Healthy Snack Choices

A recent survey revealed that 82% of dentists reported an increase in numbers of patients requiring fillings following the pandemic. One reason for this is that oral health routines have slipped, with many people only brushing their teeth once a day and forgoing flossing. However, another study showed that more people gave into their cravings, turning to sweets, chocolate and salty snacks.

Here, we share some healthy snacking choices to help protect your oral health in light of Healthy Eating Week that runs from 14th to 18th June.

What are healthy snack choices?

Although savoury snacks are a healthier choice, you still need to take care with highly processed foods such as crisps and snacks; they may still contain some sugar.

Some recommended healthier snacks include:

  • Carrots, celery or other crunchy vegetables
  • Unsweetened natural yoghurt, cheese and nuts – eating yoghurt and cheese helps to neutralise acids in the mouth and restores a natural PH balance
  • Rice cakes or oatcakes with hummus or cream cheese – oatcakes can provide more natural vitamins and minerals. Especially compared to white breads

Consider a dental treatment

If this all sounds like too much hard work, don’t worry. By visiting your dentist and dental hygienist regularly, you will be able to keep your teeth in good condition. As well as cleaning away any plaque debris and giving you tips on your oral hygiene, they can recommend treatments to keep your teeth healthy.

A teeth whitening treatment is a great option for people who need to brighten up teeth that have become stained. Also, an Invisalign teeth straightening treatment can make them easier to clean. Both these treatments can give you a huge boost in confidence, with very little interference in your daily life, and with the results seen in very little time.

Keep your smile healthy by giving us a call on 0117 472 1600 to book an appointment.

teeth healthy

Our summer diets can often wreak havoc on our teeth and gums. And it is not easy to keep your teeth healthy on a diet that includes the odd ice cream, fizzy drinks, picnics, and BBQs.

However, we have put together some top tips to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy in the warm months ahead.

Know when to brush your teeth

We all know we should be brushing twice each day. However, if you consume a lot of sugary food and drink, you are going to want to brush more frequently. Whenever you eat or drink something sugary, brush your teeth straight after. Alternatively, you can rinse using a good mouthwash.

If you indulge in foods and drink high in acid, you should also brush your teeth afterwards. However, with acidic foods, it is best to wait up to twenty minutes before brushing.

Drink lots of water

Obviously, you cannot take a toothbrush and mouthwash with you everywhere you go this summer. So, to help keep the teeth and gums healthy while you are out enjoying the sun, drink lots of water instead.

You can use water to rinse the mouth after you have eaten sugary foods. Not only does this help to get rid of bits of food and excess sugar, but it also increases saliva production. This prevents a dry mouth, which can lead to bad breath. Get in the habit of carrying bottles of water around with you wherever you go this summer.

Consider switching to low sugar options

While the best option to prevent issues with the teeth this summer is to avoid sugary refreshments altogether, you could switch to low-sugar options. You will have to be careful here as low sugar doesn’t always mean the drinks are better for you. They can often be acidic, which can be equally as bad for the teeth. Always read the label before investing in a low sugar alternative.

Invest in sensitive toothpaste

If you suffer with sensitive teeth, a summer diet can cause the symptoms to worsen. If you don’t already, invest in a toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth. This will help to relieve your symptoms when required. However, if you have constant tooth sensitivity, it is a good idea to consult with your dentist. There may be an underlying cause that needs to be addressed.

These are some of the best tips you can follow to keep your teeth healthy and happy this summer.

If you are concerned about your teeth or gum health, book a consultation with one of our experienced dentists at CK Dental by calling 0117 905 9866.

scale and polish

Very few people enjoy going to the dentist – even if it is just to get a scale and polish. However, taking care of your oral hygiene is extremely important to your health. Whether you love or hate the dentist, getting regular check-ups is key to ensuring your teeth and gums remain healthy.

Below, we’ll reveal our top reasons patients should undergo a scale and polish as part of their routine check-up.

1. Preventative care

The number one reason for visiting a dental hygienist is to prevent future problems. By addressing issues before they even occur, it can save you stress, money, and potentially a lot of pain too.
Another benefit of preventative care is that it is much cheaper than paying for ongoing oral issues. If an issue occurs due to poor hygiene, it could be very expensive to fix.

2. It can whiten the teeth

While there are some whitening toothpastes available, nothing can keep the teeth cleaner than a scale and polish. Brushing alone isn’t going to give you that bright white smile that you dream of.

Dentists have the right tools to eliminate stains effectively from the teeth. They can help you to achieve the level of whiteness you desire. Regular scale and polish treatments also help to prevent stains from building up in the first place. However, if you are looking for an even whiter result, consider a teeth whitening treatment for longer lasting results.

3. You’ll enjoy shorter appointment times

Nobody likes spending a long time at the dentist, and with regular hygiene appointments you won’t need to. By attending regular appointments, it helps to keep your oral health in check. This means, when it is time to visit the dentist, they won’t need to spend a lot of time cleaning the teeth and gums.

Your appointments will be much shorter if you make the effort to visit your dentist regularly. This is particularly true when you consider how long you would need to spend at the dentist if something does go wrong.

4. It can be covered on your treatment plan

One reason you might put off having a scale and polish regularly, is the cost. However, did you know that hygienist appointments may be covered on your insurance?

The CK Dental Denplan Essentials plan provides 2 check ups and hygiene visits per year, 10% discount on any clinically necessary treatment and worldwide insurance cover – including when away from home in the UK. With plans starting at £19.50 per month, and with no joining fee at the moment, we can offer an affordable way to stay on top of your dental hygiene.

These are just some of our top reasons for getting a scale and polish. The more you look after your oral hygiene, the better your overall health will be. Remember, regular check-ups and preventative care don’t just protect your oral health. They also protect against heart disease and other physical health issues too.

Book a scale and polish today to start taking better care of your dental health. To find out more about our Denplan monthly dental treatment plan, give us a call on 0117 905 9866.

minimally invasive dentistry

New Associate Dentist at CK Dental, Sonia Manikam believes that modern dentistry is a blend of science and art.

Sonia has a passion for minimally invasive dentistry. But what is minimally invasive dentistry? And how does this work with a trend for whiter and straighter teeth?

With more advanced dentistry techniques, using the best restorative materials, worn down teeth can now be preserved more easily. Teeth can even be perfected to look straighter and whiter. Dentists can help patients to manage their oral health better, as well as build their confidence.

What is ‘minimally invasive dentistry’?

Despite our best efforts to brush our teeth as frequently as our dentist encourages us to, most of us have some tooth decay. According to government national statistics, 92% of adults aged 20 to 64 have had dental caries in their permanent teeth. This can be caused by a number of factors, including bacteria in your mouth. Also, frequent snacking, sipping sugary drinks and not cleaning your teeth well can cause harm.

The ‘minimally invasive’ approach to treating dental caries incorporates the dental science of detecting, diagnosing, intercepting and treating dental caries on the microscopic level. The aim is maximum conservation of the dental enamel and dentin of a tooth. To manage tooth decay without losing too much of the tooth.

How have minimally invasive dental techniques improved?

Expanding on her view that modern dentistry is a combination of science as well as art, Sonia said: “Modern dentistry isn’t just lab-based. It’s about the dentist actually building up the teeth.”

“It is really nice to give a patient a nice smile, and to do that free-hand. It is possible to change the shape and size of teeth, and this is a very precise thing. It’s about functionality (being able to eat), but it’s also about confidence.”

People are grinding their teeth down faster, and there is the ongoing problem of acid erosion to teeth, mainly caused by sugary foods. Composites, or white fillings, were not even an option thirty years ago. Back then, the dentist would need to remove a lot of the tooth to fit a crown. Now, composites are much stronger, and made from more long-lasting materials. They can be layered and shaped to the teeth, without the need to drill any tooth away. The new surface can also be blended to match the enamel colour.

Dental veneers are now a common request by patients, but these may only require a very thin layer of enamel removed from the front of the tooth. The shape and colour of veneers can be adjusted with minimally invasive techniques.

How are techniques used in cosmetic dentistry?

The good news is that when teeth are missing, worn down, misaligned or discoloured, there are now more treatment options available which involve minimally invasive techniques. And patients can even be shown how their teeth will look after treatment.

Aligning the teeth involves some short-term orthodontics such as Invisalign. Only a fine amount of enamel may be rubbed away by the dentist, so the teeth can move into position within the clear aligners. This is unquestionably a more comfortable and less invasive alternative to braces, with noticeable results within weeks.

A patient may also want to proceed with teeth whitening. The results of this would be seen much quicker – after just two weeks. The Enlighten whitening treatment at CK Dental uses non-acidic whitening agents, which would not harm the tooth enamel.

After straightening, and whitening then composites are normally introduced, so that they can be colour-matched and moulded with the new shape of the teeth.

Sonia explained that it is amazing how teeth can be built up, even in very complex cases. And even though it is now far less invasive, for nervous patients worried about sensitivity when undergoing any dental treatment, there are more ways to help here too. At CK Dental, patients can expect a calm, reassuring and relaxed setting. During a consultation with the dentist, patients can discuss the option of sedation and general anaesthetic.

To find out more about any of our treatments, discuss your options if you are a nervous patient, or to simply book an appointment, please give us a call on 0117 905 9866.

dental health

Due to the lockdowns forced into place by the pandemic, thousands of patients have missed their routine check-ups. With everything going on and dental appointments being postponed, it’s easy to forget about your dental health.

Taking good care of your teeth and gums is vital to your overall health. So, how can you look after your dental health while you wait to attend your routine check-up?

Brush twice a day and don’t forget to floss!

It has always been recommended that we clean our teeth twice each day. However, it’s easy to let this routine habit slip during difficult times. While skipping brushing your teeth once a day every now and again isn’t going to harm you, consistently doing it will. So, start by making sure you are brushing twice a day with a good quality toothpaste.

Alongside brushing daily, you should also floss the teeth. This is because flossing gets rid of the harder to reach plaque. Even the best electric toothbrushes won’t remove all of the plaque in your mouth, instead they focus on removing it from the back and front of the teeth. With flossing, it eliminates plaque from in between the teeth and gums. This is where the most harmful microbes live. If left unchecked, they can lead to gum disease.

When should you change your toothbrush?

In order to maintain good dental health, you are going to need to change your toothbrush from time to time. It is recommended that you change it every 3-4 months. Keep an eye on the bristles and replace them when they start to fray.

If you don’t change your toothbrush frequently enough, your teeth could suffer. Frayed bristles aren’t going to be strong enough to remove the plaque. Over time, this would lead to a plaque build-up.

The array of different electric or ‘power’ brushes in the market might be overwhelming, as well as specialist toothpastes and mouthwashes that can be beneficial to your oral hygiene. Your dental hygienist can recommend those that are best for you.

Checking your gum health

Your gum health can have a direct impact on your overall health. Those with gum disease have been shown to have an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Therefore, keeping on top of your gum health should be a priority.

There are a lot of ways you can keep your gums healthy at home. Brushing and flossing will go a long way to keeping them healthy. Quitting smoking, using fluoride toothpaste and a therapeutic mouthwash will all help.

Bleeding around your teeth when you brush, bad breath and tooth sensitivity are all symptoms of gum disease. If you have these symptoms, visiting your dentist is the best course of action. They will be able to treat the gum disease, preventing it from worsening.

At CK Dental, we are currently running a competition through Instagram where you can win a free check-up as well as a hygiene appointment that would normally be worth £145. Be quick to enter though as the competition closes on March 26th, 2021. Head over to our Instagram page now to learn more.

Cost of dental

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, dentists have remained open for both emergency and non-emergency care. Following the strictest protocols to allow them to work safely, dental practices across the UK are helping people to maintain their oral hygiene.

Keeping on top of oral hygiene is a lot more important than you might think. Cases of mouth cancer have shown to be on the rise in recent years. As February 4th marks World Cancer Day, it is a good time to remind patients the importance of getting regular check-ups.

Of course, the pandemic hasn’t been the only barrier to some patients seeking treatment. The cost of dental care can also be a concern. Here, you’ll discover how to manage the cost of dental care to ensure you get the treatment you need.

How does a payment plan work?

At CK Dental, we offer Denplan payments to ensure our patients can easily manage the cost of treatment. After working out what treatment you need, the dentist will calculate the full costs involved. The total will then be split into affordable monthly payments.

These plans provide a lifeline in emergencies, as well as to those living within a tight budget. It covers hygiene appointments and check-ups and there is the option to customise the plan to include emergency treatment.

It is important to note that not everything is covered by our payment plans. You may need to pay for restorative dental treatments, prescription charges or lab fees for example. It also doesn’t cover cosmetic treatments such as teeth whitening.

Benefits of Denplan

There are a lot of great benefits of using our Denplan contracts. Firstly, it can act as a great preventative tool. As you won’t need to worry about the cost of check-ups, you will be able to visit the dentist more frequently. This will help to identify any potential problems early on, protecting your oral health and your wallet.

The plans available can cover a wide range of treatments, tailored to match your specific needs.

You can also choose to take dental insurance to cover you for emergency dental treatment at home or abroad. No matter where you are, you’ll be able to get the treatment you need without worrying about the cost.

These are just a small handful of the benefits you can expect when you take advantage of our monthly dental treatment plans.

How much does it cost?

Plans start from £15.90 per month, and that includes regular check-ups and hygiene appointments, but the cost of your Denplan will depend upon a variety of factors. Your dentist will be able to give you a more accurate quote based upon your individual needs.

To find out more about our affordable payment plans, contact CK Dental today.

Dentist still open

Following yesterday’s announcement, we want to let you know that as an essential medical service, CK Dental is able to remain open as normal, and patients are still allowed to travel for their dental treatment.

Your safety, our priority

We would like to reassure all our patients that our clinic is the safest environment possible. Since the first lockdown, we invested in a new air filtering system which has the recommended HEPA filter, and is able to filter out 99.97% of pathogens as small as 0.3 microns.

We have had no reported cases in the clinic and we will continue to work within all the government guidelines to keep it that way.

Dental treatment plans

Please make sure you keep your appointment if you have one. If you call us to make an appointment, you will be asked some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again at your appointment to see if anything has changed since you booked.

We are still accepting new patients too, and we can offer budget payment plans with Denplan Essentials to make treatment more affordable.

How you can help

At CK Dental, we use personal protective equipment including masks, gloves and aprons, and social distancing measures to keep staff and patients safe. You can also help by following these steps;

  • Please do not arrive without an appointment
  • With the exception of children and persons in need, patients should come alone
  • Patients should attend wearing a mask
  • Please do not arrive early to the practice. If necessary, you should wait outside the practice
  • If you show symptoms following appointment booking, you should contact NHS Test and Trace

Please call our friendly team in Bristol on 0117 905 9866 if you have any questions about your upcoming appointment or our budget payment plans.

We look forward to seeing you!

back to the dentist

Now that lockdown restrictions are easing, the dental sector is starting to re-open for appointments. However, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), patients should delay routine appointments for the time being. Many dentists don’t agree with these guidelines, particularly due to the concern over serious oral health issues going unnoticed.

So, should you follow the WHO guidelines, or is it safe to go back to the dentist now? Below, you’ll discover everything you need to know to help you decide whether or not to book an appointment.

Is it risky to visit the dentist now?

The truth is it is risky going anywhere right now. Until the virus can be controlled, everywhere can be a potential risk. However, with the right precautions, visiting the dentist doesn’t have to be an overly risky venture.

Visiting the dentist is actually riskier for the dentist than it is for you. This is because a lot of dental procedures produce aerosols which could infect the dental worker. Most dentists will be keeping a very clean practice, following essential guidelines to keep themselves and patients safer. So, yes it is risky, but it isn’t as risky as going to the supermarket for your weekly shop.

Should I only visit the dentist if it’s an emergency?

The WHO has recommended patients should only visit the dentist if it is an emergency. However, dentists have argued that all dental work is essential. This is because without routine care, it could result in serious oral health issues later on.

Poor gum health has been shown to contribute to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Gum health has also been linked to Diabetes and it can help dentists to diagnose a variety of serious health conditions, including oral cancer.

You don’t need to wait for it to be an emergency before you visit the dentist. You just need to make sure the clinic is safe.

Look at your dentist’s safety precautions

Before you decide whether or not to visit the dentist, take a look at your clinic’s safety precautions. How are they addressing the pandemic and keeping their patients safe?

Dentists have introduced a wide range of safety precautions. These include pre-screening questionnaires, temperature checking, the use of PPE and staggered appointment times.

Patients are commonly asked to fill out a questionnaire which primarily looks at identifying if they have any symptoms of the coronavirus. Temperature checking before patients are seen by the dentist are also available at some clinics.

Ideally, your dentist should be using adequate PPE too, reducing your risk of catching the virus from them. So, ask about the safety precautions in place to ensure your appointment will run as safely as possible.

Visiting your dentist is safe providing they are following the right guidelines. So, if you’ve been putting off heading to the dentist, book an appointment today to avoid any issues later. Call CK Dental in Bristol today on 0117 905 9866.

Mouth Cancer Action

A new report compiled by the Oral Health Foundation has shown that mouth cancer rates are at a record high. In 2019, there were 8,722 people diagnosed with mouth cancer in the UK. This is a staggering 97% increase since the year 2000.

This is the eleventh year in a row that mouth cancer cases have risen. Here, we’ll look at the findings in light of Mouth Cancer Action Month.

Understanding the findings

The latest study was carried out by the dental charity as part of its State of Mouth Cancer UK report for 2020/21. Governing health body statistics were used to compile the report, which reveals that 67% of mouth cancers occur in men. Also, 78% of mouth cancer patients are aged over 55.

However, the good news is that seeking early treatment boosts survival chances by 50% to 90%, making it important for people to understand the symptoms to watch out for.

What is mouth cancer?

Also known as oral cancer, mouth cancer causes a tumour to grow within the mouth. It is most commonly found on the tongue, but it can also develop on the roof of the mouth, the inside of the cheeks or at the back of the mouth.

The main symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Painful mouth ulcers that don’t heal
  • Unexplained loose teeth
  • Red or white patches in the mouth
  • Unexplained persistent lumps in the neck or mouth
  • Speech changes

These are the most common symptoms to be aware of. If they don’t go away within three weeks, you should consult your GP. There are different types of mouth cancer and it is categorised by the cell the cancer grows in.

Around 9 out of 10 mouth cancers are squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. However, you could also suffer with lesser common forms such as sarcoma, adenocarcinoma and oral malignant melanoma.

What causes the disease?

There are a number of risk factors associated with the likelihood of developing mouth cancer. Lifestyle choices, such as smoking and excessive levels of alcohol, are known to contribute to mouth cancer.

Most recently, it has been linked to HIV, or the Human Papillomavirus. An unhealthy diet can also contribute, alongside poor dental hygiene.

The purpose of Mouth Cancer Action Month

Mouth Cancer Action Month aims to raise awareness of the condition. It also gives charities the chance to fundraise to try and combat mouth cancer through research. This year, you can get involved by joining the Blue Ribbon Campaign or organising a fundraiser of your own.

Mouth cancer is a devastating disease that is proving to be on the rise. It is important to detect the condition as early as possible for successful treatment and undergoing regular dental check-ups can help to identify any issues with your oral health quickly. Call us on 0117 905 9866 to arrange an appointment at CK Dental.

dentist-676421_960_720Here at CK Dental practice in Bristol, we have recently added dental treatment under general anaesthesia to our list of services. This is suited to patients who are extremely nervous of visiting the dentist – sometimes known as “dental phobic” patients.

One question that we get asked a lot at our Bristol dental practice is what sort of dental work can be performed under a general anaesthetic, so here we are going to attempt to answer that as comprehensively as possible.

Essential routine care

Because general anaesthesia does carry some risk, you are unlikely to be offered cosmetic or non-essential routine dental treatment under a general anaesthetic.

However, if you need a filling or extraction, or other routine dental care that the dentist feels it would be detrimental to your oral health to ignore, then this can be performed under a general anaesthetic – within the same building in which CK Dental is housed: Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital, The Chesterfield – for your comfort.

More complex procedures

Often, when patients are severely dental phobic, they have avoided visiting the dentist for a prolonged period, and their dental health has suffered as a result. In this situation, more complex dental work may be required – root canal treatment, or even implant placement if the teeth have deteriorated too much to be saved.

General anaesthesia for dental treatment presents the perfect option for these patients, allowing the dentist to rectify these problems without any discomfort for the patient, who is unconscious throughout and just wakes up after surgery to find all their dental problems solved.

All the staff here at CK Dental practice in Bristol are trained to a high level in dealing with extremely nervous patients, so we take pains to put you at ease from the minute you set foot in our clinic and throughout the examination process.

If you are dental phobic and would like to know more about dental treatment under general anaesthetic, please contact us.