Gum disease can be very damaging, but it is preventable. At Clifton Dental Studio, we actively promote preventative dental care and provide effective gum disease treatment and management. We always believe that prevention is better than cure and there are some very simple ways you can reduce your risk of developing gum disease:
Brushing and flossing
Brushing is essential to remove bacteria and bits of food from your mouth. If bacteria are left to linger, they combine with saliva and food debris to form plaque, which is a major risk factor for gum disease and cavities. Brushing sweeps away bacteria and plaque and polishes the teeth to make them glow. Flossing is an important part of your daily oral hygiene routine because it targets the tiny cracks between your teeth and cleans the gum line.
Ideally, you should brush your teeth every morning and evening for at least two minutes each time. We recommend using fluoride toothpaste. Daily flossing is also hugely beneficial.
Seeing your dentist
Regular check-ups enable us to spot any early warning signs of gum disease and this means that treatment can be administered as early as possible. The mild form of gum disease, gingivitis, is easy to treat with good oral hygiene, but periodontal disease is much harder to manage. We recommend routine check-ups every six months.
Watch your diet
Your diet has a significant influence on your oral health. Foods that contain a lot of sugar increases the risk of dental diseases because bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugars and subsequently release acids, which attack the enamel and irritate the gums. Try to avoid eating excessive amounts of sugary foods and try to stick to three meals a day, rather than grazing during the day. Always wait around one hour after eating to clean your teeth to prevent damage to the enamel.
Spot the signs
Spotting the warning signs of gum disease helps to prevent the situation from getting worse. The most common signs to look out for include swollen, sore and bleeding gums. If you notice these symptoms, see your dentist as soon as you can.
Most people rinse their mouth out with water or mouthwash, or both, after they’ve finished brushing their teeth and spat out the toothpaste. But should you? There are now a large number of people, including a lot of dentists, who believe rinsing the mouth after brushing shouldn’t be done and needs to be expelled as a natural routine of dental hygiene.
To rinse or not to rinse
It’s something that is simply accepted by many people, that you rinse after brushing. But when you sit down and think about it, it makes sense not to. Spitting out the toothpaste once you’re done brushing and leaving the residue on the teeth not only keeps your mouth fresh but means the fluoride in your toothpaste continues to work after you’ve finished brushing and this is exactly what many dentists are now saying.
Many companies that make and sell toothpaste are also preaching the same message. Colgate has stated that leaving fluoride on the teeth can allow the toothpaste to continue to work up until your next meal.
Are there other views?
If you were to follow up reading this article with a look into other people’s views on the internet you would discover an ongoing debate between those who believe in rinsing and those who don’t. Despite many dentists advising to not rinse, a large number of people still stick by the idea of rinsing. This can be true for some toothpaste with very high fluoride concentrations, such as whiteners and smokers’ toothpaste, or toothpastes with other added chemicals which could damage teeth if there is prolonged contact.
It should be stressed however that these toothpastes are not common orthodox toothpastes and are usually prescribed or specialised types.
Daily dental flossing forms part of an oral hygiene regimen for keeping the mouth clean and healthy. Flossing maintains healthy teeth and gums for a beautiful smile.
Getting between hard-to-reach dental contours, floss removes debris that sticky plaque may adhere to. When plaque builds up between teeth and the gum line, it may cause bacteria to over-colonise, triggering the start of tooth decay and gum disease.
Dental floss ensures food debris, plaque and bacteria are removed for good oral health. If left, these agents cause rotting in the mouth, smelly breath and raise the risk of oral trauma, leading to tooth loss. Ideally, teeth should be flossed after meals and when teeth are brushed in the morning and before bedtime.
There are a range of flosses or dental tapes at various shop outlets that may be used as part of a daily oral cleansing schedule. The dentist or dental hygienist may advise on what dental cleaning instruments are most suitable, particularly for those with dexterity problems.
Take about 18 inches of floss, with sections enough for each tooth along a dental arch. Wrap the dental floss section between the index fingers and slide between the teeth, back and forwards and along the gum line. Think of the motion as making a C shape, scraping debris from the surrounds of the each tooth.
Be gentle and use separate sections of the 18 inch floss for each tooth along the arch. If you started with the upper arch, get a new 18 inch of floss to do the lower arch of teeth one by one. Work in a pattern from side to side, not missing any teeth out so that all are cleaned.
Some bleeding during flossing is normal, however persistent bleeding should be checked by a dentist as it may be a sign of gum disease.
When it comes to oral hygiene, it’s really easy to brush and floss your way to good oral health. The most common dental diseases, tooth decay and gum disease, are completely preventable and devoting five minutes a day to your mouth will make a massive difference. We recommend brushing your teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time and flossing on a regular basis, to keep your mouth clean and free from harmful bacteria and plaque. When you brush, you remove bacteria and food debris from your teeth and tongue and this helps to prevent the formation of plaque. Plaque is a colourless film, which sticks and clings to the gum line and teeth and causes irritation to the gums and damage to the tooth enamel. Brushing removes plaque and drastically reduces the risk of gum disease, decay, bad breath, oral infections and staining. Flossing is also really important because it can be difficult to cover all areas of your mouth when you brush and flossing tackles the areas that are commonly missed, such as the gum line and the gaps between the teeth. Using fluoride toothpaste is also beneficial because fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel. At Clifton Dental of Bristol we also recommend regular dental checks and dental hygiene sessions, which provide a very deep clean and will leave the teeth feeling smooth and looking sparkly and bright. If you have any questions about oral hygiene, we will be happy to help.