Tag: oral hygiene

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.

Tooth Brushing Mistakes You Could Be Making

We all know that we should be brushing our teeth twice a day but did you know that without the correct technique, you could be putting your mouth at risk.

If you do not successfully clean your teeth when you are brushing, you could be letting plaque and tartar buildup around your teeth which can increase the chance of you developing tooth decay.

You may think you know how to brush your teeth, but we see a large number of patients make the same mistakes. Here’s a list of the most common mistakes that we see and how to resolve these.

Picking the wrong brush

There are a large range of toothbrushes available on the market. This can make it difficult to decide which one will suit your needs. A brush that is too big can make it difficult for you to clean the hard to reach areas of your mouth. Hard bristled brushes can cause damage to your enamel.

The right brush for you can be either electric or manual, they are both effective in removing plaque and debris from the mouth. Your toothbrush must have soft bristles that can easily bend, in order to get under the gumline. You should use a brush that is suitable for the size of your mouth. They are lots of different sized toothbrush handles and heads available now, pick the one that feels comfortable for you.

Brushing too hard

A lot of patients believe that if they scrub their teeth as hard as they can, they will be cleaning them better. This is not true.

Plaque is a soft substance and loosens from the teeth very easily with a soft-bristled toothbrush. A tip for you to remember when you are brushing your teeth is to massage the surfaces, rather than scrub.

Not brushing for long enough

You should be brushing your teeth for 2 minutes, twice per day. If you are either skipping these or cutting them short, you will not be cleaning your teeth correctly. Make time to take care of your oral health – those 4 minutes a day could save you hours in the dentist’s chair.

A great way to make sure you are brushing for the correct amount of time is to use the timer on your mobile phone. Set it for 2 minutes and don’t stop brushing until that timer goes off.

Keeping hold of your brush

If you find a brush that suits you, you may find it difficult to give it up. However, you should change your toothbrush, or brush head, at least every three to four months. If you see changes in the bristles including discolouration or fluffiness, it is time for a change. When bristles become frayed or dirty, it loses its ability to clean your teeth as effectively.

We would also recommend changing your brush after you have been unwell to prevent any bacteria from spreading.

Forgetting the gum line

It is extremely common for people to forget to clean their gum line when brushing their teeth. We all remember to clean the surfaces of our teeth but the gum line is just as important. Bacteria and plaque can collect just under the gum line and this can led to gum disease. Gum disease causes bleeding and inflamed gums, receding gums and even tooth loss.

When brushing your teeth, try to direct the bristles just under the gum line (where the tooth meets the gum). Using a 45-degree angle against the gum line will help you to do this. Your gums may bleed a little to start with, but persevere with it and they will get better.

If you would like more advice on the best way to clean your teeth or any other aspects of oral hygiene, ask your dental hygienist or dentist at your next appointment. To book an appointment with Gwersyllt Dental Care, call us on 01978 757409.