FAQs

We get asked many questions about different treatments by our patients. Here are some of the most commonly asked ones. If you can’t find the answer to your question here please contact us. We’ll be pleased to help!

Dental Implants

A dental implant is used to support one or more false teeth. It is a titanium screw that can replace the root of a tooth when it fails. It is fixed into the jaw bone and then a false tooth goes over it.

Whether you are suitable for dental implants depends on the condition of the bone in your jaw. This will initially be assessed by the dentist along with your gums and teeth.

If it looks like you may be suitable, we will arrange for a consultation with our implant surgeon. They may arrange for a number of special tests to find out the amount of bone still there.

If there is not enough, or if it isn’t healthy enough, it may not be possible to place implants without grafting bone into the area first.

Placing an implant is usually done using a local anaesthetic. You will not feel any pain at the time but you may feel some discomfort during the week after the surgery.

You may be given a sedative if you are very nervous or if your case is a complicated one.

Yes. You can have any number of teeth replaced with implants – from one single tooth to a complete set.

Yes. Implants are a safe, well-established treatment.

Implants, like natural teeth, will last for as long as you care for them.

If you look after them and go for your regular maintenance appointments and, if the bone they are fitted to is strong and healthy, you can expect them to last for many years.  As with other surgical implants (such as a hip replacement) there is no lifetime guarantee.

If implants are not properly cleaned and cared for you may get gum infection and have other problems. So look after them well.

For any advice, just ask the dentist.

We will be able to give you a rough timetable before your implant treatment starts.

After your implants have been placed, the bone in your jaw needs to grow onto them and fuse to them. This usually takes a few months. Sometimes the implants may be stable enough when they are placed for the false teeth to be fitted sooner than this but sometimes treatment can take longer depending on your body and it’s healing time.

We will give you detailed advice on how to look after your implants. Cleaning around the teeth attached to the implants is no more difficult than cleaning natural teeth but some areas may be difficult to reach and we’ll show you how to clean them. You may need to visit the hygienist more often but we can advise you on this.

No. Most implants look exactly like natural teeth.

Give our practice a call on 0121 552 7749 to book a consultation.

Bridges and Partial Dentures

This is a plate with one or more false teeth on it. It may be all plastic or a mixture of metal and plastic. Both types may have clips (clasps) to help keep the denture in place in your mouth. Depending on where they are, some of these clips may show when you smile or open your mouth.

Plastic partial dentures are less expensive to make. But unless they are designed very carefully they can damage the teeth they fit against.

Metal partial dentures are usually made from an alloy of cobalt and chromium, and they are much stronger. They are lighter to wear and can be supported by the remaining teeth. Although the base is metal, they have gum-coloured plastic and natural-looking teeth fixed to them. They are more expensive than plastic ones.

It can take up to 6 months for your gums to heal properly after an extraction. This means that you may need to have a temporary denture before the bridge is fitted.

Dentures may break if you drop them. Always clean your denture over a bowl of water or a folded towel in case you drop it.

To clean your dentures, the general rule is: brush and soak every day. Brush your dentures first, to help remove any bits of food. Use a non-abrasive denture cleaner, not toothpaste. Be careful not to scrub too hard as this may cause grooves in the surface. Make sure you brush all the surfaces of the dentures, including the surface that fits against your gums. This is especially important if you use any kind of denture fixative.

Soak your dentures every day in a denture-cleaning solution. This will help remove any plaque and stubborn stains that are left. It will also help to disinfect your dentures, leaving them feeling fresher. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Don’t keep your dentures in overnight unless there are specific reasons for you to keep them in. 

Your dental team may recommend taking out your dentures at night to give your mouth a chance to rest. If you do this, it is important to leave it in water to prevent any warping or cracking.

Bridges are usually made of porcelain bonded to precious metal. Sometimes other non-precious metals are used in the base for strength. There are also new bridges made entirely of a special type of strong porcelain.

The cost will vary depending on the size and type of bridge you need. Always get a written estimate and treatment plan before starting any dental treatment. Although a bridge may seem expensive it should last many years.

Dental bridges typically don’t hurt. In fact, when your dentist is working on your teeth to prepare them for a bridge, he or she will use local anesthesia to numb the area. After the numbing agent wears off, you may experience some slight pain and sensitivity, but an over-the-counter pain medication may be all you need to feel better. If you have severe pain, contact your dentist right away because this isn’t normal.

Traditional, fixed bridges are permanently cemented in your mouth. But if you opt for a removable, partial dental bridge, then you can remove it at any time. Many patients remove bridges while they sleep and for cleaning purposes.

Dental bridges can last anywhere from five to 10 years. But sometimes, patients can use the same ones for decades! However, the durability of dental bridges is dependent on a variety of factors; including how well you take care of your teeth, where the bridges are located, and the materials used to create them.

Teeth Straightening and Orthodontics

In simple terms… teeth straightening! Custom made braces and a gentle but consistent pressure are used to gradually move the teeth into the correct position and keep them there. After your braces are removed, you will likely need to wear a retainer during the night to maintain your lovely new smile.

Orthodontic treatment not only improves the appearance of your teeth but helps to improve the health of the teeth, gums and jaw joints. By spreading the biting pressure over all your teeth and getting rid of difficult to clean areas caused by crooked teeth, it’s much easier to care for your teeth and mouth.

When the teeth don’t meet correctly, this can put strain on the muscles of the jaw, causing jaw and joint problems and sometimes headaches. Orthodontic treatment can help you to bite more evenly and reduce the strain.

The best time is generally during childhood, but adults can have orthodontic treatment too. More and more adults are opting for treatment. Age is less important than having the right number of teeth. However, in children it may be necessary to wait for enough teeth to come through before starting treatment.

We also offer short term, adult orthodontic treatment for those wanting to make smaller straightening improvements to their smile.

Dr Harry Singh provides orthodontic care at the practice to help achieve straight teeth for our patients. After attending a free consultation, and then following our through examination, we will assess if you are suitable for orthodontic treatment, and if so, we can put a plan of action in place for you.  

Once we have carried out our assessment, we will advise you which brace system we will be using and approximate time span of treatment.

We can also provide treatment if required for children, but we do assess this on a case by case basis.

The most important part of your treatment is the initial assessment and examination. This will involve looking at your teeth, taking x-rays and making plaster models of the teeth.

We will then discuss with you what treatment is possible. Once you are sure you want to go ahead, the treatment can start (or in the case of a child, as soon as they have enough permanent teeth).

This depends on your teeth. You may not have enough room for all your permanent teeth. If so, you may need to have some removed to make space. We will let you know before treatment starts if this is the case.

A removable brace is a plate that can be taken out to be cleaned. It has delicate wires and springs attached, which move the teeth using gentle pressure.

A functional brace works by using the power of your jaw muscles and can help with more specific mouth and jaw alignment problems.

A fixed brace is likely the most familiar image to our patients. These braces have brackets and bands which are temporarily stuck to the teeth. A flexible wire joins all the brackets and allows the teeth to be moved. You can’t take these braces out yourself, so it is called a fixed brace. Fixed braces are not always made of metal. Plastic and ceramic can be used, especially for adults.

Invisible braces are tough, clear plastic moulds, known as ‘aligners’. Several sets of specially moulded, slightly different aligners are made for each patient. Each set is worn for two weeks before being replaced with the next one. They are made from clear plastic, so they are nearly invisible. Nobody needs to know you’re straightening your teeth.

The aligners should be worn for 22 to 23 hours a day for the best results. They can be easily removed for eating, drinking, brushing, and for cleaning in between your teeth. You need to have all your adult teeth before you can have this treatment.

The length of treatment depends on how severe the problem is, and it may take anything from a few months (as in our short term adult teeth straightening) to several years. A majority of our patients are treated in one to two years.

When treatment is finished your teeth need to be held in position for a time. This is called the ‘retention’ period, and you use special retainers to do this.

The retainers hold newly straightened teeth in position while the surrounding gum and bone settles. The retainers can be removable or fixed, depending on the severity of the original problem.

We will advise you when to wear these and for how long.

Normally every four to six weeks, as your braces will need adjusting.

Your teeth may feel uncomfortable immediately after a brace has been adjusted, but this will settle. If the problem doesn’t go away or the pain increases, let us know and we may be able to carry out adjustments to help.

The treatment in itself will not cause damage, but poor cleaning and too many sugary foods and drinks can cause damage during your treatment.

Brackets, wires and braces can trap food and cause more plaque than usual to build up. So you need to clean your teeth and braces very thoroughly.

It’s important that your dentist checks your teeth regularly during the treatment to ensure you are managing to clean your teeth and brace effectively. Our dentists can help you manage this new experience to help you get the best results for your smile.

Dental Crowns

A crown is a fake tooth that caps one of your natural teeth or a screw for an implants. They are typically made from either ceramic, porcelain, stainless steel, or an alloy (including gold). Naturally colored materials are much more discreet for those who prefer that option. Crowns are made in a dental lab, based on a mold that the dentist will take after prepping the area. While it’s being made, you will get a temporary crown.

There are several different problems that a crown can correct. Some of the most common reasons are:

  • Strengthen a weak or fractured tooth
  • Replace a tooth after a root canal
  • Attaching an implant
  • Cosmetic purposes
  • Replace a filling that is too large for the remaining tooth

Some of these problems need immediate dental work, but others use a crown as a prevention of further problems down the road. We never advise getting a crown unless we feel like it is absolutely necessary.

For the crown to be placed over your existing tooth or dental implant, the dentist will need to do some modifications. For this part of the process you will be numb, so the worst of it will be the achiness you might feel after the feeling comes back.

The placement of a crown does not usually hurt. Most people complain when a temporary crown is removed and the permanent one is placed, when air hits the exposed nerves. This lasts for maybe a minute and doesn’t even require numbing. If you have a root canal, this isn’t even a concern since you don’t have feeling in those nerves anymore. For implants, the pain and swelling is managed with over-the-counter medicines.

Crowns are treated just like any other tooth. Stick to your daily oral hygiene regimen of flossing, brushing, and mouth wash. Make sure to come in for your regular dental check-ups twice a year. If there is a need to treat the tooth inside the crown, the dentist can just drill through it and fill it in when the work is done. You really don’t need to worry about doing anything special for your crown.

While you may not want to replace all your teeth with crowns, it isn’t something you need to be afraid of either. Crowns are a great way to
fix a handful of problems or potential problems.

When you’re getting a dental crown, you want it to blend in with your smile as much as possible. Each one of our dental crowns is made with porcelain dental ceramic. This material can be color-matched to go with the rest of your smile and is stain-resistant and durable. Crowns can last up to 30 years if they’re properly taken care of.

No, the crown will not be obvious and every attempt will be made to match your other teeth. Sometimes photographs are taken to ensure the laboratory technician creates the best possible match. In rare circumstances the patient is advised to meet with the technician in order to get the ideal result.

A temporary crown, usually made in plastic, will be fitted at the end of the first appointment to last until the permanent one is ready.  These temporary crowns may be more noticeable, but they are only in place for about two weeks.

You will need to have at least two visits: the first for the preparation, impression, shade taking and fitting the temporary crown, and the second to fit the permanent crown.

The life of a crown will depend on how well it is looked after.  The crown itself cannot decay, but decay can start where the edge of the crown joins the tooth.  It is very important to keep this area as clean as your other teeth, or decay could endanger the crown. Here at Oldbury Smile Spa, we would only usually recommend crowns if your risk of tooth decay has been reduced.

Because the shape of the crown will be slightly different from the shape of your tooth before it was crowned, you may be aware of it to begin with.  Within a few days it should feel fine, and you will not notice it.  Sometimes the crown may feel slightly high in the bite.  Usually this will resolve within 10 days and the crown will need no adjustment.  If it still does not feel right after this time has elapsed then please ask your dentist to check and adjust it.

A veneer at the front of your mouth may be an alternative to having a crown if the tooth has only a small filling. Your dentist will advise you of any suitable alternatives.

Cosmetic Bonding

Cosmetic bonding is a process in which your dentist uses specially formulated tooth-colored material to repair minor defects on the surface of your teeth. The bonding material itself is a type of composite resin — a tough, translucent mixture of plastic and glass components that mimics the pearly-white appearance of your teeth to a high degree. The material also bonds (links up) so well with the natural tooth structure that this relatively simple and inexpensive treatment can last for a number of years.

Cosmetic Bonding can be used to remedy several different kinds of flaws in your smile. Small chips, cracks and areas of discoloration can be easily treated via cosmetic bonding. It can even be used to fix minor spacing irregularities. Best of all, because composite resin is available in various shades to match the natural color of your teeth, it’s almost impossible to tell which tooth has been treated.

Cosmetic Bonding is a minimally invasive, reversible treatment that normally causes little or no discomfort. The tooth being treated is first thoroughly cleaned, and then “etched” with a gel that microscopically roughens its surface. Next, the gel is rinsed off, and liquid composite resin (in a shade chosen to match the tooth) is painted on with a brush. Then, the bonding material is cured (hardened) using a special light. After it has cured, another layer may be applied; this process can be repeated several times to build up a thicker coating. Finally, a dental instrument is used to shape the built-up material into its final, pleasing form.

Not especially, but like all teeth, they should be brushed and flossed daily, and professionally cleaned at the dental office twice a year. Bonded teeth can also become stained from tobacco use, red wine and coffee — but unlike regular teeth, bonded teeth can’t be lightened. So if you’re considering tooth-whitening treatments, have them done before your teeth are bonded.

Cosmetic Bonding is among the easiest and least expensive of cosmetic dental procedures. Unlike veneers and crowns, which are customized tooth coverings that must be manufactured in a laboratory, bonding usually can be done in one office visit unless several teeth are involved. Another advantage, compared with veneers and crowns, is that the least amount of tooth enamel is removed. Also, unless dental bonding is being performed to fill a cavity, anesthesia is usually not required.

The lifespan of bonding materials depends on how much bonding was done and your oral habits. Typically, however, bonding material lasts from 3 years up to about 10 years before needing to be touched up or replaced.

The cosmetic bonding procedure is relatively painless and most of our clients don’t require painkillers. You may experience some tooth sensitivity when eating and drinking cold and hot things. If you experience this side effect, you can take an over-the-counter pain medication for relief.

You don’t have to wait. You can eat or drink right away. Be aware that you may experience some slight tooth sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks after the procedure.

Cosmetic bonding usually has the best results in areas that experience less pressure from chewing. This usually means that front teeth are elected to be fixed for practical and aesthetic reasons. 

If you wish to repair a chipped tooth that’s not in the front, it’s still worth bringing up to your dentist. We can create a customized dental plan to eliminate any physical discomfort or self-esteem issues.

It is possible that cosmetic bonding may slightly alter the way your retainer or other oral appliance fits. However, the effect should be minimal.

Veneers

A veneer is a covering placed over the surface of a tooth to make it look more attractive, whiter and more naturally shaped. It’s commonly made of porcelain, which is a very tough and durable material that resembles natural tooth enamel. The veneer resists staining and fixes a number of common cosmetic problems, including chipping, gaps, and ridges in the teeth.

Veneers are a wonder of cosmetic dentistry not just because they give you a big difference in your smile with a small procedure, but also because they are long-lasting. Once a porcelain veneer is bonded, it can last for as long as 20 years—maybe even longer. It’s important to treat your veneers with as much TLC as your other teeth to keep them looking great for as long as possible.

The veneer has a strong bond to your tooth, but you have to keep it clean and free from plaque buildup to ensure its ongoing health and resilience. Brush around all surfaces of the tooth and floss between the teeth daily. Avoid biting hot foods (or drinking hot beverages) with your veneers as much as possible and drink less sugary beverages. One of the most important things to remember after you get veneers is to keep up with twice-yearly appointments for cleanings and checkups.

It is used to camouflage the underlying tooth. So If a tooth needs to be straightened or unsightly gaps need to be closed, then we use veneers.

The amount of tooth lost is minimal and will be roughly the same thickness of the veneer to be fitted. The tooth needs to stay the same size so in effect we just have to create a rough surface to allow the veneer to bond with the tooth.

The time it takes is dependant on how many veneers you have chosen to undertake. Generally the procedure takes less than an hour and the final fitting takes about 30 minutes.

It is our policy to only use superior dental ceramics in order not to compromise on the strength or aesthetics of our veneers. Our veneers are £550 per tooth.

The preparation of veneers preserve the most amount of tooth structure as very little needs to be removed.  They can vastly improve the appearance of your teeth, and gum tissues respond well to dental veneers.  The colour can be custom selected and in the case of porcelain veneers they are extremely stain resistant.

Whether you opt for porcelain veneers or Lumineers, your Manhattan cosmetic dentist Dr.Wei takes into account your skin tone, tooth size, tooth shape, tooth color, age, facial features, bone structure, face shape and facial symmetry when designing the ideal cosmetic dentistry enhancement. Every element of your treatment is carefully crafted to complement your appearance and make your smile and your new teeth look completely natural.

No special tools are necessary for maintaining your veneers. Treat them just as you would your natural teeth by brushing twice a day and flossing once a day and seeing your dentist regularly. If you take good care of your veneers, they will do amazing work for you.

Root Canal Therapy

Dentists use the term “root canal” in referring to the tiny, narrow passageways that branch from a central, hollow space in your tooth (called the pulp chamber) down to the ends of the tooth roots. The term can also be used as a shorthand for “root canal treatment” — that is, the procedure used to save the tooth if the soft tissue deep inside of it (called pulp) becomes acutely inflamed or infected.

If tooth pulp becomes acutely inflamed or infected because of decay or injury, the tissue will need to be removed in order to save the tooth and stop the infection from spreading. As an adult, you don’t actually need the pulp — its primary use is to aid in tooth development during childhood.

Yes, 0% finance is just that. Paying off your treatment over 12 months or less, you simply pay for your treatment and nothing else. You pay no interest on the loan amount. Your total treatment cost is simply divided over the number of months you wish to pay it off, up to a maximum of 12 months.

The procedure normally causes no more discomfort that a filling would. Root canal treatment may have a bad reputation, but it is undeserved; in this case it’s the disease that’s to blame and not the cure. In other words, the infections that make the treatment necessary in the first place are often painful because they are inflaming tissue that has lots of nerves and therefore is very sensitive. Root canal treatment actually relieves this pain!

Keep your teeth decay-free by brushing and flossing every day. Eat a healthy diet low in sugar and avoid acidic beverages such as soda. Have regular professional cleanings and exams. And if you’re active in sports, consider ordering a custom-made mouthguard to protect your teeth from injury.

The objective of root canal treatment is to save your teeth; if the condition is left untreated, the tooth will eventually need to be removed. If you wish, you can fill the gap with an implant or denture – but the natural tooth is always preferable in terms of functionality.

Act sooner and not only do you get to keep your teeth but you will save yourself pain along the way: if the pulp inside the root becomes inflamed, an abscess may form and this can become extremely painful.

If you decide against having a root canal done, the only other alternatives are natural tooth loss or having your infected/damaged tooth extracted. This is not the recommended course of action to take because a lost or pulled tooth will leave a gap in your smile which will prompt the adjacent teeth to shift out of alignment in an effort to close that gap. This can hamper your ability to chew food properly which can lead to problems with digestion. And, since misaligned teeth are more difficult to clean, you could end up with tooth decay or gum disease to cause even more problems that can be painful and costly to treat.

You may have some tenderness or mild discomfort when biting down that can last for a couple of days following your treatment. You can take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain reliever like ibuprofen according to package instructions to relieve you of any discomfort you feel. We recommend chewing on the other side until a permanent restoration such as a crown is placed on top of the treated tooth.

Facial Aesthetics

Facial aesthetics are used to soften expression lines and define facial contours. With the careful use of wrinkle relaxation injections and/or injectable fillers can enhance your natural beauty and rejuvenate your skin. Facial aesthetics can give you a more youthful and radiant look, for a more confident you.

All of our treatments are carried out in a safe, clinical and relaxed environment by Dr Harry Signh and clinicians who have undergone extensive training to qualify in prescribing the right treatments and products for you. We will tailor treatments to your individual needs to ensure best results. Book your free consultation to discuss treatments and prices by completing the contact form or by calling our practice.

Wrinkle relaxation injections is a treatment to temporarily improve the appearance of both moderate to severe frown lines between the brows and improve ‘crow’s feet’ in adults Wrinkle relaxing injections can be used to relax certain facial muscles which means that the skin stays smoother and creases gradually diminish. The result is a more serene, youthful look.

Dermal fillers can be used to plump out the facial lines and increase the volume and hydration of the skin. They are used particularly to soften the lines around the mouth and chin area and for enhancing the shape and volume of the lips. These types of fillers are naturally biodegradable and are therefore non-permanent.

Facial peels are one of the most effective ways to treat signs of ageing, discolouration and UV damage. An active solution is applied to the surface of the skin which causes the superficial layer to peel off. The treatment exposes a new layer of healthy undamaged skin, resulting in a smoother texture and a more even skin tone. Skin peels will also complement injectable treatments such as anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers.

Your specialist will discuss your treatment goals and perform a facial analysis to determine the appropriate treatments for you. The actual injection process takes about 10 minutes and including consultation should be lass than an hour.

For most treatments, you should begin to notice results within 3-4 days, however the full effect may take up to 2 weeks with results lasting 4-6  months.

After your treatment, you can resume your day. There is minimal downtime and your specialist will give you specific aftercare instructions. Usually swelling and redness at the injection sites settle within 30min. 

Tooth Extraction

Typically, during a tooth extraction procedure, sedation is administered to the patient to make them feel relaxed and comfortable. Also, many teeth that are subjected to extraction have nerves that are dead or dying, which means that the affected tooth may not be able to send pain signals out.

Once the procedure is done, detailed at-home care instructions will be given to the patient. To speed up the recovery and avoid any complications, patients must follow the given at-home instructions diligently. However, do know that the recovery period varies from patient to patient.

Smoking following the procedure is prohibited, as it can be a reason for different complications. Smoking can also cause the formed blood clot to dislodge, which leads to a painful dry socket. This blood clot plays an essential role in the healing of the wound. Additionally, several complications may occur if the patient smokes after teeth extractions, such as high blood pressure, dizziness, dry socket, risk of getting an infection, and slower healing process.

Teeth extractions refer to the dental procedure of removing severely damaged or infected teeth from the mouth. During teeth extractions, the tooth root is removed from the alveolar bone along with the crown and the rest of the tooth.

The first part of the process is to provide a local anesthetic to ensure that the area is numbed, reducing the risk of discomfort. Then the dentist will cut away any gum or bone around the tooth to provide a large surface area for the forceps to grip onto. Next, they will use the forceps to rock the tooth backward and forwards until they release it from the bone. 

Prevent Recurrent Periodontal Infections

Periodontal infections are serious. Not only do they cause a lot of pain and distress, but they can also lead to damage to the surrounding bone tissue. Removing a problem tooth is often the only way to prevent recurrent infection and to allow the gum to heal. 

Make Way For Mouth Reconstruction

A rotting, damaged or dead tooth can impact your oral hygiene and get in the way of new implants. 

Prevent The Spread Of Rot

One rotting tooth can impact another and lead to severe issues across your entire mouth. Often it’s better to remove the problem tooth and eliminate the risk. 

Relieve Pain

Toothache can be awful. Removing a bad tooth helps to relieve pain and allows you to live your life to the full. 

There are several signs that you might need a tooth extraction. 

  • There’s not enough room in your mouth for the tooth to emerge
  • A tooth is causing repeated gum infections (periodontitis)
  • A tooth has been damaged beyond repair in an accident
  • The tooth is decayed and causing you pain
  • The tooth no longer provides you with a functioning biting surface

Childrens Dental Treatments

Baby teeth are usually whiter in colour compared to adult teeth and the difference is more pronounced when the two different teeth are viewed together i.e. when looking at an adult tooth next to a baby tooth. This is the most common reason it appears like the adult teeth are more yellow, however there are other reasons too:

  • If the preceding baby tooth had an infection, there is a possibility it could damage the permanent tooth developing directly above it. This can discolour the developing tooth making it look yellow or brown.
  • Certain medications, such as tetracycline antibiotics, can cause discolouring of developing adult teeth.
  • Decayed teeth often look dark.
  • Sometimes the enamel fails to form properly which can lead to brown discolouration.
  • An excess of fluoride can lead to fluorosis. This is rare in Croydon (where our practices are based) however, more likely to occur in areas with fluoridated water such as Birmingham.

Children’s teeth often come out at different angles in comparison to the existing teeth, however this does not necessarily mean they will need braces.  Adult teeth are much bigger than baby teeth and when children are small, their mouths are simply not big enough to accommodate all the existing teeth plus the new erupting ones.  This means they can sometimes come out in front, behind or at different angles.  Most of the time it is tricky to conclusively say whether they will need braces in the future as lots will change as more of their teeth erupt and they continue to develop and grow. The best time to make an assessment is once all the permanent teeth have come through.  Certain criteria must be met in order to qualify for NHS treatment.  The oral hygiene levels must be good, and the teeth need to show a minimum severity of malalignment.

A general dentist will refer children to an orthodontist for braces (normally between the ages of 12-16). Severe cases are sent earlier if required.

Browsing the dental section in the supermarket can sometimes be a daunting task due to the enormity of choice.  With each toothpaste claiming to be the best, how do you know which one to trust?  Truthfully, they are pretty much all the same.  As long as the toothpaste has fluoride in, they will pretty much do the same thing.  So, do not worry about making the wrong choice – the one’s for sensitive teeth work slightly different to one another, but the kid’s ones are pretty similar.

In terms of fluoride content here is a chart that will help you to determine which one is appropriate for your child:

  • Up to the age of 3 years use toothpaste with no less than 1000ppm fluoride.
  • For ages 3-6 years use toothpaste with more than 1000ppm fluoride.
  • For ages 7 years plus use toothpaste with 1350-1500ppm fluoride.

These figures are based on children with average/low risk of decay.  Your dentist may recommend higher levels if your child is deemed to be at a higher risk of decay.

Mouthwashes are also similar. Ensure your children are old enough to spit it out and go for a fluoridated, alcohol free one. The important thing to remember about mouthwash is that its best to use it at a different time to toothbrushing.

We recommend taking your child to the dentist as soon as the first teeth start coming through.  It will mostly be for advice to ensure they get the best start to oral health.  However, it is also important to get them used to the environment.  

As a parent myself, I have experienced first-hand the difficulties in brushing toddlers’ teeth, especially when they are not in the mood.

Some tips are:

  • Make it fun. Sing a little song to keep them entertained whilst brushing. Hang a chart on their wall and get them to place a gold star sticker once they have brushed their teeth. Perhaps give them a treat once they have finished a whole week of good brushing.
  • Use fun toothbrushes. We used a battery powered one with flashing lights which helped enormously. You can even get them to pick one out themselves.
  • Stick to a routine and the chips will all fall into place. Having a good night-time routine has helped us.
  • Have a range of children’s toothpastes and let them choose which one they want to use on that day. This gives them a sense of control and makes them feel like it is their idea!
  • Let them brush their teeth themselves and then do it yourself afterwards.
  • Positive reinforcement helps – praise them once they have finished brushing.
  • Brush your teeth in front of them so they get used to seeing the action being performed.
  • Try and have a mirror available for them that is at their height, so they can watch themselves brushing.

Usually, the first visit is short and simple—but still very important!

We take time to get to know your child in an environment that is friendly and relaxed. The dentist will check your child’s teeth and make sure there are no problems with the gums or jaw. We’ll also assess your child’s oral health needs and evaluate the risk of cavities. 

We’ll also clean your child’s teeth and apply a fluoride varnish. Depending upon your child’s individual needs, we may also take X-rays—these will help us care for your child’s teeth as they develop.

  • Avoid sugary foods
  • Make sure your child brushes at least twice a day
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss daily
  • Ask your dentist about a fluoride supplement
  • Limit snacking—a healthy diet is important

First, most children outgrow this habit by age four. If your child continues  after permanent teeth erupt, or sucks aggressively, let us know and we can check to see if any problems may arise from the habit.

We’re dedicated to providing quality emergency treatment for all our patients.  In case of an emergency, contact us on 0121 552 7749.

Elizabeth Summan
Practice Manager

Elizabeth Summan

Practice Manager

Elizabeth has worked as a dental nurse for 16 years and as a practice manager with Oldbury Smile Spa for just over 8 years