Oral hygiene is incredibly important. Over the course of the day, as we eat and drink, tiny particles of food will become stuck in our teeth and between the gaps in our teeth. If these particles are not cleaned, they will begin to rot and decay, leading to bad breath, and then to bacteria in the mouth. This can lead to a build-up of plaque, a sticky substance that coats the outside surfaces of teeth, and eventually tartar, which discolours the teeth. The ultimate consequences of bad oral hygiene are gum disease and tooth decay, which are unsightly, painful and can lead to tooth loss, affecting speech function and the ability to eat as normal.
Brushing and mouthwash
Brushing your teeth regularly is essential. Fluoride toothpaste should be used, as fluoride helps to strengthen teeth by binding with the enamel. Brush thoroughly, being sure to cover all tooth surfaces – front, back and the biting/chewing surface – but do not brush too vigorously as this can damage sensitive parts of the mouth. In addition, use an antiseptic mouthwash. As this liquid is swilled round the whole mouth, it works in addition to tooth brushing, to reach parts that a brush cannot. Mouthwash like this helps to remove the bacteria that cause plaque.
Flossing also helps to remove debris and bacteria that can ultimately lead to plaque or tooth decay. Flossing is important in addition to brushing, as it cleans the gaps between teeth, where a brush cannot reach, and so food is liable to get stuck here. Use a length of floss held between fingers of each hand, and gently curve it around each tooth, moving it from side to side to clean, down to the gumline. Be sure to cover both sides of each tooth, top and bottom. Brushing, flossing and mouthwash should be used daily, preferably in that order, to ensure your teeth are kept as healthy as possible.
The food we enjoy feeds all of our body, including our teeth and gums. Our oral and overall health is determined by the type of foods we choose to eat. At Clifton Dental Studio, we often get asked about the best type of diet for healthy teeth.
We are all made different, some with health conditions or faster metabolisms than others. Our health status and food tolerances or allergies may impact the kind of foods we eat. Therefore, we suggest some general markers as dietary options for healthy teeth.
Avoid foods high in sugar and acid
Foods with high sugar and acid content, such as fizzy drinks and certain sweets, may cause the saliva in the mouth to become acidic, eroding tooth enamel. As the structure of the tooth erodes, cavities form and the tooth may become weaker and more susceptible to fractures. The sugar and acid may trigger bacterial colonisation in the mouth that leads to tooth infections and possible gum disease. By avoiding high sugary and acidic foods, tooth decay and gum disease is less likely to develop.
Eat balanced and versatile meals
To get all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals our bodies need for healthy function, we need to eat a balanced and versatile diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Processed foods are more likely to contain ingredients that may in the long run be harmful to health. Eating fresh foods keeps all of the body strong, including our teeth and gums. Drinking enough water hydrates the skin, lips and gums. Eat softer foods as needed, like with dentures.
Get enough calcium
Our need calcium for healthy density and strength. Calcium-containing foods, such as dairy products, keep teeth strong and less vulnerable to breaks. For a hygiene appointment with us why not contact us today at Clifton Dental Studio in the city of Bristol.
If you noticed a cut bleeding on your arm, you’d probably do something to stop it immediately. However, many people ignore bleeding gums and this is why gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in British adults. The reality is that gum disease is preventable, and all you have to do is spend a few minutes each day giving your teeth and gums a bit of TLC to battle bleeding gums and prevent early tooth loss.
About gum disease
Gum disease is a very common oral disease, which is usually caused by plaque. Plaque is the sticky film made when food debris combines with saliva and bacteria. Plaque irritates the gums and when you eat, the acids released by bacteria also erode the enamel, increasing the risk of sensitivity and decay.
Thankfully, there is a very easy way to prevent plaque from forming and this involves devoting just five minutes of your day to your teeth and gums. Brushing for two minutes twice a day and flossing once a day helps to remove bacteria and food deposits from the mouth before plaque can develop, as well as ensuring your teeth look sparkly and clean.
Spotting the signs of gum disease
The most noticeable symptom of gum disease is bleeding when you brush, but you may also notice that your gums feel swollen and sore and they may also look redder.
If you notice the warning signs of gum disease, contact us so that you can see your dentist as quickly as possible.
Often, it will turn out to be nothing, but if you do have gum disease, seeing a dentist early ensures that it can be treated as early as possible. Gingivitis, the mild form of gum disease, is much easier to treat than periodontal disease, the advanced form of gum disease.
A general oral hygiene routine is said to involve brushing, flossing and using mouthwash, however, to really ensure that your mouth is completely clean you may want to incorporate tongue cleansing into your regime.
Why clean my tongue?
The majority of bacteria in your mouth is found towards the back of the tongue, which means that even when you have brushed and flossed every inch of your teeth bacteria can soon return, making its way from your tongue.
How does a tongue scraper work?
A tongue scraper is a simple device, made up hard plastic, which you run across the surface of the tongue. The scraper then pulls away the debris and harmful dental film that rests across the tongue. Doing this every morning and especially in the evening will help prevent bacteria from the tongue from tainting the rest of your mouth.
You can also use special brushes or just a general toothbrush (kept separately from the toothbrush you use on your teeth) to brush away the harmful bacterial film.
Tongue scraping is also a great idea if you wish to keep you breath smelling fresh, as the bacteria on your tongue is the main cause of bad breath.
What else should I do to keep my mouth fresh and clean?
Another underrated dental hygiene habit is flossing. Flossing removes the debris and plaque that has settled between the teeth, which brushing alone is unable to reach. If this debris is left to settle it can lead to numerous oral health problems, including tooth decay and gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss.
If is therefore important to do more than just brush your teeth, in order to keep a fresh and healthy mouth.
Brushing and cleaning your teeth should be a daily occurrence for everyone. But you may wonder whether you are doing it right. It may sound strange but there is a right and wrong way to brush your teeth, and this may be the difference to having a healthy smile and one troubled with tooth decay and gum disease.
The key components to brushing your teeth are:
You should always spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth to ensure that you have thoroughly cleaned away the plaque and bacteria (most adults throughout Bristol and the UK don’t spend anywhere near this amount of time brushing).
Make sure you get every single space there is. This is because the hardest places to reach are where the majority of bacterial build up will occur, which can result in erosion. The backs of the teeth are particularly important, along with the tongue and roof of your mouth, as these are the areas most people forget.
The gum line
Bacteria congregates on the gum line quite a lot and if left unattended can result in gum disease, bad breath and tooth decay. To avoid sensitivity issues, just brush along the gum line gently at a 45-degree angle.
Use the right brush
Firm bristles aren’t the most effective way of cleaning your teeth and soft bristles are actually much more efficient at removing plaque and food particles between your teeth, which could be missed with firmer bristles. A smaller head will also allow you to get into more places than a bigger headed toothbrush.
Do more than brush
You may think that by just using a toothbrush and some toothpaste you are doing everything in your power to protect your teeth. Make sure you floss regularly and use mouthwash to clear any bacteria that may be hiding or managed to escape your toothbrush.
Bristol dentists advise on chewing gum benefits to enhance oral hygiene
Fresh breath is not the only benefit that chewing gum can give you. It is an activity that can really help your oral hygiene. It is one of the simplest ways to achieve increased production of saliva, which helps to protect your teeth from being damaged by build ups of plaque.
Having fresh breath can increase your confidence in social occasions by ensuring that you are not worried about the smell of your breath while talking and smiling. Chewing gum is an easy and convenient way to achieve this by increasing saliva production and combatting the uncomfortable sensation of having a dry mouth.
When you eat sugary and starchy foods, the acids produced in the mouth form into plaque. Plaque breaks down your teeth’s natural defence, enamel, and can lead to cavities and painful tooth decay. Saliva is another of your mouth’s natural defences as it neutralizes these harmful acids. You can produce saliva by chewing gum.
Another chewing gum benefit is that it actually helps to clean your teeth. Of course it is no substitute for brushing and flossing but you might find yourself in a situation without access to your brush and chewing gum will be the next best thing for after dinner at a party, for example. The activity of chewing means that some debris will be moved from the teeth and gums and plaque finds it more difficult to form.
Chewing gum also helps teeth to retain a degree of whiteness by preventing stains from taking hold.
Looking for a cosmetic dentist? Bristol dentists are here to help
Your Bristol dentist can advise you which of the chewing gums on the market are best for enhancing your oral hygiene.
In addition to providing our patients with the latest cosmetic innovations, we are also committed to promoting good oral health and providing preventative and general dental treatments to free your mouth from oral disease and ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy. Bad breath (halitosis) is a very common problem, which is usually easily treated. If you’re suffering, call us and we will help you to banish halitosis for good and boost your confidence.
About bad breath
Bad breath affects most people from time to time, but if you have persistent bad breath, this can really take its toll on your confidence. Occasional bad breath is usually linked to your diet, but if you have bad breath on a regular basis, this is commonly associated with poor oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene is an effective means of getting rid of bacteria; if you don’t brush and floss frequently, these bacteria gather in the mouth and multiply, increasing the risk of bad breath, as well as gum disease and decay.
When you eat, the bacteria in your mouth feed, and this causes them to give off gases that have a very unpleasant odour. This is why you experienced bad breath.
How we can help
Our dentists and hygienists are experienced in treating bad breath and they use oral hygiene treatments such as scale and polish, and offer advice about oral hygiene at home, to help you get rid of harmful bacteria and enjoy clean, fresh breath.
We can provide regular intensive cleaning treatments and give you advice about brushing and flossing at home to prevent bad breath in the future. We can also offer lifestyle and diet and nutrition tips to help to reduce the risk of bad breath.
Many people dread going to the dentist, even for a simple check-up. However, dental checks are really important and they really can save your teeth. With regular checks, we can keep an eye out for warning signs and ensure you get treatment as quickly as possible in the event of problems arising.
About dental checks
Dental check-ups are short and painless and they can make all the difference when it comes to oral health. We advise all out patients, young and old, to have a check-up every 6 months in order to allow us to keep an eye out for symptoms of decay and gum disease and ensure patients are free from pain. Check-ups only last a few minutes and there’s nothing to worry about; your dentist will simply have a good look around your mouth, check your teeth and examine your gums. Your dentist will also have a chat with you about your general health and check that everything is going okay with your oral hygiene regime at home. They will also be happy to answer any questions and discuss any concerns you may have.
If you have any dental problems or symptoms, your dentist will arrange another appointment so that you can receive the treatment you need. If you don’t have any problems and you’ve got a clean bill of oral health, we will look forward to seeing you again in another six months.
We understand that for some patients, even the thought of having a check-up can be daunting, so we offer treatment for nervous patients. We often see patients who haven’t been to a dentist for a long time and we do all we can to try and make every patient feel comfortable. We want to assure you that there is nothing to feel embarrassed or ashamed about and we promise that the check-up will be completely painless. Our dentists are on hand to provide effective and efficient check-ups for all our patients and we look forward to welcoming new patients, as well as catching up with old faces.
If you’ve read the news this week, you’ll probably have noticed many articles devoted to dental decay and tackling high rates of decay among youngsters. At Clifton Dental Studio, we take dental health very seriously and we are determined to do all we can to ensure our patients have a clean bill of oral health.
Decay is extremely common, but it is preventable and we are committed to ensuring that our patients have the knowledge and tools to keep their teeth healthy and cavity-free.
About tooth decay
Tooth decay is a common dental problem, and it is almost always preventable. It is caused by harmful bacteria, which attack and erode the enamel and create holes known as cavities. Plaque is the main risk factor for tooth decay. Plaque is a colourless film that forms when saliva joins together bits of food and bacteria. When the bacteria feed, they release acids, and these acids weaken the enamel, eventually creating cavities. Once there are cavities in the enamel, there is a risk of infection spreading to the dentin, which contains the nerve tissue and blood vessels.
Dealing with decay
If you have a cavity in your tooth, we will usually fill the tooth, a process that involves placing a filling inside the cavity. Before the filling is placed, the tooth is cleaned and all the decayed tissue is taken away. Fillings make the teeth stronger and more durable and they also help to stem the spread of bacteria through the tooth, reducing the risk of infection.
If decay is left untreated, it can get worse and infection can spread to the living pulp tissue. If this is the case, root canal treatment may be required.
The best ways to prevent decay are to maintain good oral hygiene at home, to keep up to date with dental visits and to avoid consuming excessive amounts of sugar. It’s also advisable to keep an eye out for hidden sugars in foods and to avoid acidic foods and drinks.
A good daily oral hygiene regime will go a long way to keeping your teeth and gums free from oral disease. We are on hand to offer advice about daily cleaning and we will also be happy to discuss oral hygiene products, healthy eating and giving up smoking with patients. We really believe that prevention is better than cure and we do everything we can to make sure our patients have the knowledge and information to practise good oral hygiene at home and ensure they are free from pain and discomfort caused by decay and gum disease.
A good daily oral hygiene regime
We strongly recommend following a set daily oral hygiene regime, which includes brushing and flossing. We advise patients to brush twice a day, every day, using fluoride toothpaste and a brush with soft to medium bristles and a small head. Electric toothbrushes have been proven to remove plaque more effectively than manual brushes, but you should be able to achieve a good clean regardless of the brush you use. It’s advisable to brush for between 2 and 3 minutes each time and to ensure you cover all the teeth and reach right into the corners. Angle your brush head to clean along the gum line and don’t brush too hard, as this can damage the enamel.
Flossing is really important because it takes over from where you leave off when you brush your teeth and it removes bacteria and food debris from the gaps between the teeth. It’s essential to remove bacteria and bits of leftover food from the mouth because it prevents the formation of plaque. Plaque is a sticky film made from bacteria, food products and saliva. Plaque is the main cause of decay and gum disease, so it’s of paramount importance to keep on top of oral hygiene. When you floss, gently pass the tape through the gaps between your teeth and along the gum line. Avoid pulling on the floss, as this will make your gums sore.
If you have any questions about brushing or you need help with flossing, don’t hesitate to contact us!