Category: Blog

Looking after your childs teeth in lockdown

I am at home  instead of in the practice right now, and having spent a day helping with home schooling of my children it got me thinking about the things we should be doing in lockdown to look after our kids teeth.

With the daily routine upset  there is an increased risk of us all doing things that cause dental problems such as snacking more or, with a disturbed routine not keeping up with our normal home care.
Things can happen fast in children’s mouths so it is even more important for them .

We need to remember that to get tooth day you need 3 things

Sugar + Bacteria  + Time = Decay

Sugar is consumed by the bacteria which make acid that then attacks our teeth. Over time and with multiple repetitions of this cycle we get decay

So my recommendations for things you can actively do for your kids

Minimise the frequency of sugar exposure which means

  • 3 square meals a day, try to minimise snacking 
  • If they are snacking make sure its sugar free
  • drinks between meals should be water  or milk 
  • if you are using juices they must be Sugar Free as the frequency of the sugar exposure is more important than the amount
  • No added sugar drinks still contain sugar and are damaging to teeth.
  • And diluting regular juice does not make it safe


This is about really thorough cleaning at least twice a day. If ever there was a time to take a look at how well, even your older children, are brushing it is now. Maybe even think about digging out some disclosing tablets to give them feedback.

If we can reduce the total amount of bacteria in the mouth then when sugar is consumed there are fewer bacteria to make acid and so less damage will be done

Finally make sure you are using a good toothpaste that contains fluoride at a concentration between 1000parts per million and 1500parts per million  

Does your mouth bleed when you brush? 5 reasons to visit our hygienist at Craigentinny Dental Care

It seems that on almost every advert break on television, there is at least one advertisement that mentions the seriousness of bleeding gums when brushing. Of course, if you do spit blood when you brush your teeth, you may think it is nothing to really worry about and that it will go away on its own.

Dental Hygienist in Edinburgh

Unless you brush your teeth with extreme vigour and a hard bristled brush, it is unlikely that you are bleeding because of how you brush your teeth. If you experience minor discomfort when brushing, swelling and of course bleeding, you may need to visit Craigentinny’s dental hygienist in Edinburgh.

Why hygienist visits are important

If you have a history of gum disease, are currently wearing braces or have sores caused by dentures, you should be seeing a dental hygienist in Edinburgh at least twice a year. Many people assume that hygienist visits are less important than dental check- ups, but our dental hygienist in Edinburgh can help you in many ways that a general dentist can’t.

Prevention is key

Prevention is always better than cure and if you visit a dental hygienist regularly, you are less likely to develop conditions like gum disease.

Hygienists are trained to be able to remove stubborn plaque, allowing relief to swollen and sore gums that may have been affected by it. This prevents periodontal conditions like gingivitis from occurring and keeps your mouth healthier.

Targeted care

If you have had gum disease in the past, you will probably have been given a treatment plan by your dental hygienist to stop and reverse the disease. It is worth noting that when hygienists give these treatment plans, they are individually tailored and take into account your age, the condition of your teeth and any other medical issues you may have along with medications you may be taking.

People who wear orthodontic braces, dentures, bridges or even implants are advised to visit a hygienist to help them assess the care they require to keep their mouth and teeth at their healthiest.

Oral cancer screening

Do you smoke? If so, you need to see a hygienist at least once a year for oral cancer screening. A hygienist can identify any unusual areas of tissue in your mouth and also help you quit smoking in order to prevent oral cancer in the future.


A good old fashioned polish is a great way to boost your confidence and can be performed by a hygienist. Some hygienists can perform minor cosmetic procedures such as whitening, so if you want to get a sparkling smile, just book an appointment to see our hygienists!

Reduce sensitivity

No one likes sensitive teeth; they hurt and prevent you from eating ice cream! A hygienist can apply either a fluoride or fissure sealants to fill the microscopic holes in the sensitive tooth and thus block the pain caused by consuming hot or cold foods.

Teenagers and Braces A Recipe For Family Arguments?


Why Do Braces Cause Arguments At Home?

Braces are  a common feature of the teenage years, they help create stable, beautiful healthy smiles for the long term. However the process can be a bit stressful and lead to a few family arguments  along the way!   Hopefully this post will help to avoid some of these arguments in your house.

I have played referee on more occasions that I can count between parent and child on the subject of cleaning teeth around braces.  Dentists know, and most parents fear, that  poor brushing technique  or lack of brushing  will lead to early tooth decay developing around braces.  If plaque around braces is not removed the teeth may be straight at the end of treatment but can also have demineralised chalky white areas that are visible around where the brackets were fixed in place. These demineralised areas are more at risk of absorbing stains or at worst breaking down into decay. While treatments are available for this they are not always 100% successful so as ever, prevention is far better than cure.

Orthodontists and their teams do stress to every patient  the importance of day to day home care. Ultimately  though, they cannot there  every day to check tooth brushing  so the responsibility for keeping the teeth brushed and free from plaque rests with the wearer of the brace.  This is where the arguments tend to start, when parents who are rightly concerned  provide a healthy dose of well intentioned “reminders” to brush. This  my son tells me  can sometimes sound a lot like  “nagging,”  although I of course would see it differently!

At an appointment with us as the  family dentist,   we are frequently asked to take on the  umpires role and divine…….. are the teeth clean or not?  This places us in a tricky spot, knowing exactly why Mum / Dad are asking but also aiming to keep our brace wearing teenager on side.  The argument usually goes something like “I keep telling him / her to brush his / her teeth, ” followed by the retort  “I DO brush my teeth”  ….so who is right and how can we repair family harmony at this point?

Plaque is not always easy to see until it is really well formed and “lumpy” on the teeth. I would also wager to suggest that at the times of the day that most teenagers are examining their teeth they may not be at their observant best. Interestingly most of our young patients who wear braces do think that their teeth are clean and claim to have spent time brushing. What we see in reality in that the same areas bet brushed every day and similarly the same areas get missed.

To settle this argument and hopefully restore domestic peace and quiet I do recommend enlisting the services of a hygienist who provides a treatment approach called Guided Biofilm Therapy  or GBT for short.   Here is a quick walk through of what it involves and how our hygiene team use it to help motivate encourage and help our brace wearing a patients.

Guided Biofilm Therapy / GBT / Disclosing
Three tone disclosing solution showing areas of young and old plaque build up.

Here we see a 3 tone disclosing solution in use, pale pink shows plaque that is new, dark blue shows old plaque that has been there for more than 24 hours and the yellow/ green /pale blue ( depending on your monitor) shows area where the area is highly acidic, which means conditions are right for tooth decay at this moment.

You can see areas where the teeth are really clean – like above the upper front tooth and areas where the teeth are really coated with bacteria. This alone solves arguments as to whether the teeth are adequately cleaned or not, but more importantly allows  us to demonstrate to our patient exactly how to use a brush to get rid of it.

The purpose of disclosing is not to give Mum or Dad “it told you so rights” but to help us educate the person with the brace as to exactly what the scale of the problem is.

teeth with disclosing solution on the top teeth and the lower teeth cleaned
After Airflow cleaning on the lower teeth.

Next stage is to wipe out all of the bacteria ( called biofilm)   for this we use a technology called Airflow which relies on air, water  warmed to body temperature to avoid sensitivity and an antibacterial powder called Erythritol to completely clean the teeth.

Here you can see  the lower teeth all cleaned up. The process is fast and painless,  from a patients perspective the teeth “feel” great afterwards.  There is some research that suggests results extend beyond the simple act of cleaning the teeth and  that the powder we use helps to reduce the rate at which bacteria multiply and re grow on the teeth after Guided Biofilm Therapy.

white teeth with braces on but no plaque present
Clean Teeth after completion of GBT

Finally here is the whole  GBT  treatment completed, with  all bacteria gone and a clean fresh healthy mouth. Our hygiene team can typically achieve a result like this with a teenage patient wearing braces in just 20 -30 minutes.

The main aim is to help the patient look after things more effectively day to day themselves but  the full airflow clean  up also gives you as a parent  the reassurance that at least today the teeth are cleaned to perfection!

If you are curious to know more take a look at the Guided Biofilm Therapy page on our main  website, or just ask any of our clinical team who will be more than happy to share their knowledge.

Welcome to Craigentinny Dental Care

We, at Craigentinny Dental Care in Edinburgh , are very proud to announce the launch of our new website!

Take a look around and let us know what you think.

Read our blog to get the latest practice news, special offers and learn more about treatment options.

‘Like’ us on Facebook here

Thank you!

Guided Biofilm Therapy


Guided Biofilm Therapy Study Day

The team spent a fantastic day this week end with the staff of the Swiss Dental Academy learning about the finer points of one of the most up to date ways to prevent and treat gum problems, Guided Biofilm Therapy. Alison, Jill and Fraser were in attendance and took enough notes between them to fill a telephone directory ( if you are old enough to remember what they were! )

The study day was really useful and has helped us finalise the details of our updated preventive programme within the practice. Our hygiene team are really enthusiastic about this development so don’t be surprised if they are  talking ( even more than usual)  to you about this over the coming months.  We hope that the changes we are making will improve the quality of the periodontal care that you receive, make it better targeted  and bet of all should increase your comfort during treatment. Bold claims I know but watch this space and let us know what you think after your next visit or two.

If you are curious to know more take a look at the Guided Biofilm Therapy page on our main  website, or just ask any of our clinical team who will be more than happy to share their knowledge.


Reserve Now

Never Ignore Misaligned Teeth!

Wearing braces is the usual corrective measure taken to straighten misaligned teeth and this can be very off-putting to many people. However, ignoring the problem can have long-term implications for both dental and medical health. Dental issues stemming from a misaligned bite range from minor conditions to more serious problems that will require a visit to the dentist for treatment.

The most common issues that have been linked to a misaligned bite include:

– Gum recession

– Headaches and jaw pain

– Tooth sensitivity

Even the slightest misalignment should be corrected as it “can lead to chronic issues” which could have been averted with early intervention. More detailed information can be found at


How Will a Dentist Clean and Polish Your Teeth?

The best way to maintain a set of pearly whites is to visit your hygienist on a regular basis. How will this professional polish your teeth to a bright shine? The traditional approach was to scale and polish the teeth, but newer ways of restoring the sparkle to your smile now exist.

-Traditionally  once tartar is removed, the hygienist will apply a grainy paste.

– This paste is then scrubbed with an electric brush to remove stains.

All that is now changing with the advent of Airflow polishing, that uses  mixture of air , water and fine powders to gently jet wash the stains away. After then any hard remaining deposits can be removed by your hygienist. This usually gets it the nooks and crannies that traditional scaling and polishing cant reach. it is particularly good for smokers, tea, coffee and red wine drinkers.

Is It Possible To Inherit Bad Teeth?

Research has shown that some people’s genetic makeup can make them more prone to certain oral conditions, like the ones mentioned below.

Key takeaways:

– Gum disease seems to run in certain families.

– Genetics can also affect the likelihood of having your teeth affected by decay.

– A family history of oral cancer could increase the chances of developing this disease.

Whether dental problems run in your family or not, it’s important that you follow the advice of your dentist on how to minimise the risks of developing oral disease.

Read the full story here:

Pros and Cons of Water Flossing vs Normal Flossing

Standard flossing involves a string of dental floss to remove plaque and food debris from between your teeth, whereas water flossing uses a powerful jet of water:

– Dental floss is cheap and easy to use but can damage your gums if used over-zealously.

– Water flossing is more effective than dental floss, however, it is more expensive and cumbersome to take with you if you’re travelling.

– Keep your dentist happy by flossing daily, whichever method you prefer.

“Flossing is essential so whatever type of floss will make you more likely to floss is the type of floss for you.”

Read the full story here:

Am I Suitable For a Dental Crown?

Dental crowns are fitted to the top of teeth for a variety of reasons:

– Crowns can correct a misaligned bite, repair damaged teeth, protect a root canal filling and are also used on dental implants and bridges fitted to replace missing teeth.

– Crowns can be fitted for cosmetic reasons such as disguising discolouration or yellow teeth.

– Your dentist will discuss whether a dental crown is right for you.

Dental crowns ?l?? serve ?? ?n alternative t? pulling th? loose, chipped ?r cracked tooth ?r replacing ?t w?th a prosthetic tooth.

Read the full story here: