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Posts tagged “Advice”

Four Steps to Fresher Breath

Do you suffer from bad breath, or are you on the lookout for ways to improve your oral hygiene regime and keep bad breath firmly at bay? If so, here are 4 steps you can take today:

  1. Brush for 2 minutes twice a day: brushing is essential for preventing bad breath as it removes food debris and bacteria from your mouth. Often, bad breath is caused by a build-up of bacteria, which release odorous gases when they feed. We strongly recommend brushing for two minutes, twice a day, every day. When you brush, cover every tooth, and devote an equal amount of time to each quadrant of the mouth.
  1. Clean your tongue: many cases of bad breath are liked to collections of bacteria that form on the tongue. Most people know to brush their teeth, but they neglect the tongue. After brushing your teeth, use your brush or a tongue scraper to gently clean your tongue. You should find that this has a positive impact.
  1. Chew sugar-free gum: if you find that you’re prone to bad breath after eating, it’s really beneficial to chew sugar-free gum. Gum has a fresh flavour, but the action of chewing also stimulates saliva production, which cleanses the mouth. Always make sure you opt for sugar-free products, and don’t chew for more than two minutes.
  1. See your dental hygienist: if you suffer from bad breath on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to see your dentist or your dental hygienist. Hygienists are experts in oral hygiene, and they can use intensive cleaning methods and provide you with advice to tackle halitosis and increase your confidence.

If you’re worried about bad breath, or you have any dental hygiene questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

Four Summer Foods For a Healthy Smile

Summer has finally arrived, and we’re basking in beautiful sunshine. When warm weather descends, it’s common to embrace seasonal foods and drinks and classic summer staples. While some foods and drinks can be bad for your teeth, there are lots of options that can be beneficial for your oral health. If you’re keen to keep your smile in check this summer, here are 4 summer foods for healthy teeth and gums:

  1. Natural yoghurt: when it’s hot outside, you don’t want a bowl of sponge and custard. If you’re looking for a light summer alternative that tastes great and is also good for your teeth, look no further than natural yoghurt. This is a dessert option that is high in calcium, which is essential for healthy bones, teeth and nails. If you have a sweet tooth, add a spoonful of honey or a few berries.
  2. Strawberries: strawberries are a British summer classic. The good news is that strawberries don’t just taste amazing. They contain vitamins that are good for your teeth and gums, and their rough skin also acts as a natural stain remover.
  3. Cheese: it’s picnic season and what better addition to a basket containing fresh bread and salad than a wedge of cheese? Cheese is beneficial for your teeth because it contains calcium and it has a high pH value. This can help to neutralise acids in your mouth, reducing the risk of enamel erosion.
  4. Leafy greens: in the summer, many of us enjoy a salad when it comes to lunch and dinner times. Leafy greens are an excellent source of fibre and vitamins, but they also contain calcium.

 

If you’re looking for more ideas or inspiration to design a tooth-friendly summer diet, don’t hesitate to get in touch! Our dental team will be happy to help!

5 Reasons To Wear Retainers after Teeth Straightening

shutterstock_662229490If you’ve had tooth straightening treatment, the last thing you want is for all the good work to come undone. Here are 5 reasons why it’s important to use retainers after wearing braces:

  1. Prolonged results: retainers are specially designed to maintain the position of the teeth. Braces move the teeth into the desired position, and it’s then the retainer’s job to keep the teeth in place. If you wear your retainers, this will help to prolong the results of orthodontic treatment for years to come.
  2. Lower risk of relapse: braces realign and reposition the teeth, but once you stop wearing them, there is a risk that the teeth will continue to move. Wearing retainers helps to reduce the risk of relapse.
  3. Saving money: if your teeth start to move out of position, this increases the likelihood of needing repeat treatment, which will carry a cost.
  4. Reducing the need for repeat treatment: when you’ve worn braces for weeks, months or years, the last thing you want to worry about is needing them again. Sadly, there’s no guarantee that your teeth will stay put once your brace is removed, and this why retainers are so important. Using retainers will help to combat the need for further treatment.
  5. Improved confidence: if you’ve just had your braces removed, you’re probably on top of the world. Wearing retainers can help to keep your smile looking incredible and ensure you continue to feel confident when you smile.

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.

Five Reasons Why Retainers are So Important after Orthodontic Treatment

shutterstock_780480697If you’ve had orthodontic treatment, we strongly recommend using retainers once your braces have been removed. Here are 5 good reasons why retainers are so important for orthodontic patients:

  1. Results maintenance: if you’ve got a stunning new straight smile, the last thing you want is for the good work to be undone. Wearing retainers helps to keep the teeth in position, enabling you to enjoy the amazing results of your treatment for longer.
  2. Prevention of movement: the job of a retainer is to hold the teeth in their new position and prevent movement. If the teeth continue to move, this can affect the alignment of the arches and the bite.
  3. Lower chance of relapse: if your teeth slip once you’ve had your braces removed, this is known as relapse. By maintaining the position of the teeth, the retainer can help to prevent relapse. The outcome is a beautiful smile that will stand the test of time.
  4. Lower cost: orthodontic treatment can be expensive and if you need to have further treatment as a result of the teeth moving, the total cost of treatment could be significantly higher. Wearing retainers could help to save money in the long-term.
  5. Reduced chance of needing repeat treatment: when you’ve worn braces for months or years, you probably don’t want to think about having to wear them again. With retainers, you can dramatically reduce your chances of needing repeat treatment further down the line.

If you have any questions about retainers or you’d like more information about how they work or why you need them, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!

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.

Five Things To Keep To Hand in Case of a Dental Emergency

shutterstock_609785189The problem with dental emergencies is that they’re often impossible to predict. Accidents and injuries can happen when you least expect them, and that’s why it’s beneficial to be prepared. Here are five things to keep to hand in case of a dental emergency.

Painkillers

Toothache can come on suddenly, and if it’s a bad dose, it can floor you. Dental pain takes various different forms and there are lots of possible causes. Acute pain may be associated with an injury while a dull ache, which gets worse when you bite down may be a sign of infection or a cavity. If you have severe throbbing pain, this may indicate that you have an abscess. Taking painkillers can provide temporary relief, but make sure you see your dentist if you have very severe pain or pain persists.

Dental floss

If you’re eating and something gets stuck, this can be annoying and uncomfortable. If you have floss with you, this enables you to dislodge whatever is trapped, making you feel more comfortable and reducing the risk of decay.

Gauze

Gauze may come in handy if you’re playing sport or you get injured in an accident and the tooth becomes dislodged. You can use gauze to stem bleeding or to hold the tooth in place if you manage to re-implant the tooth.

Orthodontic wax

If you have braces, it’s always handy to carry orthodontic wax with you. Wax helps to ease discomfort if your braces are sore. Even if you don’t have braces, it can still have uses. If a filling comes loose, for example, wax can help to fill the cavity until you’re able to get to the dental clinic.

Your dentist’s number

There’s nothing more helpful in a dental emergency than your dentist’s contact details. If you need urgent treatment, simply give us a call and we’ll do everything we can to patch up and ensure you’re pain-free as quickly as possible.

It’s often hard to predict when a dental emergency may occur, so make sure you’re as prepared as you can be.

The Diet Dilemma: How Low Calorie Sweeteners Affect Your Teeth

shutterstock_30616099At this time of year, many of us make a conscious effort to try and shed those Christmas pounds and get in shape. Sometimes, this involves making changes to our diet, including adding low calorie alternatives to our favourite foods. It sounds like a winning formula, but are artificial sweeteners actually good for you? Research suggests that consuming sweeteners could be as damaging as following a high-sugar diet.

The dangers of low calorie sweeteners

Researchers have found that low-calorie sweeteners can be harmful for your oral health because they can increase acidity in the mouth. Most people are aware that sugary foods increase the risk of cavities, but are you aware of the impact of acids? Acids erode the enamel, and once the enamel is weak, there is a risk of cavities forming. Studies have suggested that a group of sweeteners known as polyols can be particularly damaging.

Researchers have also warned that low-sugar alternatives to popular foods may still contain a hefty amount of sugar. It’s important to check the labels before you buy. Most foods are now labelled with a traffic light sticker, which tells you whether the content of fat, protein, sugar, and salt is low, moderate or high. Try and avoid foods that have a red sticker for sugar content.

Take care when drinking drinks like low-calorie pop and juices. Low-calorie drinks are still very acidic, which damages your enamel, and juices are often both sugary and acidic.

Tooth-friendly foods to try instead

If you’re trying to make positive changes to your diet, look out for tooth-friendly alternatives to your favourite foods. If you have a sweet tooth, for example, add some berries or a spoonful of honey to a bowl of Greek yoghurt or chop up some fresh fruit and make your own smoothies. Smoothies are incredibly popular, but try to avoid buying them from cafes and shops, as they tend to contain a lot of sugar. If you make your own at home, you have control of the ingredients.

If you’d like advice about healthy eating, our dental team will be happy to help.

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

LDN Dental

34 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DT

0207 278 6362