Don’t Be Afraid! We Have Some Tooth Friendly Tips for Your Halloween

Most children enjoy sweets, and Halloween is the perfect time to indulge that sweet tooth. However, eating too many sugary treats increases the risk of cavities and toothache. So we’ve put together some ideas for alternative tooth-friendly treats.

Sugar-Free Gum

Sugar-free gum is great for teeth because it helps promote saliva flow. A good flow of saliva helps to wash away harmful bacteria and leftover food particles. Saliva is also essential for helping the mouth to maintain a more neutral and healthier pH level. If you can, look for a brand containing xylitol, a natural sweetener that disrupts the action of harmful bacteria in the mouth, preventing them from thriving.

Choose Chocolate over Sticky Toffee

Chocolate is preferable to sticky and hard sweets because it melts easily and is washed away more quickly by saliva. In contrast, sticky toffee or hard sweets can hang around teeth for much longer.

Inedible Treats

As an alternative to traditional Halloween sweets, why not hand out inedible treats such as small toys like vampire teeth or bouncy balls. Glow sticks are great for increasing the visibility of little trick-or-treaters. When given a choice, many children will prefer a toy to sweets.

Why Does Oral Health Affect Your Overall Health?

Your mouth is host to hundreds of different strains of bacteria. While most are harmless, others can cause disease, especially as your mouth is the entrance to your respiratory and digestive tracts.

Usually, if you follow a good oral care routine, these bacteria are kept under control. However, suppose you are a little lax about brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. In that case, harmful bacteria can soon build up to such levels that they cause infections, including tooth decay and gum disease. Another health risk is dry mouth, a condition where insufficient saliva is produced. A good saliva flow is essential for helping to neutralise the acids produced by bacteria, and without it, the risk of oral disease increases substantially.

Over the past few years, there has been substantial research into the connection between oral health and overall health. Studies suggest that poor oral health, specifically gum disease, an inflammatory infection, could be linked to other serious health problems. These include cardiovascular disease, pneumonia and other respiratory diseases, diabetes and dementia.

Luckily, it is relatively easy to maintain good oral health with regular visits to our dental practice for checkups and cleanings. In addition, when we can detect gum disease early, it is entirely reversible.

What Makes Preventive Dentistry So Important to Our Modern Lifestyle?

Most people know they should visit their dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings, but it can be tempting to skip these appointments, especially if you think you don’t have any dental issues. However, there are important reasons for seeing our dentist biannually.

These regular visits are the cornerstone of any good preventative dental care routine. When our dentist can see you regularly, they can monitor your dental health closely, so any small problems that may not be causing any symptoms just yet are easily detected and treated. At this stage, treatment is likely to be far less invasive, quicker and cheaper.

Even if you brush your teeth thoroughly, some dental plaque will almost certainly remain, and it soon hardens into tartar. Tartar or calculus contain harmful bacteria that increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Regular cleanings ensure all harmful plaque and tartar buildup is removed from your teeth. If needed, our hygienist can show you some easy ways to brush and floss your teeth more thoroughly and effectively.

A good oral care routine combined with regular checkups and cleans is quick and cost-effective, helps maintain optimal oral health and fits easily into any busy lifestyle.

Spring Cleaning Benefits for Your Teeth

The thought of spring is enough to make anyone smile, but if your teeth look less than fabulous, they could be due for a spring cleaning. Follow our easy tips on how to refresh your dental care regime.

Spring Clean Your Dental Care Products

Now is a perfect time to throw out any toothpaste or mouthwash that has expired. Also, check to see if you need a new toothbrush. Most people need to replace their toothbrush every three months or sooner if it begins to look worn.

Book a Dental Cleaning

If it has been a while since you visited our practice, why not book a dental cleaning? A professional dental cleaning is a great way to protect your teeth and gums. We can gently and thoroughly remove all hardened plaque, a substance called calculus, leaving your mouth feeling super clean and fresh. Removing these substances reduces your risk of cavities and gum disease.

Brighten Your Smile

Teeth can become discoloured over time, especially if you like your coffee and tea or smoke. So spring is the perfect time to think about brightening your smile with a professional teeth whitening treatment. We can ensure you whiten safely and effectively using professional strength products.

Ten Easy Ways to Enjoy a Happy and Healthy Smile

Follow these easy tips to enjoy a happier and healthier smile.

  1. Brush consistently at least twice a day, and especially last thing at night.
  2. Make sure you brush your teeth properly, spending at least two minutes cleaning all tooth surfaces thoroughly.
  3. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush as anything harder can damage your tooth enamel.
  4. Don’t forget to clean your tongue, brush it gently with your toothbrush, or use a special scraper.
  5. Daily flossing is extremely important, cleaning right between your teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach.
  6. Use a fluoridated toothpaste, and afterwards, spit but don’t rinse as this will leave a thin layer of fluoride ions coating your teeth and protecting them.
  7. Keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of water, and water also helps rinse away some loose food particles and harmful bacteria.
  8. Avoid sugary and acidic drinks like sports drinks and fruit juices, and fizzy drinks. These can damage your tooth enamel very quickly, so drink it through a straw to minimise contact with your teeth if you do have one.
  9. Eating crunchy fruits and vegetables that are high in fibre helps to scrub your tooth surfaces, although this isn’t a substitute for brushing your teeth.
  10. Be sure to come and see us twice yearly for your checkups and cleanings.

Do you have bad breath under your face mask?

If you have noticed your breath smells nasty when wearing a face mask, you can’t necessarily blame it on the mask as it could be a dental health problem. Many people have halitosis or bad breath, and wearing a mask makes it easier to smell your breath.

Lots of different factors can cause bad breath. Sometimes it is simply down to your choice of food and drink. Other times it can be due to poor oral hygiene or because you are dehydrated. Sinus problems can be a contributing factor, and occasionally bad breath can be due to general health problems. Your oral health is closely connected to your general health, and halitosis can sometimes be a symptom of health issues that include diabetes and heart disease.

If you are concerned about bad breath, book an appointment for a dental checkup and professional dental cleaning. We can check the condition of your teeth and gums to make sure you do not have any dental problems that require treatment. In addition, professionally cleaning your teeth removes plaque and tartar buildup that can contribute to bad breath. Also, if poor oral hygiene is an issue, we can advise you on cleaning your teeth more effectively, including tips on how to floss properly.

Are You Happy with Your Smile?

If you answered no, you are not alone. It’s estimated around two-thirds of people are not entirely happy with the appearance of their teeth. Common complaints include having stained and discoloured teeth or teeth that are overcrowded or are missing entirely. The good news is that there are solutions that can improve the appearance of your teeth, often using minimally invasive techniques that are quick to complete and very affordable.

One of the most requested treatments is professional teeth whitening, a procedure that can effectively and safely lift the colour of your teeth by several shades. However, sometimes teeth are internally stained and need a different treatment, such as veneers. A veneer covers the front surface of a tooth, masking the original colour and hiding other imperfections such as small chips. Veneers are also very useful for hiding too small or worn teeth or closing or minimising unsightly gaps between teeth.

Porcelain crowns are excellent for restoring more extensively damaged teeth, hiding the entire tooth right down to the gum line. The most modern crowns are entirely metal-free and look fabulous while protecting the tooth underneath. If you are missing teeth, a long-term solution is dental implants, giving you replacement teeth that feel very similar to real teeth, so you can eat and talk confidently.

Don’t Go to Bed Without Brushing Your Teeth

Most people know they should brush their teeth at least twice a day, but do you know why it’s so important to brush your teeth before you go to bed?

You probably have several meals and perhaps a few snacks and plenty of different drinks on an average day. By the end of the day, your teeth are coated with a layer of food particles. At the same time, a layer of dental plaque containing harmful bacteria builds up over your teeth. If you go to bed without brushing your teeth, food particles will remain covering them overnight. The bacteria in dental plaque digest these foods, producing acid as a byproduct that softens and damages your tooth enamel, eventually causing cavities. Also, you produce less saliva at night.

Saliva is a protective substance that helps your mouth maintain a more neutral pH, washing away some of the bacteria and excess food particles. Because your mouth is drier overnight, bacteria can thrive more easily, and your morning breath is likely to be worse. If that isn’t bad enough, leaving dental plaque on your teeth increases the risk of gum disease. The bacteria in dental plaque can infect and inflame your gums, causing them to bleed easily and eventually to recede. Serious gum disease can cause tooth loss and even affect your general health.

Five Ways to Curb Your Sweet Tooth

We all reach for the sugary stuff occasionally, for a quick energy boost or when we feel sad, tired or bored, but if you are consuming too much sugar, here are some easy tips to help reduce your consumption.

  1. Stop and think why you need something sweet, and if it is worth it or if another healthier food would satisfy the itch.
  2. Choose a naturally sweet tea such as peppermint to satisfy your cravings. Another good choice is liquorice tea that can trick your taste buds into thinking you have enjoyed a sweet treat.
  3. Brush your teeth, as it is impossible to enjoy chocolate or another sweet item when your mouth is minty fresh. By the time the feeling wears off, hopefully, the craving will have passed.
  4. Drink a big glass of water, as often hunger is caused by thirst. Water is the best way to rehydrate, so make sure you keep a refillable bottle with you.
  5. Do something else to distract yourself, such as going for a walk, meditating, or practising yoga for at least fifteen to twenty minutes. Taking your mind off your cravings can help them to pass harmlessly.

Four Things That Should Be on Your Back-To-School Oral Health Checklist

If you have school-age children, you are probably busy ensuring they have everything needed for the new school year, but what about their oral health? We’ve listed four easy steps you can take to make sure their teeth and gums are in great shape.

Book a Dental Exam

Booking a back-to-school dental exam will ensure that any signs of problems like tooth decay can be treated quickly so your child won’t be in discomfort or pain or need to miss school. We can also assess their general dental health and provide other preventive treatments like dental sealants or fluoride treatments.

Stock up on Dental Hygiene Supplies

When you’re out shopping, why not stock up on new toothbrushes and fluoridated toothpaste? Toothbrushes need replacing every three months, so the new school year is a good time to renew old toothbrushes.

Plan Healthy School Lunches

Commit to packing healthy school lunches for your child, including yoghurt, fresh fruit, veggies, cheese, and milk.

Get a Sports Mouthguard

Every year we see dental injuries caused during sporting events and where the severity could have been reduced or eliminated using a well-fitting mouthguard. Our dental practice can make custom-fitted sports mouthguards that are comfortable to wear and provide maximum protection.