Do you always dread visiting the dentist, just in case you are told that you need treatment?
Are you a parent and want to know how to best care for your children’s teeth?
Did you know that not cleaning your teeth – even for 1 day will lead to bad breath? Not flossing will lead to food stagnating between your teeth for months and give you constant bad breath. Your throat will also be more prone to infections.
I’m afraid that dentists are sometimes unable to give you the time to explain what I am about to tell you all. The NHS dentists also try their best with the limited resources they have. The hygienist is always the person to see if you wish to ask questions and advice on the best ways, and to have the hygiene customized to your needs.
So I decided to write this information down for my patients at Longwood House and to share it with the public.
If you follow these simple ways I mention below then you will succeed in having healthy gums and avoidance of fillings –
This gives the fluoride in the toothpaste time to work into the enamel.
Did you know that the prime cause of bad breath in children and is due to harboring of bacteria in the throat and on the tongue?
So always remember to remind your children to gargle with an antibacterial mouthwash suitable for their age – and brush their tongue.
There are two types of mouthwashes
There are some that will do both. You will need to ask the dentist which one you need.
The best antibacterial mouthwashes available on the market are based on 0.2% chlorhexidine as its active ingredient.
This mouthwash is only recommended for short-term use because: it can stain the teeth, cause you to become resistant to the active ingredient and can lead to allergy in some patients.
Please do not feel that by using an antibacterial mouthwash that your gums will suddenly become better- It is used as an aid to help them!– ultimately the bacteria and plaque needs to be removed from the gums by brushing and interdental cleaning.
There is very good clinical evidence that proves that efficient and regularmechanical cleaning (tooth brushing and interdental cleaning) is effective in preventing gum disease.
Fluoride-based mouthwashes should be used to reduce the chance of tooth decay – they are not useful for gum disease. The key is to use them at a totally different time to tooth brushing- thus allowing the fluoride to have time to be saturated into the enamel of the teeth. I would suggest first thing in the morning as they freshen your mouth, then to brush your teeth after breakfast. Alternatively always about 30 min to an hour before you brush your teeth.
What is Interdental Cleaning?
This is cleaning in between your teeth where the tooth brush cannot get to.
This area is very important because majority of food and bacteria will stagnate between the teeth and cause dental decay, bad breath and bleeding gums.
How can I clean between my teeth? How often should I floss ?
Dental floss, interdental brushes sometimes referred to as Tee Pee brushes or a Water Flosser.
You must ask us at Longwood on how to use these items correctly – the spaces between your teeth must be measured up to ensure you have the correct method from this list. Flossing will be inefficient if used where the gaps are large.
Has your dentist ever told you that eating too many sweet things will damage your teeth? have you ever wondered how sugar does this?
Refined sugar in your diet causes decay (holes in teeth).
Sugar is the best food source for the bacteria in your mouth- this bacteria (plaque) will process this sugar and convert it to acid. The acid will dissolve the teeth. The dissolved tooth will look like brown or black coloured holes in the tooth, this is called decay. The decayed tooth needs to be cleaned out by the dentist drills and then filled up to block it from getting any worse, this is called the filling.
If the tooth brushing and flossing is good, then the sugar will not cause as much damage.
If the tooth surface is strengthened with fluoride, then the sugars will not be able to attack the tooth as much and the decay process will be minimal.
If you are having acidic food and drinks – this is just as bad- it will also dissolve the tooth surface and lead to damage to the tooth.
If you have combination of acids and sweet items – such as fizzy drinks :then this is far worse.
Many parents think that sugar is addictive and must be eliminated from a child’s diet. Remember a balanced diet includes carbohydrates and sugar provides energy. It is needed in everyone’s diet but must be in moderation. To limit the damage it does to teeth, the above methods of protection can be used.
Sugar is not addictive- it is controllable: and no one will suffer from withdrawal symptoms if it is reduced or eliminated.
Damage to the teeth can lead to sensitivity, fillings, extractions, toothaches and severe infections which can not be controlled by painkillers alone.
Many parents still think that the childs tooth is not important – as they will fall anyway. This is wrong-
First of all- if you do not look after the child’s teeth , it is a form of parental neglect. The child will be in severe pain, and will also stop eating.They can also have high temperatures and become septacemic. Sometimes the child is too young to explain to the parents that they are in pain from their teeth.
If the child ends up loosing teeth at a young age- then the adult teeth will either come through in the wrong place or the adult tooth will not form properly.
It is not good to have fillings. You can again develop decay around the filling and require more treatments in the future.
I hope that above information will help you understand the importance of good dental health and how to achieve this.
Please do contact Longwood House Dental Care, if you would like to visit myself or the hygienist for treatments or more advice. Contact tel 020 8551 0088.