Did you know?
Chewing sugar-free gum helps fight decay.
Brushing at least twice a day will help your gums stay healthy. Electric brushes are generally better than manual. Sonic brushes are highly recommended.
Use floss to remove debris lodged between your teeth. If you find floss too fiddly, try a holder or a mini interdental brush (TEPE brushes).Water irrigators are also very useful. All are available from reception.
Why do I need a Scale & Polish?
No matter how well you brush, in time we all develop plaque and calculus (tartar).
Calculus cannot be removed by brushing. It attaches to the tooth above and below the gum and harbours harmful bacteria that cause bleeding & inflammation that can lead to periodontal (gum) disease.
Remember your tongue!
Always remember to brush your tongue as bacteria living on the surface of the tongue contribute significantly to bad breath.
You don't need to buy a special brush or tongue scraper, your toothbrush will do the job just as well. For more information ask your dentist about the fresh Breath Clinic.
Fizzy drinks/Citrus drinks / Herbal fruit tea are quite acidic
You should avoid brushing your teeth immediately after as this will remove your tooth enamel!
Instead, brush before drinking or wait 90 minutes before you brush.
All fizzy drinks, diet or non-diet, contain acid that can dissolve the surface of your teeth. This is called erosion and can be difficult to treat. Drink water instead.
Which mouthwash should I use?
Mouthwashes are only useful as an additional measure and are not a substitute for good brushing. You should avoid mouthwashes with a high alcohol content (Listerine). Always opt for an alcohol-free formulation where possible (Perio guard, Corsodyl alcohol free etc)
Fluoride mouthwashes will help combat decay. Everyone can benefit from this, not just children.
Chlorhexidine-based mouthwashes (like Corsodyl or Chlorohex) are really effective antiseptics and are useful for treating gingivitis (gum inflammation), periodontal (gum) disease and following minor oral surgery procedures. Avoid long term use as they can stain your teeth.
Oral Cancer Screening
You probably don't realise it, but your regular dental check involves more than your teeth and gums. Your dentist also examines your mouth for lumps, bumps and patches.
Every year 3500 people are diagnosed with mouth cancer. Early detection dramatically improves the prognosis.
Smoking & alcohol consumption are known to significantly increase the risk of developing oral cancer. For more information, visit www.omfsaboutface.co.uk
High Fluoride toothpaste (Duraphat 5000)
Duraphat high fluoride toothpaste is very useful for limiting the damage caused by caries as it can chemically reverse the decay process and could negate the need for fillings. Prescription only.
Grinding teeth (bruxism)
This is very common; almost everyone grinds an clenches to some extent but it can lead to cracked teeth and long term jaw ache/ headaches. It is generally related to stress and there is a range of possible treatment options (acupuncture, splints, stress reduction, jaw excercises..)If you a prone to jaw ache try feeling the jaw joint (just in front of the ear) and see if there is tenderness or a clicking/grating sound. Sometimes muscular tension can cause headaches (sides of the head) and ache down the sides of the jaw. Contact your dentist if you are worried of have persistent / recurrent discomfort.
You can help to keep your child’s teeth decay free;
- Restrict Squash/juices to meal times
- Provide water or milk at other times
- Encourage brushing from an early age
- Use just a dab of children’s toothpaste.
Help protect against decay in the early years. Sealants can be applied without need of injections or drilling and have been shown to be effective in the long term. Ask your dentist for further information.
The British Dental Health Foundation
(BDHF) is a national charity devoted to the promotion of oral health. Among a range of services, they have a dedicated dental helpline (0870 333 1188) or visit www.dentalhealth.org.uk
Give your teeth the protection they deserve. A well fitting mouthguard can help you keep your smile for life. From £30 including case and nametag.
Denplan care offers you the peace of mind on knowing that you are covered for all your regular dental needs. You can pay monthly by direct debit or annually – from around £17 per month. Please ask your dentist for further information or visit www.denplan.co.uk