Tag Archives: Brightside Dental

Cleft Lip and Palate and Dental Health

Cleft lip is a birth defect in which the parts of the face that form the upper lip remain split, instead of sealing together before birth. Similar splits can occur in the roof of the mouth or palate. Cleft lip and cleft palate can each occur alone or together in the same person (cleft lip and palate). Cleft lip and palate happen early in foetal development. The defect may be genetic or the result of maternal environmental exposures during pregnancy.

Along with affecting the appearance of the face, cleft lip and cleft palate can present a variety of difficulties, including:

-difficulty eating

-speech difficulties

-ear infections

-dental problems


Dental health

A cleft lip and palate can cause changes to the structure of the mouth and lead to problems with the development of teeth, making children more vulnerable to tooth decay. It is therefore important for the child to have their teeth checked regularly.

Tooth decay

Children with clefts are more likely to develop tooth decay. This is partly due to crowding of the teeth, which makes it more difficult to keep them clean. The advice below may help reduce your child’s risk of developing tooth decay.

  • Your child should have a dental check-up at least once every six months.
  • Using a fluoride mouthwash once a day will help protect your child’s teeth against decay.
  • Limit the amount of sweet and sticky food and drink your child consumes, especially between meals, as these foods increase tooth decay.
  • Limit the amount of starchy foods such as crisps, white bread and biscuits that your child eats, especially between meals, to lower the risk of tooth decay.

How Do Eating Disorders Affect Your Mouth?

Eating disorders deprive the body of vital minerals, vitamins, proteins and other nutrients necessary for good health.  There are a wide array of physical symptoms and medical complications that can result from eating disorders, including heart failure, gastric or oesophagus ruptures, osteoporosis, heart arrhythmia, shrinking of the brain, yellowish and dry skin, swollen joints, reduced muscle mass, hair loss, and psychological illnesses such as depression.

Many people affected may not have told anyone about the problems they are having and often dentists may be first to notice signs by changes in the mouth as eating disorders often have a large impact on the health of the mouth.

The repeated vomiting and nutritional deficiencies caused by eating disorders have rigorous and harsh consequences on the health of the mouth.  A dentist can observe the damaging effects on the surfaces of the teeth of patients with eating disorders.


Possible signs and symptoms:

  •  Loss of tissue and erosive lesions on the surface of teeth due to the effects of acid.  These lesions can appear as early as 6 months from the start of the problem.
  • Changes in the colour, shape, and length of teeth.  Teeth can become brittle, translucent, and weak.
  • Increased sensitivity to temperature.  In extreme cases the pulp(nerve) can be exposed and cause infection, discoloration, or even pulp death.
  • Enlargement of the salivary glands, dry mouth, and reddened, dry, cracked lips.
  • Tooth decay, which can actually be aggravated by extensive tooth brushing or rinsing following vomiting.
  • Spontaneous pain within a particular tooth.


At Brightside Dental, we promise not to judge you or lecture you on your condition and can advise on the best ways to maintain your oral health.  The best results will be achieved if advise is also sought from your doctor or specialist in treating the eating disorder to try to prevent future problems and disease.


Tips and advice:

– Don’t brush your teeth for at least 20 minutes after vomiting as this may cause increased wear.  Instead rinse with plain water and chew sugar free gum or use a mouthwash to reduce acid levels.

– Limit the intake and frequency of acidic and sweet food and drinks to prevent further damage to the teeth.

– A battery powered toothbrush may be better than a manual brush to reduce the risk of further wear of the teeth.


It is important to maintain regular dental visits in order to protect your mouth and to receive advise on the best way to restore your mouth if damage has occurred.

What Are Fissure Sealants?

Our back teeth have natural grooves and pits known as fissures.  Food can get stuck in the fissures and they are harder areas to clean when brushing which can increase the risk of tooth decay.  In the past they were commonly placed in children’s teeth and now there is new evidence to show that they can be as beneficial for adults.

Before and after fissure sealant placement

Before and after fissure sealant placement


What are sealants?

Sealants are a safe and painless way of protecting your teeth from decay. A sealant is a protective plastic coating, which is applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant forms a hard shield that stops food and bacteria getting into the tiny grooves in the teeth and causing  tooth decay.


How do sealants work?

The sealant forms a smooth, protective barrier by covering all the little grooves and dips (pits and fissures) in the surface of the tooth. Dental decay easily starts in these grooves.


What are the benefits of sealants?

It is a simple and painless procedure which involves no drilling or injections.  Along with good maintenance of the mouth they can reduce the risk of needing a filling in the future by over 90%, which is kinder on your mouth and much more cost effective in the long term.


Which teeth should be sealed?

Sealants are only applied to the back teeth – the molars and premolars. These are the teeth that have pits and fissures on their biting surfaces. Some teeth naturally form with deep grooves which can be sealed, others form with shallow ones which may not need sealing.


When should this be done?

Sealants are often applied as soon as the adult teeth start to come through. This is usually between 6 and 7 years of age. The rest are usually sealed as soon as they appear, which can be any time between 11 and 14.  They can however be applied at any age as the condition of our mouth and dental needs can change over time.


What is involved and is it painful?

Sealing is usually quick and straightforward, taking only a few minutes for each tooth. The tooth is thoroughly cleaned, prepared with a special solution, and then dried. The liquid sealant is then put onto the tooth and then set by using a blue light.  The procedure is completely pain free, you may just find it feels a bit strange on biting at first and you mouth may taste a bit funny.


How long does the sealants last?

Sealants usually last for many years, but your dentist will want to check them regularly to make sure that the seal is still intact. They can wear over time, and sometimes the dentist needs to add or replace some sealant to make sure that no decay can start underneath.


Do I still have to clean my teeth?

Yes.  This is really important. The smooth, sealed surface is now much easier to keep clean and healthy with normal tooth brushing. It is important to clean your teeth well, maintain a balanced diet and visit your dentist regularly.  Pit and fissure sealing reduces tooth decay and the number of fillings you might need but cannot take the risk away if you don’t maintain your mouth


Where can I find out more about the treatment?

At Brightside Dental, all of our dentists and hygienists are experienced in the placement of fissure sealants.  We can give you more information about the treatment and whether it would be beneficial for you at your next visit.


If you don’t want to wait until then and would like advice please give us a call on 020 88884401.

Ketan To Join The Dental Mavericks In Morocco

mavericks-logo1Each quarter at Brightside Dental we decide on a charitable cause that could benefit from the donations we make as a promise to our clients who have patiently waited to be seen for more than 10 minutes past their booked appointment time. Each time we are running late we make a donation to our chosen charity on their behalf.

This quarter we are supporting Dental Mavericks. They are a charity set up to help end daily dental pain for the children of Morocco. Our Principal Ketan Shah has joined the Mavericks team this year with their 2014 project and travelling to Morocco at the end of September for 1 week.

Just imagine, living with your family in an isolated fishing village with no dentists , a high sugar diet , no toothbrushes and no fluoride tooth paste. You don’t need to be a dentist to imagine the consequences, but the dental neglect shocks even the most experienced of this group of national dentists and their team. Abscesses, pain and distress, parents of these children in Morocco are no different to any other around the world, they want their children helping.

Maybe a little pebble in a big pond but 4 years ago a group of dentists from around the UK came together to form the Dental Mavericks charity to provide dental care in remote areas of the world.

Ketan along with a group of dentists and team members will be travelling to the Rif mountains to a remote village called Merchekala. Brightside Dental has supported this charity previously however this year Ketan wants to help out more and join the team and directly help the kids. This project is  self funded by the dentists and along with fundraising and donations from dental suppliers and the public the charity can do its job.

The team plans to treat hundreds of children over the course of the week and mostly carry out extracting rotten teeth, along with fillings and providing education so that the children can look after their own teeth on a daily basis.

For Ketan this will be a chance to use the skills he has to give something back to people who have considerably less.

If you would like to know more or to support Ketan and the Mavericks team visit:


Medical Emergencies Training At Brightside Dental

At Brightside Dental, the safety and welfare of our clients and team members is of the utmost importance.  One way we ensure is by undertaking annual training in medical emergencies and CPR(cardio-pulmonary resuscitation). IMG_2719 IMG_2728

We recently undertook our CPR training in the practice.  All the team members were present for an afternoon of refreshing our knowledge of an important skill to have – which can mean a matter of life or death.  Fortunately, none of us have been in the situation of having to deal with a serious medical emergency or provide CPR and this is a reason for us to have annual training in case we find ourselves in this situation and we are in the position of having emergency equipment and drugs in the practice, which you would not have at home.

We think it is important and useful for everyone to have some knowledge of CPR, as you never know when the need may arise.  Just yesterday, I heard of a distant relative who died from choking whilst having his dinner.  Would it have been possible to prevent this tragedy?

What is CPR?

– It stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

– Performed on people suffering cardiac arrest.

– Provides a continuous flow of oxygen to the lungs and brain until the person regains consciousness.

Why CPR is important?

The brain can only survive about five minutes without oxygen, after which time permanent damage is done.

You are upping a chance of a full recovery by performing CPR.

You are potentially saving a life!

For parents this is especially true. Children younger than 5 tend to put objects in their mouths, and this behaviour can lead to choking. Choking is a leading cause of death in this age group. Knowing what to do and how to perform CPR allows you to act quickly.

It is always better to have multiple people who are CPR certified in a crisis. One person performing CPR can tire quickly. Two people alternating can provide CPR longer than a person working alone.
There are many courses available and it may be something that your employer may provide.

New Dental Software at Brightside Dental

We are really excited to announce that we have invested in a brand new dental software programme which has been recently installed in the practice.  This is the latest and most advanced programme available and will help us improve our level of service to our clients.

You will now be able to book appointments more easily and checking out at the end of your visit will be faster which is great for most people who don’t want to stay at the dentist any longer than is necessary.

Our old system had a number of difficulties such as often running very slow and regularly crashing as well as limitations on usability.

We are confident that we will be able to deliver a more efficient and better service to our clients. During the changeover period between the different providers, we did encounter some difficulties which have largely been overcome. Our team undertook a 3 day training course at the practice so that we can fully utilize the system in the best way.

A number of our clients previously mentioned that they did not receive appointment reminders, which should no longer be a problem. Just please ensure to let us know if any of your contact details change. Let us have your email address and mobile phone number as it’s always good to have more than one method by which we can contact you.

If you encounter any difficulties please let us know as there are likely to be some initial teething problems (no pun intended) and also if you feel there is anything else we can do differently please let us know as we are continually looking at ways we can improve.

Contact us on 020 88884401 or at www.brightsidedental.co.uk


How To Take Care Of Your Children’s Teeth

As a parent with two young children I’m fully aware how it can be difficult to brush their teeth well. I’ve gone through times where they refuse to open their mouth, biting on the toothbrush to throwing  a full blown tantrum.

Every child is unique and here are some tips that may help with brushing:

– Start to brush your baby’s gums at bath time even before teeth have come through. This can incorporate brushing as part of the daily routine.

– Start brushing your baby’s teeth with a small amount of age-appropriate fluoride toothpaste as soon as teeth come through. The fluoride helps give added protection against tooth decay.

– Brush your child’s teeth for 2 minutes twice a day – once in the morning and once before bed.

– Use a small smear or pea sized amount of toothpaste as it is likely to be swallowed at a young age.

– Use a mirror so your child can easily see what they are doing.

– Supervise your child’s brushing until at least the age of 7 or 8 to ensure that they are brushing correctly and for the right amount of time. You may want to go over the teeth once they have finished.

– You may wish to use an egg timer or timing device for your child to know how long they are brushing for and this may make brush time more fun.

– Use of sticker charts can encourage children to brush regularly

Aquafresh have an app which my children love as you can see in the video. It’s great to encourage correct brushing and they are rewarded with stars with which they can dress up the nurdles.

Aquafresh Brushtime App Demonstrated By The Youngest Member of The Brightside Dental Team

Arrange a dental visit for your child at a young age – anytime from once teeth start coming through. This will get them used to the dental environment and more likely create a positive impression as they get older.

Ketan Shah


Stoptober – It’s Like October But Without The Cigarettes






October is the month that smokers are urged to give up smoking by taking up the 28 day non-smoking challenge.  Research shows that by stopping for 28 days, you are a lot more likely in being successful in giving up for good.  It is believed that those who give up smoking could add an extra week to their life for every 28 days they are smoke free.

There are many resources available online, see https://stoptober.smokefree.nhs.uk/

If you would prefer more local and personal support, please contact us at Brightside Dental and we can let you know of the nearest clinic to you.

Smoking has an impact on many areas of general health and has a number of effects on the mouth, including:

– Increased risk and severity of gum disease

– Bad breath

– Stained teeth

– Increased risk of mouth cancer

As well as the health benefits, quitting smoking would save the average smoker over £150 per month. What would you do with an extra £1800 per year?

If you would like any help in taking the first step in stopping smoking give us a call on 020 88884401

Caring and Painless Dental Treatment

Click to see the latest Brightside Dental Daily Promises Results

Our mission is “Transforming lives and making people smile”! We strive to understand each and every one of our client’s needs and wants so that at the end of their session (no matter if they had root canal treatment or just an assessment) they will say to their friends that their dentist has given them exceptional caring dental treatment.

We care and that’s why we ask our clients how we did after every appointment. We want to know whether everyone you met here was friendly and if their advice was helpful. So that in the future we’ll know if our approach is good on or if we need to improve.

We appreciate that everyone is busy and time is the one thing we can’t get back once it’s gone.  We aim to see all our clients on time, but there are some instances where we may run late and as a result we will offer you the choice of either a gift for you or a donation on your behalf to our charity of the month.

We need to know if the treatment you had here has been a painful so that in the future we improve our technique in order to deliver a pain-free experience for as many of our clients as possible.

And we are proud to say that the results from 795 feedback slips our clients have filled out throughout the month of September 2013 show that our clients have scored us level 5 for 95% of the clients have said that our team members are friendly and helpful, 87% were seen on time and 86 % haven’t felt any pain during the treatment.

We will continue to review our performance on a daily basis but if you have any suggestions don’t hesitate to share them with us either by email, telephone or write them down on our suggestion cards at the reception desk.