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70A YorkTown Road, Sandhurst, Berkshire, GU47 9BT

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1st June 2015

Top 10 Dental Hygiene Tips

Poor oral health can manifest in many different ways so we have put together a list for you. This will hopefully help you prevent tooth damage and toothaches to save to money on your future dental check ups

1. Use the correct tools

Once there was a toothbrush. Now we have a whole pharmacy isle full of cleaning aids at your disposal. Please don’t be afraid to use them they don’t hurt. Our particular favourites are interdental brushes and floss. The interdental brushes are very much like soft toothpicks but with small bristles that clean gently clean in between the gaps of your teeth removing food and bacteria in these locations (amount to approximately 35% of tooth surfaces that toothbrushes don’t normally get to). Others include tongue cleaners and using an electric toothbrushes (you now have a range of very good toothbrushes available at very small costs).

2. Brushing the correct way

The lazy scrubbing methods our officially out of date. We now advise you to massage your teeth and gums in a gentle circular motion all around, top and bottom inside and outside. The recommended MIMIMUM time is 2 minutes. This is not a maximum! We find it best to use a mirror to see where you are brushing and a timer or clock as it is very difficult to know when 2 minutes are up.

For those naughty people who only brush once per day, the ideal time is night time last thing before bed. Never brush your teeth straight after eating or you will sustain long term tooth wear.

3. You are what you eat

If you love tea, red wine, coffee, chocolate and are a ‘foodie’ in general, please do not be surprised that your teeth turn yellow and brown. Your teeth need looking so take your time to see a Hygienist. You can see them directly, and they can get that colour back as well as reducing the number of bacteria in your mouth and improving the health of your gum.

4. Stop smoking

It seems like everyone is badgering you about your smoking habits including; your partner, your family, your doctor, your dentist and even the taxman, but please know that this is only because we care. If you smoke 20 cigarettes per day you are spending about £50 per week which is nearly £2000 per year. Not only do you save money but also your health, gums teeth, reduce the risk of many cancers and heart problems. Why not start quitting now.

5. Drink more water

Energy drinks, flavoured water, smoothies and health drinks can contain high amounts of sugars and acid. We advise you drink more water yet still eat your 5 per day.

6. Chew more sugar free gum

Chewing gum stimulates saliva flow that will neutralize acids in your mouth after meals. This is provided the gum is sugar free, so please check.

7. Use mouthwashes as an adjunct to cleaning

Mouthwashes DO NOT replace brushing. Instead they can aid your gum and tooth health when used at an alternative time e.g. after breakfast or lunch. Try and use those without alcohol if possible. Fluoride mouthrinses for 1 minute daily will help strengthen your tooth enamel. Use Chlorhexidine gluconate mouthrinses if you have gum issues but never for long term use and only sparingly.

8. Keep healthy

‘The mouth is a gateway to your body just as much as the mouth is a reflection of your health’. Keep on track of your medical problems. Always do your best to control long term diseases such as Diabetes Mellitus which is directly linked to your gum health. The better you control your sugar levels the better your control your tooth foundations.

9. Choose low sugar snacks between meals

This allows the acid levels in the mouth to stabilize before your next meal. Sugars should ideally be consumed during mealtimes not between meals.

10. See your dentist regularly

There are many medical conditions that can affect your teeth gums and smile. Your dentist is the person who can help you to achieve that perfect smile. Follow the good advice given as best you can, come regularly and over the years you will find that you will maintain your pearly whites at minimal cost. Prevention is always better than treatment.

Remember to see visit your dentist regularly.

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