It can’t be easy for you if you suffer from nerves whenever you attend an appointment with your dentist in the Downpatrick area. It can be really hard to settle and stop fidgeting in the chair. More over, it can also make it very difficult for your dentist to get to work on you. The only way to get the best dental treatment you need is to build that realtionship between yourself and your dentist and the best way of doing this is to talk about what it is that makes you nervous. Get to the bottom of this and it will give your dentist a better idea of how to calm you down before being treated. Some surgeries employ aromatherapy in their waiting rooms, but your dentist also has a few tricks when you finally sit down in the chair; there are many sedatives you can take in order to calm you down, some local anaesthetics will stop any pain during procedures. If you are really nervous about a difficult treatment, you can ask to be put under completely. However, by doing a little research beforehand, you will find that modern dental techniques cause very little discomfort. Talking things through can be very therapeutic, so why not give Mullan Gallagher Dental Care a call and have a chat, as we serve the Downpatrick area and can help with top-notch advice about your nervous disposition. We can offer both Relative Analgesia and IV Sedation for certain treatments on request.
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May the Road Rise to Meet You
May the wind be at your back
May your days be filled with sunshine
And your teeth be free from plaque!
We wish all our patients and friends a very happy St Patricks Day!!!
When should I take my child to the dentist?
It is recommended that children should go to the dentist with their parents as soon as possible. You should then take them regularly, as often as your dental team recommend. This will let them get used to the noises, smells and surroundings and prepare them for future visits. The earlier these visits start, the more relaxed the children will be.
When will my child’s teeth appear?
First (or ‘baby’ or ‘milk’) teeth usually start to appear when your child is around 6 months old. All 20 baby teeth should appear by the age of 2.
The first permanent ‘adult’ molars (back teeth) will appear at about 6 years, before the first baby teeth start to fall out at about 6 to 7. The permanent ‘adult’ teeth will then replace the ‘baby’ teeth. It is usually the lower front teeth that are lost first, followed by the upper front teeth shortly after. All permanent teeth should be in place by the age of 13, except the ‘wisdom’ teeth. These may appear any time between 18 and 25 years of age.
All children are different and develop at different rates.
How should I clean my child’s teeth?
Cleaning your child’s teeth should be part of their daily hygiene routine.
- You may find it easier to stand or sit behind your child, cradling their chin in your hand so you can reach their top and bottom teeth more easily.
- When the first teeth start to appear, try using a toothbrush designed for children, with a small smear of fluoride toothpaste.
- It is important to supervise your child’s brushing until they are at least seven.
- Once all the teeth have appeared, use a toothbrush with a small head and soft bristles in small, circular movements and try to concentrate on one section at a time.
- Don’t forget to brush gently behind the teeth and onto the gums.
- If possible, make brushing a routine – just before your child goes to bed and at least one other time during the day.
- Remember to encourage your child, as praise will often get results!
Should I use fluoride toothpaste?
Your teeth can get fluoride in a number of different ways, including from toothpaste, specific fluoride applications and perhaps the drinking water in your area. These can all help to prevent tooth decay. If you are unsure about how much fluoride you need in your toothpaste ask us. You can check the level of fluoride on the packaging of the toothpaste. Children should be supervised when brushing up to the age of 7. You should make sure that they do not rinse but spit out the toothpaste, and that they don’t swallow any if possible. This way the fluoride stays in the mouth for longer and will be more effective.
What sort of brush should children use?
There are many different types of children’s toothbrushes, including brightly coloured brushes, some that change colour, some with favourite characters on the handle, and some with a timer. These all encourage children to brush their teeth. The most important thing is to use a small-headed toothbrush with soft, nylon bristles, suitable for the age of your child.
Using a power toothbrush can help to make brushing fun and make sure your child brushes for the correct amount of time.
What could cause my child to have toothache?
Toothache is painful and upsetting, especially in children, and the main cause is tooth decay. This is due to too much sugar, too often, in the diet.
Teething is another problem. It starts at around 6 months, and it can continue when the adult teeth start to appear. If your child needs pain relief, make sure you choose a sugar-free medicine. If the pain continues then contact your dental team for an appointment. Remember to check with your doctor or pharmacist that you are being prescribed sugar-free medicines at all times.
How can I prevent tooth decay in my child?
The main cause of tooth decay is not the amount of sugar or acid in the diet, but how often it is eaten or drunk. The more often your child has sugary or acidic foods or drinks, the more likely they are to have decay. So it is important to have sugary and acidic foods just at mealtimes. If you want to give your child a snack, try to stick to cheese, vegetables and fruit. Try to limit how much dried fruit you give as it is high in sugar and can stick to the teeth.
Don’t give them drinks containing sugars, including fruit juices, between meals. Give them water or milk instead. For babies, don’t add sugar to their drinks, or to foods when you introduce them to solids.
It is also worth remembering that some processed baby foods contain quite a lot of sugar. Try checking the list of ingredients: the higher up the list sugar is, the more there is in the product. Generally anything ending in ‘ose’ is a sugar, for example: fructose, glucose, lactose or sucrose. Thorough brushing with a fluoride toothpaste last thing at night, and at least one other time during the day, will help to prevent tooth decay.
What if my child is very nervous about going to the dentist?
Children can sense fear in their parents, so it is important not to let your child feel that a visit to the dental team is something to be worried about. Try to be supportive if your child needs to have any dental treatment. If you have any fears of your own about going to the dentist, don’t let your child hear you talk about them.
Regular visits to the dental team are essential in helping your child get used to the surroundings and what happens there. A child can be much more anxious if it is their first visit to a dental practice. Pain and distress can happen at any time and it is important to prepare your child with regular visits.
What is tooth decay?
Tooth decay happens when the enamel and dentine of a tooth become softened by acid attack after you have eaten or drunk anything containing sugars. Over time, the acid makes a cavity (hole) in the tooth. ‘Dental decay’ is the same as tooth decay and is also known as ‘dental caries’.
What causes dental decay?
Dental decay is caused by plaque acids that gradually dissolve away the enamel and dentine of the tooth. Decay damages your teeth and may lead to the tooth needing to be filled or even taken out.
What is enamel?
Enamel is the hard, protective outer coating of the tooth and is the hardest part of the body. It does not contain any nerves or blood vessels and is not sensitive to pain.
What is dentine?
Dentine lies under the enamel, forming most of the tooth, and it can be very sensitive to pain. Dentine covers the central ‘pulp’ of the tooth.
What is the pulp?
The pulp is a soft tissue which contains blood vessels and nerves and is in the middle of the tooth.
What is plaque?
Plaque is a thin, sticky film that keeps forming on your teeth. It contains many types of bacteria.
Why do my teeth decay?
Decay happens when sugars in food and drinks react with the bacteria in plaque, forming acids. Every time you eat or drink anything containing sugars, these acids attack the teeth and start to soften and dissolve the enamel. The attacks can last for an hour after eating or drinking, before the natural salts in your saliva cause the enamel to ‘remineralise’ and harden again. It’s not just sugars that are harmful: other types of carbohydrate foods and drinks react with plaque and form acids. (These are the ‘fermentable’ carbohydrates: for example ‘hidden sugars’ in processed food, natural sugars like those in fruit, and cooked starches.) Always check the ingredients. Generally anything with ‘ose’ in the name is a sugar, for example: sucrose, maltose and so on.
Having sugary or acidic snacks and drinks between meals can increase the risk of decay, because your teeth come under constant attack and do not have time to recover. It is therefore important not to keep having sugary snacks or sipping sugary drinks throughout the day.
What are the signs of dental decay?
In the early stages of dental decay there are no symptoms, but we may be able to spot a cavity in its early stages when we examine or x-ray your teeth. This is why you should visit your dentist regularly, as small cavities are much easier to treat than advanced decay.
What happens if I have a cavity?
Once the cavity has reached the dentine your tooth may become sensitive, particularly when you have sweet foods and drinks, and acidic or hot foods.
As the decay gets near the dental pulp you may suffer from toothache. If the toothache is brought on by hot or sweet foods this may last for only a few seconds. As the decay gets closer to the dental pulp the pain may last longer and you may need to take painkillers – paracetamol or ibuprofen – to control the pain. You must visit us straight away as the tooth is dying, and you may develop a dental abscess if it is not treated.
What happens if I don’t get it treated early?
Toothache is a sign that you should visit your dentist straight away, as it is a warning that something is wrong. If you don’t do anything, this will usually make matters worse and you may lose a tooth that could otherwise have been saved.
What areas of my teeth are more likely to decay?
The biting surfaces of the teeth and the surfaces between the teeth are most likely to decay, because food and plaque can become stuck in these areas. But any part of the tooth can be at risk.
What treatment will I need?
If the decay is not too serious, your dentist will remove all the decay and repair the tooth with a filling. Sometimes the nerve in the middle of the tooth can be damaged. If so, the dentist will need to carry out root canal treatment by removing the nerve and then repairing the tooth with a filling or a crown. If the tooth is so badly decayed that it cannot be repaired, the dentist may have to take the tooth out.
Will I always need a filling?
No. In the very early stages of decay, your dental team may apply a fluoride varnish onto the area. This can help stop more decay and help ‘remineralise’ the tooth. However, it is important to follow the cleaning routine your dental team suggest, using a fluoride toothpaste to prevent decay starting again.
Is there anything I can do to protect my teeth against decay?
As each of the adult molars (back teeth) appears, and if the tooth is free from decay, a ‘pit and fissure sealant‘ can be used to protect the tooth. The sealant is a plastic coating that fills all the little crevices in the tooth surface, creating a flat surface that is easier to clean. Adults can also have this treatment if the teeth are free from decay. Your dental team will discuss whether this is right for you. Children can also have fluoride varnishes painted onto their teeth twice a year which will help to reduce the chances of decay.
What can I do to prevent decay?
The best way to prevent dental decay is by brushing your teeth thoroughly last thing at night and at least one other time during the day, with a fluoride toothpaste. Make sure that you brush the inner, outer and biting surfaces of your teeth. Using ‘interdental’ brushes, or dental floss or tape, also helps to remove plaque and food from between your teeth and where they meet the gums. These are areas an ordinary toothbrush can’t reach.
Is there anything else I can do?
Visit us regularly, as often as every 6 months with the dentist or more regularly with the hygienist if required. Have sugary and acidic food and drinks less often. Avoid having snacks between meals, to limit the number of times your teeth are under attack from acids.
Chewing sugar-free gum for up to twenty minutes after a meal can help your mouth produce more saliva, which helps to cancel out any acids that have formed.
How can my dentist and hygienist help me prevent decay?
Our dental team will show you what areas you need to take most care of when cleaning. They will also show you how to brush correctly and clean in between your teeth with ‘interdental’ brushes or floss.
If you need any dental hygiene advice or tips on how to get the best out of your cleaning routine, contact us to make an appointment and we will be delighted to help.
This month between 15th May and 15th June our practice will once again be supporting National Smile Month. So, what is it all about exactly??
National Smile Month is the UK’s largest and longest-running oral health campaign. Alongside thousands of individuals and organisations, between May and June, National Smile Month promotes three key messages, all of which go a long way in helping us develop and maintain a healthy mouth. They are:
- Brush your teeth last thing at night and on at least one other occasion with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks.
- Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.
Since its very first campaign in 1977, the aim with National Smile Month has been to ultimately improve the UK’s oral health. The campaign hopes to raise awareness of important health issues, and make a positive difference to the oral health of millions of people throughout the UK.
With the help and enthusiasm of those who are passionate about health and wellbeing, National Smile Month 2017 will see around 3,000 dedicated events and activities up and down the UK educating and engaging local communities about the importance of a healthy mouth.
National Smile Month is for all dental and health professionals, schools, pharmacies, community groups, colleges and workplaces – in fact anyone with an interest in good oral healthcare, to join in and help us educate, motivate and communicate positive oral health messages and improves the quality of smiles all around the UK.
But National Smile Month isn’t just about education and stressing the importance of a healthy mouth – the key to the success of the campaign is that we have lots fun doing it!
The National Smile Month Smiley is all about having fun while reaching people with our key messages for good oral health. Over the last three years more than half a million have be made, resulting in loads of Smiley Selfies posted on social media and spearheading hundreds of media stories. Keep an eye on our own social media pages for pictures of our own smileys over the next month! Facebook.com/mullangallagher and Instagram @mullangallagherdental including some great competitions!
National Smile Month is a campaign to help improve oral health in local communities. Our team at the Oral Health Foundation use National Smile Month as a chance to work closely with oral health educators, health professionals, schools and workplaces, to increase their important work of delivering oral health education, especially in disadvantaged communities and regions of known poor oral health. Here at Mullan Gallagher it is our mission to support people to learn how to improve their own oral health in various ways.
Since its creation almost 40 years ago, National Smile Month has helped facilitate thousands of events and projects, and continues to act as the spearhead campaign for providing organised grassroots activities such as fun days, talks, sponsored events, roadshows, displays, open sessions and competitions – all which have the ultimate goal of engaging people in the importance of oral health.
National Smile Month celebrated its 40th Birthday in 2016.
In 2017, National Smile Month will take place between 15 May and 15 June.
Please visit www.smilemonth.org to find out how you can get involved.
A Dentist’s role is primarily to ensure the on going health and vitality of your teeth gums and mouth. It is the most important thing we do.
However, a growing part of our role today is also around how your smile can contribute to an overall feeling of well being. To this end more and more services are being offered these days to provide patients with confidence in how they look. Healthy teeth and gums are the priority, of course, but once that is achieved, we can offer so much more for those who want to avail. Cosmetic dentistry has become, in many cases routine for most dentists.
Nonetheless, it might surprise a lot of people that the cosmetic work we offer doesn’t begin and end with teeth and gums. Increasingly our patients are requesting an improvement in their overall appearance to compliment the enhancements to their dental aesthetics. For this reason many practices, ourselves included, now provide rejuvenation services to prolong youthfulness.
Here at Mullan and Gallagher Dental Group we have 2 dentists who provide facial line smoothing and lip enhancement, and our treatments are proving extremely popular. So what are they and how do they work?
FACIAL LINE SOFTENING
Facial lines include, Frown lines, crow’s feet around the eyes, forehead lines, drooping mouth corners, gummy smiles, smokers mouth/lipstick bleeding lines, marionette lines (from corner of the mouth to the chin) and nose to mouth lines.
Generally these lines are caused by the repeated movements of our facial muscles around our lips, eyes and forehead whenever we talk, smile, smoke or kiss. Movement, however, is not the only cause. As we age the production of collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin that keeps our skin plump and smooth reduces naturally, meaning the skin loses its ability to snap back into place. Sun damage can accelerate this reduction.
Happily there are ways to plump out these lines or reduce the muscle movement that can improve the overall look of our face.
Dermal Filler Injections
This treatment involves the injection of filler to plump and fill the folds and lines in the skin. It is particularly effective for static lines around the lips, cheeks, nose to mouth and marionette lines.
Anti Wrinkle Injections
Commonly referred to as ‘Botox’. This is protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum. It relaxes muscles by temporarily blocking nerve impulses to the muscles injected, hence reducing the contractions that cause lines and wrinkles.
Targets the lip outline for definition, width and reduction of lipstick bleeding lines.
Lip augmentation to promote volume, out and fullness
Cupids bow definition, for enhanced contouring
Lines to the side of the mouth and marionette lines for a younger and happier appearance.
Dermal fillers are used in these lip enhancement procedures and the effect can promote fuller, more sensuous lips that can compliment great looking teeth.
WHY GO TO THE DENTIST?
Your dentist is a medically trained professional working in a clinical environment with many years training, part of which involves specialised training on the facial nervous system. The delivery of injections to patients in the facial area must be exact to create a perfect result. You can be assured that here at Mullan and Gallagher Dental Group, you will receive safe and professional care.
In February the practice was audited by RQIA (The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority), to assess the performance of the practice in 4 areas: Safety of care, Effectiveness of care, Compassion shown during care and Leadership.
We are delighted to announce that the inspector found no requirements or recommendations in regards to how the practice operates and his parting comment to us as he left was that our practice was ‘Exemplary’.
The inspector found that, “…systems and processes were in place to ensure that that care to patients was safe and avoids and prevents harm…care provided was effective…arrangements are in place to promote patients’ dignity, respect and involvement in decision making….”and, ”…leadership….creates a culture focussed on the needs of the patients in order to deliver safe, effective and compassionate care.”
During the audit we were observed to have in place an effective and robust recruitment and induction procedure to ensure that all aspects of clinical care and patient safeguarding is maintained and controlled as per legislation. Staff were able to demonstrate a good understanding of indicators and types of abuse and how to escalate concerns if necessary.
It was noted that the management of medical emergencies and the prevention control of infections and decontamination was well understood at all levels in the practice. Clinical records were noted as being kept well updated and personal data and information protected at all times.
The auditor observed and recorded that the practice and equipment were well maintained and kept clean at all times.
Lastly the practice was very pleased to learn that patients questioned during the inspection all felt safe and protected from harm and all felt that the service we provide is well managed.
We always strive to deliver an excellent experience for all our patients and it is extremely pleasing to have that effort acknowledged by an outside authority. It is our deeply held commitment to all our patients, to ensure that we continue to deliver dentistry in the Downpatrick area to the highest possible standards of care and performance for many many years to come.
We were delighted to host the Primary 4 class from St Brigid’s Primary School Downpatrick this week. The children loved the experience of sitting in the chair and performing pretend check ups on their classmates. It is our belief that a lifetime of great dental health and confidence in the dentist starts young and we at Mullan Gallagher work hard to ensure that the children of the area not only enjoy coming to see us but come away understanding how best to look after their own smiles. The children learnt all about tooth friendly foods and brushing technique and why it is so important to see the dentist regularly for check ups. Not sure if we or the children enjoyed the day more! A truly lovely class of children and so much fun to spend time with them. Remember you saw it here first – we think the future dentists of Downpatrick could well be in this class!