in Maidstone and Chatham has seen a rise in the number of men visiting for both oral and facial cosmetic enhancement. We’re always happy to help men and women enhance the features they feel could be improved with our facial aesthetics and cosmetic dentistry treatments.

These days, there are lots of different treatments and services on offer for men, to help them feel groomed and presentable. With that in mind, here are some of the key male beauty trends currently taking the UK by storm:

Skin Treatments Especially Formulated For Men

Men have different skin needs to women because shaving can cause aggravation, and natural facial oil production can differ. Men may also have hardy jobs without having a day to day skin care regime that matches, so the skin can suffer over time. In the past, men may not have been expected to take care of their skin, or they might have not thought to as it just wasn’t part of cultural expectations. Advertising has also not targeted male skincare, so many men didn’t know there were products available for their needs.

There are now skin treatments especially formulated for men, such as facials. There are also specific skin products for men, including entire ranges with moisturisers, serums, exfoliants and pore refiners. These skin treatments and products are increasingly available, with ranges especially for men appearing in supermarkets and with advertising campaigns by well known clinics.

Facial Aesthetics

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Obesity & Your Oral Health

Kent Smile Studio Dental Surgery

Is There A Connection?

You can’t really get through a day in modern times without hearing or seeing something about the obesity epidemic. The statistics and figures can be shocking and quite scary to hear, but there is also a lot being done to help the country find a healthier way to live.

One of the most important aspects of helping all of us to live a healthier life is education. Understanding not only why obesity is a problem for the body, but also knowing how to avoid it, or get in better shape, is a positive approach to improvement.

Here at Kent Smile Studio with clinics in Maidstone and Chatham, we believe education is key with the prevention and treatment of many health issues, including oral health. For this reason, we wanted to give our valued patients an insight into how obesity can affect oral health. The more information you have, the better able you are to take control of all aspects of your health.

So, What Is Obesity?

The NHS states that:

“The term obese describes a person who’s very overweight, with a lot of body fat.

It’s a common problem in the UK that’s estimated to affect around 1 in every 4 adults and around 1 in every 5 children aged 10 to 11.”

It usually applies to a person who has a BMI of 30-39.9 and a BMI over 40 suggests severe obesity. The same NHS site providing this information also suggests that only 1% of obese adults are obese because of reasons other than a poor diet and lack of exercise, which is the most common cause most people gain weight.

What General Health Risks Does Obesity Cause?

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Avoiding Dental Decay

Dentist in surgery

Prevention Is Better Than Cure!

Dental decay can be incredibly painful and at its last stages it can cause a person to lose their teeth. There are certain complications of tooth decay that can also be life-threatening.

Dental decay occurs when enamel, the most outer layer of the teeth, breaks down and degrades and this happens because of consistent acid attacks on the teeth. The acid is produced as a bi-product by natural bacteria within our mouths.

Bacteria proliferate as ‘plaque’, a sticky film on the teeth that comes from food debris and poor oral hygiene. Brushing daily removes the plaque, but if it is not removed, it can harden into tartar.

The acid emitted by the bacteria continues to degrade the enamel, eventually causing decay which works itself through the layers of the tooth. Understanding the process of dental decay is useful so that you can keep on top of your oral health and work with your dentist to prevent it progressing to a point where a tooth is lost.

The 6 stages of dental decay:

1. White Patches

In the earliest stages of tooth decay the tooth has small white patches on the enamel. Those small white patches tell us there is calcium and mineral loss, as well as plaque build-up. At this stage, bacteria continue to generate acids and the demineralisation progresses. At this early stage of decay the process can be stopped, or even reversed. Certain treatments and oral hygiene advice can help stop decay progressing any further past this stage.

2. The Tooth Weakens

The tooth begins to weaken as the enamel is deteriorating past the initial surface level. The degrading process causes enough damage at this stage to weaken the tooth, to the point that it could break from pressure, at which point you should seek quick advice quickly from your Kent Smile Studio dentist.

3. Dentin Attacked

When decay progresses further the next layer of the tooth, dentin, can be attacked. Dentin has nerves in it and this stage of dental decay can be painful. The acid attacking the enamel progresses to attack the dentin, and once enough of it has deteriorated, a cavity is formed. This stage usually requires a filling from your dentist to remove the infection, strengthen the tooth and prevent the cavity from getting any worse.

4. Pulp Infection

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Overcome Your Dental Phobia

Let Kent Smile Studio help you get the treatment you deserve!

Worried womanIt can feel like everyone else in the world comfortably goes to the dentist, gets an appointment and comes out fine. So why is it that you are stuck feeling like you couldn’t possibly visit the dentist for an appointment, and maybe even calling the clinic is too much?

If you suffer from a dental phobia it is important that you know you are certainly not alone.

Here at your local dentist in Chatham and Maidstone, we are sympathetic to anybody struggling with a dental phobia. We have helped many patients get over their fear of the dentist whether they are a little anxious, or struggling to even walk through the doors to reception. Our dental clinics remain open to any patient who needs that additional support, so they can get the dental treatment they deserve.

To us, the key is to treat each and every person as a complete individual with individual fears and worries about the dentist. We don’t apply the same approach to each and every fearful patient because we know everybody has a different trigger. Some people are scared of noises, some are scared of pain, others might be triggered by the worry something will happen beyond their control.

All we know is that the phobia is stopping you from getting the treatment that you need. You deserve to have healthy, happy teeth like everybody else and with our sensitivity and sympathy for your situation, we can help you get over your phobia and get the dental care that you need.

What Is Dental Phobia? Understanding Is The First Step

There are lots of people who would describe themselves as being anxious about the dentist, but they are usually able to get in the chair and have the work done. They simply feel some anxiety when they visit the clinic. Even those with no fear of the dentist usually wouldn’t look forward to their visit, the same as a routine doctors appointment wouldn’t be something to look forward to. These kinds of appointments form an important part of general maintenance but they’re not life highlights, cosmetic dentistry transformations aside, which often do change people’s lives

When it comes to dental phobia, the symptoms can be much more extreme than anxiety. Dental phobics may suffer from symptoms such as:

  • Deep anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Breathing quickly/shortness of breath
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Losing appetite

Just the thought of the dentist can bring on these kinds of symptoms, and it is important to understand that a person’s experience of dental fear will be different to another person’s experience.

Often, the phobia is paired with crippling shame. A person may think that nobody understands them, or that they will be judged because of their oral health. They may even think their oral health is worse than it is, because they are anxious and haven’t seen a dentist in a long time. They may only require a simple filling, but their anxiety has led them to believe they require extractions and lots of painful work. In reality, any issues can be fixed with up-to-date treatments and tools, with the majority of treatments being widely pain-free, and at most, marginally uncomfortable. Dentistry has come a long way in the last decade and dental practices like Kent Smile Studio take pride in providing the latest in general, restorative and cosmetic dentistry to ensure that patients are as comfortable as possible, helping them to maintain a long-term healthy smile.

Your Local Dentist Is Here To Help!

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High-Quality Denture Treatment At Kent Smile Studio

Example of a denture

Affordable new teeth at your Maidstone and Chatham Dentist

Dentures are a popular tooth replacement option for many people who want an efficient and affordable treatment that restores the smile either partially, or in full, depending on where the tooth loss is. At your local Kent Smile dentist in Maidstone and Chatham, we offer high-quality dentures in different materials and styles to suit each patient’s individual needs.

There is a denture option for everybody, and we can guarantee that they will be as comfortable and as natural-looking as possible when you have them fitted at Kent Smile Studio.

What Our Denture Materials Are Made Of

We seek to use the highest quality materials possible when we create dentures for our patients. Materials have to be both flexible and durable, whilst enabling us to create the most realistic looking teeth and gums too.

Polymethyl Methacrylate (acrylic resin) is a common material used and it’s great for making natural looking dentures. Most dentures use acrylic resin to some degree.

Alternatively we may use a flexible resin which is used to fit around existing tooth structures. It is useful for very specific circumstances, albeit not the ideal denture system for longevity.

In some instances cobalt chromium is used which is incredibly lightweight and durable, and completely suitable for working with the body without causing any reactions. With this kind of denture we build the framework using the cobalt chromium and then acrylic resin to form the natural-looking teeth and gums.

Often the metal used as the framework can be very helpful in partial dentures as it fits solidly around existing healthy teeth, preventing damage to those teeth and to the tongue and gums.

Different Types Of Dentures Offered At Kent Smile Studio

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