Tag: dental health

How to look after your teeth this Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner. This busy time of year can often put your teeth in danger.

We see many patients every year put their dental health at risk over the festive period. Here are some tips to help you keep your teeth healthy and avoid having to book an emergency dental appointment.

Keep up your routine

The most important part of keeping your teeth healthy is to follow an excellent oral hygiene routine. Unfortunately, due to the chaos that Christmas is associated with, a lot of patients neglect their oral hygiene.

An excellent oral hygiene routine consists of brushing your teeth thoroughly with either a manual or electric toothbrush, for two minutes. This should be done twice a day – once just before bed and at one other time during the day. It is important to give your tongue a quick brush as this also holds onto bacteria.

Brushing your teeth only cleans around 60% of the surfaces of the teeth. To make sure the rest is cleaned, you should be flossing at least once a day. This can be done at the same time as you brush your teeth, or at any other time during the day.

To really boost your oral hygiene, you can use alcohol-free mouthwash daily. Not only does this make your breath fresher, but it will also fight off bacteria. It is bacteria that leads to tooth decay.

Watch what you eat

Christmas is full of tempting foods that we wouldn’t usually treat ourselves to the rest of the year. Chocolates are a very popular festive treat but they are very high in sugar. If you just can’t resist, choose dark chocolate as this contains far less sugar.

The dried fruit found in mince pies, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding is actually bad for your teeth. They are surprisingly high in sugar and because of their stickiness, they surround your teeth for a prolonged amount of time.

Toffees are also a popular festive treat. Teeth cracking and chipping is a common occurrence when it comes to eating toffee. It can also destroy any existing dental work you may have including fillings and crowns.

Cut down on the sugary drinks

Most people enjoy more high-sugar drinks over Christmas than they would throughout the rest of the year. These include fizzy soft drinks, cordials and alcohol.

Prosecco is becoming a very popular tipple but are you aware of how bad it is for your dental health? The combination of its sugar content and high acidity means it can rot your teeth, as well as pull the gum away from your teeth.

It is important to be aware of how many sugary drinks you are taking in. Try to cut down as much as possible, and have a glass of water between drinks to neutralise the acidity in your mouth.

Don’t use your teeth as tools

It may be tempting to use your teeth to rip sellotape, open bottles or break off tags from clothes but this can lead to serious damage. Your teeth can chip, crack or badly break from doing these things, leading to difficult and expensive dental treatment. Don’t use your teeth as tools this Christmas.

Book a check-up appointment

We always recommend booking a dental health check-up either just before or just after Christmas. Our dentists will be able to check your teeth and gums for any potential problems before they develop into more serious problems. Detecting issues early will often mean easier, quicker and cheaper treatment.

If you would like to book an appointment with one of the experienced dentists at Gwersyllt Dental Care, call us on 01978 757 409.

What causes teeth staining?

Over time, teeth start to discolour and lose their dazzling pearly look. When your teeth become stained, it can make you feel conscious of your smile.

Although tooth discolouration is inevitable through ageing, there are many factors that can speed up this process including certain foods, drinks and habits. In this article, we will explain how you can reduce your risk of any potential staining.

What causes the staining?

As you get older, your tooth enamel can weaken and start to crack. The cracks will show the stains more than the enamel, meaning your teeth will appear discoloured. There are three main things that can cause teeth staining:

    • Chromogens – these are compounds with strong pigments that cling to enamel
    • Tannins – these are plant-based compounds that make it easier for stains to stick to teeth
    • Acids – these make tooth enamel softer and rougher, so it’s easier for stains to develop

Coffee and Tea

Do you enjoy a morning cup of coffee or tea? Coffee is very acidic and high in chromogens – you can tell this just by its colour. However, tea can cause more staining than coffee. This is due to it being acidic and containing tannins. Whether you drink it black, milky or iced – over time your teeth will become stained. It’s a good idea to drink a glass of water after enjoying a cup of coffee or tea to wash away some of the acids.

Red wine

You may enjoy a glass of red wine at the end of a long day but it is not a good idea if you want to maintain a bright smile. Red wine contains all three components that we explained earlier, meaning it is very likely to stain your teeth.

Food Dye

Have you ever eaten a sweet and your tongue has changed colour? This is the artificial dye that can be found in sweets, ice lollies, and some sugary drinks. The staining effects are visible on the soft tissues of the mouth instantly, so imagine the damage it can cause on the teeth over time.

Smoking

Many smokers have visibly stained teeth, often being a yellow colour. The tar and other substances found in tobacco will stick to the teeth and quickly turn the surfaces a yellow colour. Smoking can also cause a whole host of dental problems including; gum disease, mouth cancer and tooth loss.

There are a lot more lifestyle choices that will affect the colour of your teeth but these are the most common. If you would like more advice on keeping your teeth pearly white, the dentists at Gwersyllt Dental Care are here to help you. Call us on 01978 757409 to book an appointment.