children's dentist in BristolWe see a lot of parents with very young children here at CK Dental in Bristol, and that’s a very good thing – it’s never too early to get your children into good dental habits.

But one thing we’re concerned about is how certain parents see milk teeth as a trial run, with little consequence as to what happens to them. And this recent news story bears our concerns out.

Why are milk teeth so important?

Deciduous teeth – the official term for milk teeth – form as early as the embryo stage, usually appear at the six-month stage, and are pretty much fully-formed by the time your child is two and a half.

It’s not usually until your child is six before the permanent teeth are ready to make an appearance, and it could be as late at the twelve-year period before milk teeth are completely replaced. So it’s vital
that while they’re there, they are treated with the same care and respect as our adult teeth.

In many cases, the general attitude towards milk teeth is that they’re disposable: they’re only here for a while, so why bother with them? Because the care of them is vital for the future of your child’s dental health, and if things go wrong early, it can magnify problems for adult teeth.

Space is not the place

The main problem with premature milk teeth loss is a condition known as ‘space loss’. When one tooth goes before its time, the adult tooth that’s getting ready to replace it will not get the space it needs when its time comes, leading to braces in the teenage years.

What’s more, severely decayed milk teeth can cause abscesses that cause pain in the short term and damage to the adult teeth before they even appear.

Want to get your kids into good dental habits? Here’s a good place to start.

teeth whitening in BristolHere at CK Dental in Bristol, we get asked many questions by our clients on the subject of teeth whitening – in particular, what food and drink they should be avoiding to keep their teeth as gleaming as possible. So it’s time we had a look at what foods and drinks are the prime offenders – and some that actually help keep your teeth at their best…

The main culprits

Along with black coffee, red wine is the biggest contributor to teeth-staining, but white wine can be just as bad. The red version contains chromogens, which are the source of the all those tooth-discolouring pigments, but it also contains a lot of tannins, which dry out the mouth and cause a sticky mess on the teeth.

And just like red, white wine and rose contain erosive acid, which opens up the door for other foods to stain the teeth.

Hate teeth-staining? Hard cheese

However, there are plenty of foods that can help fend off staining, and they’re not all bland. Strawberries are packed with malic acid, which acts as a natural astringent. Seeds and nuts when chewed act as a natural exfoliant. Apples produce tons of saliva, which wash away bacteria. And harder cheeses boost tooth enamel as well as providing a shot of calcium.

Water is your best friend

…not only for its hydrating benefits, but because it really is the kindest drink for your teeth, for obvious reasons. Even if you refuse to give up black coffee, red wine and all the other food and drinks that can cause staining, a lot of their damage can be washed away with a slug of water immediately afterwards.

Get into the habit of having a glass of water handy when you eat or drink, if only for mouth-rinsing purposes.

Bristol dentists CK Dental explain why brushing is a mustThis article that popped up on the Glamour website gave everyone here at CK Dental in Bristol a laugh – at first, anyway – as it crystallised a regular complaint we hear from certain clients. Particularly the younger ones.

Yes, spending two minutes in front of a sink twice a day is seen by many as a chore – especially last thing at night – but there’s no getting round it: brushing your teeth regularly is an essential part of your routine and should never – ever – be skipped. Here’s why…

Brushing your teeth prevents tooth decay

An absolute no-brainer, but it can’t be stressed enough. Over the course of the day, your mouth picks up all manner of plaque build-up: brushing is the only way to fend it off. And yes, it has to be for two minutes – scientists have proved that one minute of brushing only gets rid of 60% of plaque.

Brushing your teeth prevents gum disease

This really can’t be stressed highly enough. Remember that your gums are one of the easiest parts of the body for bacteria to invade – and once they’re in, they’re hard to get out. The first symptom of non-brushing is usually gingivitis, which causes gum bleeding, which can lead to periodontitis, which can do even more damage.

Gum disease can lead to even nastier illnesses

Dental and medical experts have drawn a convoluted – yet clear – link between gum disease and heart attacks, strokes and even dementia. This is because the more extreme the gum disease, the more the floodgates open to bacteria, which can then circulate around the body.

This all may sound extreme, but putting aside the obvious benefits of tooth-brushing (it stops your breath from stinking and your teeth from discolouration), there is a clear heath benefit to scrubbing away for a couple of minutes. So don’t skip it!

Bristol dental practice looks at the dangers of metal fillingsHere at CK Dental in Bristol, we’ve been taking notice of a recent study released this month which claims to draw a link between metal fillings and mercury exposure.

According to American scientists who studied data from 15,000 patients, there’s a correlation between an excessive amount of metal fillings and the raising of blood mercury levels, which can increase the risk of brain, heart and kidney ailments.

This is pretty alarming for Americans, but even worse for us Brits, who are noted for having poorer dental health. Over a million children under the age of five already have at least two fillings, while the average British adult has seven fillings – and according to the compilers of the report, having more than eight puts you at risk.

Why are metal fillings a potential danger?

Metal fillings – otherwise known as dental amalgam – contain a mixture of liquid silver, tin, copper and mercury, which then hardens. It’s been used by dentists since the 19th century, but the fourth of those ingredients – mercury – makes up 50% of the formula, and has always been seen as a worry.

Health authorities have always stressed that dental amalgam is safe, but they don’t completely recommend it for pregnant women or the very young.

Luckily, here at CK Dental in Bristol, we take full advantage of the very latest filling materials which are metal and mercury-free. Not only that, but it is deployed and fitted in a natural-looking colour, and the service is now available at an affordable rate.

If in doubt, talk to us

So, if you’re worried about the state of your fillings, our advice is: don’t panic. If you do have a mouth full of metal and would like a more natural look, come and see us for a consultation to find out how we can help.

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Telephone: 0117 9059 866

CK Dental | Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital – The Chesterfield, 3 Clifton Hill, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1BN