- Mouthguards are an essential part of a sports kit these days, both for children and adults,
Every here we find that people become more concerned about how well they look after their teeth at this festive time of year, and our right to be concerned as the tendency is to eat a huge amount of sweet stuff, and to continue to eat all of this sweet food well into the night!
Cleaning your teeth in the correct manner is important all year round and so here is some information about how to keep your teeth looking good all year.
Brush your teeth at least twice per day with a fluoride toothpaste
Each time you brush your teeth we recommend you take at least 2 min, this ensures that you cover all of the teeth surfaces to ensure a deep and thorough clean. The easiest way to do this is to break your mouth down into four sections, upper, lower, left and right. Select a quadrant, free example upper left, cleaners area for 30 seconds ensuring that you brush on the inside of your teeth, the tops of your teeth where you bite and the outside of your teeth (the cheek side).
Clean your teeth using an electric toothbrush
Consider using a good quality electric toothbrush, there are many on the market including Philips Sonicare and the Oral B Braun range. If you use an electric toothbrush you will find that it is far easier to ensure a deep clean between your teeth.
Is an excellent video about brushing techniques which if you follow will ensure that you are cleaning your teeth in the correct way.
What time-of-day is best to clean your teeth?
The best information and advice we can give is to clean your tooth in the morning and in the evening. The general advise is however that cleaning your teeth directly after a meal, particularly if you've just had very acidic food such as fruit wine or fizzy drinks, is not such a good idea as the outside of your teeth could be affected by the acid.
If you need to brush your teeth directly after a meal we suggest you wait an hour or so to ensure I thoroughly good clean with minimal damage to your teeth.
Advice on how to care for your teeth
Caring for your teeth needs to start at a very young age and so we recommend cleaning children's teeth as soon as they come through. Clean your children's teeth with a small toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste. If you do this from a very young age they would get used to the sensation and then be an excellent tooth cleaner as they get older!
Caring for your teeth is generally broken into four sections:
- Regular cleaning with a good quality toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Daily flossing with either tape or dental floss.
- Rinsing after each clean with a good quality mouthwash.
- Visiting your dentist regularly.
Why should you visit your dentist to help clean your teeth?
This is a great question and many people ask this regularly, as they think that it's just another way to get more money out of patience!
The reality is however that a dentist is able to spot problems with your teeth much sooner than you can at home. We are able to notice if there are early signs of tooth decay which will only become apparent at a later stage if left. We are also able to see into areas of your mouth which are far more difficult to see in the mirror at home.
A dentist will also have special instruments for deep cleaning of your teeth which again are not available to use at home.
Many dentists also work very closely with a dental hygienists who will act as the dental health educator a dental practice. It is important that you see the dental hygienists on a regular basis as this will also allow you to keep your teeth in good condition, with the hygienist providing feedback on how well you are doing and how clean your keeping your teeth.
What dental cleaning tools should I use?
Our best advice is to stick to the following:
- A good quality toothbrush, preferably electric.
- Floss or tape.
- Interdental brushes.
Interdental brushes are a good way to clean between teeth if you have large black triangles between them. Floss or take does not always manage to get down into these areas and so cleaning with this type of brush will allow you to clean much deeper than normal.
When you clean your teeth you're doing far more than just cleaning your teeth! You also cleaning the gum area around your teeth. This sensitive area is important to keep an eye on and make sure that it's not becoming red, puffy or inflamed.
If you find that your gum area around the teeth does not look totally normal then you could be in the early stages of gum disease or gingivitis.
If this is the case then we strongly recommend visiting your dentist as soon as possible to prevent gingivitis turning into periodontitis. Periodontitis is a much more serious dental disease and affects the bone around your tooth, ultimately leading to the shrinking of the bone and possibly to tooth loss.
So keeping the border between your teeth and gums clean and in good condition is absolutely vital to ensuring that you keep your teeth for life.
Whenever you clean your teeth gently massage the gums with your toothbrush ensuring that you are not scrubbing. Vigourous scrubbing of your teeth can damage the sensitive gum margins and cause them to become inflamed.
Over this Christmas time of 2012 please be sure to keep your teeth nice and clean and in good condition so that 2013 is a dentally perfect year for you. In the unlikely event that you need to see a dentist then our dental practice in St John's Wood, North London will always be happy to welcome new patients into the clinic.