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How to look after your teeth
Straight Talking - How best to Care for your Teeth
At Hudson's Dental Care we love teeth! And we want you to love your teeth too, or at least look after them. Remember, we only get ONE set of teeth and whilst accidents can happen most dental decay and disease is preventable. Follow the tips below and you'll give your teeth and gums the best chance you can of staying healthy and strong - for life!
Brush your teeth twice a day and for at least two minutes
Brushing teeth with a fluoride paste is the front line of defence against dental disease and should never be rushed. Make sure you brush all the surfaces of the teeth and along the gum lines. Do not apply to much pressure or 'scrub' left to right as this can damage the gums and may even erode them. Your dentist or any member of our hygiene team will more than happy to show you the best way to brush and your teeth will love you for it.
Invest in an electric toothbrush like the OralB PRO 2000 which you can buy from our shop.
This brush removes up to 100% more plaque than a regular manual brush. It is able to do this because it oscillates (rotates) against the teeth 8000 times a minute. There's a timer that helps ensure you spend enough time on each area of your mouth and it also has a warning light that flashes if you press the head too hard against the teeth. We swear by them.
Replace your brush every three months
Tooth brushes wear out and are much less effective when the bristles are worn. It is recommended that you change the head or by a new brush every three months. Shop around - most stores have good offers on Oral B heads
When to brush
Immediately after eating is not such a good idea, particularly if you have eaten something sweet as this raises acid levels in the mouth. Acid softens the suraces of the teeth and any vigorous brushing can cause tooth abrasion. Try to brush first thing in the mroning at then again at night, preferably at least an hour after eating. There's no need to rinse and spit either: keeping a coating of toothpaste on the teeeth improves the absorption of fluoride and other protective agents.
Don't forget to clean between the teeth - here's why
Brushing the surfaces of your teeth but not cleaning in between them is like dusting your bedroom without vacuuming under the bed.
Food debris, plaque and therefore bacteria love to nest between teeth, mutiplying and attacking the protective enamel of the teeth and causing cavities that will evenutally mean you need a filling. And, as if that were not bad enough, the debris irritates the gums too which, if left unchecked, will lead to them detaching from the tooth they are meant to protect and this could lead to tooth loss.
Flossing between the teeth should therefore be part of your daily regime and our hygienists also recommend most patients use a small brush (we recommend TePe ones) to clean in tight spaces. The action of the bristles on the surfaces of the gums strengthens them and, by removing debris and plaque, leaves you with cleaner, fresher breath. As with brushing, your dentist or hygienist will show you how to floss properly and which parts of your mouth to focus on. They'll also tell you which size TePe brush to use for best results.
Snacking - public enemy #1 for your teeth
Everybody knows that sweets are bad for their teeth. What's less well known is that when we eat is every bit as important as what we eat. If people only restricted their consumption of sweet foods to meal times there'd be a drop in dental decay because of a reduction in acid in the mouth. When we eat sweet things acid is produced and this acid attacks the enamel coating of the teeth. So if a person is snacking intermittently throughout the day - particularly on sweet things - they are topping up and maintaining the continuous presence of the acid that causes erosion. Our advice, therefore, is go easy on the snacks and obviously, cut out those fizzy drinks and sugary cakes.
Visit your dentist and hygienist as recommended
This one's a no brainer really. Attending for regular examinations means we'll spot a problem early and be able to treat it before it progresses into something more serious. This will save you time, money and potentially discomfort. For example, we may notice a corner of your mouth where your toothbrush is failing to make contact and plaque is present or 'calculus' (this is a cement like substance plaque turns into which can only be removed by a clinician using special tools) is building. We'll clean the plaque and any calculus away and get you brushing correctly before a cavity forms and a filling is required in the future. Prevention is so much better than cure!