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Laura the Dental Therapist

To our clients who have not yet met Laura, we would like to introduce her. Laura joined the Christchurch Dental team in September 2019.

Laura is a Dental Therapist. She carries out the work of a dental hygienist but also has additional qualifications that overlap her duties with a dentist.

Dental therapy dates back to 1917 where at the time there was a shortage of dental officers and the armed forces needed to recruit higher numbers for World War I.

In response to the shortage, some countries (England included) recruited ‘dental dressers’. Dental dressers were the first therapists in the world.

Dental therapists train for 3 years at university and are registered with the general dental council to carry out duties including examinations, fillings and recementing crowns to name but a few.

Laura is an integral part of the Christchurch team and works alongside Derek and Ash to provide uniform care to all of our clients.

When it comes to enhancing her skills, Laura, as with all of our clinicians regularly undertakes courses to ensure exceptional clinical skills. She is currently undertaking a postgraduate course covering aesthetic dentistry and periodontics.

Laura is a dedicated and caring dental professional and we are delighted she is part of the Christchurch Team.

The importance of hygiene visits

A visit to a hygienist may seem like another thing to do on your already busy schedule but is key to maintaining your oral health.

Our hygienists carry out vital preventative care and a visit to see them is just as important as a visit to see your dentist. Even if you have a fantastic oral hygiene routine you should visit the hygienist so that they can clean those hard to reach areas. During the ‘scale and polish’ treatment tartar build up is removed. Tartar cannot be removed at home but the hygienists have special instruments and training to remove it. If left on your teeth tartar can cause many dental issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath and even tooth loss.

Some clients may want to avoid the hygienist due to experiencing bleeding and pain in the past at a hygienist appointment. Healthy gums do not bleed, so the bleeding experienced is due to the body’s inflammatory response to bacterial plaque. If the plaque isn’t removed effectively from your own brushing and flossing at home, it will irritate the gums and cause bleeding, pain, tenderness and swelling. When the hygienist removes the plaque in your mouth bleeding can occur because your gums are already inflamed. Over time, the hygienist will assist in reducing this inflammation. We want our clients to feel relaxed and comfortable at their appointment, however your mouth may be sore or tender after your visit. The hygienist will communicate with you throughout your appointment and give you lots of advice on how to improve your brushing and flossing techniques at home to help reduce any inflammation. Hygiene visits are an essential part of your care here at Christchurch dental and play a vital role in ensuring your oral health does not deteriorate.

Our clients who regularly see our hygienist demonstrate better oral health. They work with you to improve your dental habits and techniques, keeping you motivated.

If you have fallen behind on your hygienist visits throughout the pandemic, contact the practice so that we can get you back on track.

Teeth Straightening with Invisalign

When we are unhappy with the alignment of our teeth and are considering orthodontic treatment, it’s easy to fixate on metal train tracks, a restricted diet, and difficulty keeping your teeth (and braces) clean. I’ve been there and can completely relate to all of these concerns.

Due to the advances in dentistry over the years, there are other orthodontic options available. I had train tracks in my late 20s and wish that I’d explored all the options available to correct my smile.

At Christchurch we are an ‘Invisalign Full’ provider and have been providing Invisalign to the people of Ipswich since 2011. Invisalign is a series of clear, removable trays which guide the teeth into new positions. They are changed every couple of weeks as the teeth gradually move into the desired location.

Invisalign is a popular choice as the trays are comfortable to wear as well as transparent so they are not noticeable like train tracks. Metal braces can cause intense pain, however Invisalign shifts the teeth gradually, so you should only feel slight discomfort. They are removable so they do not restrict your diet as you remove them to eat and drink. You can remove your Invisalign aligners for special events such as weddings or a job interview. Your compliance in wearing the trays will determine the length of time to get the required result, however it is recommended that you wear them for 22 hours a day for maximum results.

We now have methods of monitoring your teeth here at Christchurch by providing you with a scanning box that scans your teeth at intervals throughout the treatment using just your mobile phone. This means many of the required treatment reviews can take place at your convenience and from the comfort of your own home.

In order to see if Invisalign is the correct treatment option for you, why not book in for a complimentary virtual consultation with one of our friendly treatment coordinators? You can discuss your smile concerns, and they can explain more about Invisalign treatment.

Smile Anxiety

I was scrolling through my Facebook feed yesterday and there he was – the singing dentist posing for an updated ‘Why is dentistry important’ poster – missing an eyebrow, but the first thing you notice is his smile, with a missing tooth.

How we feel about our teeth can affect our confidence. Around a third of people are unhappy with their smiles. You may have smile anxiety, where you are reluctant to smile in public – it’s one of the most common reasons people come to see us.

Like it or not, your teeth are one of the first things that people notice about you. It’s easy to hide under a mask at the moment, but with restrictions easing, how much longer will it be acceptable to hide behind a mask? In fact, some people are opting to get their smiles fixed now whilst they can hide behind their masks.

A recent study conducted by Bupa revealed that more than a quarter of people don’t like smiling because of their teeth.

28% of people don’t show their smile when taking pictures and 42% of people said their smile was the first thing they would change about themselves. Slightly more than one third of the people said they were embarrassed by their smile.

We understand that smiling with teeth you are unhappy with can have an impact on you.

You may have a missing tooth which can be a source of anxiety and lack of confidence when it comes to smiling. The good news is that there are plenty of treatments and options available when it comes to replacing missing or damaged teeth,  a titanium root being placed into the gum and then a replacement tooth is bonded to the site after a short healing process. If you worry about smiling due to tooth loss, this could be a treatment option for you.

You may have teeth out of alignment. Teeth can often move positions, which can leave you feeling self-conscious about your smile. We have some treatments available to solve the issue of crooked teeth, from Invisalign to cosmetic procedures such as composite bonding and veneers to help restore your smile.

Tooth whiteness has become a sign of having “healthy teeth” in recent years, which is largely down to the iconic ‘Hollywood smile’. If your teeth are discoloured and this is something that concerns you, then tooth whitening can help to restore your confidence.

If you’re self-conscious about smiling, then it is important to remember that your smile doesn’t define who you are. If you are interested in correcting your smile, then contact us today and arrange a free consultation with one of our friendly treatment coordinators so that we can help restore your confidence and help to eradicate your smile anxiety for good.


It’s very easy for us to fall prey to negative thinking and living through a pandemic for the past 12 months has only heightened those negative thoughts.

Having negative thoughts can only bring you pain; they drain you of energy and keep you from being in the present moment. The more you give in to your negative thoughts, the stronger they become.

Negative thoughts grow but so do positive thoughts, except the positive thoughts have a brighter outcome.

Here are a few examples that spring to mind;

Sunday evening hits and someone you know starts with the back to work blues, moaning that they hate their job and they don’t want the weekend to end. I am very fortunate as have never been in that position, I love my job but when someone has these negative thoughts, especially now when so many people are losing their jobs, I put a positive spin on things and remind them that they are lucky they have a job.

You’re suffering from a bad cold and are miserable with it, but somewhere in the world somebody has just had a cancer diagnosis, this puts how you are feeling into perspective.

You have been invited to your partners corporate dinner, but you are dreading it because you know you are going to have the worst night, well of course you’ll have the worst night because you are already in that mindset, the evening is doomed to fail before you even get there.

Here are some things that I recommend to help with those negative thoughts.

Smile – It helps change your mood and relieve stress. You also feel lighter because it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown.

Surround yourself with positive people, there is nothing worse than a negative Nancy to bring your mood down and when you need advice from a friend, you want it to be constructive yet full of love. You need to surround yourself with people who can put things in perspective and who won’t feed your negative thoughts.

Change your mind set from negative to positive, instead of thinking, ‘I’m going to have the worst birthday because we are in lockdown’, think, ‘It might not be what I’m used to but different is good and at least I’ll be relaxed at home, I don’t have to pick an outfit to wear out to dinner, I don’t have to worry about the cost of a taxi to my favourite restaurant so that I can drink, instead I can eat a takeaway in my loungewear surrounded by the people I love and I don’t need to travel anywhere’.

I’ve taken up yoga since the beginning of the year, and I love it, it’s not only making me feel better physically, but it also takes my focus away from my thoughts and brings my attention to my breath. Yoga is also very relaxing, which has helped ease my mind. Yoga helps me stay present to my experience so instead of jumping to what could happen, it brings me back to the now—the only moment, the most important moment.

Don’t play the victim, there is always a way out. We will always have the choice to make change happen if need be.

Help someone – Take the focus away from you and do something nice for another person, helping others makes you feel great!

It is easy to dwell on your mistakes. Remember that everyone makes mistakes, and you need to learn from them and move forward.

Sing – there is nothing better than a good sing, you should hear me in the car on my way to and from work. When we sing, we show our feelings, and this provides an amazing stress relief.

If I’m feeling negative, I’ll look for positive quotes on my social media or online as reminders to stay positive.

Being grateful helps you to appreciate what you already have. List 5 things that you are grateful for right now.

Mine are:

My health

My children

My home

My husband

A job that I love

Happy positive thinking!

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