The following is a list of our most frequently-asked questions. If you have a question you think should appear on this list then please Contact Us.
Should I be using an electric toothbrush?
An electric toothbrush, when used properly, will give a far superior clean than a manual toothbrush. The most important factor is, whichever product you use, it must be used properly and for a sufficient time to achieve good results. Many people think an electric toothbrush is a quick fix and reduces daily brushing time. This is not the case and care and attention must be paid, whichever brush you choose. Please ensure, when purchasing any type of brush, that you choose a quality product and replace your brush heads regularly (every three months or sooner if necessary).
There are so many toothpastes out there, which one should I use?
All toothpastes these days are designed to offer optimal results. Some toothpastes suit individual needs, such as sensitive teeth and stain removal, while others are good general toothpastes. We would recommend most people use a fluoride toothpaste to help fight tooth decay and the majority of toothpastes will contain this ingredient. Please be careful when using stain removing or whitening toothpastes as they can be quite abrasive, leading to tooth surface damage long term.
How often should I floss?
The answer to this is every day. We acknowledge that most people don't floss this regularly, but we strongly advise you to put the effort in now to reap the benefits in the future. By removing debris and plaque on a daily basis you can drastically reduce your chances of future problems and tooth decay. Most people are familiar with dental floss, although this may not be the most suitable product for you. We would generally recommend dental sticks or interdental brushes as a better alternative to floss. Your dentist or hygienist can advise you which product is best, based on your individual needs.
My teeth are fine, do I really need a check up?
Regular check-ups are vital to maintain good oral health. Even if your teeth and gums are in excellent condition now, they could deteriorate for any number of reasons.The majority of people also overestimate the health of their mouths and many problems remain symptomless for some time. Maintaining check-ups will ensure any problems are caught in their early stages and potentially cost less time and money to put right.
Why have you advised me to introduce my child to "minty" toothpaste?
It is a good idea to train your child away from fruity flavoured toothpastes as soon as possible. This ensures they grow to enjoy the minty taste of toothpaste as they grow older, rather then reject it and avoid toothbrushing. We also believe that fruity toothpastes encourage children to enjoy the "sweet" tastes we, as dentists, would rather they keep to a minimum.
How many sweets is OK?
There is no doubt almost all children love sweets and sugary drinks. While the occasional treat (once a week) is OK we would certainly discourage any parent from offering their child sweets and sugary drinks on a daily basis. Please be aware that many foods and drinks contain "hidden" sugars (milkshake powders, popular breakfast cereals) and could affect your child's teeth as well as their overall health. Frequency is key here and teeth are more likely to suffer if they are regulary under attack, with little time to recover. To minimise the risk of tooth decay we would advise you to keep sugar consumption to a minimum and at mealtimes. There is some evidence that eating cheese can reduce acid levels in the mouth after sugar consumption.
I have been advised only to give my child juice at mealtimes. Why is this?
Drinking juice at mealtimes reduces its effect of its acidity on the teeth, (acid erodes teeth). We advise children do not drink juice or sugary drinks from sports bottles or straws as it prolongs contact with the teeth.
When will my child lose its first tooth?
A child will generally lose its first tooth around six years of age. This is more than likely to be one of the bottom, front two teeth.
Will sugar-free fizzy drinks rot my teeth too?
Although sugar-free drinks are preferable they are high in acidity and can cause tooth erosion.
My teeth are stained due to childhood antibiotics. Can you whiten them?
Childhood intake of antibiotics such as tetracyclines can affect the colour of adult teeth before they come through. At Solent House Dental Centre we can offer professional tooth whitening for people affected by this condition, although it can take longer to achieve optimum results. If you are interested in removing colouring and staining please call and enquire about our free 10-minute consultations.
What treatments do Hollywood stars have done to get the perfect smile?
A-list celebrities often turn to bleaching, veneers and orthodontics to achieve their perfect smiles.
I want to straighten my teeth but I don't want "train tracks", is there an alternative?
For those who do not wish to wear traditional-style braces there is an alternative, although it is not suitable for all cases. Please contact us for further information.
Will I always have to wear a retainer?
After prolonged orthodontic treatment many people are surprised to find they have to wear a "retainer" for sometime after their braces are removed. Although some people will always retain their perfectly straight teeth naturally, others may find their teeth move fairly quickly due to other factors within the mouth, jaw and face structure. At Solent House we prefer to hold teeth permanently with a thin, discreet wire that fits behind the teeth.
My dentures are rubbing, what should I do?
New dentures may well pinch a little. If this is the case we would advise you alternate between wearing your old dentures and your new dentures to help your mouth to heal while it adjusts. Under no circumstances should you continually wear pinching dentures thinking they need to "settle in" as this can cause extreme gum irritation. If you your new dentures continue to cause problems, please contact us.
As the structure of the mouth changes, the fit if your dentures may be less comfortable. Dentures should be checked every 2 - 3 years, or if they become loose.
If you have any other concerns about your dentures we are here to help.
Will biting my nails ruin my teeth?
Nail biting is extremely damaging to the teeth and is one of the major causes of worn teeth. If you feel that biting your nails has caused wear and damage to your teeth then you may benefit from composite bonding or veneers.
How can I prevent my teeth from staining?
Regular and correct brushing will help keep stains from building up on your teeth. Cutting down on certain foods, such as coffee and red wine will also help. Of course, smoking is perhaps the most common cause of staining.
If you find staining tends to build up between visits then occasional use of a smoker's toothpaste will help control it.
How can you make my treatment more comfortable?
Before any procedures that require "numbing" of the mouth and gums take place your dentist should first apply an anaesthetic paste to prepare the mouth for its first injections. When this first injection takes effect, the dentist will issue further injections as needed. Administering anaesthetic bit-by-bit this way ensures as little discomfort as possible at every stage of your treatment.
I am so scared of visiting the dentist I sometimes cancel my appointment, can you help?
We are sorry to hear you feel nervous about visiting the dentist. At Solent House we pride ourselves in our friendly approach and professional manner and we understand that for some, visiting the dentist is not as easy to do as it should be. If you are concerned about your visits there are ways of managing your worries. Please talk to your dentist or contact us for further information.
Can I buy dental insurance?
We can treat you under Denplan. Please contact us to learn more. You may also find that your place of work offers access to a dental plan.
Does tooth whitening hurt?
Tooth whitening or bleaching is a routine and painless procedure. Some people may find they have sensitivity of the teeth during and/or after treatment, but this will quickly dissipate. If you are prone to sensitive teeth then you may use a desensitising toothpaste in the run-up to your treatment.
Can you stop me grinding my teeth?
Tooth grinding cannot be stopped, but there are ways of managing it. Your dentist can prescribe a tooth guard to use at times when you are prone to grinding, such as night time or times of stress.
My breath always smells, can you help?
Bad breath can be caused by a number of reasons. The most common solution to treating bad breath is improving oral hygiene. All mouths will benefit from regular tongue scraping to remove bacterial build up. A special and inexpensive product can be bought for this.
Sometimes digestive problems can be the cause of bad breath. If your dentist believes this is the case he/she willl refer you back to your GP.
I have crowns/veneers/bridges, can I have my teeth whitened?
We cannot whiten veneers crowns or bridges. We can, however, apply a new veneer to match the colour of your teeth. Veneers can also be applied over crowns and bridges for the same effect.
I am pregnant, why is it important to take extra care of my teeth?
During pregnancy the gums are more prone to infection and inflammation. This is because the hormones released to help your baby grow and help you through your pregnancy can soften and loosen the gums, making them more prone to invasion from bacteria and plaque. It is very important you visit the dentist during your pregnancy to ensure your oral health is good.
I have a medical condition, do I have to disclose it before treatment?
We strongly request you disclose ANY medical condition before treatment or check ups with us. As a new patient you will be required to disclose any conditions on our enrolment form. If you are an existing patient and you have any changes in your health then please do not forget to inform us.
It is also very important you tell us of any medications you may be taking, even herbal medications, as there may be important implications for dental treatment.
When should my child have its first dental check up?
You can start bringing your child along to your check-ups to get them used to visiting the dentist. Your child will need its first check-up by approximately two years of age.
Can I get the same results if I buy a tooth-whitening kit off the high street?
The answer to this is no. Not only will you fail to achieve the same results, you may also cause damage to your teeth and gums. Your dentist will prescribe you with a perfectly-moulded and well-fitting tray to ensure bleach is distributed evenly. At-home kits fail to protect the gums adequately and may also damage your tooth enamel. In addition, the poorly-fitting trays in at-home kits can cause unpredictable results.