A discussion with Dr. Kazem

When he’s feeling under the weather, dentist Dr. Kazem says one thing always helps him feel a little more like himself. “Brushing my teeth when I’m sick actually makes me feel better,” he says. “My mouth feels clean, and in a way, I feel like my health is starting to improve.”

When you have a cold or the flu, taking care of your body is your top priority—and that includes your mouth. “It’s important to take care of your dental health all year round, but especially when you’re sick,” Dr. Kazem says.

Here are some simple ways to care for your dental health when you’re not feeling well: 

Practice Good Hygiene

When you’re ill, you know to cover your mouth when you cough and don’t forget to keep up your dental and toothbrush hygiene as well.

According to the CDC, the flu virus can live on moist surfaces for 72 hours. “The number one rule is not to share your toothbrush anytime, but especially when you are sick,” Dr. Kazem says.

You also probably don’t need to replace your toothbrush after you’ve been sick. Unless your immune system is severely compromised, the chances of re-infecting yourself are very low. “But if you’re still in doubt, throw it out,” says Dr. Kazem. “Especially if you’ve had your toothbrush for 3-4 months, when it’s time to replace it anyway.”

Choose Sugar-Free Cough Syrup

Make sure to reead the label before you pick up a bag at the pharmacy with an eye to avoid ingredients like fructose or cough syrup. “Many cough drops contain sugar, and it is like sucking on candy,” says Dr. Kazem. “Sugar is a culprit when it comes to cavities.” The longer you keep a sugary cough drop in your mouth, the more time cavity-causing bacteria has to feast on that sugar, which produces the acid that can leave holes in your teeth.

Swish and Spit After Vomiting

One unfortunate side effect of a stomach flu, among other illnesses, is vomiting. You might be tempted to brush your teeth right away, but Dr. Kazem says it’s better to wait. “When you vomit, stomach acids are coming in contact with your teeth and coating them,” he says. “If you brush too soon, you’re just rubbing that acid all over the hard-outer shell of your teeth.”

Instead, swish with water, a diluted mouth rinse or a mixture of water and 1 tsp. baking soda to help wash the acid away. Spit, and brush about 30 minutes later.

Stay Hydrated to Avoid Dry Mouth

When you’re sick, you need plenty of fluids for many reasons. One is to prevent dry mouth.  Not only is it uncomfortable—dry mouth can also put you at greater risk for cavities. The medications you might be taking for a cold or flu—such as antihistamines, decongestants or pain relievers—can also dry out your mouth, so drink plenty of water and suck on sugarless cough drops, throat lozenges or candies to keep that saliva flowing.

When it comes to your mouth and your body, one beverage is always best. “The safest thing to drink is water,” Dr. Kazem says. “Sports drinks might be recommended to replenish electrolytes when you’re sick, but drink them in moderation and don’t make them a habit after you’ve recovered because unless they are a sugar free version, they contain a lot of sugar.”

You might also want something to warm you up. “When you have a cold or the flu, you may want something comforting to get through it, like tea,” he says. “Try not to add sugar or lemon if you can avoid it. Sugar can helps to fuel cavity-causing bacteria, and lemon is acidic. It’s something to keep in mind once you’re feeling 100% again, as well.”

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Air pollution and why we should be aware – for both good general health and oral health

Whilst we already know that air pollution is both bad for the environment and us, for a number of reasons such as putting ourselves at risk of asthma and other diseases as well as the bad overused use of fossil fuels!

It’s also fact that smoking, drinking and oral sex have all been linked with increasing the chances of having oral cancer.

So whether you are a smoker yourself, or are in an environment where passive smoking is common (inhaling others’ smoke through the nasal passage rather than smoking to yourself), you must ask yourself if these are habits you want to continue if you wish to have a long-lasting life.

The same goes for drinking! If you are a regular drinker then this applies to you also, found in multiple case studies such as the research that has been conducted in Taiwan and other countries that can be found here https://www.dentistry.co.uk/2018/10/16/high-levels-air-pollution-linked-oral-cancer/

If you’re worried you may have any diseases, dentists are qualified to check for some! Why not come visit our Guidlford dentists at Guildford Dental Practice and receive an examination which will identify any imperfections in your teeth, and inform you of any diseases!

 

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Xylitol chewing gum and why you should use it

Xylitol chewing gum should be substituted for the chewing gum you use these days for a number of health reasons.

Since xylitol slows demineralization and enables some rebuilding of the enamel, it assists in the prevention of new cavities from forming and over time can reverse tooth decay that already occurred. Studies have shown that using xylitol five times per day is very effective at preventing caries. (https://xylitol.org/healthcare-professionals/professional-dental-info-about-xylitol/)

We know cavities are parts of teeth where decay has been present, and that is what creates a visit to your dentist! It’s also been proven xylitol has 40% less calories than sucrose meaning quicker blood absorption potentially helping towards reducing hyperglycemia – an excess of glucose which can ultimately lead to diabetes.

The only concerns of xylitol that we know to date is that excessive use for 3 or more years can lead to tumors in some cases and that xylitol can cause diarrhea.

We hope you found this blog interesting, if you have any questions or requests on an article tweet us at https://twitter.com/GuildfordDental or Instagram DM us at https://www.instagram.com/guildforddentalpractice/ 

 

 

Alcohol increases disease-causing mouth bacteria

A study tells us that ‘changes in oral microbes may lead to gum disease, heart problems, and cancer.’

Whilst we all know the most well known problems that come along with alcohol, and alcohol addiction especially, such as liver failure and other health risks, new research shows that drinking alcohol can imbalance your oral bacteria and make yourself more prone at risk for a variety of diseases.

Depending on how many units of alcohol you drink per day/week, this can impact your oral microbes which can then lead on to further serious worries, such as gum infection, cancer or cardiovascular disease.  To prove this a study from a NYC Professor claimed “Particularly, we found that beneficial bacteria disappeared, and several inflammatory bacteria contents increased in heavy alcohol drinkers.”.

This is why it is important to know your limits on alcohol and not to binge drink! In 2017, among those who had drink alcohol 27% were classed as binge drinkers in the week before being interviewed for a study. That is 16% of all adults aged 16 or over in Great Britain.  For men this was defined as eight units or more on the heaviest drinking day and six units or more for women.

It is important that you evaluate how much you drink and decide whether you are within the health and safety regulation for units, or if you are drinking far too heavily against the advised consumption! In the long term this can reduce your visits to the dentist and ultimately, the main factor, prevent any ongoing issues in the future such as cancer, cardiovascular disease or any other problems that come with excessive drinking!

Do you floss your teeth?

We all know it is important to brush our teeth – but do you know that flossing BEFORE brushing your teeth has been proven to be more effective than flossing after brushing? A recent study tells us that interdental brushing with floss before conducting a full wash loosens bacteria and food waste which means a larger surface area for the toothbrush to work on – hence providing better oral hygiene!

 

So, whether you don’t floss, or if you do but have recently just found a more advantageous way to clean your teeth – be sure to include this before your brushing routine! Flossing can remove almost half the plaque around your teeth – responsible for cavities, gum disease and other nuisances!

 

The best practice of flossing would include; 1. Holding the brush between your thumb and index finger 2. Gently brushing between gaps without forcing the brush further through a gap than what feels comfortable 3. Brushing consistently through each gap between your teeth.

 

If you follow these steps and continue to brush at a high standard afterwards you are on your way to maintaining the best oral health you possibly can at home.

Five oral myths you never knew were bad for you

There are many myths that circulate around oral health with all the new ad-campaigning on how to protect your teeth from early days to your elderly days and the products that are advertised. Many of these are uninformative and can lead to people neglecting their teeth when they’re trying to look after them!

  1. Spit Don’t Rinse

Fluoride is very good for your teeth. You’re likely to find it in most of the toothpastes on the shelf at your local supermarket. To give your teeth the best chance of staying pearly white, you don’t want to lose the full benefit of brushing with a fluoride toothpaste. So, after you’ve finished brushing, spit out the excess and then do not rinse. Let the fluoride work its’ magic after you’ve finished brushing!

 

  1. Mind the loo!

This is something you might not think of too much, but where you keep your toothbrush when you aren’t using it is very important. If you keep your brush a little to close to your toilet, every time someone flushes, some of the spray will fly out the toilet and may land on your toothbrush. Now we aren’t saying that you’ve been brushing your teeth with bad bacteria for years, but we’d recommend moving your brush a safe distance away. Just to be on the safe side.

 

  1. Sharing is a no-go

It doesn’t matter how close you are, or if you’re related, if you want your oral health routine to be air-tight, you should be the only person who uses your toothbrush. No exceptions. Not just because you can get colds and blood-borne diseases from people you share your brush with but also because you could be sharing your germs with others! Nobody is perfect, keep your germs to yourself, just like your toothbrush!

 

  1. Brushing is not a quick fix

Have you ever had a drink of something sugary or acidic right before bed and go to brush your teeth straight after you finish? You’d think it was a good idea, but you’d be wrong. Consuming anything even remotely bad for your teeth makes them weaker and if you brush straight away you could actually be brushing away fragments of your enamel. That can lead to toothache and increased sensitivity. Instead, give it an hour and then brush with a fluoride toothpaste for two minutes last thing at night. In the meantime, read a book, catch up on your favourite TV series or do those chores you’ve been putting off all week!

 

  1. There is such a thing as brushing too much!

The enamel of your teeth is the hardest substance in your body – but it isn’t indestructible. Again, it might sound like a good idea to brush hard to provide the most thorough clean but being tough on your teeth can do more harm than good. By all means be firm with your teeth and make sure you clean every tooth but there is no need to go crazy, whether that means brushing too hard or for too long.

 

 

There’s a lot more to your oral health than you might think. Hopefully you’ve gained a new perspective on how you can improve your dental hygiene at home, whether that be closing the lid of the toilet more often or deciding to buy a new toothbrush for your significant other or children.

Why you should visit your dentist at least every six months

What is HPV?

 

HPV stands for ‘Human papillomavirus infection’ which some variants of which can increase the risk of or trigger cancer of the mouth, throat, and other body areas.

 

HPV is one of the leading causes of mouth cancer; which every year more than 7,500 diagnosed in Britain alone and taking away more than 2,000 lives. This beats both testicular and cervical cancer combined.

 

Prior to this new vaccination scheme coming into play for adolescent boys, there are other ways to identify mouth cancer and issues.

 

In fact, your dentist is properly trained to identify diseases such as mouth cancer even from just a check up. It is important that you should visit your dentist every six months at least for check ups to ensure your wellbeing and prevent future issues, with simple dental routine everybody can have great teeth and health.

 

Credit to Oral Health Foundation

If you’d like to read more on the adolescent children HPV issue visit https://www.dentalhealth.org/news/oral-health-foundation-delighted-by-announcement-that-boys-will-get-hpv-vaccine

7 of the most common dental health pitfalls to avoid

Keeping our oral hygiene high is something few of us actually manage to achieve on a permanent basis. We are all entitled the occasional lapse in our routines but here are the 7 most common dental pitfalls that you absolutely must try to avoid whenever and however possible.

7pitfalls

 

These 7 tips will help you maintain your oral hygiene:

1. Twice a day brushing

Whilst the most obvious of our tips this is undoubtedly the most important. Nearly a quarter of adults in the UK don’t brush their teeth twice daily. However, regular brushing stops the bacterial build-up of plaque. Studies have shown that even missing one brushing session can start the process of forming cavities. Make sure you brush twice a day for two minutes to keep your teeth plaque free.

2. Incorrect brushing technique

Brushing technique is just as important as brushing. One of the most common mistakes we make is missing areas of the mouth. When brushing you need to ensure that every tooth is cleaned and that we clean the total surface area of the tooth. When you’re in a hurry it can be easy to just skim over areas but this often leaves plaque on the teeth and along the gum line – leading to cavities and gingivitis. In addition also be careful not to brush your teeth too hard as you can damage your gums.

3. Not using the right toothbrush

You need to make sure you are using the right tools for the job. Toothbrushes come with different thickness and strength bristles. Small headed brushes are widely regarded as the best as they allow you to reach everywhere in your mouth more easily. In terms of bristles softer tend to be better – ideally with rounded heads to prevent aggravation of the gums.

4. Not replacing your toothbrush enough

We’ve all used a toothbrush past its best. Once the bristles start to lose their strength and you have a spread it is already past time to replace your brush. Our best tip is to buy multiple brushes and always have one spare in the bathroom cabinet. Using a brush past its sell by date makes it more likely that you will miss areas of your mouth whilst brushing and that plaque will not be removed efficiently.

5. Not Using Floss

No matter how good your brushing is you cannot reach every area between your teeth. Regular flossing helps remove plaque and food that builds up between your teeth. The build-up of plaque along the gum line is one of the leading causes of gum disease. Daily flossing helps remove plaque and prevent gum disease.

6. Too much sugar

Our diets are the leading cause of tooth decay. The big enemy here is fizzy drinks – as many of us now drink these all day. Drink sugary or fizzy drinks irregularly to avoid cavities. Your health and your mouth will thank you.

7. Not visiting the dentist

Even if your oral hygiene is superb you still should visit the dentist twice a year. Visiting the dentist regularly ensures that any problems that do arise can be quickly dealt with. Your dentist can also make sure you are using correct brushing techniques and advise you on the best options for oral care. If you need to find a local dentist use dental review sites like WhatClinic to find the best local options.

How to overcome dental anxiety

Dental anxiety is one of the most common phobias in the world with nearly a third of all adults disliking the dentist and 1 in 10 of us having a phobia so strong that we actually avoid making visits to the dentist. Dental fear is a problem that needs to be tackled head on however as our oral hygiene is incredibly important for our health. With that in mind I thought it would be worth examining the strategies and techniques you can use to overcome dental anxiety.

Overcoming Mild Dental Anxiety

Mild dental anxiety is discomfort and nervousness at the dentist (as opposed to terror and panic). It can be treated in a number of ways.

Talking to your dentist

Talking to your dentist is the first step to overcoming your dental fears. Make sure your dentist understands your exact fears and work with them to make your appointment as relaxed as possible by taking breaks and letting them put you at ease.

Practicing breathing techniques

Controlled breathing relaxes your body and shifts your focus to other things in order to preoccupy your mind. This is fantastic when you are at the dentist as you can avoid a lot of discomfort and anxiety. The easiest breathing techniques simply involve inhaling and exhaling through your nose for a slow count of three – so three seconds breathing in followed by three seconds breathing out. This technique is particularly useful as it also overcomes the breathing issues many of us feel when things are in our mouth.

Using relaxation techniques

There are a number of relaxation techniques that may work for you. You could bring music into your appointment with you, ask to have your favourite radio station on or just have the nurse chatting to you about something. Different relaxation and distraction techniques work for different people so try and find something that will work well for you.

Overcoming Severe Dental Anxiety

Severe dental anxiety often cannot be treated by the steps above – though all of these techniques can and should be used to try and put you at ease.

When it comes to severe dental anxiety we are dealing more with a psychological phobia that is less due to nerves and more due to fears. We can potentially overcome severe dental anxiety in a few ways.

Counselling

You can receive counselling for your phobia. This will aim to look at the root causes of your phobia and will try to work through it so that you can move beyond it. Counselling is free on the NHS for severe phobias and helps hundreds of people.

Support Networks

Dental anxiety is very common and there are a wide number of support networks for people with these phobias. Sites like DentalFearCentral have forums dedicated to overcoming phobias as well as support groups and recommended dentists.

Sedation

Though not a preferred treatment option for severe sufferers of dental anxiety, sedation may prove one of the best solutions to the problem, giving you a better chance of visiting the dentist again!

There are different types of sedation available. The simplest is oral sedation, which is a tablet that you swallow an hour before the start of dental treatment. You will still be awake and aware of what is happening around you, but you will be also drowsy and more relaxed.

If that isn’t enough, you could also opt for intravenous sedation. This is an injection which is often administered into the back of the hand. Again you will still be awake, however you will be in a deeply relaxed state and you may not remember what happened afterwards.

There may be life in your old toothbrush yet: 10 amazing uses for your old toothbrush

How many toothbrushes do you think you have thrown away during your life? We are advised to change our toothbrush every three months, so in theory by the time somebody is 30 they will have already binned around 120 toothbrushes.

There are estimated to be more than 64 million people in the UK which could mean more than 256 million toothbrushes are discarded every year. That’s a very big pile of plastic but have you ever thought what happens to them?  What we have found is that we are remarkably creative when it comes to prolonging the usefulness of our little bristled friends.

Encouragingly, research shows that 80% of us choose to repurpose our toothbrushes, so here are 10 best life hacks for your toothbrush which could save you valuable time and money and your environment.

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1. Nail brush magic Admit it, removing that stubborn dirt from beneath our nails can be difficult and even tedious. Use your old toothbrush to remove it in seconds! One person even told us they keep one in their handbag just in case they need to brush up on the go.

2. Wheelie good A surprising number of people told us they use their old toothbrush to clean the chain on their bicycle. Apparently, it is the perfect size to get into those little places.

3. Back to the bathroom Some toothbrushes are never destined to leave the bathroom. By far the most popular use of an old toothbrush is to help clean those hard to reach cracks and crannies in the bathroom, and it certainly comes in handy for scrubbing the grout between the tiles.

4. Putting the sparkle back An old toothbrush is the perfect tool to give your jewellery back their shine and sparkle, giving you back your brilliant bling!

5. Getting fishy This may not have been one of the most popular but was definitely one of the more unusual uses. A few people told us they use an old toothbrush to clean ornaments in their fish tank, as they need a clean home too!

6. Paws for thought One from the foundation team here, we think this may just be tickly torture but apparently, a toothbrush is perfect for cleaning a dog’s nails and paws.

7. Model behaviour For you modelling experts out there, and we’re talking more clay than Kate Moss, an old toothbrush is ideal to create texture on your creations.

8. Exfoliate away To some of the male members of our office this one surprised us as to how widely known it was. Many people use a toothbrush to exfoliate their lips when they are chapped. How somebody finds out this is an effective beauty tip is a different question!

9. Hair today One for the home hairdressers, a toothbrush is perfect for picking out your highlights, so if you’re in the salon and see a toothbrush on the counter don’t be alarmed.

10. CRUMBS! Take a close look at your computer keyboard. Did you know that your keyboard has been proven to harbour more harmful bacteria than a toilet seat? A toothbrush is perfect for cleaning out all those little nasties. Going out for lunch might be a good idea too.

It is important to remember to change your toothbrush, or head on your electric toothbrush, every three months to help stop the spread of bacteria and to ensure you are brushing your teeth effectively. Be sure that before the next time you go to throw one away, you think about how else you can put it to use around the house – and let us know if you find any usual use for your old toothbrush.

 

Source & Credit: OralHealthFoundation