All Posts in Category: Health Basics

Covid precautions at our Clinic

Ensuring safety of our Dental Patients during Covid-19

During this Covid pandemic many things have changed, but at Camilleri Dental Medical Clinic one thing has remained the same – our commitment to your safety. Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice, and you may have seen this if you have attended our clinic. Our infection control processes are designed so that when you receive care, it is both safe and comfortable. On entering our clinic all patients are requested to wear a mask and sanitize their hands and their temperature is also checked and recorded. We have a spacious waiting room with designated seating and the dentist wears full protective equipment (FFP3 mask, visor, double gloves and a gown) when carrying out an aerosol generating procedure such as a filling or a cleaning. 

Covid-19: Our clinic’s infection control measures

Changing the air and air filtration at Camilleri Dental Clinic

Since we regularly carry out aerosol generating procedures, we have invested in an Air Changer which has inlets and outlets in every room. The surgeries are equipped with HEPA (High-efficiency Particulate Arrestor) filters which remove particles including bacteria and virus clusters. The efficiency of the surgery air HEPA filters is at least 99.97% at 0.3 Micron. The conditioned air enters at the top of the room and is designed to change the air 6 times an hour within each room, so that the air is constantly changed and purified.  In addition, we have also installed rigorous safety protocols to further prevent the possible release of particles, such as high-volume suction and additional UV air purifiers. The Air purifiers use the latest technology in air purification and a 5-level filtration system which eliminate contaminants in the room, quickly and effectively.

Should I visit my dentist?

We are confident about the safety of our clinic and we would in most cases not suggest skipping your dental check up or any other treatment you may have for fear of Covid-19.

However, we do advise the following:

If you are a person at high risk (in a high-risk age group, an asthmatic person, or someone suffering from an autoimmune condition amongst other things) or live with someone who is at high risk, you may want to consider postponing your appointment. If you are unsure about your specific situation, we would be happy to advise you as to whether visiting our clinic is fine or whether you should cancel or postpone your appointment. Our patient’s wellbeing will always be first at Camilleri Dental Clinic.


Tel: (+356) 21330468

The treatments we offer

During this pandemic, our clinic has maximized protection following the guidelines of internal health authorities for ourselves and our patients. With all the above measures in place and our staff trained to be extra careful and vigilant with regards to sanitization procedures, we are glad to be able to offer our patients all the services listed on our website including treatments falling under:

  • Orthodontics
  • Paediatric Dentistry
  • Oral Surgery
  • Cosmetic Dentistry

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About dental practices during Covid-19

Covid-19 is spread through saliva droplets; whenever we breathe, talk, sneeze and so forth we allow saliva droplets to enter the surrounding air. These droplets can find their way into another person’s nose, mouth, or eyes – not necessarily through inhalation of any contaminated surrounding air but also by touching surfaces other infected individual’s may have touched. If a symptomatic or asymptomatic Covid-19 person contaminates a surface (whether by touching it, sneezing on it, accidentally allowing droplets of saliva to fall onto the surface etc), the person who next touches the surface with for ex. their hands, and then proceeds to touch their mouth, inner nose, rub their eyes etc is at risk of picking up the infection. Covid-19 is extremely contagious.

Because of many dental procedures involving instruments which produce a relatively high amount of saliva droplets (such as drills), dental practices are particularly high-risk, especially if they do not have all the required precautions, equipment and procedures in place. Particles of Covid-19 can linger in the air for hours, making a filtration system specifically designed to get rid of germs a must-have for any clinic to operate during the current time.

At Camilleri Dental Medical Clinic we pride ourselves with placing Patient safety first and we look forward to welcoming you to our clinic.

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Tooth Myths Debunked – you have probably been doing it wrong!

You might have heard or learned a lot about brushing your teeth and how best to look after them – but the things we often learn or hear or even what we teach our kids about oral hygiene is not always factually correct.

Myth: you should Wet your toothbrush

You do not actually need to wet your toothbrush before you add tooth paste to it. If you wet your toothbrush for softer bristles, then you should just opt for a soft bristled toothbrush. If you wet your toothbrush to better lather the toothbrush, you should have enough saliva in your mouth to do this – there is no need to wet the toothbrush. Wetting your toothbrush can dilute the fluoride content in the toothpaste. If you really feel you must wet your toothbrush, use a minimal amount of water.

Myth: add a nice slug of toothpaste

Adverts are very misleading – when toothpaste is being applied to the toothbrush, the TV ad usually shows toothpaste being pushed out the tube and the length of the toothbrush, from end to end – the toothpaste worm. It is in the interest of marketers that we consume as much toothpaste as possible so that we end up needing to buy tooth paste more often. The truth is, we only need a pea sized amount to brush our teeth. Any more toothpaste than this, will not give you better results. It will only waste more money.

Myth: Cleaner teeth mean hard brushing

You should not apply too much pressure when brushing your teeth. Brushing too hard and vigorously will not get the teeth any cleaner then using a lighter stroke. Hard brushing could damage the teeth by eroding the enamel over time. By brushing hard, you may be increasing your chances of cavities because the enamel protects the inner part of the tooth and hard brushing wears the enamel away. Also, try to opt for soft to medium bristled toothbrushes. Very hard bristles can also damage the tooth enamel.

Myth: flossing is important

This has been debated in the recent years by dentists and professionals in the area. In the USA, flossing has been removed from the Dietary Guidelines issued by the ADA (American Dental Association). Public Health England also started reviewing their recommendations back in2016. The British Dental Association doesn’t particularly champion flossing or discourage it. It does however, recommend small single tuft tooth brushes which can help reach areas in between the teeth that conventional tooth brushes may not. Although strong evidence in favour of flossing is lacking, with no major study concluding it is important, it does not mean flossing is useless or that you shouldn’t floss.

Myth: chewing gum cleans your mouth

Not a replacement for brushing your teeth – chewing [sugar free] gum can have a protective effect on the teeth, but it does not actually clean them anywhere close to the way a good brushing would. The benefits of chewing gum are in the production of saliva. Gums stimulates more saliva to be produced which means your mouth can wash away acids from food and drinks that can erode the tooth enamel. If the gum Xylitol, it can help redouble the effects of saliva.

Myth: If I cut out sugar, I will avoid cavities

Sugar is bad for your teeth- we all know this. But crisps and crackers can also be bad for teeth, in fact they may be even worse. The starch content in these foods is high. Carbohydrates contain sugars and the sugars found in the carbs you take in when eating crisps, can damage the teeth.

Myth: avoid brushing gums if they bleed

This is a difficult one to explain. Bleeding is a sign of infection in the gum but sometimes actually getting your gums to bleed can help with the heeling process. If you notice your gums bleeding, don’t be afraid to brush them – you should always brush your gums along with your teeth anyway. In fact, brushing will help your gums heal, even if it means more bleeding. However, we do suggest you visit your dentist to see what the cause of the gum bleed is.

If you already new all this, hats off to you. We hope all our patients learn all there is to learn to help them maximise their oral health.

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Why do I need retainers?

Why do I need retainers after braces?

Retainers are provided after nearly every type of orthodontic treatment except the simplest type in very young patients. This is because the bone and gums need time to adjust to the new positions of the teeth. Failure to provide (or wear) retainers may mean that the teeth will relapse, that is, move either partly or wholly back to their original position.

How have they evolved?

In the late 1960’s a scientist called Reitan found that the reorganisation process takes roughly a year. The first few months of the retention phase is the time that the teeth are most prone to rapid relapse. Some movements of teeth are more prone to relapse than others. For example, rotated or twisted teeth are very prone to relapse and the gaps between previously spaced teeth are even more likely to re-open unless retained. This is because the elastic fibres in the gums take a long time to adjust. Even after the first year is over, your teeth may still move. This is because your teeth respond to pressure (otherwise your brace wouldn’t have worked). Once the brace is off, your teeth come under the influence of your lips, which apply inward pressure on your teeth and your tongue, which pushes the other way. The stable position of your teeth is the balance zone between the two pressures and this is where your orthodontist will have aimed to put them. However this balance zone moves throughout your life as your face matures and changes with age.

Some of the more recent findings

Scientists in the UK and the USA have found that the front part of your mouth actually narrows by a millimetre or two after the age of thirteen. A Swedish scientist named Bjork looked at serial xrays of children and adolescents and found that the lower jaw keeps growing for longer than the top, possibly leading to movement of the teeth as they try to keep contact.  Furthermore, your face keeps lengthening, albeit again by a millimetre or two, into middle age. This does not sound like much but millmetres make quite a difference to the appearance of teeth.

Why do teeth move?

The most common time for teeth to move after having had braces is when you are in your late teens or early twenties. Many people notice that their lower front teeth have crowded. Traditionally the wisdom teeth have been blamed for this, but an Irish researcher, Margaret Richardson, looked into this subject and found that wisdom teeth do not make a significant contribution to crowding of the lower incisors, so please do not have your wisdom teeth out to prevent or treat this problem. In summary, nobody knows exactly why the teeth tend to move at this age, however the most likely explanation is that your face is always changing and your teeth change also. Therefore, even though you have had a course of bracework and your teeth are perfectly aligned, the only way to guarantee that your teeth will stay straight is to keep wearing a retainer, at least on a part-time basis – for as long as you want to keep them straight! I will discuss the different types of retainer in a subsequent post.

What types of retainer are there?

There are two basic types of retainers, removable or fixed and both have their pros and cons. Removable retainers are usually worn full-time for the first three to four crucial months after removal of the brace but are removed for eating and cleaning. Afterwards they may be worn at night only. They are very effective and reliable, but obviously this depends on their being worn as instructed.

There are two categories of removable retainers:

Vacuum formed retainers are the most common. These are made of polyethylene or polypropylene sheets which are vaccum formed to a mould of your teeth. They are light and transparent, virtually invisible and as they only cover the teeth, there is rarely and interference with speech apart from the first day or so. However they may be damaged if the instructions for wear and cleaning are not followed and being almost invisible, are easily lost! 

The other type are made of acrylic and wire, the commonest being known as a Hawley retainer. These retainers are more robust but heavier and cover at least part of the palate, therefore are more prone to affect speech. There is often a wire crossing the front teeth and so are more noticeable. These retainers are used in certain cases where a vacuum formed retainer is not suitable, e.g. when the upper jaw has been expanded or after major jaw surgery.

Advantages of removable retainers

The major advantage of a removable retainer is that the wearer can control and supervise the retention of the teeth. Removable retainers need only occasional checks by the orthodontist as damage is easily spotted by the wearer. Furthermore, if the retainer is not worn for a time and the teeth move slightly, the situation may often be saved by pushing the retainer in until the teeth move back into place. Being removable, there is nothing to hinder cleaning of the teeth. Your local dentist will be able to tell you more about this.

Fixed retainers are fine wires glued to the backs of the teeth and are usually preferred by patients as they eliminate the need to remember to wear a retainer. They also do not interfere with speech. However they do have several disadvantages. They cannot be placed in every situation as they may interfere with the way the teeth meet. This will either cause discomfort or will break under the force of the bite. Being fixed they tend to accumulate debris. This may be difficult to remove, even by a dentist and may cause disease. They may also become detached and need urgent repair. Should a fixed retainer become partly detached and the wearer does not notice, the detached teeth may drift. These may be very difficult to bring back into line without a further course of bracework. Occasionally, if the fine wire is damaged or bent, it may act as a spring and move the teeth itself. Again, the wearer may not notice until significant movement has occurred and considerable re-treatment will be necessary to straighten the teeth once again. So, while fixed retainers are useful in certain cases, they are certainly not ‘fit and forget’ as most people would like them to be. A fixed retainer needs regular, lifelong supervision and maintenance, either by a general dentist who has some extra training and knows what to look for, or by an orthodontist.

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Medical Doctor

Are my teeth and gums healthy? A few checks you can do yourself

You should be asking yourself this question and take a quick look at the inside of your mouth from time to time. A few checks and you should have a fair idea of whether your teeth and gums are healthy or perhaps whether there may be some underlying condition which may require a visit to the dentist’s.

Look at your gums

We seem to invariably concentrate on looking at our teeth and how straight, clean or white they are, often ignoring our gums. People many times don’t realize just how important the gums, the tongue and our entire mouth actually is.  Healthy gums should not be any other colour but pink. If they appear too red or too white, then there could be a dental issue. You may find yourself wondering if your gums are the right “healthy” pink or not. Running your fingers gently on the surface of your gums should be a good check for you to carry out hand in hand with your gum colour check. If sliding your finger across your gums results in any discomfort, pain or bleeding there could be an underlying problem.

What about my tongue?

You should examine your entire mouth – oral health is called “oral health” because it is concerned with the overall health of all parts of the mouth not just the teeth. Your tongue should be pink (not white or crackled) and you mouth should feel moist which a constant flow of saliva. Saliva is important for a number of reasons – besides carrying out part of the digestive process, it also help flush and clean our mouths. If you suffer from a dry mouth, a condition known as xerostomia, you should definitely get it seem to. A dry mouth can be a side effect of some medications but it can also be a sign of an underlying condition like diabetes or Alzheimer’s. When brushing your teeth remember to also brush your tongue. Plaque build up also happens here and brushing will ensure a healthier mouth, preventing bad breath and a host of other potential issues.

What about my breath?

We may begin by keeping in mind that as nice and fresh as that minty after taste from mouth wash or toothpaste is, our mouths and breaths do not naturally smell minty. This said, a healthy mouth shouldn’t smell good or bad but rather neutral. Mouths that emit foul odours are indicative of something happening either in the mouth (perhaps tooth decay) or the stomach or in both.

Bleeding gums?

Gums can bleed from time to time, so a bit of blood is not usually anything to be concerned about. However, if you see that bleeding is consistent and happens with every brushing it might be time to visit us.  The number one cause of bleeding gums is built up plaque. You can begin by going over your brushing technique; you may not be using the correct motions or perhaps not actually brushing your gums but only your teeth (a common mistake we often hear about when talking to our patients). Brushing too hard can also cause the gums to bleed – keep light-handed, no need to for pressure or vigorous brushing.

Time to visit your dentist?

Now that you’ve read this, are you ready to make sure to keep your mouth healthy? Camilleri clinic is one of Malta’s leading dental clinics. Based in Sliema, we are a team of dentists available to guide you and help you achieve optimal oral health. We believe in long-term relationships with every one of our patients and strive to provide you with the level of treatment that we hope will leave you beaming or at least happy enough to return to your preferred dentist.

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brushing teeth

5 tips to brushing your teeth

Brushing your teeth is essential to long term oral health. Not only this, but if you aim to have whiter and cleaner teeth and not lose the confidence to smile, a few tips about how to brush teeth will go a long way.

Wait before brushing

People often run to brush their teeth straight after they eat – they often are compelled to do this because of an odd taste in their mouth or because they are conscious of unpleasant breathe – or perhaps just out of habit. We know that food consumption does cause bacteria to grow in the mouth but after eating or consuming beverages other than water, your enamel is at its softest which means you also more at risk of wear and tear. If you really feel you need to brush your teeth after a meal, wait 30 minutes to give your enamel time to harden.

Also remember to keep your consumption of sugary drinks and foods as well as those high in acids to moderate to low amounts.

Brush twice a dayBrushing teeth

Brushing too often is not good for your teeth as it could results in loss of enamel from the teeth. Ideally twice a day is fine. The aim of tooth brushing it to remove food and plaque from between the teeth. Not brushing will result in problems – erosion and cavities. Plaque will start to form which might require scaling and cleaning. Whilst Camilleri dental clinic can provide all types of dental treatment, we still believe prevention is better than having to resort to dental and oral treatments that are due to poor oral hygiene.

What else should I do?

  • Floss – this can help remove those nitty gritty particales tightly wedges in the deep recesses of your mouth.
  • Drink water – at least 8 glasses a day. This will help keep your mouth flushed clean and reduce acids and bacteria.
  • Follow a healthier diet with less sugar and acidic foods and drinks
  • Reducing length of snacking time
  • Replace toothbrush (around every 4 months)

Brush your teeth in the morning

Brushing your teeth in the morning is important as after a night’s sleep there is a build up of tarter. It also prevents or eliminates the dreaded morning breathe and gets your salivation flowing.

Brush at a 45 degree angle

Hold your tooth brush at around 45 degrees and use upward movements to lift out any food particles and debris from between the teeth – do not press when you brush your teeth as this can cause damage to the enamel over the long term.  Brushing should last around 2 minutes.

Steps to follow

  • Use a soft brush (although this is a preference, very hard bristles may discourage or inhibit proper brushing)
  • Clean the outer and inner surfaces of your teeth
  • Brush your tongue
  • Brush your gums
  • Do not rinse your mouth to ensure the fluoride in tooth paste gets absorbed by the teeth
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