Gum disease is the most common cause of adult tooth loss in the UK, but with good oral hygiene and positive lifestyle choices, we can help you to stay gum disease free all year round. If you’re eager to make good oral health your goal for 2015, here are some simple tips:
Good oral hygiene is essential for healthy teeth and gums and brushing and flossing are your best weapons against harmful bacteria that cause decay and gum disease. Brushing and flossing remove traces of food and bacteria from the mouth. If you neglect your oral hygiene routine, bacteria and food debris will join with saliva to form plaque. Plaque is a sticky substance that attacks the protective enamel layer of the tooth and irritates the gums, causing inflammation and soreness. Ideally, we recommend flossing daily or using inter-dental brushes and brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time.
This is the time of year many people choose to eat healthily, usually to shed those extra festive pounds. However, focusing on healthy eating can also have really positive effects on your oral health. Cutting down on sugar, avoiding acidic and fizzy drinks and eating healthy foods such as vegetables can really make a difference. We also encourage patients to think about their eating habits, as the frequency you eat can be more influential than what you eat. This is because your enamel comes under attack when you eat and it takes time for it to recover. We recommend sticking to three meals a day and avoiding snacking, especially on sugary foods. This gives the enamel time to harden and reduces the risk of acid erosion. We also advise patients to wait one hour before they brush their teeth after eating.
Smoking is a leading risk factor for gum disease because it reduces blood flow to the gums. If you have vowed to quit this new year, let us help. Our dentists and dental hygienists can offer advice and support for those trying to cut down and quit for good.
We also strongly recommend regular dental check-ups every 6-9 months, and an annual dental hygiene session.