Dentist in Harrogate, North Yorkshire

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General Dentistry

When should my child first see a dentist?
Your child's first dental visit should take place at around 12 months of age or shortly after the eruption of the first baby tooth. This gives the child chance to meet the dentist and the parent a chance to ask any questions regarding dental care. It is best not to wait until your child has a toothache or a dental emergency to take him/her to the dentist for the first time; the experience may be traumatic and one the child will probably remember for many years to come. We welcome all children and aim to give them a happy
How often should I have a check up?
Dentists usually consider six months as an appropriate time interval for most patients. At the Roberts-Harry Dental Clinic we will discuss with you the most appropriate length of time between check-up, usually between 6 and 12 months. Some patients who need regular gum care come in every three months or more frequently for hygiene treatment. The interval between dental check-ups is geared to each individuals needs
How often should x-rays be taken?
If you are a new patient and have had x-rays taken recently or in the last year you should tell the dentist so these are not repeated. X-rays for routine checking are taken according to the level of tooth decay of the individual patient. If you have not had x-rays taken within a year, they may be taken on your first visit. Depending on your oral health, you may only need x-rays once every two years or less frequently for most children. Some people will require more frequent x-rays due to continued treatment, tooth or gum problems, diet, oral hygiene, and/or health related issues. Larger x-rays are sometimes taken to check, for unerupted teeth, wisdom teeth, infection and for some more complex or specialist treatment.
Which toothpaste should I use?
There are many varieties from gels, whitening toothpaste, tartar control toothpaste, to natural toothpaste, toothpaste made for children, and sensitive teeth. The brand of toothpaste you choose is not as important as what is in the toothpaste itself. Even if you have fluoride in your drinking water, it is still wise to choose toothpaste that contains fluoride. The tartar control toothpastes can be very good at reducing the overall level of tartar or calculus on teeth and some toothpastes contain Triclosan, which is excellent for gum problems.
Why do I need oral hygiene instruction -I brush my teeth all the time?
Most people carry out some level of personal dental care but even the most conscientious brushing may not be as effective as it needs to be. You brush your teeth to remove plaque and this can be more difficult than you think. Plaque is the same colour as your teeth and you may not be removing it from every surface of every tooth, which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Apart from scaling and cleaning the teeth, we offer hygiene advice and ensure you are cleaning your teeth the best way for you. Over brushing can also cause tooth wear and a good brushing technique is important to prevent this happening. A poor diet can also cause problems. Apart from sugar causing tooth decay the high consumption of fizzy drinks, fizzy water and fresh fruit juices can dissolve or thin the enamel leading to tooth wear and sensitivity. We can direct the advice to your individual needs and help avoid dental problems altogether dramatically reducing dental bills over a lifetime.
Should I clean between my teeth?
Every adult should be cleaning between their teeth with floss or minibrushes. For healthy gums and teeth 2-3 times a week would be adequate but for those with past or present gum disease once every day would be advisable. Toothpaste should not be used on minibrushes between teeth. A visit to the hygienist/dental therapist should ensure you know how to brush properly as well as clean between your teeth.
How do I know if I have gum disease?
It is not always obvious as gum disease can be present without symptoms. Regular dental and gum checks are essential to identify gum disease. A simple, painless basic periodontal examination (BPE) carried out regularly will give a good picture of gum health and can help to reassure you that any problems are under control. A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in gum problems. Early treatment can often reverse the problem before any long term damage is done although in most cases even for advanced gum problems effective treatment can prolong the life of teeth.


What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a specialised branch of dentistry that focuses on the development of the face, teeth and jaws to achieve optimal function and aesthetics. Straight teeth not only result in a beautiful smile but a healthier one too.

Anyone can benefit from orthodontic treatment. And with new technology, leading to reduced treatment times and inconspicuous braces, an ever-increasing number of adults and children are undergoing treatment.
What will happen at the first appointment?
We assess your concerns, discuss the treatment plan and the optimum time to start treatment. We will also take into account, your dental development and your oral hygiene. Patients who are not ready to start treatment will be reviewed at a later date. A brace will not be fitted at this session.
At what age should I have braces?
Most orthodontic treatment is carried out when all of the adult teeth have grown into the mouth. For the majority of patients, this is usually around age 12 or 13. However, treatment is sometimes done at an earlier stage if there is a developing problem with the way the teeth bite together. Some orthodontic treatment is dependent on the growth of the jaws and therefore is best done around age 11-14 in girls and about 12-14 in boys.
Can orthodontic treatment be done on adult patients?
Yes, absolutely! Most orthodontic treatment can be carried out at any age and more and more adult patients are now undergoing treatment.
Will I have to pay for orthodontic treatment?
Patients under 18 years of age who are eligible for treatment under the NHS Regulations may be able to receive their treatment free of charge. Patients who are over 18 years of age or who do not qualify for treatment on the NHS have the opportunity to take up private treatment. See our price guide for further information and we have a range of financial packages available to help you budget for the treatment.
Do I still need to see my dentist when I am wearing braces?
You will still need to attend your dentist for routine check-ups and if necessary your dentist will carry out any additional dental treatment. All of your orthodontic treatment will be done by our team of qualified clinicians and therapists.
Will my brace hurt?
Fitting a brace is completely painless and the brace is simply ‘glued’ on to the teeth. As the teeth start to move over the next 2-3 days they will be a bit tender to bite on but this can be alleviated with painkillers. Initially the brace may rub the inside of the cheek and lips but this is usually only for the first week or so. There are some special wax gels to help with this problem
Will I have to have teeth removed?
Teeth will only be extracted if absolutely necessary to give the ideal result e.g. if there is extreme crowding. Modern orthodontic technology has significantly reduced the necessity to remove teeth.
How long do I need to wear braces for?
An average course of orthodontic treatment takes about 18 months to 2 years. However this varies depending on the complexity the case and how fast the teeth are prepared to move. We will always strive to complete the treatment as quickly as possible
How often do I need to attend for appointments?
Unusually every 8-12 weeks, so that the treatment should not encroach unduly on your time.
Can I play contact sports when I am wearing fixed braces?
Yes but it is important that you use a preformed gum shield which we can supply you with. Once your braces are removed, we strongly recommend that you have a custom made gum shield and we can make one of these for you.
Will the brace affect my speech?
Some removable and lingual braces will take a few days to get used to but after this your speech should return to normal.
Can I still play musical instruments?
Yes, but you may have to modify your technique slightly once the brace has been fitted and again after it has been removed. Playing instruments with a small mouthpiece e.g. cornet or flute, can be more difficult when wearing braces. We advise that you do not have braces fitted or removed close to an important concert or exam.
What are retainers?
At the end of your orthodontic treatment you will be provided with a clear plastic removable brace to keep your teeth in position. These need to be worn for 3 days full time and after this every night for at least a year. However, teeth do continue to move throughout your lifetime and we advise that you continue to wear your retainers for life. These usually need to be replaced about every 5 years or sooner if they become worn. Alternatively we can provide you with a discrete fixed retainer which is glued to the back of your teeth. This is a comfortable retainer that may be preferred to the removable option.
What do I do if I have a problem with my brace?
If you are experiencing problems or have any concerns about any aspect of your treatment, please telephone the Clinic.
Can I get orthodontic treatment on the NHS?
NHS treatment is available to eligible patients under 18 years of age and is intended for those patients who require orthodontic treatment on the grounds of dental health. Such problems include severe protrusion of the teeth, severe crowding of the teeth and congenitally missing teeth. Treatment for minor problems or cosmetic reasons alone is not usually available on the NHS. Patients requesting NHS treatment may be subject to a waiting list.

For those patients not eligible for NHS treatment we will discuss the option of private care and discuss with you our various finance schemes. This is often more affordable than you think and many patients choose this option for the greater convenience that it offers
What about Private Orthodontics?
Private orthodontic treatment is available to all ages and provides patients with the opportunity to receive the best possible treatment, using the very latest techniques
What are the benefits of private treatment?

  • No waiting lists
  • Flexible appointment times
  • Invisalign, tooth coloured and lingual braces available.
  • Quicker treatments using the latest brace systems.
  • A choice of retainers e.g. bonded retainers to ensure your teeth stay exactly where you want them after treatment, without having to rely on removable retainers.


Could the health of my mouth affect my general health?
Yes. There are new findings which support something that dental professionals have suspected for a long time: infections in the mouth can cause problems in other parts of the body.
What problems could my dental health cause?
Problems which may be caused or made worse by poor dental health include:
  • Heart disease
  • Strokes
  • Diabetes
  • Premature and low-birth-weight babies
  • Respiratory (lung) disease.
How can the health of my mouth affect my heart?
People with gum disease are almost twice as likely to have coronary artery disease than people without gum disease. When people have gum disease, bacteria from the mouth can get into their bloodstream. The bacteria produce protein. This can then affect the heart by causing the platelets in the blood to stick together in the blood vessels of the heart. This can make clots more likely to form. Blood clots can reduce normal blood flow, so that the heart does not get all the nutrients and oxygen it needs.

If the blood flow is badly affected this could lead to a heart attack.
What is the link between gum disease and strokes?
Several studies have looked at the connection between mouth infections and strokes. They have found that people who have had a stroke are more likely to have gum disease than people who have not had one.

When the bacteria that cause gum disease get into the bloodstream, they produce a protein. This can cause inflammation of the blood vessels, and this can block the blood supply to the brain. This can cause a stroke.
How could diabetes affect my dental health?
People with diabetes are more likely to have gum disease than people without it. This is probably because diabetics are more likely to get infections in general. People who do not know they have diabetes, or whose diabetes is not under control, are especially at risk.

If you do have diabetes it is important that any gum disease is diagnosed, because it can increase your blood sugar. This would put you at risk of diabetic complications.

Also, if you are diabetic, you may find that you heal more slowly. If you have a problem with your gums, or have problems after visits to your dentist, discuss this with your dentist before you have any treatment.

New research has also shown that you are more likely to develop diabetes if you have gum disease.

If you have diabetes, you have an increased risk of losing teeth.
Do I need to tell my dentist about any changes to my general health?
Always tell your dentist about any changes to your general health. It is especially important to tell them if you are pregnant or have heart disease, diabetes, lung disease or have ever had a stroke. You also need to tell them about any medicines you are taking as these can affect both your treatment and the health of your mouth.
How could bacteria in the mouth affect my lungs?
Bacterial chest infections are thought to be caused by breathing in fine droplets from the throat and mouth into the lungs. This can cause infections, such as pneumonia, or could make an existing condition worse. People with gum disease have more bacteria in their mouths and may therefore be more likely to get chest infections.
What are the tell-tale signs I should look out for?
Visit your dentist or hygienist if you have any of the symptoms of gum disease, which can include:
  • Inflammation of the gums, causing them to be red, swollen and to bleed easily, especially when brushing.
  • An unpleasant taste in your mouth.
  • Bad breath.
  • Loose teeth.
  • Regular mouth infections.
Does gum disease run in families?
Although there is some evidence that gum disease runs in families, the main cause is the plaque that forms on the surface of your teeth. To prevent gum disease, you need to make sure you remove all the plaque from your teeth every day by brushing and cleaning in between your teeth.
How can I help to stop my gum disease getting worse?
If you have gum disease, your dentist or hygienist will usually give your teeth a thorough clean to remove any scale or tartar. This may take a number of sessions with the dentist or hygienist.

They will also show you how to remove the soft plaque yourself, by cleaning all the surfaces of your teeth thoroughly at home. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria which forms on the teeth every day (See our leaflet 'Tell me about gum disease').

Gum disease is never cured. But as long as you keep up the home-care you have been taught you can slow down its progress and even stop it altogether. You must make sure you remove plaque every day, and go for regular check-ups with the dentist and hygienist, as often as they recommend.

How To Find Us


The Roberts - Harry Dental Clinic
East Parade  Harrogate

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01423 522555

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