Many of the more costly and invasive dental issues can be prevented by regular dental check-ups or exams and visits to the hygienist. A lot of the hard work takes place at home with regular brushing and interdental cleaning.
Hygiene at Home
You should brush at least twice a day, especially before bed. We recommend you:
- Place your toothbrush at a 45° angle along the gum line and use short, gentle strokes.
- Brush for at least two minutes to make sure you do a thorough job. It can help if you divide your mouth into four sections and spend 30 seconds on each area.
- Brush the inside surface of each tooth, the chewing surface and behind the teeth.
- Remember to pay particular attention to the gum line and the areas around fillings and crowns.
- Don’t orget to give your tongue a brush to get rid of bacteria.
Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride, as this can strengthen enamel, and don’t rinse your mouth straight away so the fluoride has a chance to work.
While brushing controls plaque formation around the surfaces of your teeth, it does not reach between your teeth and that’s why interdental brushing once a day is so crucial.
Cleaning between your teeth is made possible by the use of the following:
- Dental floss
- Interdental brushes
- Single tuft toothbrushes
- Dental sticks
- Rubber tip stimulators
- Irrigation device
Preventing gum disease
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults mostly due to how unnoticeable the symptoms can be. Seeing the dental hygienist can help spot signs of the disease before it progresses to an irreversible condition.
Symptoms to look out for:
- Inflamed, red gums
- Bleeding gums
- Increased sensitivity to temperature
If you’re noticing blood in your saliva when you are brushing your teeth, it’s worth seeing your dentist as soon as you can. Bleeding and swollen gums are a clear sign that you have developed the early stages of gum disease, also known as gingivitis. This stage is treatable through removing the plaque and tartar around the infected gum line.
Preventing dental decay
Cavities, caries or tooth decay are caused sugary deposits left on your teeth. When bacteria feeds off the sugar, they create acid which attacks the white enamel coating of your teeth.
The best ways to prevent teeth decay are through a thorough dental cleaning regime at home and avoiding excessive sugar in your diet.
If you have a cavity, it can be treated through cleaning out the damage and repairing with a filling.
Sometimes, dental caries can reach the internal part of the tooth and can result in the pulp becoming infected. We can use root canal treatment, or endodontics, to remove the pulp and restore the shell of the tooth with a filling.
There are other ways to increase the longevity of natural teeth, including fissure sealants and fluoride varnish, however these are best given to children.
Preventing jaw conditions
It is fairly common to have problems with your jaw joint (known as temporomandibular
disorder or TMD). TMD can be caused through bruxism, which is when you grind or clench your jaw unconsciously. Other attributing factors to an increased risk of TMD are stress, a facial injury and a misaligned bite.
If you have jaw pain or have noticed it clicking when you bite, see your dentist. We can carry out medical examinations to judge whether you have TMD and if we can provide treatment to lessen the impact.
To help lessen the impact of bruxism, we can supply custom-made mouth guards. These are made from a flexible material and are similar to sports guards. They are specially made from impressions taken of your teeth, so they fit securely and comfortably.