Healthier Gums & Teeth
You'll notice we've included 'healthy' gums as part of this section as many people simply underestimate the importance of caring for their gums.
You can get your teeth and gums into a healthy state and keep them like that. There are 4 main areas that you can contribute to your own oral healthcare. They are:
- Keeping your gums healthy
- Your Diet
- Regular Dental Check-Ups
Although they may seem obvious, review the information below to see if you learn anything new. If you have Gum disease we offer numerous treatments that your dentist will explain - all of which will help alleviate gum disease.
How many times a day should I brush?
At LEAST twice a day, morning and evening. Ideally you would brush after every meal but this is not always practical. Use your head though and pack a toothbrush in your gym bag or other times you may have access to a bathroom. The bacteria and food build up you remove throughout the day will make a difference to plaque build up, staining and even bad breath.
What toothpaste should I use?
As well as regular family toothpastes, there are many specialist toothpastes. These include tartar control for people who are prone to tartar build-up, and ones for people with sensitive teeth. Total care toothpastes include ingredients to help fight gum disease, freshen breath and help reduce plaque build-up. Whitening toothpastes are good at removing staining, but are not strong enough to change the natural shade of the teeth. Children's toothpastes have about half the level of fluoride that adult toothpastes have. They still provide extra protection for the teeth, but as children have a tendency to 'eat' their toothpaste, there is less risk of them taking in too much fluoride. To have a clean and healthy mouth you need to use the correct dental care products. Ask your dentist or hygienist to tell you the options and give their recommendations.
How often should I change my toothbrush?
Worn-out toothbrushes cannot clean your teeth properly and may damage your gums. It is important to change your toothbrush every one to two months, or sooner if the filaments become worn. When bristles become splayed, they do not clean properly.
How should I brush?
Brushing removes plaque and food particles from the inner, outer and biting surfaces of your teeth.
- Here is one method of removing plaque:
- Place the head of your toothbrush against your teeth, then tilt the bristle tips to a 45 degree angle against the gumline. Move the brush in small circular movements, several times, on all the surfaces of every tooth.
- Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, upper and lower, keeping the bristles angled against the gumline.
- Use the same method on the inside surfaces of all your teeth.
- Brush the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several small circular strokes with the toe (the front part) of the brush.
- Brushing your tongue will help freshen your breath and will clean your mouth by removing bacteria.
Keeping your gums healthy
However well you brush your teeth, you cannot remove the food and debris from between the teeth by simple brushing alone. Plaque can build up leading first to gingivitis characterised by red swollen gums and eventually to gum disease, bone loss and ultimately tooth loss.
The most important part of Oral Hygiene is the physical removal of plaque. This is hardest between the teeth and can be done most effectively with Interdental Brushes.
We recommend using Tepe interdental brushes to clean between the teeth. These come in various sizes which are colour coded and you should always use the largest brush size that will fit in the gap to be most effective. Additionally floss can also be used, although tepe interdental brushes are more effective at plaque removal between the teeth. Doing this once a day will help prevent or treat gum disease. Your dentist or hygienist will advise you on which to use and how to use them.
Your diet can make a big difference. Many people think it's the amount of sugar that you consume that effects your teeth. Although a diet high in sugar will be damaging to your teeth interestingly it's actually HOW OFTEN you have it that makes the big difference.
It takes your mouth about 40 minutes to cancel out the acid caused by the sugar you consume so it is much better to limit the amount of times you consume sugar throughout the day (in both sugary drinks and foods) than the total amount of sugar.
We recommend that patients visit every 6 months for a dental examination. This allows us to keep a careful watch on your oral health working with you to monitor any improvements or pick up any pending problems. With your help we can prevent problems rather than fix them.