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New Year New You

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Happy new year to all our current and future patients! 

It’s a new year and most of us are busy trying to keep to our New Year’s Resolutions. If you still haven’t made yours, why not think about trying to improve your dental health? Making easy changes to your routine in 2020 could set you up for a lifetime of healthy teeth. Fortunately, there are many ways to achieve a dazzling smile. 

Get Flossing. 

Flossing should be an essential part of your dental routine. However, according to the Oral Health Foundation, only 21% of adults in the UK floss regularly and one in three never floss. By only brushing your teeth, up to 40% of the tooth surface area can be missed which increases the risk of cavities, tooth decay, and tooth loss. 

Book an appointment with the hygienist

The hygienist is not only able to provide a thorough scale and polish to remove any up of plaque and calculus, they are also there to give you help and advice on the best oral hygiene routine to follow in between appointments to keep your teeth looking their best. Contact us to book in your routine dental hygiene appointment today. 

Give up smoking. 

Quitting smoking is on many people’s list of resolutions, but did you know that it could seriously benefit your mouth health as well? Smoking is one of the leading causes of mouth cancer and gum disease in the UK. Studies have shown that smokers are likely to lose twice as many teeth as non-smokers. Visit the Smokefree website for help and support to help you quit for good.

Cut down on sugar 

Cutting down on sugar will help improve your dental health, giving you stronger, healthier teeth. There are many foods such as sauces and cereals with hidden sugars in, remember to always check the labels. 

The sugar content in beer or your favorite alcoholic drink may surprise you, also many mixers have a high sugar content. Alcohol also dries the mouth out and high acidity levels contribute to tooth decay. 

Teeth Whitening 

Teeth whitening is currently the most popular cosmetic dental treatment in the UK. Teeth whitening is a safe and effective way of lightening the natural colour of your teeth by removing the staining caused by a variety of lifestyle factors as well as the natural aging process. 

Teeth Straightening 

Teeth straightening can help to create a beautiful smile. At Oakwood, we focus on the Invisalign system because it offers the best and most discreet way to achieve a perfect smile. Teeth whitening can help improve confidence and self- esteem, allowing you to achieve things you never thought were possible. 

Smile Makeover 

Want to completely rejuvenate your smile? A smile makeover may be the option for you. Smile makeovers use a combination of cosmetic dental treatments, such as veneers, crowns, dental implants, braces, composite build ups, and tooth whitening to give you an attractive and healthy looking smile. 
Want to start your journey to a sparkling smile? Call Oakwood Dental on 01489 797902 and book an appointment today.

relax

Is sedation dentistry an option for you?

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Here at Oakwood Dental Practice, we are always aiming to deliver the best quality treatments to our patients, and always go the extra mile. We are proud to offer conscious sedation for anxious patients during dental treatment.

Dr. Hennie Muller is an experienced sedation dentist at Oakwood dental practice in Botley, Southampton, Hampshire.  Dr. Hennie Muller and his specially trained dental sedation team see patients with all forms of dental fear or anxiety.  If fear of the dentist, or a bad experience, like an anaesthetic that did not work, put you off from having dental treatment in the past, we can use techniques to help you relax get your dental treatment in a comfortable and calm environment?  By putting treatment off small problems, which could easily be rectified by simple treatment, can quickly become more complex problems and need more invasive forms of treatment later.

There are different types of sedation – Taking relaxing tablets and hour before treatment may be enough for some patients but by far the most profound sedation offered at the Practice is intravenous (IV) sedation.

At Oakwood Dental Practice we only offer conscious sedation.  The difference between conscious sedation and having a general anaesthetic (GA) in hospital is that with conscious sedation you remain responsive throughout the treatment, even though most patients report that they cannot recall most of the actual procedure due to the amnesic effect of the medication provided. Our team at Oakwood Dental Practice is specially trained to administer IV sedation.

IV sedation is very good in the treatment of dental anxiety, but there are a few other circumstances where it may also prove to be beneficial, for example difficulty with taking impressions due to a gag reflex or uncontrollable tongue thrust, which could make access for normal dental treatment complex. It also helps to provide patient comfort over very lengthy surgical procedures, like complex wisdom tooth removal, as well as dental implant placement procedures.

Another great benefit of conscious sedation is the relatively quick recovery time after the procedure, which means that a patient can go straight home afterward, providing that they have an escort to drive them home and preferably stay with them for a few hours.

Delayed going to the dentist, but feel you could be ready for this? Hennie is now taking bookings for appointments. If you wish to book a consultation to see if this could be for you, contact the practice on 01489 797902.

Further sources: SAAD

Toothbrush Share

When sharing isn’t caring – it’s time to be selfish with your toothbrush!

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Despite it being bad news for our health, one in four of us are happy to share our toothbrush with others, explain our Botley dentists Grethe Louw and Hennie Müller from Oakwood Dental Practice.

A new study has found that more than a quarter of the UK population admit they would share their toothbrush with a family member, friend, partner, neighbour or celebrity.

Men are significantly more likely to allow somebody else to borrow their toothbrush (32%) than women are (20%). Younger adults are also nearly twice as willing to share their toothbrush (55%) compared to their parents (30%), and around four times more open to do so than their grandparents (13%).

Dr Ben Atkins, dentist and trustee of the Oral Health Foundation, who carried out the poll with Philips, wants to warn people against the idea of sharing their toothbrush and says that it can lead to a number of health problems.

Dr Atkins says: “Although it may seem like a kind gesture to share your toothbrush, it really is not a very good idea. Sharing a toothbrush leaves you susceptible to all sorts of oral and general health problems.

“This is because brushing sometimes causes the gums to bleed, which exposes everyone you share your toothbrush with to bloodstream diseases. This means that by sharing a toothbrush, you could also be sharing blood, which is a lot riskier than just swapping saliva.”

There are many hundreds of different bacteria and viruses in our mouths and people sharing a toothbrush could be passing these on to others. This could include common colds, cold sores or even hepatitis B.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, adds: “The mouth harbours hundreds of different kinds of bacteria, that can be easily transferred from one person to another. You can control this by only using your own toothbrush.

“By avoiding using other people’s toothbrushes you will prevent the mixing of bacteria and plaque. This will protect the health of yourself as well as others.”

Welcoming new private patients

If you are concerned about your dental health, contact us for more information – new patients are always welcome. Our dental practice on Botley High Street opens at 8am on Tuesdays and 8.30am all other weekdays, with after-hours appointments available on Tuesdays by special arrangement. We look forward to hearing from you and your family.

 

Woman smiling on beach in summer

Protecting your teeth this Summer

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It’s July, and summer is officially here!

Longer days, picnics in the park, pool parties, barbeques…there’s a lot to look forward to during summer time. As life starts to slow down and you take a back seat, it’s easy to forget about your oral hygiene. To help you remember to keep those pearly whites in check, here are Dr Grethe Louw’s and Dr Hennie Muller’s summer teeth tips:

  1. Avoid using your teeth as tools

You may think that opening bottle caps or plastic packaging with your teeth is convenient, but this can cause your teeth to crack and chip! Keep a bottle opener or pair of scissors handy at the barbeque and only use your teeth for eating! Contact us if you would like to know more about repairing chips to your front teeth.

  1. Wear a mouth-guard when playing sports

Summer is a great time to get outdoors and play sports, but it is always advisable to wear a mouth-guard to protect those pearly whites when engaging in these activities.

School alert! Book in to see us before mid-August to avoid the rush and get your mouthguard sorted before term starts.

  1. Go easy on the treats

It’s easy to forget about your teeth, when all you want is a cold can of fizzy drink (or chilled glass of prosecco!) on a hot summer’s day, however remember to eat and drink everything in moderation.

These summer treats contain a high volume of sugars and acids, which can cause cavities, plaque and loss of enamel if over consumed. If you’re desperate to finish off all of the sweets, it is better to consume them in one sitting rather than space them out throughout the day.

Ice creams and ice lollies are cooling treats on those hazy, hot days but they can contain a lot of sugar so always check your labels if you are consuming them quite frequently.

If you find you can’t eat cold things or you find the experience painful due to sensitivity, visit your dentist or the hygiene team for a desensitising treatment.

  1. Going away?

If you’ve got an exciting trip planned this summer, remember to pack your toothbrush, toothpaste and floss and interdental brushes! (If you use an electric toothbrush, also remember your charger and a plug adapter too) Emergency dental kits can be a tooth-saver on holiday, but please remember book in to see us once you are back for a permanent job!

  1. Wear lip balm with SPF

It’s easy to forget to protect your lips when applying sun cream but your lips are more susceptible to burning than most parts of your body. Damage to them over time can lead to skin cancer so don’t forget to pack a small tube of your favourite lip balm in your beach bag this summer.

Cold sores have an annoying tendency to pop up due to sun damage, we recommended using a cold sore cream and staying out of the sun if one does appear.

  1. Drink Water!

It is important to ensure that you stay hydrated. The best way to do this is to drink water. This will help not only your oral health but your overall health too. Sip water between meals, it’s a good idea to carry a water bottle around with you but be sure to choose a reusable one to help reduce wastage and save the environment!

Water will keep your mouth moist and help wash away plaque and food deposits, reducing the harmful bacteria in your mouth and helping to keep your breath fresh!

Many popular drinks (fizzy drinks, coffee, sports drinks, alcohol!) can cause you to dehydrate or dry out your mouth, so try to drink in moderation!

 

Lastly, we want everyone to enjoy the summer but don’t forget to come and visit us at Oakwood Dental Practice in Botley for your next routine dental appointment!

 

Do you use your teeth to open bottles, tear clothing tags or bite your nails?

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If so, you are not alone but the advice from our Botley dentists is to stop! Most of us are putting our oral health at risk by using our teeth as tools for jobs they weren’t intended for.

Joint research by the Oral Health Foundation and Philips, and highlighted by Oakwood Dental Practice near Southampton, has found that 65% of us frequently use our teeth for tasks other than eating and drinking.

The most common misuse for our teeth is tearing sticky tape with 41% of us admitting to doing this regularly. More than a quarter of us bite our nails while over a fifth use our teeth to carry things when our hands are full.

Other popular uses include taking tags out of clothing (20%), chewing pens and pencils (16%), opening bottles (9%) and doing up zips (4%).

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation says that while it may seem trivial, using our teeth as tools poses a considerable risk to our oral health.

Dr Carter says: “Anything from opening bottles to chewing foreign objects can damage existing dental work or cause our teeth to crack.

“There are also examples of teeth shifting out of place, chipping, and in some cases breaking, due to the pressure and strain. Accidents are also more likely to happen which could result in invasive and expensive emergency dental work.”

Young adults are the biggest culprits when it comes to using teeth in improper ways with 85% of 18-35-year-olds admitting to abusing their teeth by performing unusual tasks with them. This is significantly higher than 35-54-year-olds (70%) and the over-55s (54%).

 

Restoring teeth in Botley

If you have cracked or chipped a tooth, please get in touch for some help and advice. Our Botley High Street dentists have a raft of cosmetic and restorative solutions at their fingertips, from dental veneers or crowns, to composite bonding.

Composite bonding can transform the appearance of one or more teeth in a single visit. Tooth-coloured composite resin (like a white filling) straightens uneven or chipped edges, or closes gaps between our teeth. This fast, affordable and impressive treatment requires minimal tooth preparation and is completed in less than one hour per tooth often without the need for any anaesthetic.

 

New patients welcome

We provide excellent, personalised dental care to patients in Botley, Hedge End, Bishops Waltham, Winchester and the wider Hampshire community. If you would like to find out more, please contact our Southampton dental practice. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

National Smile Month

How happy are you to pose for a photograph?

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As part of National Smile Month, which runs until June 13, the organisers carried out a nationwide poll that found most of us regularly feel self-conscious about the appearance of our teeth.

The Oral Health Foundation found that more than half of British adults (51%) are often made to feel anxious about how their smile looks and less than a third (29%) are likely to pose for a photograph with an open-mouth smile.

Findings showed that discoloured teeth are the biggest reason we are not smiling for the camera (33%).

This got the team at Oakwood Dental Practice in Botley, Southampton thinking. What makes a beautiful smile? Is it a Hollywood smile of straight, white, perfectly uniform teeth? Or is it a healthy smile with all its quirks and imperfections? Or maybe one that’s full of gaps? The answer, of course, is whatever you feel comfortable with and one that you are proud to show off.

Our dentists all agree that a healthy mouth is what’s essential, not for aesthetic reasons but for health ones.

Healthy mouths reflect a healthy body – they have pink gums and are pain-free. Red gums or gums that bleed when you brush your teeth indicate to us that something is not right and the main culprit is gum disease.

If caught early, gum disease can be stopped in its tracks before it leads to pain, wobbly teeth or tooth loss. There are also links between gum disease and serious illnesses such as bacterial lung infections, strokes, diabetes, problems with pregnancy, heart disease and dementia, among others.

The key three messages being promoted during National Smile Month are:

  • Brush your teeth last thing at night and on at least one other occasion with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Cut down on how much sugary food and drink you have, and how often you have them.
  • Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.

Ultimately, the aim is to help us achieve good physical and mental wellbeing by improving our oral health.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, says: “By adopting a few simple oral health habits, we can transform the health of our mouth and significantly improve our quality of life. It will also give us the reassurance we need to make sure we show off our smile with confidence.”

 

Smile niggles

However, if you don’t feel happy to show off your smile, then ask us for advice. There are lots of ways we can help.

If discoloured teeth are causing you concern, the first and best place to start is with a hygiene visit – not only will your teeth look better, they will be healthier too as every scrap of plaque will have been removed.

Contact us now for details.

Protect your mouth AND body.

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UK dental health charity the Oral Health Foundation has compiled a list of five top tips to help us take steps towards a healthier and happier mouth. Southampton dentist Hennie Müller at Oakwood Dental Practice on Botley High Street is helping spread the message to ensure we all enjoy better dental health and improved general wellbeing.

  1. Get ‘in-ter’ interdental brushing

Cleaning in between our teeth, using interdental brushes, dental floss, water or air flossers, loosens bacteria and food debris. This allows brushing to be much more successful at removing plaque. Those of us who interdentally clean before brushing are left with a much cleaner mouth than those who do so afterwards. A study by the Oral Health Foundation found that a quarter of us admit to lying to our dentist about our flossing habits!

  1. Be a top brusher

Brushing for two minutes last thing at night and at one other time during the day with fluoride toothpaste is key to maintaining good oral health. Daily brushing is important because it removes plaque. If plaque isn’t removed, it continues to build up, feeding on the bits of food left behind and causing tooth decay and gum disease.

  1. Spit it out – but don’t rinse!

After brushing, we should spit out the toothpaste. Don’t be tempted to rinse because this washes away the fluoride, which continues to help protect the teeth.

  1. Don’t be a dummy with diet

Diet can play a big part in our oral health. Eating sugary foods and drinking fizzy drinks both damage our teeth and leave them vulnerable to erosion and decay. Avoid snacking as this leads to more acid attacks on our teeth. Instead, keep sugar consumption to meal times only.

  1. Don’t skip seeing your dentist

Despite the clear benefits of regular dental visits, as many as 27% only visit the dentist when they have a problem. By having regular appointments, your dentist and hygienist can help maintain a healthy mouth and keep oral disease at bay.

Unhurried, calm dental care

We want our patients from across Botley, Hedge End, Bishops Waltham, Winchester and the wider Hampshire community to have faith and confidence in their teeth, have their concerns and problems fixed and enjoy predictable results for their treatment. If that’s the kind of dental care you think you’d enjoy, then please contact us for more information.

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Do your teeth work properly?

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If we had a bad toothache, we would book an emergency appointment to see our dentist. But if we have lost a back tooth or have a twinge on one side of our mouth, we often accommodate this by chewing on the other side or choosing different foods.

At Oakwood Dental Practice in Botley, we saw a new patient recently who was aged in her 50s, had lost several back teeth and had a failing bridge. She hadn’t eaten a juicy steak for years and took so long chewing her food with her front teeth that her tea was cold by the time she had finished.

The psychological impact was causing her to avoid going out for meals with her friends and she felt so embarrassed by the state of her teeth that she covered her mouth when she spoke. Does this sound familiar to you?

Unhurried, calm dental care

Our aim is for our patients to have faith and confidence in their teeth, have their concerns and problems resolved and enjoy predictable results from their treatment. We want them to feel proud to show off their smiles – not hide them behind their hands or smile with their lips tightly shut.

We promise to listen

Grethe Louw and her team make a conscious effort to give our patients all the time, space and opportunity they need to let us know about any concerns they may have about their teeth, mouth or gums.

At our practice on the High Street you will experience first class dentistry with a focus on prevention, education and attention to detail. Our small, friendly team takes pride in its personal service and gentle, meticulous dentistry that reassures patients of all ages.

With us you are assured of a warm welcome and top-notch dental care. We allow plenty of time for our appointments so that patients do not feel rushed.

We genuinely care

Our personal, professional care and attention is open to patients of all ages and will provide you and your family with a lovely, reassuring service.

If that’s the kind of dental care you think you’d enjoy, then please contact us. The door to dental practice in Botley is always open to new patients from Southampton, Hedge End, Bishops Waltham and across Hampshire, so please get in touch to find out more.