The Importance of Oral Hygiene

Promoting oral hygiene and how essential it is to an individual’s overall health is always a top priority for our dental practice. This is why it is important to return see your dentist on the recommended basis, and to maintain your visits to the hygienist.

Recently, the British Dental Health Foundation conducted a survey with the public regarding their oral health care regimes. The results of the survey illustrated how complacent many people are when it comes to brushing their teeth and flossing on a regular basis.

A significant number of people (around 15%) admitted that they have gone two days without brushing their teeth, when it is recommended that you brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste.

More than one in five adults in Britain surveyed said that they forget to floss. It is imperative to floss everyday in order to remove the build-up of plaque that you are unable to reach with your toothbrush.

Those who neglect brushing their teeth and flossing as recommended are at an increased risk of oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.

Our hygienist can professionally clean your teeth with a scale and polish, and can give you all the advice you need to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Contact us today to arrange an appointment.

Looking after your children’s teeth

You can begin the process of looking after your child’s teeth from a very young age, and it is important to do so in order to promote the importance of their oral healthcare as they grow older.

For babies, you can use a soft toothbrush to brush their gums before the first tooth appears. As soon as your baby’s first tooth appears, you may use a fluoride toothpaste to begin brushing. It is important to use a fluoride toothpaste as this contributes to the prevention of tooth decay from an early stage.

For children under three years of age, it is best to ask your dentist for a recommendation on the specific toothpaste that should be used. With children of this age, it is important to remember that they typically like the taste of their toothpaste, so keep an eye on them to make sure they do not eat or lick any toothpaste directly from the tube.

Cleaning a young child’s teeth should take around two minutes and should be done twice a day, once just before bedtime. Discourage rinsing with water after brushing as this can nullify some of the positive effects of the toothpaste.

It is advisable to watch over your child as they brush their teeth up until the age of seven or eight years. This can be done by direct supervision, or you could brush your teeth together. Once your child reaches the stage at which you feel confident they will responsibly brush their teeth as and when they should, occasional supervision is recommended in order to ensure they are doing so correctly.

National Smile Month Is Underway!

May 20th 2013 marked the first day of the annual National Smile Month. An initiative of the British Dental Health Foundation, National Smile Month is the largest oral health campaign in the United Kingdom.

National Smile Month is a great opportunity to raise public awareness of the importance of healthy teeth and gums, not only for the good of our oral health but also for our general well-being.

This year actually marks the 37th National Smile Month event, having been established back in 1976. It has been vital in offering important advice to the community as well as dental professionals ever since.

There are a number of ways you can take part in National Smile Month. If you are keen to seek the most reliable advice on how to maintain good oral health, are interested in finding out more about how to raise awareness, or would like to register your interest in actively participating in the campaign, visit www.nationalsmilemonth.org.

National Smile Month runs until June 20th, 2013.

Ten Interesting Facts About Teeth

1) Milk teeth begin to develop before birth, but do not appear until 6-12 months after a child is born.? Most people will have lost their milk teeth by the time they get to age fourteen.

2) A full adult set consists of thirty-two teeth, the last four of which may appear later than the others. The final teeth to come through are referred to as wisdom teeth.

3) A set of teeth consists of four different types; incisors, canines, premolars, and molars.

4) Incisors are the two front teeth on the top jaw, and the two front teeth on the bottom jaw.

5) There are also four canine teeth – one on either side of your two sets of incisors. These teeth are very sharp, and used to tear foods.

6) There are eight premolars in total, and they are located next to the canine teeth, with four on the upper jaw and four on the lower jaw. They are much larger and wider than the teeth at the front on your jaw.

7) The molars are the eight teeth at the back of your jaw, again with four on top and four on the bottom. Located towards the rear of your mouth, these teeth play the biggest part in breaking down food.

8) The outer coating of the tooth is a substance called enamel, and is the hardest substance present in the entire body.

9) Inside the enamel and dentine shell is the area that controls the blood supply and nerve endings of the tooth. This highly-protected area is known as the pulp.? The nerve endings within the pulp communicate with the brain.

10) A substance called cementum is what secures the root of the tooth to the gum.? The tooth is connected to the jawbone by periodontal fibres.

Your Lifestyle and Your Teeth

By brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing, and following the advice of your dentist and hygienist, your chances of maintaining healthy teeth and gums will be very good.

However, taking care of your overall health through your lifestyle is another major contributor to keeping your teeth and gums in great condition.

Drinking alcohol and smoking are two lifestyle habits that can be very detrimental to your oral health.

Drinking alcohol is known to be a major cause of tooth decay. Drinking on a regular basis has also been linked to mouth cancer, as a high percentage of those diagnosed cite frequent alcohol intake as a part of their lifestyle and diet.

Smoking is another habit that can cause major complications for your oral health, as well as your health in general. Smoking can cause discolouration of your teeth, bad breath, and gum disease. Just like drinking alcohol regularly, frequent smoking is another mouth cancer risk.

The benefits of cutting down on drinking alcohol and quitting smoking are great not only for your teeth and gums, but for your overall health as well.

If you would like an assessment of your oral health and further advice on how to keep your teeth and gums healthy, please contact our practice by telephone or through our website to arrange an appointment.

About Your Dental Check-up

In last week’s blog, we let you know that you should follow advice from your dentist about how often you should be seen for your dental appointments. This week, our blog is about exactly why it is important for you to see your dentist for your routine check-up appointments.

Check-ups are essential in maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. By making sure you visit for a check-up as and when advised, your dentist will be able to identify any potential problems at a much earlier stage and advise you accordingly on treatment and your oral health care regime.

During a routine check-up appointment, your dentist will examine your mouth and ask you about your general health, lifestyle, and diet. Doing this allows them to make an assessment of your oral health, and recommend any necessary action if required.

Your dentist will then let you know when you need to visit them again for a follow-up appointment.

If you are due for a routine check-up appointment, do not hesitate to contact us. You can do this directly through our website or by calling us at the practice.

Choosing The Right Toothbrush

One of the questions we most often receive from patients at our practice is about whether they should stick with their manual toothbrush, or make the investment in an electric toothbrush.

Our advice is that a good electric toothbrush is the better choice.

One of the best things about an electric toothbrush is that the brushing actions are performed for you, making the brush more reliable and easier to use. The other major benefit of the automatic function of the electric toothbrush is that it offers a superior level of plaque removal, reducing the risk of gum disease.

With advances made in technology, many electric toothbrushes are able to make your daily oral hygiene regime all the easier by providing you with reminders to change the head of your toothbrush, and timers to help you ensure that you are brushing for the correct amount of time. Many electric toothbrushes also have numerous interchangeable head options so that you can choose the type of bristle that feels best for you when brushing.

If you would like advice on how you can best look after your teeth and gums, we recommend that you make an appointment with our hygienist. Our hygienist is able to perform a professional scale and polish and can provide expert recommendations on how you can perfect your oral health care regime. Contact us today via our website or by telephone to book your appointment.

Keeping Breath Fresh

For those who suffer from bad breath, or halitosis as it is also known, a trip to see your dentist could be your very first step towards curing what can be a very awkward and unpleasant problem.

In the majority of cases, the underlying cause of bad breath is a dental condition. This is why it is important for you to ensure that you visit us if you are suffering from such a problem, as we are in the perfect position to help you overcome it.

There are a number of dental health issues that are known to cause bad breath, including gum disease, dry mouth and cavities, among others. If you suffer from bad breath, make an appointment at our practice so that our dentist can identify the problem and recommend a suitable treatment.

Toothpastes and mouthwashes are helpful and of course recommended, but it is important to remember that these aids alone are not the answer as they will not treat the root cause of the issue. This is why a dental appointment is essential in order to help you enjoy the benefits of cleaner, fresher breath.

Dental Advice at Easter

Easter, and more specifically, Easter eggs, means that the popularity of chocolate is higher at this time of year than any other. Here is some advice to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy over Easter without having to give up Easter eggs:

– Try not to go for the biggest egg you can possibly find. Treat yourself, but do so with a smaller-sized egg. Also, it is best to find an egg that is just an egg, without the additional chocolate bars and packets of sweets that often accompany them.

– It is best to eat portions of the egg as a dessert for after your meals rather than as a snack.

– Dark chocolate is often a good choice as it can contain less sugar than other chocolate options.

– Remember to maintain a high level of oral care and hygiene, with regular brushing and flossing.

The main thing to remember at Easter is that looking after your teeth and gums is an essential part of looking after your general health, and eating healthily and sensibly is an important habit to maintain all year round.