Starting the Little Ones off Right

We all know that those first visits to the dentist can make us a little anxious, so here are a few things you can do to help prepare children for their first dental visits!

1 – Start by preparing at home

Start to introduce your little one to the dentist by talking about their teeth, and telling them about the special chair that takes them on a fun ride! The chair can be a big, scary place for someone so small.
(Top tip, some childrens cartoons have dedicated dental episodes to help with just this! Pop them on for your little one to watch and see their favourite character go to the dentist too)

2 – Ensure good oral hygiene at home

Brushing at home is the best way to help your little one understand the dentist. Helping them brush and checking their teeth at home will help us to be able to check them here too! Don’t worry, you don’t need to know what decay looks like, just as long as your little one will happily open their mouth for you to check, it helps to develop a routine and make looking at their teeth a normal experience, which equals it being less strange as scary here!

3 – We LOVE to meet your cuddly friends!

Bringing a cuddly toy to the dentist can really help children to be confident for their check ups. Plus, we love to meet them, find out their names and if they are really lucky, their best buddy can even have a check up too to show you how it is done!

4 – Use a positive approach

Use positive language when talking about visiting the dentist, such as saying how fun and exciting it will be! We understand some parents suffer with dental anxieties, and we need to try our best to ensure children don’t develop any too.

Trips to the dentist don’t have to be scary, and instead should be portrayed as a fun experience with lots of praise for happy teeth! Our lovely dentists are all fantastic with children and helping to make check ups a positive experience.

We advise parents to bring children before the age of 1, even if they don’t have any teeth! These first appointments help to reassure children and familiarise them with the dentist, setting them up with dental confidence for life.

Plus…. it is always worth it for a sticker!

Should I Use Mouthwash?

One of the most common questions we get asked by our patients, is whether they should incorporate mouthwash into their daily oral hygiene routine.

Mouthwash has always been advertised as a key item in any oral hygiene routine… take TV adverts for example….

Brush, rinse, mouthwash = healthy teeth and gums.

….right?

Don’t believe everything you see on TV.

Don’t get me wrong, mouthwash is a fantastic agent to an oral hygiene routine if used correctly. However, it needs to be used correctly.

So when should I use mouthwash?

Mouthwash should only ever be used at a separate time of day from brushing. And at least 1 hour after brushing.

Why?

So when we brush our teeth with a fluoride toothpaste, we are adding that protective fluoride to our mouths and creating a lovely protective coating for our teeth. By using mouthwash straight after brushing, you are rinsing that protective fluoride straight down the drain (literally!).

Mouthwash is also fantastic for aiding gum health in patients that suffer with gum disease. Your hygienist can then recommend a suitable, alcohol free mouthwash that contains fluoride to suit you.

It is worth noting that chlorhexidine mouthwash can cause staining if used too frequently.

Therefore if mouthwash is something you think you could benefit from, just ask your hygienist for some advice! They will let you know if this is something you really require, or if your oral hygiene can be maintained with just your regular toothbrushing and interdental cleaning instead.

Is It Sugar Free?

Numerous times you will come across drinks claiming to be ‘sugar free’….but are they really?

The immediate presumption would be that ‘sugar free’ or ‘diet’ really means sugar free, however this isn’t always the case. Most people are aware of high sugar intake causing tooth decay, but there is also the need to be careful of the acidity too. Diet drinks, fruit juices and other no added sugar drinks can have a higher acidity, meaning a higher risk of tooth erosion due to the lower pH.

Studies carried out by the Oral Health CRC on sugar-free drinks, sugar-free confectionery, and sports drinks found that “many of these products contained multiple acids and had low pH values.” Essentially, many people think that switching from regular to diet soda will keep their teeth healthy. Unfortunately, although they often contain no sugar, diet sodas usually cause about the same amount of dental erosion as regular sodas and can harm your teeth.

In addition to this, diet or sugar-free drinks also contain phosphoric acid which is also found in regular fizzy drinks. Citric and tartaric acids are just a couple of the added ingredients in diet drinks and fruit juices that can cause harm to your teeth. This happens by the frequent acid attacks occurring to your teeth whilst you drink, therefore weakening the tooth enamel, and causing decay over time.

But what should I drink that won’t harm my teeth?

Of course we still need something to drink! Sugary and sugar-free drinks should only be consumed with a meal, in order to minimise harmful attacks on the teeth.

In between meals, the drinks of choice should be water, plain sparkling water (no flavourings!) and milk.

After any acidic meals or drinks, you should rinse your mouth with water, drink milk or even snack on a little bit of cheese. Dairy and other calcium-rich foods can help neutralize acids. It’s also good to limit snacking between meals, so your saliva has time to rebalance its pH.

Cutting down on sugar is the perfect lifestyle choice to make. However remember to be mindful of what replacements you choose, and to take optimal care of your oral hygiene!

If you would like any further tips and advice on your oral hygiene and diet, our fantastic oral health educator, Beth, could help you. Just get in touch with us to make an appointment!

Electric Vs Manual – Which to choose?

When it comes to dental and hygiene appointments, one of the most frequently asked questions is “should I use an electric or a manual toothbrush?” – we are here to provide the information you need to be able to choose which would work best for you.

Electric Toothbrush: A rechargeable electric toothbrush is the kind you plug into the wall to recharge, keeping the handle and replacing the brush head every three months. Rechargeable electric toothbrushes differ among the kind of cleaning technology they use, such as oscillating-rotating (3D Cleaning Action) or sonic technology.

Electric toothbrushes now come with multiple features, such as a pressure sensor, multiple brushing modes, timers and even Bluetooth to track where you have brushed and how effectively!

Electric toothbrushes have built in timers to help you record how long you are brushing for – something that a manual toothbrush can’t do. This then helps you to make sure every part of your mouth is getting the attention it requires to maintain good, effective cleaning.

The movements of the Electric toothbrush does almost all of the work for you, alongside the correct technique it is said in a recent new study to have healthier gums, less tooth decay and also prolong the life of teeth, compared to a manual toothbrush. If you are unsure of which technique to use, your Hygienist or Dentist would be more than happy to go over an efficient technique that would work for you!

If you are someone that struggles with dexterity or arthritis, then this would be the better option for you as there is less brushing work needed from you.

There is also an added benefit of less waste from replacing a manual toothbrush to a small replacement electric head, which is always an added bonus!!

Colorful toothbrushes on blue background. Top view.

Manual Toothbrush: Although manual toothbrushes don’t provide the benefits and features of a rechargeable electric toothbrush, they can still have their own benefits such as textured bristles, ergonomically designed handles, gum stimulators and tongue cleaning pads.

Manual Toothbrushes also come with their benefits, they have been around for a very long time, and are still an effective way of removing plaque build up from your teeth and gums, again with the correct technique this can be very effective.

So which should I choose?

Choosing a toothbrush is completely personal preference, and whichever you feel gives you the most effective clean. If you are comfortable using a Manual Toothbrush, and have found that your dentist feels as though you are doing a great job, then what’s the need to change? The most important thing to us is that you have something which you feel confident to brush well with and twice daily.

However, if you would like to take the plunge from a manual toothbrush to and electric, or would just like some advice on what you should be looking for when buying a new toothbrush; your hygienist/dentist would be more than happy to recommend a suitable brand and model for you at your next appointment!

Some of our favourite options can be found here:

Oral B:

https://amzn.to/2SAVBIT

https://amzn.to/3bcecl4

Phillips Sonicare:

https://amzn.to/3uFdNyY

https://amzn.to/3b9CpZj

Find out more about the hygienist treatments we have to offer at Newby Dental Practice here:

https://www.newbydentalpractice.co.uk/hygienist-treatments-shiny-teeth/

How we are keeping you safe whilst you attend your dentist appointment

Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, we have changed how we provide your dental care to make you and our team feel safe.

Before your dental appointment

The day before your appointment, one of our lovely reception team will try to give you a call. This call will be to check your appointment time, clarify that you can still attend and to run through some Covid screening questions. This will consist of questions such as: Have you been asked to self isolate? Do you have a temperature or fever? Have you been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19?

After confirming you are fit and well to attend your dentist appointment, the reception team will then run through the rest of your appointment journey with you. Please do not worry if we have to reschedule your appointment due to having any signs/symptoms or being in contact with anyone who has Covid-19; we are here to provide you with a safe visit and will happily accommodate any changes you may need.

Attending the practice

When you attend the practice, we please ask that you attend alone where possible, with little possessions, and wearing a face covering or visor to protect both yourself, our team and other patients. When you come into the practice, there are hand sanitisation stations (the first is on the left of the entrance door, and others are located on the reception desk). You are welcome to come into the reception area, where we have made a safe, socially distanced area for you to take a seat inside. We have three different waiting areas available, to ensure that patients are always well distanced, and there is always a quieter area should you wish to distance yourself further. Alternatively, we are very happy for patients to wait in their vehicle, or outside the practice until their appointment time, where someone will come and collect them to bring them straight through to the surgery.

We are also very happy to try and accommodate vulnerable patients who must attend the practice, by changing their appointment times to the first or last appointment of day, and before lunch times to ensure the practice is as quiet as possible to make you feel comfortable.

To ensure that we are able to control cross infection, and helping the environment as much as possible, we have now changed to electronic Clinipads. The Clinipads replace any paper we previously needed you to sign within the practice, such as medical histories and consent forms for treatment. The reception team will pass you a Clinipad to complete if required, and you can rest assured that these are fully sanitised between patients, and far more hygienic than any paper copies we previously held and pens! The team are always happy to help with any queries and problems you may have, don’t be afraid to ask.

The team are always constantly busy cleaning and sanitising the doors, chairs, card machines, Clinipads and reception desk in the waiting areas, to ensure that everyone’s safety is priority.

Entering the dental surgery

Your dentist, hygienist or nurse will call you from the waiting areas when they are ready for you, they may be wearing something different to what you previously saw them wearing.

Within the surgery the dentist, hygienist and nurse will now typically be seen wearing a face mask, visor and apron for any routine appointments that do not produce an aerosol spray (we call these a non-AGP (non-aerosol generating procedure)). For aerosol generating procedures (AGP’s), such as a filling or root canal treatment, they now have to don a full respirator, gown and eye protection. The respirators and gowns can appear slightly daunting, but we promise that they have the same smiling faces underneath, ready to help you with any concerns and ensure you leave happy!

Once you leave the surgery, the dental nurse works hard to ensure every surface is fully disinfected and cleaned, ready for the next patient.

If you have attended for an AGP, the surgery must be left to fallow and complete a number of air changes to ensure any aerosol spray has settled and the air has been neutralised. We have managed to speed up this process by ensuring excellent extraction based ventilation within each surgery; this then allows the air changes and neutralisation to occur quicker, meaning we can accommodate more appointments and ensure we can see you as soon as possible!

Once these air changes have been completed, the nurse can then re-enter the surgery and disinfect all surface, ensuring everything has been thoroughly cleaned and ready for the next patient.

Leaving the surgery

When you leave the surgery, the friendly reception team will be waiting for you to complete any forms on the Clinipad and settle up any appointments and payments before you leave.

They will check for any feedback on how your appointment was, and if you were happy.

We hope that by making the practice as hygienic and comfortable as possible, we can reduce any anxiety you may have about attending your appointments at this uncertain time.

We do however completely understand any patients that may wish to reschedule appointments due to the pandemic, and hope to see you in the not so distant future, safe and well!

If you need a dentist in Scarborough, you know where we are, stay safe and we’ll see you soon.