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09 / 05 / 2022

Get Better Tooth Health Now

These days, it’s fair to say we are more health-conscious than ever before. We know how important it is to eat well, maintain a sensible weight and exercise regularly. We understand the dangers of smoking and excess alcohol consumption. And – even in the UK – we know how to protect ourselves from too much sun exposure. But how much do we know about oral health and hygiene? Are we really doing everything we can to achieve better tooth health and avoid problems from developing? Regular dental check-ups and professional cleaning are vital. But these should be complemented by a conscientious home care routine, in order to establish excellent oral health habits.

Are You Doing Everything Possible To Ensure You Have Good Oral Health Now And For Years To Come?

Clean your teeth

It might sound obvious, but clean teeth (and healthy gums) are the cornerstone of good oral health. We should all be brushing thoroughly, but gently, twice a day. But not everybody does and this is essential for better tooth health.

  • 63% of Brits brush their teeth twice a day, with 47% using a fluoride toothpaste, the highest globally. (Sunstar Global, 2021)
  • 15% of UK adults admit to not brushing their teeth as much as before the pandemic. (Oral Health Foundation, 2021)
  • 20% of British people have developed the habit of brushing their teeth for longer during the pandemic. 27% of 18 – 24 year olds said that they brushed their teeth for longer compared to 13% over 55s. (Oral Health Foundation, 2021)
  • 26% of adults regularly brush their teeth once a day, with 25% not brushing their teeth in the evening before bed. (Oral Health Foundation, 2021)
  • 70% of adults brush twice a day, but 10% have no set routine. (Oral Health Foundation, 2021) 68% of UK adults say they could not go a day without brushing their teeth, with 21% deeming it three times more important than exercise. (Oral Health Foundation, 2021)
  • 43% of adults in the UK believe tooth brushing is more important than eating breakfast. (Oral Health Foundation, 2021)
  • 53% of people brush twice a day. (Sunstar Global, 2021) 35% brush with a fluoride toothpaste for 2 minutes. (Sunstar Global, 2021)
  • 39% brush their tongue regularly, meaning 61% do not. (Sunstar Global, 2021)
  • 23% of adults brush once a day (Simply Health, 2019)
  • 1% of adults never brush their teeth (Simply Health, 2019)
  • 33% of adults never floss (Simply Health, 2019)

This is obviously bad news for the nation’s oral health. Teeth that aren’t brushed enough will not promote better tooth health. This certainly won’t produce a mouth that looks and smells healthy. It’s important to keep teeth clean and free from debris. Brushing at least twice a day – and flossing daily – are key preventative measures. After all, these simple steps help to stop complications from developing in the first place. They greatly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. And prevention is always better than a painful problem or an expensive cure!

Brushing Your Teeth Gently, Twice A Day And Flossing Daily Will Help To Keep Your Teeth Clean And Free From Debris

Boost your brushing

To achieve better tooth health and keep your mouth healthy, you need to brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day for two minutes. This helps to stop plaque building up. Official NHS guidance states that manual and electric toothbrushes are equally good. However, many people find it easier to clean more thoroughly with an electric version.

What’s important is that you brush all the surfaces (inside, outside and chewing) of every tooth. And make sure you’re using a toothpaste with the right fluoride concentration. This can prevent cavities and tooth decay. After brushing, spit out excess toothpaste, but don’t rinse straightway, as this will dilute the fluoride in your mouth. Lastly, don’t forget your tongue! Gently brush the surface to remove any lingering plaque and bacteria, and freshen your breath.

Your dental team will be able to recommend a suitable toothbrush for you to help you achieve better tooth health. However, adults should choose a small- to medium-sized brush head. This should have soft to medium, multi-tufted, round-ended nylon bristles or ‘filaments’. The head should be small enough to reach into all parts of the mouth: especially the back of the mouth where it can be difficult to reach. Children need to use smaller brushes with the same filament types. Worn-out toothbrushes cannot clean your teeth properly and may damage your gums. So, it’s important to change your toothbrush every two to three months, or sooner if the filaments become worn. When bristles become splayed, they do not clean properly.

Follow Our Advice On How To Choose The Right Sort Of Toothbrush And When To Change It To Keep Your Teeth And Mouth Healthy

Effective flossing

Daily flossing is another key component of excellent oral health. But a recent YouGov survey reveals that most Brits don’t floss either. Only 31% of respondents said they cleaned between their teeth on a typical day. Yet NHS guidance states that flossing should form part of a daily oral health routine from the age of 12.

Flossing helps to dislodge food that’s become wedged between your teeth. It can also help to reduce gum disease and bad breath, by removing plaque that forms along the gum line. It’s important not to be too vigorous, or you’ll damage your gums. Flossing should be firm but gentle. If you find dental floss difficult to use, try dental tape instead.

Some people do experience tender gums and/or bleeding when they first begin flossing. This should resolve itself as your gums become healthier. But if it persists, or you have any concerns, do contact your dentist as soon as possible. We will be able to give you advice and instruction on the best ways to clean between your teeth.

Say No To Constant Snacking

Day-long grazing is a very common, modern phenomenon. We lead busy lives and often don’t have time to sit down and eat proper meals. Instead, we snack constantly, usually on sugary treats such as biscuits and sweets. This is not great for our oral health, as it raises the risk of cavities. Every time we snack, bacteria reacts with leftover food to produce acid that attacks your tooth enamel. The solution? Try to eat three meals a day instead of grazing. If that’s really not possible, choose your snacks wisely for better tooth health. Raw/crunchy vegetables, breadsticks and cheese are all good options. Chewing sugar-free gum after eating can also help to minimise ‘acid attacks’ and protect your oral health.

Fizzy drinks can be just as damaging to your teeth as sugary snacks. Any sugar they contain causes decay, while their acidity can cause tooth erosion. It takes roughly one whole hour for tooth enamel to remineralise and recover after encountering sugar and acid. That’s even after just one sip! So switch your sugary soda for water. It won’t harm your teeth – and staying hydrated will enhance your general (as well as oral) health.

Try To Limit Your Snacking

Eating three balanced meals a day should help. If you really need to reach for something to graze on, choose something more healthy, such as raw vegetables.

Don’t use your teeth as tools

Your teeth are for chewing food. Don’t use them to open things, tear things, or nibble your nails. These bad habits are not good for your oral health. They put you at risk of tooth cracks and chips, jaw damage and swallowing things you shouldn’t.

Attend your appointments

Last, but by no means least, visit your dentist regularly, as often as recommended. Maintenance check-ups are vital. Dentists often spot the early warning signs of a potential problem long before it becomes serious. We can also offer guidance and advice, and recommend appropriate treatment solutions.

At Lighthouse Dental Practice, We’re Always Happy To See New And Existing Patients For Your Regular Check-Ups

Better tooth health begins with you

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes, last thing at night and at least one other time during the day, using fluoride toothpaste.
  • Spit toothpaste out after brushing and do not rinse.
  • Use a toothbrush with a small- to medium-sized head.
  • Use a toothbrush with soft to medium, multi-tufted, round-ended nylon bristles.
  • Consider using a power (electric) toothbrush.
  • Use small, circular movements to clean your teeth.
  • Change your toothbrush regularly – at least every 3 months.
  • Clean between your teeth every day using interdental brushes or dental floss.
  • Have sugary drinks and foods less often.
  • Visit your dental team regularly, as often as they recommend.

At Lighthouse Dental Practice, our team is led by Dentists Dr Tocca and Dr Ranson.
They are ably supported by our qualified dental nurses and knowledgeable practice receptionist.
For enquiries, or to make an appointment, please call our practice on 01473 257379.
For more information on how to enhance your oral health, follow us on Twitter.

We are here to help you.
If you would like to speak to a member of our friendly team about any of the issues in this article please visit our contact page or call us on 01473 257379.

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“Hygienist, Angela sets you at ease from the moment you walk ...“

Jenny

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“Wow! The service I received from Jane was absolutely fantast...“

Dee D

stars 1

“I am 70 years of age, and I have always been afraid to go to...“

Earlmain L

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“I booked an emergency treatment appointment, having had a to...“

Ginette S

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“As a nervous patient, I was very worried about having my too...“

Susannah B

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“Having not been to a dentist in over 25 years, I was a bag o...“

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stars 1

“Hygienist, Angela sets you at ease from the moment you walk in the door. She is not onl...“

Jenny

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“Wow! The service I received from Jane was absolutely fantastic; she went above and beyond ...“

Dee D

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“I am 70 years of age, and I have always been afraid to go to the dentist. A broken tooth ...“

Earlmain L

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“I booked an emergency treatment appointment, having had a tooth for a few days and was una...“

Ginette S

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“As a nervous patient, I was very worried about having my tooth removed. I was instantly pu...“

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“Having not been to a dentist in over 25 years, I was a bag of nerves when I arrived, but I...“

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