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Category “brushing and flossing”

Could supervised brushing at school help to stem the tide of decay?

Public Health England figures suggest that dentists are removing around 1,000 teeth per month from children under the age of 6, despite the fact that almost all cases of decay are preventable. With dental issues costing the NHS millions of pounds, and children missing 60,000 school days every year as a result of decay, it has been suggested that supervised brushing in schools could help to stem the rising tide of decay. 

Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, is launching a consultation on a number of measures designed to reduce rates of decay, including supervised brushing schemes in schools. Health experts are worried that a large proportion of children aren’t brushing their teeth on a daily basis, and introducing brushing programmes could help to ensure that young children brush at least once a day. 

Poor oral hygiene is a significant factor in high rates of decay, but public dental health experts are also eager to improve eating habits, reduce sugar consumption and encourage parents to take children to the dentist every 6 months. 

The news of brushing schemes has been welcomed by dentists, including the chair of the British Dental Association’s principal executive committee, Mick Armstrong, but it has been criticised by teaching unions. Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, questioned whether it was the duty of teachers to ensure that their pupils brushed their teeth. 

Senior lecturer in dental public health at the University of Birmingham, Dr John Morris, said that the impact of poor dental health in childhood shouldn’t be underestimated. Dental troubles contribute to pain and a higher risk of infection, but they can also affect self-confidence and socialisation. 

Tooth extraction is currently the most common reason children are admitted to hospital in the UK.

New research shows that electric toothbrushes are better than manual brushes

New research has shown that using an electric toothbrush is better for your dental health than employing a manual brush.

Researchers found that using an electric toothbrush contributes to healthier gums, a reduced risk of tooth decay and a higher probability of keeping the natural teeth for longer. The new study, which has been labelled ‘ground-breaking’ due to the fact that it is the largest study of its kind, analysed data collected over a period of 11 years. The findings, which have been published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, revealed that using an electric toothbrush can reduce the risk of gum recession by 22% and decay by 18%.

The latest oral health survey carried out by the Oral Health Foundation suggests that less than half of British adults use an electric toothbrush, with many citing cost as a reason for sticking with a manual brush. Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the foundation, believes that buying an electric brush represents an excellent investment in improved oral health, especially as the price of brushes has fallen as a result of technological advances. Electric toothbrushes are now available for as little as £10, and they last a lot longer than manual brushes.

Just 49% of adults use an electric toothbrush. Two-thirds of those who have an electric toothbrush made the switch to enjoy oral health benefits. More than a third chose to buy a brush after receiving advice from their dentist and 13% of people were given an electric brush as a gift.

Dr Carter suggested that the latest study builds on evidence showcased by previous projects and encouraged dental patients to ensure they take good care of their teeth and gums. Even if you don’t have an electric toothbrush, you can achieve a deep clean, which will reduce the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.

Dental mistakes you probably didn’t know you were making

Most of us grow up with an oral hygiene routine in place, but sometimes, habits of a lifetime don’t always reflect what’s actually good for us. Unwittingly, many of us make dental mistakes without being aware of the potential consequences.

One of the most common errors people commit when they brush their teeth is rinsing after brushing. Many of us learn to do this as children, and it becomes a habit we don’t even think about. Rinsing is actually counter-productive because it washes away the fluoride that is added to toothpaste. Fluoride is a mineral that protects the enamel and reduces the risk of decay and cavities. Rather than washing the teeth and rinsing after brushing, eliminate this step. This will increase exposure to fluoride.

Another problem is brushing technique. It’s understandable to assume that brushing firmly improves results, but being aggressive with your brush can actually do more harm than good. This is due to the fact that you can damage the protective enamel surface if you’re heavy-handed. If you have an electric toothbrush, you don’t need to exert any extra effort or force. The brush will do all the hard work for you, so gently guide it around the mouth, covering every surface of every tooth.

To improve standards of oral health, dentists are also eager to encourage patients to buy the right toothpaste. In recent years, abrasive products, which are sold as whitening toothpastes, have become increasingly popular. The trouble with these products is that they can weaken the enamel and there is little evidence to prove that they lighten the shade of the teeth. For the best whitening results, dentists recommend professional whitening treatment, which can be legally only be provided by trained, qualified, GDC-registered dentists.

Are you getting tooth care all wrong?

shutterstock_564882475Even if you clean your teeth twice a day, every day, there’s a chance that you’re not doing it right. There’s an art to brushing, and certain habits can prevent you from achieving the clean you want. To improve dental health and optimise results, dental experts have shared some common myths and helpful tips.

Brushing after eating

You may assume that the sooner you brush your teeth after eating, the better, but cleaning your teeth immediately after eating can actually do more harm than good. When you eat, your enamel softens temporarily and brushing at this point can cause it to become worn and thin. Consultant in dental public health, Derek Richards, urges patients to wait at least 10 minutes to brush after eating or drinking.

Rinsing after brushing

Many people rinse as part of their brushing routine. It comes naturally to clean your teeth, rinse and then spit. There’s nothing wrong with this pattern, but you could benefit more from skipping the rinsing step. When you rinse, this can wash away the fluoride, which is added to toothpaste to strengthen your tooth enamel.

Tooth whitening

You may think that white teeth are healthy teeth, but don’t be tempted to treat yourself to a whitening treatment that is provided by somebody without dental qualifications. Whitening is widely available at beauty salons, but this is actually illegal. Always make sure you see a registered dentist if you want whiter, brighter teeth.

Brushing takes time

Professor Damien Walmsley recently got involved in a discussion about whether you wet your brush head before cleaning or not. Some people on twitter were passionate about dampening the bristles beforehand, but Prof Walmsley, an adviser for the British Dental Association, said that all that matters is that people brush for two minutes twice a day (once before bed) using fluoride toothpaste. It doesn’t matter whether the brush is wet or dry, sticking to the basics is much more important.

Next time you go to brush your teeth, think about your daily habits and see if they need a little modification.

Could your brushing technique be ruining your teeth?

shutterstock_567964555Learning to include twice-daily brushing in your habitual routine is part and parcel of growing up. Most of us know that we’re supposed to brush twice a day, but do you know how to brush your teeth properly. You may think that you’re doing a great job just because you take two minutes to clean your teeth, but you may be surprised when you read tips from experts. As part of National Smile Month, dentists have been offering pearls of wisdom to help the public improve their brushing technique. Here are some of the most helpful and effective hacks:

Brushing twice a day may seem like an obvious tip, but studies show that up to half of the population only brushes once a day. Brushing twice a day enables you to remove bacteria and food debris before it turns into plaque, the sticky film-like substance, which is responsible for causing gum disease and dental decay. A lack of time is an excuse used by many when it comes to avoiding brushing, but if you are in a rush, dentists recommend brushing your teeth before you eat, rather than immediately afterwards. When you eat, the enamel softens temporarily, and brushing at this time can damage the external tooth surface.

We’re often taught to rinse after brushing, but this can actually prevent you from getting the most out of tooth cleaning. Washing the mouth out removes fluoride and any other beneficial additives you get from your toothpaste, such as Novamin, so try and avoid rinsing and wait a while to drink after brushing.

Putting a lot of enthusiasm and energy into brushing may seem like a good idea, but if you brush too firmly, you can actually do more harm than good. Brushing aggressively can weaken the enamel and increase the risk of erosion. Be thorough when you brush, but take care to be gentle.

Have you been brushing your teeth the wrong way? Why it’s time to stop rinsing

shutterstock_534219346Over the course of your lifetime, you’ve probably brushed your teeth thousands of times, but have you been doing it the wrong way all this time? Brushing is something our dentists urge us to do twice a day, every day, but what is the right technique, and why is it time to stop rinsing?

When you clean your teeth, what method do you employ? Do you brush as hard as you can for a while and then spit your toothpaste out and rinse your mouth? If so, stop! Dentists are keen to encourage gentle brushing, and put a stop to rinsing. If you brush hard, you may think that you’re doing a more thorough job. In reality, you may actually be doing more harm than good. This is because brushing vigorously can damage your enamel.

Rinsing has probably been part of your oral care regime for as long as you can remember. There’s nothing dangerous about rinsing, but you may be missing out on the benefits of some ingredients found in your toothpaste. When you rinse immediately after brushing, this rids the mouth of important minerals like fluoride and calcium and ingredients such as Novamin, which are designed to strengthen the enamel and protect your teeth from acid erosion and sensitivity. Rather than rinsing your mouth after brushing, brush, spit, and then you’re done.

Cambridge-based hospital dentist. Dr Thomas O’Connor explained that many patients are unwittingly missing out on the benefits of all the fancy sounding minerals you see listed on the tube of toothpaste because they’re rinsing straight after brushing. It takes time for these minerals to be absorbed, so leaving some of the toothpaste behind is a great way to improve your brushing regime.

Would you buy a Dyson toothbrush? Innovative inventor reveals latest project

shutterstock_354663890When you hear the name Dyson, you probably think of hoovers, but that could be able to change. Sir James Dyson, one of the world’s most prolific inventors, has revealed that his latest project is a state of the art toothbrush.

The Dyson firm, which is owned by the innovative inventor, has applied for several patents for its new super brush, which features a powerful water jet within the bristles. The aim of the jet is to disperse and remove food debris. The patent applications relate to a “dental cleaning appliance”, which features a delivery system that provides frequent bursts of water to banish bits of food and bacteria. It is also believed that the brushing device could be used as a flossing aid when used without the bristles.

The high-tech brush features a reservoir, which is located between the handle and the brush head. This reservoir is filled with water, which is released when triggered by a light sensor or a camera; this results in several short bursts during brushing. The sensor would ensure that water is released only when the brush is in position between the user’s teeth.

The new brush design also features six modes and the head can oscillate up to 6,000 times per minute. There’s also talk of an additional feature, which prevents brushing too hard, a major cause of enamel wear.

So far, no additional information, such as the recommended retail price or release date, is available.

Expert Advice on Brushing and Flossing

Having a healthy mouth makes a number of activities, which you might take for granted, so much easier.  Your mouth is designed in a specific way so that all the parts work together.  If your teeth or gums develop a condition, it could make it more difficult to eat and drink.  The first and easiest step that you can take to be sure of good oral hygiene is to brush and floss in the correct fashion.

You ought to be brushing at least twice a day for around three minutes each time.  Sometimes you might also want brush after a meal, especially if it was sugary or starchy.  This is so that plaque is unable to build up on the teeth.  Plaque compromises the enamel, which is the hard substance that protects your teeth.  It doesn’t take long for plaque to form after a meal, so it is important that it is not left to develop.

Be sure not to brush too vigorously, as this can damage the gums themselves. Use a fluoride toothpaste because the fluoride actually helps to strengthen enamel and seek to brush all the parts of your mouth that you can.

Brushing should always be done in combination with flossing.  Your toothbrush will be unable to reach every single part of your mouth and plaque is able to build up between the teeth unless it is removed by dental floss or tape.  If you have not flossed before then you might experience a little bleeding as the floss creates small lacerations in the gum.  This is nothing to worry about unless it persists and you should continue to floss.

The Importance of Brushing and Flossing in London in 2015

It’s nearly time to think about making resolutions and adopting good habits for 2015, so why not add better brushing and flossing to your list?

The importance of good oral hygiene cannot be underestimated, so make 2015 the year your smile sparkles!

Why are brushing and flossing so important?

Brushing and flossing are the best weapons you have in your arsenal against harmful bacteria and plaque. With a good daily oral hygiene regime, you can vastly reduce your risk of gum disease and dental decay, as well as bad breath and staining. If you don’t brush on a regular basis, bacteria remains in your mouth, multiplies and combines with saliva and food debris to create plaque. Plaque is the main risk factor for decay and gum disease, but it can be prevented with good oral hygiene.

Most people know why flossing and brushing are important for oral health, but studies have also linked oral health to general health, and researchers believe that poor standards of oral health are linked to an elevated risk of heart disease, strokes and other serious illnesses including diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and complications during pregnancy and labour.

Brushing and flossing tips

Here are some simple brushing and flossing tips to boost your oral health in the New Year:

  • brush twice a day, every morning and evening for at least 2 minutes each time
  • use a brush with soft or medium bristles
  • angle the brush head to clean the gum line
  • don’t brush too hard
  • wait an hour after eating to brush
  • floss daily and avoid pulling at dental floss
  • ask your dentist if you have any questions about oral hygiene
  • use fluoride toothpaste
  • invest in an electric toothbrush

Keep That London Smile in Perfect Working Order by Flossing

Keep That London Smile in Perfect Working Order by Flossing

The dental industry is always striving to introduce new products to help you maintain a sparkling, healthy smile. As you get older, the need to care for your teeth and gums becomes greater, as does the need to use these products to your smile’s advantage.

Get a good toothbrush, good toothpaste and mouthwash, and then most importantly, get a good dental floss to suit your oral health requirements. Flosses come in a number of different sizes, so you might need to try a few different ones first before you find the one for you. When you’re happy with your floss, learn how to use it to get the best results. This can be difficult at first, so practice hard until you can do it with your eyes closed! Loop the floss between your fingers, and then gently weave it up around the gums and between the teeth. Flossing removes food that has gotten stuck between the gaps in your teeth, and gets to areas brushes can’t reach.

By flossing, you will stop food debris from developing bacteria that will harm your teeth and gums.

It sounds simple, yet flossing has become an extremely important part of our every day routines. Floss is inexpensive to buy and is easy to keep on you during the day, so use it after eating. By doing this, you will help to keep your smile looking and feeling perfect.

Baker Street

Dental Clinic

Dr Watson Chambers 102 Baker Street London, W1U 6FY

020 8563 8063

The Whiter Smile

Dental Clinic

9 Artillery Lane, London E1 7LP

0207 247 7151

Earls Court

Dental Clinic

221 - 225 Old Brompton Rd, Earls Court, Kensington London SW5 0EA

020 7370 0055

Kings Cross

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34 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DT

0207 278 6362