7 Essential Tips to Maintaining Dental Health Whilst Wearing Braces read more

Proper dental care whilst wearing braces is well worth the effort once the braces come off. This should include:

Rinsing the Mouth

Braces can cause food particles to get stuck in your teeth, wires and brackets. Rinsing after each meal will loosen food particles that might get stuck in the teeth and braces. A fluoride rinse before bed would be best after brushing. This will also help to prevent biofilm and gingivitis, a common problem when wearing braces.

Brushing Regularly

Ensure you use a soft bristled brush or power tooth brush for 2 minutes, the same as normal brushing. You may need to replace the toothbrush a lot sooner as braces tend to wear down the bristles faster. You can also use a special orthodontic brush which is smaller.

Interdental Brushing

This is a small brush that is helpful in cleaning between the teeth and can also be used to clean underneath and around the wire and braces.


Regular and proper flossing is important to maintain dental health in general. Floss threaders can help you get under the brace and remove plaque that is difficult to reach.

Regular Check-Up and Hygiene Appointments

Make sure you see your regular dentist and hygienist every six months for a check-up and thorough clean. This will keep an eye on any areas that need extra attention. Hygienists can remove build-up of plaque in hard to reach places.

Wear a Mouthguard if You Play Sports.

They can protect your cheeks and lips from serious cuts and prevent damage to your braces if you fall over or get hit in the face.

Watch What You Eat

Eating sugary and starchy foods can cause plaque build up around the brackets, which can cause staining, cavities or gum disease. Avoid sticky, chewy foods which can be hard to remove from the braces. Hard foods such as nuts and crusty bread are discouraged as they can break or loosen the brackets. Cut crunchy food such as apples into small bite sized pieces.

If you wish to avoid the above issues removable Aligners such as Invisalign are becoming very popular and worth considering. If you would like further advice please feel free to contact our friendly specialist Orthodontist Ben Cross who does children and adult orthodontics including Invisalign here at the Mayhill on 01600 712020 or email info@themayhill.co.uk.

Overcoming Dental Phobia; A Patients Journey read more

If the thought of going to the dentist causes your heart to race and your hands to sweat you are not alone. Although many will choose to make dental health one of their New Years resolutions, in reality many will give the dentist a miss due to dental anxiety.

I know we have in the past written about dental phobias but I thought it was worth revisiting the topic as it is such a common theme with many patients who come to visit for the first time . The following account of a patient’s personal journey with us here at the Mayhill Dental Centre is very heart felt and thought it worth publishing in the hope that it will help other people overcome their anxiety.

“My husband Peter attended the Mayhill & was treated by Jason. His previous dental experiences had not been satisfactory for a variety of reasons. Jason sorted all the dental problems & since then Peter has had no mouth difficulties at all. For this reason he tried to persuade me to see Jason, who at that point had no idea that I had suffered trauma as a teenager & was terrified of attending the dentist. It took numerous visits to even get inside the Mayhill, from putting my hand on the door handle to walking away. I eventually entered Jason’s surgery with Peter, but had great difficulty even speaking to anyone & ending up in floods of tears, even though I was having no treatment. Jason & his staff were patience personified. He spoke gently, took time, explained & had infinite patience & understanding with me. He did what I consider extensive treatment from crowns to dentures for missing teeth, took numerous measurements of my mouth, photographs, etc with the result being a perfect fit of everything. He did in fact give me back a smile that I don’t remember having since a teenager. Jason changed my life for the better, not only with the dental result but in taking away my fear without the need for medication, but just in his manner & gentleness. How can you ever thank a person for making such a difference to your life. However I do so in saying Thank You Jason so very much.”

B Johns 17/10/2017

So do remember if you have a fear of the dentist you are not alone! Please feel free to call the Mayhill on 01600 712020 for further advice or help.

Why Should We Replace Missing Teeth? read more

Today’s gold standard for tooth replacement is dental implants. A dental implant is a small, titanium alloy screw which is used to surgically replace damaged or missing natural teeth. The implant is placed into the jawbone so that the screw can firmly connect the artificial teeth or any other prosthesis to the jaw. Implants can also be used to support loose, removable dentures.

Prior to dental implants, a partial denture or fixed bridge was the standard approach for tooth replacement. With a fixed bridge, the two teeth on either side of the gap (abutment teeth) are crowned and these support a “pontic” (a false tooth) between them. The biggest disadvantage of this type of treatment is that the abutment teeth are drilled down to accommodate the crowns which can often compromise healthy teeth.

The biggest advantage of dental implants is that they do not affect the integrity of the adjacent teeth. However there must be a sufficient amount of healthy jaw bone to anchor the implant and the adjacent teeth and gums must be healthy. They also have a longer lifespan in comparison to bridgework. To assess the quality and volume of bone we can now use 3D scanners which makes treatment simpler and safer.

Why is replacing missing or lost teeth important in the first place?


Loosing teeth can put an emotional stress on ourselves. We all care about our appearance and how we look and this can affect our confidence both at work and on a personal basis.

Oral Health

Once a tooth is lost, the balance of the entire dental structure is disturbed. The gap can allow the remaining teeth to tilt and shift. This can affect regular chewing and can lead to further problems down the line. If multiple teeth are lost then bone can be lost which can make the face height change.


Chewing can be uncomfortable if missing teeth are replaced with ill fitting dentures. The gum often becomes thin and delicate and the forces developed by the denture can cause ulceration and swelling. Losing the ability to chew food properly can stop you from enjoying a big part of your life.

Why Should We Replace Missing Teeth?

If you would like further advice please feel free to call The Mayhill Dental & Specialist Centre on 01600 712020 or email info@themayhill.co.uk

When Should Your Child Be Seen for An Orthodontic Checkup? read more

This is a frequently asked question by parents of young children. This depends on the dental age of the patient rather than chronological age. Braces are usually associated with teenagers but this isn’t always the case. Treatment can start as early as seven years of age. A good time to have your child assessed by an orthodontist is after the front permanent teeth have erupted into the mouth or if there is extreme crowding of the teeth. Regular visits to the dentist are important as they will be looking out for any problems that might benefit early orthodontic treatment. Any concerns should be referred to an orthodontist.

Early warning signs:

Baby teeth that are lost too early or too late. Most are lost between the age of 5-14.
Thumb sucking; especially if its excessive or carries on beyond the age of 4.
Teeth that don’t bite together properly or stick out.
Speech impediments such as a lisp or slurring
Crowded adult front teeth

Benefits of Early Treatment:

It is important that your dentist keeps a close eye on your child’s development as some problems are treated more efficiently at a young age. As we age our jaw bone stops growing so orthodontic treatment becomes slightly more difficult. By starting early we can guide the jaw bone growth and change their position and width. The alternative solution for adults is tooth removal or surgery. Early intervention can also help make sure there is enough space as the adult teeth start to come through in the correct position.
Front teeth which protrude are very vulnerable to trauma. This is especially the case in young adults who are playing contact sports. Gum shields will reduce but not eliminate the risks. Early treatment to reduce the overjet can reduce the odds of catastrophic trauma to these teeth.

What Does Early Orthodontic Treatment Involve

Wearing a fixed or removable brace although removable is more common. If the child has a small jaw or teeth that stick out your orthodontist might recommend a twin block brace. This is removable and repositions the jaws helping them into the correct position. This is usually followed by a fixed brace.

Referring Children for an Orthodontic Assessment

Your dentist can refer your child directly for a private assessment and treatment at any time for a specialist opinion. If you child has an NHS assessment and qualifies for treatment they may need to join a waiting list before the braces are fitted. This is due to limited funding available on the NHS. Typical waiting lists can be up to 2 years.

If you would like further advice or to arrange an orthodontic assessment please feel free to call 01600 712020 or email info@themayhill.co.uk

Caring for Our Smile as we Age read more

As we age, some people believe that losing their teeth is inevitable. This is a misconception! With proper care your teeth can last a lifetime. There have been huge strides made in technological developments. These modern techniques can extend the life of your teeth preserving function and of course a healthy smile.

Taking Care of Our Gums

As we get older our resistance to infection can reduce. The bacteria that cause gum disease can take advantage of this. Gum disease, not tooth decay is the number one cause of missing teeth in adults. If left untreated it can cause advanced gum disease called periodontitis. Ultimately this can cause bone loss and subsequent tooth loss. Daily brushing, flossing together with regular professional care will help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Some patients need more regular hygiene appointments and perhaps more involved treatment in order to restore and maintain gum health. A periodontist is a specially trained dentist who can help to save teeth which might otherwise seem to be hopeless.

Cutting Down on Wear and Tear

Although teeth are really strong, they can be worn down over time. All the years of chewing, grinding and biting can wear away the enamel-the hard outer layer of the teeth. Avoid chewing ice and other hard foods as they can cause chips in the enamel. There are cosmetic methods available that can improve the appearance of worn teeth such as composite facings and porcelain veneers.

Don’t Let Your Mouth Dry Out

Saliva helps keep teeth clean and protects them from decay. As we get older our mouths get drier and the odds of tooth decay go up. Medication can be to blame. Drink lots of water and hold it in your mouth for a few seconds before you swallow. Chewing sugarless gum can also encourage saliva. Avoid sugary snacks.

Replacing Missing Teeth

Our smile is integral to our health and happiness. Losing teeth diminishes this and most importantly function. The way we talk and eat affect the way we feel about ourselves. Loose dentures can now be a thing of the past. Technological advancements such as dental implants can now give you fixed teeth. This can subtract years off your age and add to your confidence and health. The ability to eat all foods is life enriching!

Straighter Teeth

Age should be no barrier to having straight teeth. Crooked teeth can be difficult to clean and this can often lead to tooth decay. Modern, discreet and often invisible braces can move teeth quickly to help you achieve a great smile.

It’s never too late to achieve a beautiful smile. Age gives us the time and ability to pursue our own interests and passions. Take this opportunity to invest in your smile and enjoy the positive effect that it will have on your life!

Please feel free to call the Mayhill Dental & Specialist Centre for further advice on 01600 712020 or email info@themayhill.co.uk

Fear of The Dentist? read more

Dental Anxiety is one of the most common phobias in the world with nearly a third of all adults disliking the dentist and 1 in 10 of us having a phobia so strong that we actually avoid visiting the dentist. A phobia is an intense, unreasonable fear. People with dental phobias often put off routine care for years or even decades. To avoid it they will put up with gum disease, pain and even broken teeth.

Overcoming Mild Dental Anxiety

This is discomfort and nervousness as opposed to fear or panic.

Talking to your dentist

This is the first step to overcoming dental fear. With a combination of kindness and gentleness, dentists can do a lot to make dental treatment stress free.

Practicing Breathing techniques

Controlled breathing relaxes the body and shifts the mind to other things. This simply involves inhaling and exhaling through the nose for a slow count of three.

Painless Treatment

Needle phobias can be overcome through painless treatment. Advances in technology has also improved dentistry. Treatment can now be pain free. The dental wand ( a computerised injection system that looks like a pen and delivers anaesthetic very slowly so it is painless) is great for anyone with needle phobia. A numbing gel can also be used to numb the gums before an injection so you don’t feel the needle.

Overcoming Severe Dental Anxiety

This is a psychological phobia that is less due to nerves and more due to fears. We can potentially overcome severe dental anxiety in a few ways:

Counselling: This is free on the NHS for severe phobias and helps hundreds of people. There is also a wide number of support networks such as DentalFearCentral

Sedation: This may prove one of the best solutions for severe sufferers of dental anxiety, giving you a better chance of visiting the dentist again! There are different types of sedation available. The simplest is oral sedation which is a tablet you swallow an hour before treatment. You will still be awake and aware of what is happening around you but you will also be drowsy and more relaxed. There is also the option of intravenous sedation. This is an injection which is administered into the back of the hand. You will still be awake, however you will be in a deeply relaxed state and may not remember what happened afterwards.

Here at the Mayhill Dental Centre we provide gentle and caring dentistry with the options of the dental wand and sedation. If you would like further advice or just a chat please feel free to call us on 01600 712020 or email info@themayhill.co.uk

Is Bad Breath Making you Miserable? read more

Bad breath or halitosis is a common problem that can affect anyone at any age. About one in four people are thought to have bad breath. A new study published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene looked at the impact of bad breath in relation to people’s quality of life and on average found that people who suffer from bad breath were found to be less confident as those who didn’t. Individuals who suffer from bad breath say that it can have a negative impact on them psychologically in areas such as communication and self -esteem.
Getting rid of bad breath is relatively easy to achieve. It is a common problem and there are many different causes, it’s not always down to what you have just eaten! A simple test to find out if you have bad breath is to lick the inside of your wrist with the back of your tongue and wait a few seconds until the saliva dries. If the wrist smells unpleasant the its likely the breath will too.

Causes of Bad Breath

  • Smelly gases released by bacteria that coat the teeth, gums and tongue.
  • Food trapped between teeth can rot and cause an unpleasant smell.
  • Gum disease and tooth decay are caused by the same bacteria that causes halitosis. Having bad breath all the time or a bad taste in your mouth are warning signs of gum disease.
  • Poor oral hygiene.
  • Smoking and chewing tobacco.
  • Dry mouth (also called xerostoma) can also cause bad breath. Saliva is necessary to moisten the mouth, neutralize acids produced by plaque and wash away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums and cheeks. If not removed they decompose and cause bad breath. Dry mouth can also be a side effect of various medications, salivary gland problems or continuous breathing through the mouth.

Preventing Bad Breath

  • Good oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and don’t forget to brush the tongue as well! Replace toothbrush every 2 to 3 months and use floss or interdental cleaners to remove food particles once a day. Dentures should be removed at night and cleaned thoroughly.
  • Mouth wash or sugar free chewing gum which can stimulate saliva which washes away food particles and bacteria.
  • See a dentist and hygienist regularly.

Who Treats Bad Breath?

In most cases your dentist can treat bad breath. If the bad breath is not of oral origin, you may be referred to your doctor. If the odour is due to gum disease then you could be referred to a periodontist who treats gum conditions.
Please feel free to call the Mayhill Dental Centre on 01600 712020 or email info@themayhill.co.uk for further information or advice.

Periodontist Joins the Mayhill Dental & Specialist Centre read more

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Jim Dufty will be joining us as an associate in March 2017. Jim has a special interest in periodontics and has had many years of experience treating these conditions successfully. Jim has a realistic approach and will do whatever he can to save the natural dentition. This would include hard and soft tissue grafting where appropriate.

He will take referrals for perio and restorative patients and will provide a full range of both non-surgical and surgical treatments. He has published internationally and continues to be involved with dental postgraduate education, working with King’s College London’s Prosthodontic and Aesthetic Dentistry distance learning programs in both teaching and advisory roles.

What is a Periodontist?

A periodontist is a dentist who specialises (or who has a special interest) in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease (gum disease). They are experts in the treatment of inflammation in the tissues and bone surrounding the teeth.

What are the causes of Periodontitis?

The causes of periodontal disease are primarily focused on the body’s response to bacterial insult, but also include family history, poor oral hygiene, bacterial dental plaque, diabetes and smoking. There is growing evidence researching the link between periodontitis and diabetes, heart disease and other systemic disease. It is therefore important to treat periodontitis not just for oral health but potentially for general health too.

Periodontal disease can lead to the loss of attachment of the supporting tissues of the tooth, e.g. the gum, connecting tissues and bone that support the teeth. Common periodontal conditions are gingivitis and periodontitis which are both caused by plaque or what is known as bacterial biofilm. Dental plaque is the sticky film that forms on the teeth and contains bacteria.

What are the symptoms of gum disease?

Severe periodontitis affects 10-15 percent of the population and is inflammation which extends to form a pocket between the tooth and infected gums. It may be symptomless but symptoms include swollen red or bleeding gums, over sensitive teeth or bad breath. Advanced signs may include abscesses, loose teeth and eventually tooth loss. It can also lead to receding gums which exposes more of the root, which can heighten sensitivity. 

When should you see a periodontist?

If your dentist has diagnosed periodontal disease or there is a problem with your gums then a referral to a periodontist would be advisable. If left untreated it can destroy the bone and tissue that surround the teeth. Your dentist may also refer you to try to replace lost gum tissue and for crown lengthening to improve appearance. 

If you would like any further advice please call the Mayhill Dental Centre on 01600 712020 or email info@themayhill.co.uk

7 Things Smoking is Doing to Your Mouth read more

We are all aware that smoking is bad for our health, causing a vast variety of medical conditions. The estimation is that 96,000 people die from smoking related diseases and half of all regular smokers will eventually be killed by their addiction. Many of us do not realise the damage that smoking causes to our mouths:

1) Gum Disease and Tooth Loss
Smoking severely affects the tissue in the gums which makes them vulnerable to infection. This can lead to bone loss in the jaw which holds the teeth in place. Bone loss can eventually lead to tooth loss.

2) Bacterial Growth
Smoking results in increased build up of bacteria or plaque which can lead to decay and cavities. Plaque can also affect tissues supporting the roots of the teeth and weaken the bone.

3) Mouth Cancer
There are thousands of chemicals in every cigarette which can cause cancer in the mouth. Smoking transforms saliva into a deadly cocktail that damages cells in the mouth and can turn them cancerous. Smoking causes roughly 2 in every 3 mouth cancers.

4) Yellow Teeth
The tar and nicotine in tobacco can make your teeth yellow in a short space of time. Heavy smokers complain their teeth are almost brown!

5) Smokers Breath
“Smokers Breath” is one of the first problems you develop when smoking. Cigarettes leave smoke particles lingering in the mouth, throat and lungs.

6) Spotty Mouth
Smoking can cause white or grey patches on the tongue, cheek or floor of the mouth known as leukoplakia. This happens due to the irritation of the soft tissues inside the mouth due to smoking. If you are a smoker you should cut down on sugary food and drink, brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and visit the dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.

If you notice any changes inside your mouth speak to your dentist straight away. They will be able to provide you with smoking cessation advice. For further advice please feel free to call us on 01600 712020 or email info@themayhill.co.uk

New Year New Smile! read more

A surprising 42% of British people wish they could change the appearance of their teeth. A quarter of people feel so conscious of their smile, they avoid smiling altogether! Don’t let your smile affect your confidence, find out what your options could be, you will be amazed at the advances in dentistry. The treatments now offered to patients are far more sophisticated and in many cases non-invasive. We can straighten teeth discreetly and quickly and make cosmetic improvements through composites, veneers or crowns.

Teeth straightening is becoming very popular with adults, irrespective of age. The barrier preventing patients from getting braces is usually the visibility of a brace. Traditional braces can bring back bad memories for those who wore them in their teenage years; the dreaded train tracks! However, there have been huge strides in developing modern, discreet and invisible braces which can take half the conventional treatment time. These advanced methods now mean that you no longer have to grin and bear it.

There are a number of new techniques which are becoming popular. Ceramic braces are clear brackets which attach to the teeth. Tooth coloured wires are also used to make the braces more discreet. Although this brace is not invisible it is far more discreet than traditional metal braces. The length of treatment is also much quicker than conventional braces.

Incognito braces (lingual) are fitted to the back of the teeth and are therefore invisible. The slight disadvantage is that it can cause a temporary lisp and treatment can often take a little longer.

Invisalign could be the solution if you don’t like the idea of fixed braces. This innovative technology allows you to have custom made aligners (similar to very thin mouth guards) that are replaced every couple of weeks as the teeth gradually move into the correct position. They are made out of clear plastic and are barely noticeable. You do however need to wear them at all times apart from eating. Treatment times can vary between 9-15 months depending on the level of crowding which is a little longer than conventional treatment.
Our website has great examples of cases we have treated.

If you would like any further advice or information, including flexible payment plans please feel free to call the Mayhill Dental Centre on 01600 712020, our website www.themayhill.co.uk or email info@themayhill.co.uk.