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Do you bite your nails? It’s estimated that around a quarter of adults chew their fingernails. While nail-biting may seem like a harmless habit, it can actually damage your smile. This is because it can wear down your teeth over time and even crack them! In this post, we’ll discuss what you need to know about nail-biting.

What are the risks of nail-biting?

While nail biting may seem harmless, it’s actually quite bad for your teeth. Here’s five ways that biting your nails can harm your smile.

  • Worn teeth. People who bite their fingernails – or indeed anything else, such as pencils, pens or ice – can gradually wear their teeth down over time, making their teeth more susceptible to decay.
  • Chipped or cracked teeth. By biting your nails, there’s the risk that you could accidentally chip or crack your teeth. No-one wants that!
  • Tooth loss. The risks of nail-biting are even greater for those who wear braces. This is because braces already put quite a bit of pressure on your teeth, and by biting your nails, you’re applying even more pressure. This can cause root resorption or even tooth loss. You definitely don’t want to lose your teeth after all the effort you’ve gone through to straighten them!
  • Spread of bacteria. You can easily spread bacteria to your mouth by putting your fingers inside. The area under your nails is a surprising hotbed for bacterial activity, and by putting your nails in your mouth, you’re transferring the bacteria to your mouth and teeth.
  • Teeth grinding. Nail biting can even lead to teeth grinding, according to research. A study has found that those who chew on their fingernails are more likely to suffer from teeth grinding later in life. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can lead to its own set of problems, including jaw pain and worn-down teeth.

How can I stop biting my nails?

As with any bad habit, it can be surprisingly difficult to stop. However, quitting is achievable. Here are some things you can do to make it easier to break your habit.

  • Swap a bad habit for a good one. When you feel the need to bite your nails, try playing with an elastic band or a stress ball instead. This will keep your hands busy and away from your mouth.
  • Apply bitter tasting nail polish to your nails. Some pharmacists sell a type of lacquer designed to help you stop biting your nails. It tastes awful, so if you apply a bit of it to your nails, you’ll soon learn not to chew them. Don’t worry though – it’s safe to ingest. Not that you’d want to though!
  • Cut your nails short. Having short nails means there will be less for you to bite.
  • Identify why you’re biting your fingernails. Some people bite their nails because they’re bored; others bite them because they’re stressed or anxious. Figuring out what’s triggering you can help you to avoid these situations. Even just understanding your problem better can help you to gain control over it.


More than 200,000 people every year get braces in the UK, according to the NHS website. Most of these people are teenagers, but nowadays, more adults are getting braces too.

If you’re an adult and you have braces, then you might be wondering what to expect when your braces finally come off. You’ll certainly be looking forward to this day. Your teeth will, of course, be straighter, and you’ll also appreciate the new freedom of no longer having braces attached your teeth. In this post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about life after braces.

The removal procedure

The procedure to take off your braces is fairly straightforward and you won’t have to prepare for it in any way. What’s more, the procedure is typically pain-free. Furthermore, only one dental appointment is needed and you’ll be able to go straight back to work afterwards.


After wearing braces, you’ll need to wear a retainer at night, typically for the rest of your life, to stop your teeth from moving back to their old positions. We’re sorry if you thought that you were done when the braces came off! The good news however is that retainers are comfortable to wear because they’re custom-made. They’re also easy to clean since you only need to brush them with toothpaste.

Retainers last between six months to several years, after which you’ll have to return to the dentist to get a new one.

Teeth whitening

After having braces, many people choose to get their teeth whitened. This is to get a pearly white smile to go with their new straight teeth. If tooth whitening is something you’re interested in, then you should know that there are two options to choose from: in-office whitening and at home whitening.

With in-office whitening, your dentist will cover your teeth with a special bleaching gel. The procedure can be done in just one dental visit.

Or, if you prefer to whiten your teeth at home, then you could try a toothpaste that contains hydrogen peroxide. This ingredient removes stains and can whiten your teeth. However, watch out for tooth sensitivity – this could be a sign that the toothpaste is prematurely wearing away your enamel.


Once your braces come off, there are certain foods that are safe to eat again. These include chewing gum, popcorn, and hard boiled sweets.

However, don’t go crazy with the sugar: it can lead to cavities, which is something you don’t want, especially after all the effort you made to improve your smile.

Oral hygiene routine

When your braces finally off, you’ll find that brushing and flossing are much easier than before since you’ll no longer have to navigate around your brackets and wires. However, just because it’s easier to keep your teeth clean, it doesn’t mean that you can stop brushing your teeth twice a day. By maintaining a good oral hygiene routine, you’ll have a great smile for decades to come.


Getting your braces taken off is definitely the most exciting part of having braces. By wearing your retainer every night and by practising a good oral hygiene routine, you can keep your teeth healthy and straight for life.


Brushing, flossing and regular dental visits – these are all staples for healthy teeth and gums, but unfortunately, they can only go so far. For a truly healthy smile, it’s also important to make the right lifestyle choices. In this post, we’ll discuss seven lifestyle choices that could affect the health of your teeth.

1. Smoking

There’s an Oasis song called “Cigarettes and Alcohol”. The title of the song might as well be about dental care because cigarettes and alcohol are both things that are bad for your teeth.

Did you know smoking is bad for your gums as well? The smoke from cigarettes has a toxic effect on gum tissue and also can impede the blood flow in your gums. Not to mention that smoking can stain your teeth and cause mouth cancer. It’s safe to say then that giving up smoking could be one of the best things you can do for your oral health.

2. Alcohol

As mentioned, alcohol is also bad for your teeth. This is because alcohol dehydrates your mouth, which allows bacteria to grow unimpeded. There’s also the fact that you’re more unlikely to remember to brush your teeth after a night of drinking.

3. Diet

Your diet can have a huge effect on your oral health, particularly if your diet is high in sugar. Eating sugar will encourage the bacteria in your mouth to grow and cause plaque, which will eventually cause tooth decay. So to keep your teeth healthy, it’s best to stick to a diet as low in sugar as possible.

4. Lack of sleep

Some studies suggest that the number of hours of sleep you get can affect your oral health. Specifically, if you don’t get much sleep, your body’s immune response can become impaired and make you more susceptible to problems such as gum disease.

5. Weight change

If you wear dentures, then avoid yo-yo dieting. This is because weight gain and weight loss will affect how your dentures fit. If you do wear dentures and you happen to lose or gain weight, then visit your dentist so he or she can readjust the fit of your dentures.

6. Medication

Some medications can affect your oral health. For example, some medications cause dry mouth which increases the risk of tooth decay. Other medications can stain your teeth.

Therefore, we recommend that you talk with your dentist or doctor before you take any new medications so that you can learn about possible any side-effects.

7. Stress

Stress can have a real effect on your oral health. For one thing, people who are under stress often grind their teeth at night, which can wear down their teeth over time. For another thing, research shows that stress can make us more susceptible to infections, such as gum disease. Then there’s the fact that people who are under a lot of stress often neglect to take care of their oral .health properly. So if you’re under stress, try to take time out to relax and take care of yourself.

Need more information? Call us for an appointment

If you’d like to speak to a dentist about any of the above issues, then book an appointment with us by calling 01282 428435. One of our receptionists will be happy to help.


If you play sports, then one of the best things you can do for your teeth is to wear a sports mouthguard. These custom-made mouthpieces protect your mouth from the crashes, collisions and falls that could otherwise result in lost or broken teeth.

However, mouthguards can also be dangerous, since they can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Even worse, people often neglect to clean their mouthguard properly or they store it in the wrong way. If you want to learn how to use your mouthguard correctly, then read this blog post to find out.


How to clean your mouthguard

You should always clean your mouthguard after use because bacteria can easily accumulate on them. Here’s how to clean it:

  1. Rinse. At a minimum, you should be rinsing your mouthguard after use. Make sure to use cold water instead of hot water though, because hot water could distort the plastic.
  2. Brush. Ideally, you should be brushing your mouthguard after each use too. A toothbrush and toothpaste are the best tools for this job. Children’s toothbrushes are ideal because they’re small and can get into the crevices easily.
  3. Dry. Let your mouthguard dry completely before you put it away.

Extra tip: Some people find that leaving their mouthguard in a soaking solution helps to freshen it.


Other things you need to know

If you thought things were that simple, then think again. There are a few more things you need to know about mouthguards if you want to keep your teeth safe and healthy.

  • Clean your teeth before you put on the mouthguard. It’s important to clean your teeth before you wear your mouthguard. This is because if you don’t brush your teeth, you will transfer any bacteria in your mouth to the mouthguard. So brush with toothpaste and then rinse your mouth with mouthwash.
  • Clean your teeth after you take out the mouthguard. It’s also a good idea to give your teeth a quick clean after you’ve taken out the mouthguard. This will rid of your mouth of any bacteria that were on the mouthguard.
  • Store your mouthguard correctly. You should keep your mouthguard in a container – this shouldn’t be difficult as most guards already come already with a plastic container. Do make sure the container has air vents though, so any moisture can escape.
  • Keep your mouthguard container clean too. Not only do you need to keep your mouthguard clean, you also need to keep its container clean too! If all this sounds like a lot of unnecessary work, we promise you that it’s worth it because it helps to prevent plaque and cavities. To clean the container, use warm water and a non-toxic cleaner, then leave it to air dry before putting the mouthguard inside.
  • If your mouthguard is showing signs of wear, get a new one. A mouthguard that has signs of wear and tear probably needs to be replaced. This is because the cracks and holes in the guard can harbour bacteria, and it can be nigh-on impossible to get these bacteria out.

Now that you know how to take care of a mouthguard, have fun and play well!


Toothaches are one of the worst pains that people can suffer from. They can be debilitating to those who have them and there’s unfortunately no cure other than going to a dentist.

The consequences of toothaches include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • A bad mood
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty eating
  • Headaches
  • Inflammation
  • infections that may require antibiotics

In this post, we’ll discuss the causes of toothaches and what you can do if you have one.

What causes toothaches?

There are many causes of toothache, so it’s important to go to the dentist immediately so you can find out what’s causing it. Below, we’ll discuss the most common causes of toothache.

  • Fractures: A broken tooth, whether from playing sports, an accident or a nasty fall, will certainly cause pain. In the event of a broken tooth, see an emergency dentist as soon as possible because your prognosis depends on how quickly you receive treatment. The treatment will depend on the severity of the broken tooth. If the damage is small then only a small reconstruction might be needed. More extensive damage will require a crown, and in the worst scenario, the dentist will have to remove the whole tooth and replace it with an implant.
  • Cavities: One of the most common causes of toothache are cavities. When cavities are still in their early stages, they usually don’t cause any pain. But as they grow, they can become painful, especially if they reach a nerve. For this reason, it’s important that you go to a dentist for regular checkups. This way, the dentist can catch any cavities before they become serious.
  • Bruxism: Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is where a person involuntarily grinds their teeth. Sufferers of bruxism usually do it in their sleep, though it can also happen when you’re awake too. Many people suffer from bruxism and some aren’t even aware of it. It’s a serious problem because bruxism can wear down your teeth and cause headaches and toothaches. In extreme cases, your teeth can crack and fracture. To correct bruxism, most dentists recommend using a night guard.
  • Wisdom teeth: Your wisdom teeth have the ability to cause real pain since they’re large and they often don’t have space to erupt from your gums. If you’re suffering from wisdom teeth pain, then the only solution is to get your wisdom teeth removed.

How do I get rid of a toothache?

To alleviate a toothache, the only real solution is to go to a dentist. Your dental professional will be able to diagnose the problem and find a solution.

However, this advice isn’t very useful if you can’t see a dentist right away. If you want to alleviate your toothache now, try applying a cold press to the area. You can make a cold press out of ice, a towel and a plastic resealable bag. Simply put the ice in the bag with a bit of water, seal the bag and then wrap it in a towel. Finally, apply the towel to the area of your mouth that’s painful.

Another way to temporarily alleviate a toothache is with painkillers. Pharmacies sell over-the-counter painkillers, but be sure to get the advice of your doctor or pharmacist before you take them.

If you have a toothache, then we recommend making an appointment with Queensgate Dental Practice as soon as possible. To make an appointment, simply call us on 01282 428435.


This year Brahma wanted to do something different for Valentine’s Day, something you wouldn’t usually do.
He came up with the noble idea to ring the Blood donation hotline and on 14th Feb 2018 booked an appointment to donate a pint of Blood instead of having a pint of beer.
He urges all of us to cultivate this habit of donating blood regularly as donation not only helps patients in need but also helps in producing fresh new blood again.


Plaque is a yellowish substance that accumulates between our teeth. It’s perhaps the most common dental problem today, and if it’s not addressed, then it can also become quite a serious problem. This is because plaque can cause dental issues such as gingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth pain.

It’s important to know how to remove plaque from your teeth and also how to avoid it in the first place. So in this blog post, we’ll provide some tips on the causes of plaque and how to prevent plaque from ruining your smile.

What causes plaque?

Plaque occurs for various reasons. The main reasons are:

  • Consuming food and drink high in sugar, fat and acidity. This is one of the principal causes of plaque.
  • Poor dental hygiene. Plaque often occurs in people who fail to maintain a good oral hygiene routine, such as brushing your teeth twice a day.
  • Tobacco. Smokers often get plaque on their teeth because of the cigarettes they smoke.
  • Coffee. Sorry, coffee addicts – your risk of plaque also increases if you’re a coffee drinker.

How can I avoid plaque?

  • Maintain a good dental hygiene routine. To avoid plaque, it’s essential that you maintain a good dental hygiene routine. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day (once before you go to bed, and once during the day). Also, make sure to brush your gums as well as your teeth, because your gums can also harbour bacteria.
  • Floss. Something many people forget is dental floss. Floss is essential for good oral hygiene because it can remove plaque from between your teeth, which is place where your toothbrush can’t reach. So before or after brushing, use a piece of floss to remove plaque from between your teeth.
  • Eat less sugar. To avoid plaque, it’s also important to eat a diet low in sugar. Reduce the amount of sugar in your diet by cutting down on foods like sweets, chocolate, cakes and desserts.
  • Drink plenty of water. Drinking water throughout the day can also help to avoid plaque.

How can I remove plaque from my teeth?

One of the best ways to remove plaque is with your good old toothbrush and floss. By brushing twice a day and flossing every day, you can remove the plaque from your teeth on a daily basis. Also, consider getting an electric toothbrush – they’ve been proven to remove more plaque from teeth than regular toothbrushes.

However, sometimes plaque becomes so severe that it solidifies into tartar, and when this happens, no amount of brushing or flossing will remove it. In this case, the only way to remove it is with a visit to the dentist. The procedure to remove tartar is a scale and polish. In the first step, the dentist will scrape away the tartar from your teeth (the scaling), and in the second step, the dentist will polish your teeth to remove stains.

Even if you don’t have tartar on your teeth, it’s still a good idea to go the dentist regularly. A dentist can perform an in-depth examination of your teeth and can let you know if you have any plaque. If you’re concerned about plaque or tartar on your teeth, then don’t delay in making an appointment with us. We’re also here for your routine dental appointments – just contact one of our friendly receptionists on 01282 428435.

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Come and visit our practice, we’re taking on new patients right now. All of our dentists are registered with the General Dental Council.


Queensgate Dental Practice, 303 Colne Road, Burnley, Lancashire, BB10 1EJ


BY PHONE: 01282 428435

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