Highclere Dental is your local family dental practice.
Visit your dentist regularly.
Of course we would say that, but it really is one of the best ways to make sure you and your family stay dentally fit. You see, we are able to spot signs of dental disease and gum problems much earlier than you can at home, so it is much better for us to deal with any of these issues before they become obvious to you. Often, once you notice puffiness, redness or swelling of your gums then the dental disease has progressed to the next level.
It’s much better to prevent gum disease at an early stage and so visiting your dentist regularly, including at least two visits to the hygienist will help you stay dentally fit.
We would advise to you is to look out for a practice which offers some form of plan. When you are on a monthly payment plan you are sure to get the best deal from the dentist as most of them offer some form of discount, you will also be far more inclined to keep your regular appointments and stay dentally fit, which is after all exactly what you want.
Advice on cleaning your teeth
At Highclere Dental, we recommend cleaning your teeth twice a day, morning and night following these simple guidelines:
- Wait for half an hour after eating before cleaning your teeth, this gives the enamel of your teeth time to harden again after being attacked whilst eating.
- Clean for 2 min in total, the simplest way to break this down is 30 seconds for each of the left, right, top and bottom sections of your jaw.
- Floss at least once a day. This cleans the difficult to reach areas between your teeth which helps to keep gum disease at bay.
- Use a good-quality mouthwash after flossing and brushing which also helps to reduce gum disease by keeping harmful bacteria away.
Top tips for flossing
- Take approximately 12 inches of floss and wrap it around your index fingers on each hand.
- Once you have done this use your thumb on each hand to guide floss to the correct place on your teeth.
- When you floss your bottom teeth use the middle finger of each hand to guide the floss
- Gently place the floss between your teeth, then guide it down one side of the tooth, down under the gum line, then guide it exactly the same under twos next to it ensuring that you go down below the gum line.
It’s really important when you floss to ensure that you get the floss below the gum line, lower than the gum propeller as shown in this diagram. Move the floss up and down in the direction of the red arrow to ensure that you get to clean right underneath the gum where your toothbrush can’t reach.
Should you use a Mouth Wash also?
Once you have finished brushing it is possible that there are still small amounts of debris left between your teeth, rinsing with a good-quality fluoride mouthwash ensures that all of this debris is removed and that your teeth have a really good coating of fluoride.
Rinsing with the mouthwash can also help to prevent bacteria from building up which can ultimately lead to dental decay. Here is a video which explains more on how to use a mouth wash effectively.
Buy an electric toothbrush.
Whilst it is perfectly viable to clean your teeth with a regular toothbrush, using an electric toothbrush works much better for most people. An electric toothbrush will have a carefully designed motion to it which has been worked out to clean your teeth better, this motion is far more difficult to recreate with a manual toothbrush.
There are a variety of electric toothbrushes on the market, many of them offering timers and pressure sensing devices. We recommend that you go for one of these toothbrushes as a common problem which patients experience is pressing too hard when they brush, if you do this with an advanced electric toothbrush it will warn you that you are pressing too hard.
Cleaning 2 minutes each time is also a good idea, spread it out into 30 seconds for the top left, 30 seconds for the top right, and repeat on the lower. An electric toothbrush will have a built in time and will let you know after each 3o second interval so that you can move to a different part of your mouth to keep it clean.
Oral B and Phillips both manufacture excellent electric toothbrushes which fulfil all of the requirements above.
Clean between your teeth
A large percentage of the tooth structure is actually not visible and is between the teeth or slightly under the gum line.
You need to ensure that you clean these vulnerable areas each day and so we recommend flossing in conjunction with an electric toothbrush as above.
At Highclere Dental, we will be able to monitor your teeth cleaning regime each time you visit and let you know how well you are doing, and to address any particular areas of your mouth to keep it cleaner.
Oh yes, that one again. Tobacco produces toxins that damage your teeth, your gums and your mouth in general. Smoking means your gums heal slower from any infection not to mention the fact that the nicotine stains your teeth and makes your breath smell.
Continue with the fluoride
Fluoride helps to protect your teeth and is a vital part of our dental healthcare routine. Many dentists offer fluoride treatment in a variety of forms and it is often included in things like fissure sealants. When selecting a toothpaste ensure that it contains fluoride which will help to keep your teeth healthy.
Some of the really cheap toothpastes may reduce the amount of fluoride so we recommend.
Some research was done in 2010 which showed that:
The new review, which examined results from 75 controlled clinical studies, found that the benefits of fluoride are reduced for toothpastes that contain less than 1,000 parts per million of fluoride. Toothpastes with lower fluoride levels in the 440 to 550 range give results that are no better than the results seen with toothpaste that does not contain fluoride.
We therefore recommend that any toothpaste you use has more than 1000 parts per million of fluoride.
Chew sugar free gum after eating
Chewing after you eat helps to get your body is natural defence against decay going. It stimulates the release of saliva in your mouth which helps to neutralise and wash away many of the acids that are produced as the food you eat is broken down by the bacteria in your mouth.
This bacteria can break down the tooth enamel making it more vulnerable to attack and decay.
This reason we also recommend that you wait 20 min after eating before brushing your teeth, as once again your teeth are vulnerable after you have eaten due to the acids caused by the bacteria, if you brush your teeth directly after eating it is possible to cause more damage. Waiting for 20 min allows the attacked enamel to restore itself.
One thing is for sure, chewing gum does not replace cleaning your teeth!
Drink fizzy drinks through a straw
As you can see from this image many fizzy drinks contain a great deal of sugar, and it is sugar which feeds the bacteria that can produce acid which attacks your teeth.
If you can keep this sugar away from your teeth then the bacteria isn’t able to produce the acid.
Ideally you should cut out these fizzy drinks altogether but if you really need to drink them then drink them through a straw. This keeps the sugar away from your teeth as much as possible and helps to keep your teeth are little healthier.