Posts from April 2020

As we have been in lockdown for some time I wanted to contact you personally on behalf of all of us at the practice. 
As a close team we continue to care for everyone within the government guidelines so please if you need us we are here: 
T: 01246 230 230 
It’s not just the care of your mouth we all miss but we all miss talking to you and hearing about your life. 
I am thinking mostly of those of you living alone or isolating and if you feel lonely and find it hard to cope please reach out on our on call number. o drop us a line by email. One of us will be happy to chat…..we aren’t mental health professionals but we are a kindly voice. 
When this cloud passes we will look forward to serving you as before and our team is undertaking academic and professional development to make us the best we can for you. 
With every best wish from the whole team 
As I finish the last hot cross bun and recycle the empty chocolate egg boxes, there is a silent promise to myself to be good, eat less, exercise more and all that! I know my neighbours are the same, we have started a WhatsApp group chat to try and encourage each other. If we are straying or losing motivation someone is there to help with either words of encouragement or words to diminish that bit of guilt. Amongst all that is going on with this pandemic, it’s lovely how people have come together to support each other in so many different ways. 
I have enrolled for the NHS volunteer responders so am looking forward to helping out whenever I can, it may be a telephone chat to someone who is feeling lonely and isolated, it may be delivering shopping or medication, I will wait and see and let you know how I get on. 
Hopefully you have had a lovely Easter, we were lucky enough to have some nice weather so I enjoyed doing some jobs in the garden and plenty of relaxing. I must say though, I am missing the loved ones I can’t see, it seems like such a long time ago that I saw most of them. 
However, I am learning to get on with it like millions of people out there. I know that during these last few weeks having some kind of routine some really helps me. I’m in danger of boring you now, but here goes….. 
I tend to get up early and go for a run (it’s definitely less than the hour I’m permitted because I’m not that fit yet), get home and showered, I don’t really do breakfast, so just a cuppa, catch up on emails and watch the news. 
Most days at midday Christopher, Denise and I have a video meeting to discuss work related topics. We share the latest news or developments in the dental world, especially those related to the pandemic and the best way we can provide an ongoing service for our patients. Changes are happening on a daily basis so it’s good to discuss these as a team and share what we have learnt through webinars and reading the latest guidance. 
I know the rest of the staff are working on their own continuing professional development and that is giving them a great deal of focus. We will all be armed with the latest knowledge when we return to the workplace. In the meantime, we are all working away behind the scenes. 
My afternoon may be a little more work based and then I start thinking about food! And what will I cook that evening? I have been enjoying cooking more and more and luckily having two sons in lockdown has meant the food is gratefully received. I am, however, trying to avoid baking sweet treats for obvious reasons, come on, I am a dentist! 
And this moves me nicely onto some diet advise! 
Many of us will have had changes in our routine and are spending more time at home. It’s much easier to keep snacking and reaching for sweet treats, and I know I have to work hard at stopping myself and my boys from doing. From an oral health point of view, sticking to eating at meal times will certainly lower your risk of tooth decay as you won’t constantly be changing the acid levels in your mouth. I understand many of you may prefer to have smaller more frequent meals. This is fine, however, it’s wise to try and consume the sugary foods in maybe one or two meals rather than space these out throughout the day. It’s all about reducing the frequency of acid attack on your teeth which will lower your risk of tooth decay. 
For those of you who suffer from a dry mouth due to a health condition or certain medications, it is particularly important to reduce your sugar intake. Having a reduced salivary flow means you are less likely to neutralise the acids that cause tooth decay. Taking regular sips of water can benefit you as well as having excellent oral hygiene and using a fluoride toothpaste. After brushing remember to spit out excess toothpaste but don’t rinse with water as the fluoride in the toothpaste will help protect your teeth. 
Even if you don’t have a dry mouth, the following advise applies: 
Between meals try and avoid fizzy drinks and fruit juices. Diluted sugar free drinks are not completely safe and if you do drink them make sure you dilute them one part fruit drink to 10 parts water. 
Sugar free chewing gum is a good way to stimulate saliva and neutralise acids in the mouth after eating. 
I think the link below is quite useful if you want to read a little more on the subject. 
Thank you for reading. I do hope you are keeping well and staying safe. We are always here for you. Just email us at We’d love to hear from you, even if it’s to let us know how you are getting on. We really are missing you! 
If you need any urgent advice or care during normal practice hours, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, please telephone the practice on 01246 230230 where you will be given the emergency on-call dentist telephone number. It will be either Christopher or I on the other end, we would be happy to give you advice on any problems you may be having, or simply just have a chat. 
Keep safe and keep smiling. 
I don’t know about everyone else but I’m still at the stage where I wake up and wonder if this is all just a bad dream. Unfortunately, I soon realise it’s not and I am yet again faced with a rather different day to my norm. 
The only slight similarity was when I had my first baby and life changed dramatically, however, at least I had nine months to prepare for it and there was bundle of joy somewhere amongst it all! 
I certainly wasn’t prepared for this. 
As most of you will be aware the Government’s advice for dental practices is to delay all routine dental procedures and provide telephone advice and remote prescribing where indicated. Anyone requiring urgent care which cannot be dealt with remotely will be referred to an urgent care centre and the local health authority is currently putting these centres in place. For the time being, our advice is to contact us first during normal business hours or call NHS 111 outside of these times. 
I know all of us at the practice sympathise with those of you who may be struggling with dental problems. We miss being able to see you and help you in our usual way but it’s important to follow the government guidance to ensure everybody’s safety. We are working hard in the background to make sure that we can get back to seeing you very soon. Thank you to you all for your continued support and understanding. 
I thought I would write a few posts over the coming days and weeks to try and keep connected with you and maybe try and help with some advice and tips to manage minor non-urgent dental problems at home. 
Also, I may reinforce some basic dental hygiene instruction and diet advice in as non-nagging way as possible! I know it’s Easter time and there are plenty of chocolate eggs to munch through, apparently the supermarkets have no shortages of these. Plus, we all need a treat during difficult times. 
I thought I would start with chipped or broken teeth. This is one of the most common non urgent problems we come across on a day to day basis. 
Chipped or fractured teeth 
Most teeth that fracture tend to already be filled. Either the filling comes out or part of the surrounding tooth breaks. 
Until we can see you at the practice you can follow some simple steps at home to help manage your symptoms 
My tooth is broken and sensitive/painful 
This may be because the fracture is large or deep and close to the nerve in the tooth. It is important to keep the tooth clean, try not to allow food to pack into the area, remove it immediately if it gets stuck. Brush and floss regularly. 
Avoid eating hard or chewy foods, try and keep food to the other side of your mouth. 
Avoid extremely hot or cold beverages. 
If it is safe to do so, take Paracetamol 2 x 500mg every 4-6 hours no more than 8 x 500mg in 24 hours, to help with the pain, do not exceed this dose, please check with your GP if you are unsure if paracetamol is safe for you 
to take 
If it is safe for you to take ibuprofen you can take up to Ibuprofen 1 x 400mg every 4-6 hours no more than 3 x 400mg in 24 hours , again check with your GP if you are unsure whether ibuprofen is safe for you as it can interact with certainother medications you may be taking. Also people who have mild Covid 19 symptoms or are confirmed Covid 19 positive are advised not to take Ibuprofen. 
Lastly, apply a desensitising toothpaste to the affected area, do not rinse off, it can help reduce 
the sensitivity especially if applied last thing at night before you go to sleep. 
My tooth is sharp 
If there is a sharp edge on your tooth which is causing trauma to your tongue or cheek, some bigger pharmacies may have temporary dental filling kits which can be used to cover the sharp area. I understand demand for these kits is high at present and you may not be able to get hold of these, in which case by careful drying the area and applying some soft wax you may achieve a degree of relief. It’s not ideal I know! 
Preventing chipped teeth 
If you have heavily filled or crowned teeth please avoid eating extremely hard brittle food such as boiled sweets/mints, avoid toffees as they are notorious for pulling off crowns. I know they are tempting but just say no! 
Many of you will have a nightguard. One of the causes of chipped/fractured teeth is grinding or clenching during your sleep. This is a particularly stressful time for all of us so it’s even more important to try and put your nightguard in before you go to sleep. 
I think that’s it for my broken teeth blog. 
Hope I have covered it clearly enough. We are more than happy for you to send an email to if you have a problem such as this and want some advice. Please be assured we will arrange an appointment to see you as a priority as soon as we are able to open our doors and welcome you back. 
Thank you for reading, I sincerely hope you stay safe, healthy, positive and importantly stay smiling. Keep looking after your smile and we shall look forward to seeing it very soon. 
Well.... daily routine has changed for us all! What routine I hear you say??? With no set meal times, no school for some, parents working from home, some working extra hours and shifts. It's easy for us all to let normal healthy eating and drinking habits slip. it's still important though to consider the impact of what we are doing on our teeth. And especially our little one's teeth. 
Whilst your children are at home, try to limit the number of fruit juices, smoothies and fizzy drinks they consume. As tasty as they may be, they harm teeth due to their sugar and acid content. 
Swap them for water or milk, which are tooth-friendly. Plus set an example, drink water regularly throughout the day to keep bodies and brains hydrated. 
Denplan have put together a really useful guide to choosing healthy drinks and snacks whilst still keeping it fun. Might be useful...... 
Corona Covid 19 
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, and following advice from the Government and our regulatory bodies, the practice is currently available for urgent care only. 
Urgent care can be defined as: 
• Uncontrolled bleeding following an extraction 
• Facial swelling 
• Pain which is not controlled with your usual painkillers 
• Trauma 
The on-call dentist is available during normal practice opening hours, between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. The telephone number to call for urgent care is 07856 287543. If you would like a video consultation with the dentist, please let the on-call dentist know when you call. 
Outside these hours please telephone NHS 111 for advice. 
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