Whilst it is our hope that everyone maintains good oral hygiene at home, it has never been more important than right now. Whilst we are reopening, we need to prioritise those who require treatment most urgently. Consequently, minor issues with your dental implant, which we would normally be more than happy to see you about, must be put on hold for now.
By following the advice outlined here, it is our hope that dental issues can be prevented. If you are finding the pain of a minor dental issue difficult to cope with, we recommend reading our advice about dealing with dental pain at home.
Just keep brushing!
Everyone knows this one, but it really is the best thing you can do to keep your mouth healthy. Keeping a good routine of brushing your teeth for two minutes, morning and night, will help ensure you don’t miss a brush.
Top tip: If you find yourself forgetting regularly, set yourself a reminder on your phone – this might seem over the top, but you only get one set of adult teeth, so look after them!
The aim of brushing your teeth is to remove the sticky substance called plaque, which contains bacteria which produce acid. This acid attacks the enamel of your teeth, making them more prone to problems like tooth decay. If it is not brushed away, it will start to form tartar, which is much harder to clean off yourself and can cause discolouration too.
Follow these tips to ensure you’re brushing your teeth as well as possible:
- Brush for two minutes, morning and night, every day.
- Use a toothpaste which contains fluoride in its ingredients – most well-known brands will. The fluoride helps prevent tooth decay.
- If you use an electric toothbrush, make sure not to press too hard or move too fast with it. Let the brush do the work.
- If you use a manual brush, make sure to do circular motions, rather than a forward and backward action. This will help ensure you are reaching every bit of each tooth.
- Make sure to brush the front, back and top of every tooth, including hard to reach ones at the very back of your mouth.
- Brush your tongue to remove the bacteria build up which can cause bad breath.
- Don’t rinse your mouth with water after brushing. Letting the toothpaste sit means that your teeth get more time to absorb the benefits from the toothpaste.
Floss every time you brush
Brushing alone, even when done properly, only removes about 60% of the plaque in your mouth. Much of the plaque which is missed is between the teeth, where your brush cannot reach. It is important to make sure you floss in between every tooth to get maximum benefit.
Using floss, or interdental brushes for teeth which have larger gaps, means that the missed plaque is removed. This lowers your risk further dental problems, like tooth decay.
Watch your eating habits
Being careful not to overindulge in sugary snacks and drinks is one of the best ways to look after your teeth between brushes. Sugar feeds the bacteria living in your mouth which causes plaque and therefore, tooth decay. For an hour after you eat something sugary, these bacteria thrive, producing more of that harmful acid which damages your teeth.
Certain foods and drinks can actually have benefits for your oral hygiene. These include:
- No-added or low sugar dairy products (or non-dairy alternatives) such as milk, cheese and yogurt. These contain calcium which strengthens the enamel.
- Drinking lots of water throughout the day.
- Dark green, leafy vegetables, such as broccoli or spinach.
- Opting for less-acidic fruits, such as bananas or strawberries.
- Other foods which are high in calcium, such as nuts, beans, fish and lean meat.
Take care of your mental wellbeing
Your mental health can have an impact on the health of your teeth and mouth. Issues such as stress and anxiety, not only take a toll on your overall wellbeing, but can lead to behaviours like tooth grinding in your sleep. You may not even be aware you are doing this, but common indicators of this would be headaches, earache, stiffness in the jaw, facial swelling or you may even notice your teeth wearing down or breaking.
We would advise speaking to your GP about the root cause of the stress or anxiety, as often this behaviour will stop when the issue can be managed or resolved.
Keep an eye on your dental health
Spotting problems early on and being able to stop the issue escalating is the best possible course of action, especially right now. By following the above advice, we hope many problems will be prevented.
If you are currently experiencing a dental issue, we would advise taking a look at our tips for managing dental pain and treating minor ailments at home. If you are concerned you may be experiencing a dental emergency with your dental implant, you can check here. If you are still unsure please do not hesitate to get in touch with us, we are more than happy to advise you on whether you require an appointment.