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Archive for the ‘oral hygeine’ Category

Low Sugar Snacks for Sweet Lovers this Easter

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

4546258_blogLots of us have a sweet tooth and at this time of year it’s hard to resist chocolate eggs and Easter cakes, despite all the warnings of health and dental risks. But never fear! Here are some low-sugar alternatives to curb the cravings:

Sweet snacks

The 3 o’clock slump often brings with it a craving for comfort food, but eating snacks such as chocolate bars or a biscuit when you feel sluggish is actually counter-productive for your energy levels. It can also lead to an increased risk of oral health problems and weight gain. If you’re craving a sweet treat at work, here are some healthier ideas:

  • Home-made smoothies
  • Fruit
  • Nuts
  • Natural yoghurt
  • Granola
  • Low fat chocolate mousse

After dinner treats

We often fancy something sweet after a main meal, but there are lots of delicious alternatives to cakes and puddings if you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth. These include:

  • Frozen yoghurt
  • Strawberries covered in dark chocolate
  • Sugar-free jelly
  • Oatcakes with a little bit of Nutella
  • Sorbet
  • Baked fruit served with yoghurt
  • Malt loaf
  • Greek yoghurt with berries, banana or peach

If you want to discuss questions about nutrition or diet or are seeking advice about the use of sugar substitutes to improve your oral health during the Easter period, we will be delighted to talk to you during your next check up. Alternatively you can call the practice at any time.

How to Treat a Mouth Ulcer

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

2143132_blogMouth ulcers are sores that tend to develop  inside the lips and cheeks. They are very common and most people will have at least a few ulcers in their lifetime. If you have a troublesome ulcer or you keep getting mouth ulcers, we may be able to help.

About mouth ulcers

Mouth ulcers are characterised as painful open sores, which are usually blue, grey or yellow in colour. In most cases, they develop following an injury or accident that causes the skin to be broken. If you accidentally catch yourself when eating or bite your tongue, for example, and ulcer may occur. Ulcers can also be caused by jagged or uneven tooth surfaces, loose fillings or sharp foods like crisps.

Possible causes of recurrent ulcers include stress, anxiety, eating certain types of food and hormonal changes in the body. In some cases, there may also be family history.

Treating mouth ulcers

In most cases, ulcers don’t cause any problems and they disappear after a few days without any need for treatment. However, in some cases they can be very painful and treatment may be recommended. You can buy over the counter medication, usually in the form of topical gels, which are applied directly onto the surface. These treatments help to ease pain and speed up the healing process.

If you get ulcers on a recurrent basis or you have an ulcer that is taking a long time to heal, it is advisable to see your dentist. Sometimes, sores that take longer than normal to heal can be symptomatic of oral cancer and although this is very unlikely, it is always best to get checked out.

If you have an ulcer, there are some simple self-help techniques that can help to reduce discomfort, such as avoiding sharp and acidic flavours, being careful when chewing food and avoiding the ulcer when you brush your teeth. It may also be helpful to keep a food diary if you find that you get ulcers on a regular basis. This could help to identify potential triggers to be avoided in the future.

 

 

Keep Your Mouth Happy with Oral Hygiene Checks

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

529808_blogDental pain can really get you down, so why not make sure your mouth is happy with our oral hygiene checks? Good oral hygiene is the best form of attack against dental disease and a really effective means of ensuring your smile looks bright and beautiful. If you’re eager to maintain good oral health, now is the time to call and book an oral hygiene session.

Oral hygiene treatments

Our amazingly skilled dental hygienists offer a variety of treatments designed to treat and prevent dental diseases and problems such as gum disease, cavities, bad breath and plaque and tartar build-up. Regular oral hygiene sessions are not just beneficial for those at risk of dental disease or those with existing signs of dental problems. They are also effective for those with a clean bill of oral health as a preventative measure.

One really effective cleaning treatment is a scale and polish, which is designed to remove plaque from the teeth and gum line and polish the teeth to give them a lovely glossy shine. Scale and polish treatment doesn’t hurt and it makes a real difference to the feel of the mouth, as well as the look of the teeth. After treatment, your teeth will look bright and healthy and your mouth will feel fresh and clean.

We also offer preventative treatments for children, including fluoride varnish treatment and fissure sealant treatment. These simple procedures, which are completely painless, help to protect the teeth from decay.

Our hygienists work with our dentists to treat cases of gum disease and they can also help to advise about oral hygiene at home, giving up smoking, healthy food choices and preventing dental problems.

If you’d like to book a dental hygiene session for a spring clean for your pearly whites, simply call us or pop in and see us if you’re in Leeds.

How to Get into a Good Oral Hygiene Routine

Saturday, March 7th, 2015

iStock_000006052729XSmallNothing sets you up for healthy, strong teeth and gums like a good oral hygiene routine. But what constitutes an effective regime and how can you improve oral hygiene at home?

Your daily oral hygiene routine

Ideally, you should spend around 5-6 minutes per day tending to your teeth and gums. This should include at least 2 minutes of brushing morning and evening and flossing or using inter-dental brushes. Brushing is really important because it cleans the teeth and removes bacteria and food debris. However, it is essential to back up rushing with inter-dental brushing or flossing, as these techniques clean the areas that cannot be reached with a toothbrush. When you’re brushing, use gentle circular movements and avoid brushing too hard. We recommend using a brush with a small head, so you can reach into the corners of the mouth.

If you struggle to brush for 2 minutes, try investing in an electric toothbrush with a timer, set a stopwatch on your phone or tablet or brush for the duration of a song.

How can I improve my oral hygiene routine?

If you think there are improvements to be made to your daily oral hygiene regime, we will be happy to help. Our dentists and dental hygienists can discuss what you’re currently doing and make recommendations to improve cleaning and help you to achieve a more effective result. We will be happy to advise you which products to buy and show you effective brushing and flossing techniques. We can also demonstrate how to use inter-dental brushes.

We also recommend regular sessions with our amazing dental hygienists in addition to routine check-ups.

Six Sugary Snacks That Will Spoil Your Sparkly Whites

Friday, March 6th, 2015

293756_blogIf you’re desperate for sparkly pearly whites this summer, it’s a good idea to learn more about how your diet impacts your oral health. Often, the foods we eat can make a real difference to oral health as well as the look of the teeth, so here are 6 sugary snacks to avoid in order to enjoy a healthy, bright smile:

  1. Fruit juice: fruit juice is often marketed as a healthy alternative to pop, but it often contains a huge amount of sugar. Juices are also acidic, which contributes to acid wear of the enamel. If you do enjoy fruit juice, try to stick to drinking it at mealtimes only and dilute it with water. Take care to read labels on shop-bought products and watch out for added sugars.
  2. Sweets: many of us admit to having a sweet tooth and a bag of sweets is a popular treat or afternoon pick me up. Sweets may taste delicious, but they are bad news for your teeth. They are laden with sugar and they are also usually acidic. If you are eating sweets, eat them straight after a meal and drink a glass of water or milk afterwards. Healthier alternatives to sweets include natural yoghurt and fresh fruit.
  3. Smoothies: smoothies have become all the rage as part of a healthy eating revolution. However, if you check the nutrition labels of smoothies on offer in cafes and supermarkets, you may be shocked at the sugar content. Smoothies are essentially a healthy option if you make them yourself, as you can control how much sugar is added. However, if you buy ready-made bottles or cartons, you may find that your drink is not as healthy as you hoped.
  4. Yoghurts: yoghurts can be really beneficial for the teeth because they are rich in calcium. However, you need to be careful when choosing which yoghurts to buy. Sweetened, flavoured yoghurts often contain a lot of sugar and this includes low-fat versions. Try to go for natural yoghurt and add natural sugars such as honey or berries if you would prefer something a little more adventurous.
  5. Chocolate: many people admit to reaching for a chocolate bar when their energy levels drop mid-afternoon, but snacking on chocolate is not just harmful for your teeth. It also provides a quick release of energy that will almost certainly cause you to feel tired again shortly afterwards. Sugar-free cereal bars and wholemeal crackers are healthier options, which will release energy over a longer period of time.

 

How we Banish Bad Breath for Good

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

429735_blogBad breath is a problem that affects most of us from time to time. However, if you suffer from bad breath on a persistent basis it can take its toll and make social and professional situations awkward and embarrassing. If you suffer with bad breath, there’s no need to panic. With our excellent hygiene treatments and expert advice, we can banish bad breath for good and ensure you feel confident when you go on a date, arrange a meeting or take to the stage for an important presentation.

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is caused by bacteria in the mouth releasing gases that have a very unpleasant smell. Most cases are linked to poor oral hygiene, but there may be other triggers such as eating strongly flavoured foods, taking some types of medication and smoking.

If you neglect your oral hygiene regime, bacteria gather and multiply and when they feed they release unpleasant smelling gases. The longer they are left, the worse the odour. Brushing, flossing and rinsing help to remove bacteria and ensure the mouth smells fresh and clean.

Tackling bad breath

If bad breath is a problem that haunts you on a regular basis, we recommend good oral hygiene and regular dental sessions. Initially, we will examine the mouth and check for underlying causes. We will give the mouth a thorough clean and then discuss treatment options with you. We may advise regular sessions with our hygienists to keep bacteria at bay and cleanse the mouth. We can also offer advice about maintaining a good oral hygiene routine at home and help with brushing and flossing effectively.

If there are certain triggers that make the situation worse, we can help you deal with these. This may include avoiding spicy food or strong flavours such as garlic or coffee and changing the type of medication you take, if this is applicable.

If bad breath is getting you down, don’t suffer in silence! Call us today.

Six Foods You Should be Eating for a Healthier Smile

Friday, February 20th, 2015

2429879_blogOur diets play an important part in the maintenance of our oral health. To prevent tooth decay and gum disease and keep your smile looking beautiful, we need to watch what we eat. Here are some suggestions for a good healthy teeth diet:

  1. Green tea

Green tea hydrates the body, is rich in antioxidants and is completely sugar-free. It has been discovered that those who regularly drink green tea have a lower risk of developing gum disease. If you don’t like the taste of green tea, try to add a splash of lemon or a sprinkle of ginger to make it more appealing.

  1. Cheese

Cheese is a brilliant source of calcium and has a high pH value. This helps with the protection of enamel by neutralising acidity found in the mouth. If you eat or drink something acidic, such as wine or fruit juice, it is advisable to eat a little bit of cheese afterwards as a neutralising agent.

 

  1. Chicken

Chicken is a fantastic source of protein, and it also contains phosphorus and calcium. Both of these play an essential role in the maintenance and repair of the bones and teeth. As a hugely versatile dish, chicken is an excellent diet choice as it can be added to almost any meal.

  1. Milk

Milk contains calcium and is an excellent alternative to fizzy drinks and sugary acidic fruit juices, as it helps to neutralise acids in the mouth. Calcium is crucial for healthy and strong teeth and helps to keep your tooth enamel in great condition. It is especially important for children and elderly people at risk of osteoporosis.

  1. Carrots

Eating carrots, especially when raw, increases production of saliva and stimulates the gums. Saliva production is great for cleaning out the mouth and removing leftover food particles. Carrots also contain anti-oxidants and are rich in both vitamin B and vitamin C.

  1. Yoghurt

Natural yoghurt is a great dessert choice as it is low in sugar and rich in calcium, making it a winner for your teeth.

Banish Bacteria Before It Causes Dental Disaster And Halitosis

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

595603_blogThere are some bacteria, which are essential for good health, but others are downright nasty and we need to banish them before they contribute to dental disasters.

Good oral hygiene

Good oral hygiene is the best form of defence against harmful bacteria. With an effective regime of brushing and flossing, you can maximise your chances of good oral health. Ideally, you should brush every morning and evening for at least 2-3 minutes each time and floss daily; it’s important to do this to remove bacteria from your mouth and reduce the risk of plaque forming. Plaque is a sticky film, which is made when bacteria, food debris and saliva come together. Plaque is the most common cause of gum disease and decay.

Bacteria and halitosis

Halitosis (bad breath) is a very common problem, which is almost always associated with oral bacteria. When bacteria feed, they give off gases, which smell very unpleasant and this is why you get bad breath. Smoking and taking some types of medication can also increase the risk of halitosis. The best way to prevent bad breath is to stick to a good daily oral hygiene regime and to chew sugar-free gum after eating. It is also highly beneficial to see a dental hygienist in addition to your routine dental check-ups.

Dental checks

Dental appointments are really important because they enable your dentist to keep tabs on the mouth and identify any dental issues at an early stage. Dentists can then arrange any relevant treatment and they can also give the mouth a good clean, which removes surface stains to give the teeth a healthy white glow.

Protect Your Health With A Visit To Our Hygienist

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

585986_blogIf you’re determined to keep dental disease in check and preserve perfectly white, shiny pearly whites, we strongly recommend seeing one of our amazing dental hygienists.

About dental hygienists

Our incredible dental hygienists are expertly trained to provide treatments to prevent oral disease and promote good oral health. With intensive cleaning treatments and preventative services, such as fluoride varnish and sealants, our hygienists are on hand to help you maintain healthy teeth and gums.

Our treatments include preventative treatments, gum disease treatment, scale and polish and surface stain removal and information and advice about issues such as oral hygiene at home, giving up smoking and diet.

Why should I see a dental hygienist?

Even if you have healthy teeth and a clean bill of oral health, it can be hugely beneficial to see a dental hygienist. Dental hygienists are experts in oral hygiene and the treatments they provide can help to keep dental disease at bay and ensure your teeth look bright and beautiful. Regular treatments rid the mouth of potentially harmful bacteria and polish the teeth and remove stains to make them sparkle and shine.

We recommend annual sessions for patients with good oral health and more frequent sessions for patients who have gum disease or bad breath or a high risk of developing dental problems.

You can now book directly with our dental hygienists, rather than being referred by a dentist; simply call our reception team!

3 Steps To Dental Heaven With These Healthy Diet Tips

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

2429879_blogDiet has a strong influence on oral health and eating a healthy diet can really help to keep dental diseases at bay. Here are 3 healthy diet tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong:

  1. Keep an eye on your sugar consumption: sugar is the enemy when it comes to oral health because it causes bacteria in the mouth to feed and release harmful acids, which attack the enamel. Try to avoid eating a lot of sugary foods and washing them down with fizzy pop or energy drinks, especially between meals and always wait an hour before brushing your teeth after eating. If you have a sweet tooth, try to go for natural alternatives, such as fruit, yoghurt and frozen yoghurt.
  2. Watch out for ‘healthy’ products: many drinks and snacks, which are branded as healthy alternatives to junk food and confectionary are actually packed with hidden sugars. Look out for shop-bought smoothies, fruit juices and cereal bars and read the labels carefully. Smoothies are a really healthy option if you mane them yourself at home, but commercial products are often laden with sugar and sometimes contain more than fizzy drinks. Fruit juice is often very sugary and it is also very acidic, which is harmful for the tooth enamel; if you’re a fan of juice, try diluting it and avoid drinking it between meals.
  3. Hit your RDA of calcium every day: calcium is really important for healthy teeth and bones and it’s important to get your recommended daily intake every day. Good sources of calcium include milk, cheese, nuts, soya beans, leafy green vegetables and yoghurt. Adults need around 700mg per day, while children need around 1,000mg per day.