St James Lane, Winchester, SO22 4NY

Patient Information


We cover here a few of the most asked questions around dental health and visits.  If you have another other questions you can either call or send a mail to us via the contact page.

Q. How often should I see a dentist?

Prevention is better than cure. Patients are encouraged to have a regular inspection every year. Oral hygiene can be checked and radiographs may be taken for early diagnosis of problems.

Q. How often should I get a check up?

Each patient’s dental need requirements are determined by individual factors. Your dental practitioner will be able to set your dental checkup interval based on individual risk factors. NICE has recently published a set of guidelines to outline these risk factors. The checkup interval may range between three and twenty four months. At Marlfield House we have a team of general dental practitioners mostly undertaking interceptive care and hygienists or therapists assisting in provision of preventative and intermediate care. Government pilots are currently looking into the use of these therapists for the provision of intermediate care.

Q. At what age should I start bringing my children to see a dentist?

As a general rule, about three years of age.

Q. What is the difference between a dentist and a hygienist and do I need to see both?

Hygienists are committed to preventative dentistry. They carry out a range of cleaning tasks including scaling and polishing your teeth. They will also advise on how to prevent your own tooth decay and gum disease. Hygienists are permitted to apply fluoride gel directly to the teeth and also afford extra and better protection by fissure sealing. This is of major importance in childrens’ dentistry as it can produce a significant reduction in tooth decay. Hygienists can advise you on a range of oral health procedures, tailored to your personal needs – these may include flossing, brushing and interdental cleaning. They can also recommend the most suitable products to carry out these procedures and can demonstrate how to use them.

Q. When should I floss?

For most people, once a day is sufficient – ideally after your last meal, before you go to bed. It doesn’t matter if you do it before or after brushing your teeth but try to remember to rinse your mouth out afterwards to wash any debris that has been dislodged. If you find that your floss frays or shreds when going through any tight gaps, you may be better off using a waxed, coated or PTFE floss – your hygienist can advise on availability of these.

Q. Can you advise me on the best “snack foods” to offer my children?

The worst snacks, and therefore the ones to keep for occasional treats, are sweets, chocolates, cakes, biscuits, crisps and fried foods. For babies six months try wholemeal toast, breadsticks, banana slices, cooked carrot or green beans and cubes of cheese. For toddlers you could offer cooked pasta twirls, raw vegetables, fingers of toast, plain biscuits or plain yoghurt. For older children and adults suitable snacks would include sandwiches filled with lean meat, tuna or sardines, baked beans on toast, fresh fruit or unsalted nuts.

Remember, it is the frequency of consumption of sugary snacks that matters. If your child wants to eat chocolate, it is best to encourage them to eat it after a meal (when a lot of saliva is produced which works against the plaque acids), rather than nibbling at it all day. Sugar free gum can also replace a snack – chewing for twenty minutes can help prevent tooth decay by stimulating the production of saliva which neutralizes plaque acid. And, finally, encourage children to drink fizzy drinks through a straw because the drink then bypasses the front teeth.


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