How can I avoid tooth decay and gum disease?
At the Viva Dental practice in Carnforth, our dental hygienist is dedicated to looking after your dental health. As well as carrying out a thorough clean, scale and polish, she will demonstrate the best way to brush your teeth so that you can maintain your dental hygiene at home and help avoid tooth decay and gum disease.
If you are already experiencing the signs of tooth decay or gum disease, you will need to book an appointment with the dentist for further treatment.
Why should I see a hygienist?
The dental hygienist plays a really important role in preventing problems with your teeth and keeping your mouth healthy throughout your lifetime.
Regular visits to a good dental hygienist are proven to reduce the risks of gum disease, tooth decay and the build up of plaque. In fact, by spotting the signs of tooth decay early, it may be possible to treat the problem without the need for drilling or needles.
Does what I eat and drink affect my teeth?
The saying goes that ‘we are what we eat’ and we would always recommend following a healthy, balanced diet to maintain your general health and that of your teeth and mouth. People who regularly eat and drink foods and liquids with a high sugar content usually experience a greater build up of plaque on their teeth than someone with a low-sugar diet.
What is plaque?
Plaque is a soft, sticky substance that consists of bacteria that feed on the sugar in our diet. The bacteria produce acid that attacks the teeth; this in turn causes tooth decay and erosion. If the plaque is left, it hardens and becomes tartar, which can appear unsightly and discolour your teeth.
Teeth whitening is an effective way of restoring the radiance of your smile but you should see the hygienist first to tackle the plaque and tartar as soon as possible.
What’s the best way to brush my teeth?
Our advice is to place the bristles of your toothbrush gently at the join between your teeth and gums (with the bristles pointing towards your gums) then brush in small circular movements. Make sure that you brush carefully around every tooth and that you can feel a gentle pressure on your gums at all times. It is important not to apply too much pressure to your gums though, as you may damage them.
Try and imagine your mouth as having four separate sections – the top left, top right, bottom left and bottom right. Spend 30 seconds brushing each section.
You should spend two minutes brushing your teeth at least twice a day or after every meal. After brushing, you should spit out the toothpaste but do not rinse out your mouth as the fluoride will work much better if it is left on your teeth.
We recommend changing your toothbrush every three months (or less if the bristles are damaged) – this is to make sure that the bristles are firm, correctly aligned and that your toothbrush is working properly. Toothbrushes with a small head are better for brushing every tooth.