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

The complete guide to great oral health

Take a moment to think about your own oral health. It’s something which far too many of us often overlook but this shouldn’t be the case. Developing and maintaining good oral health and hygiene doesn’t have to be expensive, time-consuming or difficult but can lead to so many worthwhile benefits for the mouth and our overall wellbeing.

Simply follow these four steps and you will be on your way to a life of good oral hygiene….

Brushing

Regularly and thoroughly brushing your teeth is an important step in preventing tooth decay and gum disease. When you
brush your teeth, you remove the bacteria that promotes tooth decay and the plaque that can cause gum disease.

How to brush your teeth

  • Angle your brush at 45 degrees relative to where your gums and teeth meet. Brush up and down with a gentle and circular massaging motion. Don’t scrub your teeth as gums that recede are often a result of years of brushing too hard.
  • Clean the entire surface of every tooth. Make sure you get the chewing surface, the cheek side, and the tongue side.
  • Don’t rush the process. A thorough cleaning should take at least two minutes. Time yourself occasionally to make sure you are meeting the mark.
  • Pick a soft brush with rounded bristles. The exact size and shape should let you reach the teeth at the very back of your mouth. There are many different types of brushes, so ask your dentist to suggest the best one for you.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three months.Brushing_Woman_1resize

Interdental cleaning

Interdental cleaning removes plaque and bacteria that cannot be reached with tooth brushing alone. If you don’t regularly clean between your teeth you are missing more than one-third of your tooth surfaces, this allows plaque to build up.

Clean between your teeth at least once a day, either with dental floss or tape, interdental brushes or an electric water flosser, to ensure that plaque never gets the chance to harden into tartar.

  • Hold the interdental brush between your thumb and forefinger. Gently place the brush through the gap between your teeth.
  • Do not force the brush head through the gap. If the brush splays or bends then it is too big – a smaller brush head will be needed.
  • Interdental brushes come in various sizes. It may be helpful to ask your dentist or hygienist to show you the correct sizes for your mouth.

Avoid certain substances

  • Harmful oral bacteria feeds on sugar. By reducing sugar intake, you can reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth. If you insist on eating sugary foods, try to keep it to mealtimes and do not brush immediately after.
  • Be wary of acidic foods and drinks. Acid strips tooth enamel of its minerals. Over time, enamel damage leaves the sensitive interior structure of teeth unprotected against cavity-causing bacteria.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to irritations of the tissues inside the mouth, including the tongue and slower healing and poor healing after dental or oral surgery.
  • Smoking also has harmful effects on your teeth. When you smoke, you interfere with the normal function of gum tissue cells and affect the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth. This leaves you more susceptible to infections and impairs blood flow to the gums.
  • The body naturally builds up plaque and calculus and if it’s not removed, it embeds underneath the gum tissues and quietly causes periodontal disease. It doesn’t hurt but it silently produces enzymes that dissolve away the bones.
  • A little cavity can be managed with a simple filling. A big cavity becomes a big problem. In its biggest stage, it can cause suffering and swelling but also the loss of a tooth. Regular checkups with your dentist allow you to catch cavities before they turn into big problems.
  • There is a strong correlation between gum disease and heart disease. Sugar and starch on the teeth produces billions of bacteria that ends up in the blood stream. While bacteria normally exists in the mouth, gum disease increases the level of bacteria dramatically and it gets carried through the blood and can end up lodged in the heart and clog blood vessels.

 

Credit: Dentalhealth.org

 

Call 01483573907 now if you would like to book your next appointment

 

Why dental check ups are so important

One of the major issues facing dentists, patients and patients wallets is that the majority of us don’t visit the dentist on a regular basis. According to research from NHS Digital (previously the Health and Social Care Information Centre) half of UK adults haven’t been to the dentist in the last two years. More than a quarter of adults only visit the dentist when they have a problem.

The infrequency and irregularity of dental check-ups is causing a huge number of problems for UK health care. The facts say a lot here with 31% of adults having tooth decay, 66% of us having visible plaque and 29% of the population suffering from regular pain in the mouth or teeth.

How Often Should You Visit the Dentist

Both adults and children should visit the dentist regularly, as often as they recommend. For those with certain medical conditions, your dental team may want to see you more often.

It is also important to remember that certain types of medication may impact our oral health too, for instance, patients who have ‘dry mouth’ caused by medication may be more likely to get tooth decay and will need to visit their dental team more often.

Why Dental Check Ups Are So Important

The problem we have is that many of us ignore the health of our mouth, especially when we compare it to our overall body health. We allow problems to develop before we actually visit the dentist.

There are a wide number of issues this creates but we have listed the two most common issues left unchecked;

Allowing Gums to Bleed

Allowing your gums to bleed helps create cavities and inflamed gums – pockets develop under the gum-line filled with bacteria that eat away the teeth and eventually the bone causing tooth loss. Visiting the dentist regularly can ensure your gum health is properly maintained and early treatment prevents serious problems developing.

Tooth Pain

Tooth pain is most often caused from cavities forming. Once a cavity reaches the stage where it is causing pain then root canal treatment (or possibly tooth loss) is more likely, or an extensive filling. Regular check-ups ensure that the beginnings of a filling can be identified, treated and additional brushing routines created.

Overall dental check-ups will dramatically decrease the potential for all oral health problems becoming serious. They are also cost effective compared to paying for expensive major dental works such as tooth replacements, crowns and gum repair.

Check Up Costs Are Low

Visiting the dentist should be a regular part of your schedule, just like a proper oral health routine. The benefits of check-ups far outweigh any minor inconveniences booking an appointment might cause!

It’s time to prioritise our oral health. If you haven’t seen your dentist in a while use this article as a reminder and motivation to book an appointment with yours today.

Credit: dentalhealth.org

Call 01483573907 now if you would like to book your next appointment

 

 

 

7 things smoking is doing to your mouth

Most people are already aware that smoking is bad for our health. But does the general population know all the detrimental effects that may follow chronic smoking habits? An estimated 96,000 people die from smoking related disease in the UK per year. Bellow are seven problems that you may not know smoking causes:

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Yellow teeth

The nicotine and tar in tobacco may cause your teeth to yellow over time. Heavy smokers complain of teeth going almost brown after some time.

Gum disease and tooth loss

Smoking affects how your teeth connect to your gums and bone in your jaw, meaning smokers are more likely to suffer from gum disease. It severely affects the tissue in the gums which make them far more vulnerable to infection. It can also lead to bone loss in the jaw and disintegrates the bone that holds your teeth in place, when weakened this leads to a hugely increased chance of tooth loss.

Bacterial growth

Smoking results in an increased build-up of bacteria, or plaque, on the teeth which can lead to decay and cavities. Plaque caused by smoking can also affect tissues supporting the roots of the teeth beneath the gum and weakens the bone supporting the tooth.

Scaly teeth

When plaque stays on the teeth for a long time due to not cleaning your teeth properly it hardens into a scaly like substance called tartar. Smokers are more likely to suffer from tartar which often leads to receding gums and gum disease.

Mouth cancer

There are thousands of chemicals contained in every single cigarette, we all know smoking causes cancer but have you ever thought about how when smoking they all enter the body through the mouth. Smoking transforms saliva into a deadly cocktail that damages cells in the mouth and can turn them cancerous. Smoking causes roughly two in every three mouth cancer cases.

Smelly breath

‘Smokers breath’ is often one of the first problems you develop when smoking. Cigarettes leave smoke particles lingering in the mouth, throat and lungs long after you have finished your cigarette.

Spotty mouth

Smoking often causes a white or grey patch to develop on the tongue, cheek, or the floor of the mouth, known as leukoplakia. This happens due to the constant irritation of the soft tissues inside the mouth due to smoking.

 

The best way to but a stop to any of these problems is to kick the habit and try to quit smoking today. If you are a smoker you should also follow the three basic rule of good oral health.

  • Brush your teeth last thing at night and at one other time of the day with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Cut down on sugary foods and drinks.
  • Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.

Credit: Dentalhealth.org

 

If you notice any of these changes please call 01483573907 to book your next appointment

 

How to clean your teeth

It should take at least two minutes to brush our teeth. Most adults don’t brush that long. To keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy use short, gentle strokes, paying extra attention to the gumline,  hard-to-reach back teeth, and areas around fillings, crowns or other restoration. Concentrate on  cleaning each section as follows:

 

  • Place the toothbrush bristles along the gumline at 45 degrees angle
  • Brush the outer surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth
  • Brush the inner surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth
  • Brush the chewing surfaces
  • For fresher breath brush your tongue too

 

 

brushing technique

 

Manual or electric toothbrush

Manual Toothbrush

Pros

  • No charging and no batteries
  • Easy to travel with
  • Not expensive and many colours and sizes to choose from: small head for smaller mouth, soft bristles for sensitive gums, special prints on toothbrushes for children
  • If used with proper brushing technique your teeth will feel clean and healthy

Cons

  • More work for you .
  • No set timing. Manual toothbrushes require you to guess how long you’ve been brushing (unless you set a two-minute timer).

Electric Toothbrush

Pros

  • Easy to use. Just place the toothbrush on your teeth and let it do it’s job
  • Less work for better resultsStudies have shown that electric toothbrushes do a better job of cleaning your teeth and removing plaque keeping your gums healthy
  • More fun and easier to use for children, and the timer will let them know they’re all done! It’s a lot easier (and more fun).
  • Built in timer.

Cons

  • Charging batteries.
  • Cost. Electric toothbrushes cost significantly more than a manual toothbrush.
  • More difficult  to travel with than manual brush

Most dental professionals agree that a soft to medium bristled brush is best for removing debris and plaque from your teeth. Small-headed brushes are also preferable. They can reach much better all areas of the mouth, including hard-to-reach back teeth.

For many a electric toothbrush is a good alternative. It can do a better job of cleaning teeth, particularly for those who have difficulty brushing or who have restricted manual mobility.

 Is it important to use Toothpaste?

It is very important that you use a toothpaste that’s right for you. Today there is a big variety of different toothpaste designed for many conditions which are  including cavities, gingivitis, stained teeth and sensitivity.

To find out what toothpaste is best for you ask your dental professional.

How often should I change my Toothbrush?

You should replace your toothbrush every three months or when it begins to show wear. It is also important to change toothbrushes after you’ve had a cold.The bristles can collect germs that can lead to reinfection.

If you are unsure how to best take care of your teeth why not book appointment with our hygienist. Call 01483573907

Sport drinks-can they harm my teeth?

When discussing sport drinks, it’s generally understood that sugar is the leading cause of tooth decay and tooth rot in these Sporttypes of liquids. Sport drinks in general have so much sugar that the negative effects of these types of drinks are seen almost immediately, regardless of the age of the person in question.

The tooth-related danger to both children and adults in sports drinks and energy drinks comes not from the sugar content but from their general acidity. A recent study published by the General Dentistry journal revealed that these types of drinks contain such a significant amount of acid that they begin destroying the teeth of the person drinking them in as little as five days.

Because enamel cannot be regrown after it is damaged, the effects are irreparable. When the enamel on a tooth becomes damaged, that tooth becomes sensitive both to the touch and to extreme cases of hot and cold temperatures. This will be most obviously noticeable while the teenager is eating or drinking.

Once the enamel is damaged, the teeth in question also become more susceptible to cavities and to decay in general.

While adults do not drink sports drinks at nearly the frequently that teenagers do (at least as far as statistics are concerned), the damage can still be quite severe.

What can you do?

If a person insists on maintaining a steady diet of sports drinks regardless of their age, it is important that they take a few key steps to protect their teeth in any way that they can.

  • It is recommend that people who consume these types of drinks on a regular basis rinse their mouths out with water immediately after consumption.
  • If water is not an option, chewing a piece of sugar-free gum will also have the same effect.
  • It is also recommend that people wait at least one hour to brush their teeth after drinking sports drinks. Brushing sooner could cause the toothbrush itself to spread the acid around the teeth
  • Have regular dental check-ups