We can all benefit from regular Dental Health Checks and Dental Hygiene appointments
Dental Health Checks
Attending for regular Dental Health Check appointments means you can keep your teeth, gums and mouth as healthy as possible.
It is a valuable chance for you to discuss with us any concerns or problems you have. It is always best to have any problems checked and (if necessary) treated as soon as possible. Early treatment is usually simpler (and cheaper), and helps to better preserve the health of your teeth.
We also want you to be completely happy with your teeth and smile. Your Dental Health Check is also an opportunity for you to let us know if there’s anything with your teeth you are not happy with.
We ask you:
- If you have any particular problems you’d like us to check
- Whether there’s anything you’d like to change about your teeth/smile
- If our records of your general health need to be updated
Areas outside your mouth
- Jaw joint, for clicks/uneven movement
- Muscles that control the jaw, for any tenderness or signs of overuse
- Salivary glands and lymph nodes, for any lumps or swellings
Areas inside the mouth
- A visual screen for signs of mouth cancer
- The health of the soft tissues e.g. cheeks/tongue/palate
The health of your gums, including checking
- For gingivitis and periodontal disease
- Levels of plaque/tartar build up which contribute to gum problems
The health of your teeth, including
- Tooth decay (cavities)
- Signs of wear/erosion
- Fractures and cracks
- Signs of abscess/infection
- The condition of old fillings/crowns
We may take X-rays if appropriate
- To check for signs of hidden cavities or infection
- To investigate further any particular problems, e.g. toothache
We discuss the things we have checked, including:
- The current health of your teeth, gums and mouth, including any treatment which may be appropriate.
- Your current risk level for mouth cancer including how to reduce your risk (if appropriate)
- Any measures you can take to help prevent dental problems in future
- Any potential treatment options and come to an agreed plan on how to proceed
- We will ensure you are aware of the relevant fees, pros and cons of each available treatment option before agreeing on a treatment plan
Dental Hygiene appointments
Visiting your dental hygienist regularly is the best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy. We usually recommend between 1 and 4 appointments per year for the most benefit.
Build-up of plaque and tartar on the teeth can irritate and inflame the gums, which may lead to periodontal disease and tooth loss.
Your hygienist will spend time during your appointment thoroughly cleaning the teeth to remove build-up from both above and below the gumline. They will also discuss with you how you can best care for your teeth and gum health at home
We find that those patients who visit the hygienist regularly are much more likely to improve and maintain their gum health, and prevent early tooth loss.
Listen to real patients’ experiences of gum disease (periodontitis)
Preventative Dental treatments
Prevention is better than cure, and we want to help all our patients to minimise their risk of dental problems.
The most effective way for you to maintain your dental health is by having good routines at home (see below), but we also offer some non-invasive preventative treatments to help you on the way.
Dental Hygiene appointments (above) help to reduce your risk of tooth decay and gum disease
Fissure sealants help to prevent decay in back teeth. We use resin sealants to fill in the nooks and crannies on the biting surfaces, so it’s easier for you to keep the area clean at home.
Fluoride varnish application by the dentist or hygienist can help to strengthen teeth. The varnish contains high-concentration fluoride which is absorbed into the tooth and helps to make it a little stronger and more resistant to decay. If appropriate, we can also prescribe high-fluoride toothpaste for the same purpose.
Looking after your teeth at home
If you have dental implants, download our ‘Looking after your dental implants’ guide
Tips on teeth cleaning
- Brush your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes to remove plaque build-up (3 minutes is better).
- An electric toothbrush is usually more effective. We find that the most effective ranges are by Oral-B and Philips Sonicare.
- Clean between all your teeth at least once per day. TePe interdental brushes are the most effective way to do this. Flossing is a good alternative. View demonstration videos.
- Use a toothpaste containing at least 1400ppm fluoride to help protect the enamel. If you have sensitive teeth, sensitive toothpastes such as Sensodye or Colgate Pro-relief usually help.
- Make sure you brush all the surfaces of the teeth, and well up onto the gumline.
- After brushing spit out, don’t rinse. This means the protective fluoride in the toothpaste stays on the teeth for longer.
- If you notice bleeding, don’t be put off brushing. Thorough cleaning will help to reduce bleeding over time.
- Mouthwashes are not normally beneficial for routine use. However, we may sometimes recommend you use mouthwash for short term use or particular problems.