Dental problems are fairly common, but the good news is that most dental diseases are preventable. We strongly believe that prevention is always better than cure and we are here to provide advice and support to ensure our patients enjoy good oral health and have the relevant information and assistance to keep oral health problems firmly at bay.

Oral hygiene tips

Good oral hygiene will improve your chances of fighting dental disease significantly, so it’s really important to dedicate just a few minutes of your day to brushing and cleaning. We recommend 2-3 minutes of brushing every morning and evening. When you brush, pay attention to each individual tooth and cover all areas of the mouth. Angle the head of the brush so that you can clean the gum line and reach right to the back of the mouth. We also recommend using fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is a mineral that helps to strengthen the enamel, the hard outer layer of the tooth.

How often should I visit a dentist?

Regular dental visits are essential for good oral health and we recommend 6-9 monthly appointments for patients of all ages. If you have good oral heath, you may be advised to visit every 9 months. If you are prone to oral health issues or you have existing issues such as gum disease, you may need to visit more frequently. We may also recommend seeing a dental hygienist.

Healthy eating and oral health

Diet has a really important role to play when it comes to oral health and we advise all our patients to adopt healthy eating habits and follow a balanced diet plan. Foods that are particularly dangerous for the teeth and gums include sweets, popcorn, biscuits, cakes, crisps, fizzy drinks and acidic juices.

If you have any questions about oral hygiene, dental visits or your diet, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Toothpaste

If your teeth have a tendency to form plaque or tartar, you should ideally be choosing toothpaste that helps fight this condition. Within the available brands, choose one that is evaluated and approved by the appropriate government agency. This becomes all the more important as there are a number of brands that will do the job, but do not adhere to or fall within the accepted levels scientifically. Choose one that has fluoride content as it helps in preventing cavities. Finally, it comes down to a personal choice of taste and feel of the toothpaste. If the toothpaste is irritating to your cheeks or lips, causes sensitivity to the teeth or your mouth feels irritated after using it, change the toothpaste.

Toothbrush

Once you have your toothpaste, then you need to choose the right toothbrush. Dentists recommend the use of a toothbrush with soft bristles, particularly for those people who have sensitive teeth or gums. There is a misconception that hard bristles help in the removal of tartar and stains. This is not so, as sustained use can even cause damage to the teeth. Choose a toothbrush that is contoured to the alignment of your teeth and gums. Be sure to select a toothbrush that has a small head and can clean one or two teeth at a time. The toothbrush should be replaced every three months or when the bristles begin to look frayed or start spreading out.

Mouthwash

Most people use a mouth rinse too. This also should be one that contains fluoride which helps prevent cavities. However, it is not advisable for children below six years to use mouthwash, as they may swallow the rinse. You can always check with your dentist on what will work best for you. It makes choosing the right oral product easier.

At Advance Dental Clinic we’re always eager to encourage good oral hygiene habits and stand firmly by the mantra that prevention is better than cure. We highly recommend regular routine check-ups for adults and children and our dental team is always on hand to offer advice about maintaining good oral hygiene at home, choosing healthy foods and making healthy lifestyle choices. In addition to brushing twice daily, we also recommend flossing. Flossing involves using very fine dental tape, called floss, to clean parts of the mouth, which often can’t be reached with a toothbrush. Flossing is good for you because it gives you a more thorough clean and targets areas that are prone to bacteria collection, such as the gum line and the cracks between the teeth. Sometimes, flossing can take a little getting used to and if you find that you just get the hang of it, there may be alternatives. One method of cleaning we recommend is using inter-dental brushes. These tiny hand-held brushes are specifically designed to clean between the teeth; they have very fine bristles and they fit between the teeth to prevent plaque formation and staining. There are various sizes of inter-dental brush available and our dentists and hygienists can recommend brushes for you; they will also be happy to show you how to use the brushes and talk through the benefits with you. Good oral hygiene is really important for your oral and general health, as neglecting cleaning increases the risk of plaque development. Plaque is the main risk factor for decay and gum disease and it also contributes to bad breath (halitosis). If you would like advice about buying oral hygiene products, flossing and brushing techniques or boosting your oral health, please don’t hesitate to ask; our expert Essex dentist will be more than happy to help.