At Cornelscourt Dental we believe our role is to instil you with the knowledge and motivation to keep your teeth and gums healthy. In order to gain optimal dental and gingival health, we recommend that you see your dentist for frequent checkups where your mouth will be screened for oral problems such as gum recession, caries & erosion, oral cancer, jaw misalignment and other early signs of more serious disorders. It is also important to attend the hygienist regularly for thorough cleaning. Alongside this, your routine at home can impact the health of your mouth. This short guide will outline information on the typical products and techniques that should be part of your at-home regime.
Keeping Your Mouth Healthy
At Home Care
Brushing Your Teeth
We recommend that you brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Make sure to brush all tooth surfaces and don’t forget your tongue! The type of brush you use will differ for each person but soft or medium bristles are recommended. We highly advise using an electric toothbrush that has a rotating round brush head as these have be shown to clean teeth better than any other type of brush. Ask during your appointment which brush we recommend for you.
Cleaning Hard To Reach Areas
Many people are good at brushing the visible surfaces of their teeth but this is only half way to making your smile sparkle. We recommend that you clean the interdental areas between your teeth after you brush each night. We recommend the use of floss or TePe brushes. There are also specialised interdental cleaning products for braces, bridges and dental implants. Our hygienists Claire and Grace will advise you on the correct technique to clean between your teeth, and suggest what product is suitable for your needs.
There are many varieties of toothpaste available today. For adults regular use, we advise toothpaste with fluoride up to concentrations of 1500ppm such as Oral B and Colgate Total (see recommendations for children here). If you suffer from tooth sensitivity, you may wish to try Sensodyne, Colgate Pro Relief or Oral B Pro Expert.
Diet & Oral Health
How Diet Affects Your Oral Health
Each time we eat, our mouth becomes more acidic, which can harm the enamel layer of our teeth leading to erosion and decay. It takes about 20 mins for this pH to return to normal so it’s important to give the mouth time to recover between meals.
Frequency is more dangerous than quantity, so if you like a sweet treat it’s better to have it with a meal than later in the day. These effects are heightened by high sugar foods and fizzy drinks. Sipping on fizzy drinks over the course of the day is a detrimental habit for your teeth. If you must drink fizzy drinks, we recommend using a straw to avoid contact of the drink with the teeth.
Avoid food and drink high in sugar (in general, high in sugar means more than 15g of sugar for every 100g of product) as these are a primary cause of decay. It is also a good idea to read food labels and watch out for anything containing sucrose, fructose, maltose or glucose as these are all different types of sugar.
Acidic foods and drinks can be just as harmful as sugary ones as the acid wear away the enamel of your teeth causing long-term damage and sensitivity. Food and drink that are high in acid may include: fizzy drink, citrus fruits and juices, vinegar, coffee, tomatoes etc. Some of these acidic foods can actually be quite healthy and need not be avoided altogether but do refrain from snacking on them often or keeping them in your mouth for long periods of time.
To help protect your teeth, in addition to brushing and flossing, drink plenty of water, especially after eating to help rinse food particles off your teeth and aim to have a varied and balanced diet. Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal can also help to increase saliva production which helps to rinse your mouth.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
During your dental checkup your mouth will be screened for oral problems such as gum recession, caries (decay) and erosion, oral cancer, jaw misalignment and other early signs of more serious disorders. We recommend that you have a dental checkup every 6 months to keep your mouth healthy.
Education is a primary goal at Cornelscourt Dental. Following a full dental examination, you may be recommended to attend an oral health education session with your hygienist. Here you will receive tailor-made advice on maintaining optimal oral health. Topics include brushing and inter-dental cleaning, dietary analysis, smoking cessation and denture care. We offer both one-on-one and family sessions.
We recommend regular visits to our hygienist. Professional cleaning (scale and polish) is a critical step in ensuring the overall health of your teeth, gums and supporting tissues and preventing bad breath. For patients with advanced gum disease, a more extensive cleaning of the root surface and anti-microbial flushing of the gum pockets is required. The number of visits required will depend on the amount of staining, plaque and tartar on the teeth. If needed, local anaesthetic can be given to make the procedure more comfortable.