Toothtastic Tips and Tricks…

Here are a few tips and tricks to help achieve excellent oral health…
Whitening:
You can help keep your teeth whiter by avoiding the following:

  • Smoking (we all should anyway), black tea/coffee, highly coloured foods and Corsodyl mouth wash (the Daily one is fine, the Original contains Chlorhexidine which can cause a build-up of staining on your teeth).
  • Whitening toothpastes can help, but if your looking for a more dramatic effect speak to your Dentist about treatment options.
  • There are a lot of so called quick whitening home treatments online but be wary of these as they often suggest using highly acidic and/or abrasive everyday products/items that can in fact damage your teeth. By placing acidic or abrasive products on your teeth will damage the enamel and once this has gone its gone, what will be left will be the dentine which is darker that enamel and so will give you the completely opposite effect of what you are after.
  • Also, its worth noting that only qualified dentists or GDC registered dental professionals can legally offer teeth whitening treatments using hydrogen peroxide above 0.1%. One in four people (28%) would rather purchase potentially unsafe home kits over the internet or visit illegal beauticians and kiosks than see their dentist for tooth whitening treatment, according to research.
  • Its just not worth it, all being well your teeth will be with you for a long time, be kind to them.

Interdental cleaning:

  • Tepe released an advert recently with a very good point and it was this: You wouldn’t apply 60% of your lipstick. Why would they only clean 60% of your teeth?
    Admittedly this is aimed at people who wear lipstick but the message is the same, if you do not clean between your teeth you are not cleaning your whole tooth.
  • There have also been articles in the media about flossing, they tried to tell us it was pointless, the fact is that this is just not true. Flossing correctly helps clean the surfaces (above and below the gum) of the teeth that a brush just can’t get to.
    Flossing technique: Wrap the floss around your middle fingers, leaving your forefingers free to apply pressure and direction to the floss, place the floss between the teeth sliding it under the gum, curve it around the tooth and with a tight contact slide it up and over the tooth.
    Floss cannot do all the work though, this is where product such as Tepe brushes (like small bottle brushes) or Dentisticks (the rubber tipped tapered brushes) can come in really useful, especially for those who get food debris trapped between the teeth.
    These can be placed between your teeth as part of your daily routine, ideally before brushing to remove all debris allowing the toothpaste to reach all surfaces of your teeth.
    An example of a good daily routine would be:
  • AM – Brush with a fluoride toothpaste, spit out the excess toothpaste and do not rinse. This would ideally be before breakfast, and then to freshen up after, floss and clean between your teeth, rinse with a fluoride mouthwash.
    If the thought of brushing before breakfast is too much then leave it an hour after eating then floss and clean between your teeth, brush with a fluoride toothpaste, spit out the excess toothpaste and do not rinse.
  • PM – leave it an hour after eating/drinking (anything apart from water) then floss and clean between your teeth, brush with a fluoride toothpaste, spit out the excess toothpaste and do not rinse.
    Not rinsing out the toothpaste allows the fluoride in the toothpaste to stay in contact with your teeth for longer thus helping to protect your teeth by helping to strengthen enamel and help keep them cavity free.
  • Mouthwash has a lower fluoride content than toothpaste and that is why it is advised to be used at a different time of day to brushing.

Bleeding gums:

  • Healthy gums do not bleed! If you are finding your gums are bleeding whilst you are brushing or cleaning between your teeth the natural reaction is to assume that you have caused some kind of damage and to shy away, when in fact the opposite is true this is a sign that not all the bacteria in your mouth is being removed and you need to clean more thoroughly.

Over scrubbing:

  • If you are using a manual toothbrush and often find your toothbrush bristles splayed out, this could be a sign that you are over scrubbing your teeth. This can cause excessive wear on your teeth and recession on your gums so best avoided – maybe try an electric toothbrush with a pressure sensor.
    If you have an electric toothbrush the head should be changed every 3 months for best results.

As always, your dental professionals are there to assist you in any way they can, cleaning your teeth is not easy otherwise there would be no need for dentists.

Happy dental health everybody!