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Archive for the ‘oral hygeine’ Category

How to Make Teeth Cleaning Fun for Your Children

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

318711_blogIs your child at the age where they are becoming more eager to take care of themselves? It is quite an exciting time for both children and parents when kids start to learn how to take on more responsibilities. Starting off with their first steps and words, then on to potty training and later learning about general and dental hygiene, a child can progress quickly and thoroughly if they have a good teacher.

A general rule of thumb is to brush your children’s teeth until they are seven years of age and then show them how to do it themselves. There are many ways to make something as mundane as brushing teeth entertaining for your children. The best way to teach them how to take care of themselves is by making the chore fun!

Another approach to encouraging your children to brush their teeth correctly is to create a positive environment. When you show enthusiasm, your child will follow suit, so why not entertain while you brush by tap dancing, singing, or making jokes? You could also find a radio or CD player that plays their favourite music as a reward for brushing their teeth.

Enhance their enjoyment of teeth brushing by turning it into a numbers game, counting up to ten for each part of the mouth they clean. This will also allow them to know when the tooth brushing will end and thus they won’t become as restless and fidgety, wondering when the chore of tooth brushing will be over.

The key to teaching your children great hygiene practices is to make it fun. You can make your own technique, tweak it to their personality and watch and observe the results!

Tooth Brushing Techniques

Saturday, October 17th, 2015

357249_blogBrushing your teeth is the best way to combat build up of plaque, tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease. It’s incredibly easy to do, takes only a few minutes and should already be a part of everybody’s daily routine. By brushing your teeth twice a day, morning and night, you can stave off a whole assortment of oral health nightmares, all the while making your teeth and most importantly your smile sparkle. Brushing should be done by everyone regardless of their diet, but for those who consume a lot of sugary, sweet foods it is especially important. This is because those kinds of foods contain sugars and starches that are quick to cause plaque build up and eat at the enamel, causing tooth decay.

Flossing

Flossing your teeth should be done alongside brushing as flossing daily helps to remove the plaque that builds up between the teeth. If you don’t brush or floss the plaque will grow and eventually harden into tartar. Plaque and tartar build-up has been linked to heart disease and other serious conditions so it’s not something we can afford to ignore.

Brushing the teeth

When brushing your teeth it’s important to use the right tools and equipment so that the process is as effective as possible and maximises the amount of plaque removal. A soft bristled toothbrush is recommended and fluoride toothpaste is shown to prevent tooth decay considerably. There are many different types of toothpaste on the market today, with products catering to a whole range of different needs, such as those with sensitive teeth, those with stained teeth and even natural toothpastes that are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. This means that there’s absolutely no excuse or argument against brushing.

The Link Between Oral Health and Heart Health

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

748875_blogIt has been confirmed at Hiroshima University in Japan that heart disease is strongly linked to oral hygiene. The idea of there being a correlation between the two has been debated in the past but the university study has proved there is a link.

According to the brain boffins of Hiroshima your chances of falling prey to a heart stroke are greatly increased if you have less than 24 teeth – almost 60% greater in fact – and are aged around 50 to 60.

The study was taken on 358 participants, all of whom were aged around 50 or 60 and strongly showed that those with 24 teeth or less had a 57% greater chance of having a heart stroke. Tooth loss is largely caused by gum disease and these finding have proved that those who regularly suffer from gum disease are at a much greater risk of heart problems as well as oral health problems, especially at an older age.

The doctors behind the research also discovered some other concerning issues while conducting the study. A large number of the people involved in the research had first begun to lose teeth around the age of 40, and given that the ages of those involved was between 50 and 60, many of the researchers expressed concern at the potential health problems and issues this entailed.

As well as the link to oral health, doctors are also emphasising the need to be aware of the effect of smoking, alcohol and obesity on the health of the heart and general healthy living is heavily encouraged to keep the heart in good condition and to avoid strokes and other heart diseases.

A Healthy Diet for Healthier Teeth

Sunday, October 11th, 2015

2429879_blogDiet is an important factor in how your mouth looks and feels. Sugar is converted  to acid in the mouth and this attacks tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay. Every time we eat our teeth are exposed to potential decay, and watching what we eat and drink can help prevent this process.

Healthy foods for teeth

Some foods contain calcium, which helps protect tooth enamel. These foods include meats (particularly chicken), cheese, milk and nuts. Vegetables and crisp, firm fruits such as apples are good for teeth as they contain a large amount of water. This lessens the effect of any sugar contained in them as well as helping the mouth produce saliva. Saliva is helpful in preventing tooth decay as it washes away bits of food debris in the mouth. If you are eating acidic things like lemons or other citrus fruits, try to have them as part of a meal, so the effects of the acid they contain is minimised.

Sugary foods

Foods that are bad for teeth include hard sweets such as lollipops, as well as other items with a high sugar content such as cakes, crisps or dried fruit. As well as being high in sugar, these foods have the potential to stick to your teeth and provide a source of fuel for any bacteria in the mouth. Take care when taking cough drops as they will coat teeth in sugar in the same way as other sweets.

What about drinks?

In terms of drinks, the best things for your mouth are milk, water and tea that does not contain sugar or sweetener. Try to avoid too many sugary or fizzy drinks, as well as coffee and sweetened tea. Do not sip sugary drinks throughout the day, as this means they are constantly being exposed to sugar. As well as preventing tooth decay, try to avoid staining by watching your consumption of red wine and coffee. If you would like to speak to one of our oral hygienists please contact the team at City Dental Leeds.

 

How Your Tongue Affects Your Oral Health

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

3428792_blogThe tongue is an important organ made up from many groups of muscles. We use it to talk, taste, swallow and chew, it holds food in place and sends vital messages to the central nervous system reporting on changes within the mouth. However, it does all of this instantly and without any thought from us and because of this its important role in maintaining oral health can often be overlooked and underestimated, leading to not-so-pleasant consequences.

Looking after the health of your tongue

Your tongue should be treated with the same amount of care and upkeep as you’d give your teeth and gums. Just as you would clean the rest of your mouth, the tongue needs cleaning too. This is because, contrary to how it may look, the tongue is not smooth and is in fact covered in tiny, barely visible bumps called ‘papillae.’ These bumps are bacteria hotspots and if not regularly cleaned, the bacteria that build there can cause halitosis, affect your sense of taste and can even spread to other parts of the mouth, leading to a number of different infections that can lead to tooth decay, gum recession and even tooth loss.

Tongue cancer signs and symptoms

Unfortunately tongues are no less susceptible to developing cancer than other parts of the body and noticing the problem before it has advanced can be the difference between life and death. This is why it’s important to check the tongue regularly to see if there any irregular cuts, abrasions or swelling. I suggest sticking your tongue out in front of your bathroom mirror and swirling it around to get a good look from all sides, top, bottom and side to side. If you do notice anything out of the ordinary, consult your doctor immediately. For more advice on looking after your oral health contact us at City Dental Leeds.

Five Dangerous Foods That Harm Our Oral Health

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

302075_blogThere has been a huge amount of discussion about the impact of sugar on the health of the nation, but the dangers of sugar consumption are nothing new and dentists have been warning about the implications of excessive sugar consumption for many years now.

Sugar is a major issue because it causes the bacteria in your mouth to release acids, known as plaque acids, which erode the tooth enamel. Once the enamel starts to become thinner, the risk of tooth infection and damage rises and enamel cannot be regenerated by the body.

Five foods to avoid for good oral health

Cakes

One of the main problems is that many of the nation’s favourite foods and drinks are laden with sugar, including cakes. Cakes are an indulgent treat and they taste amazing, but if you’ve baked one from scratch or read the nutrition labels of a shop-bought product, you’ll be well aware of the amount of sugar that goes into a sponge or a gateau.

Crisps

Crisps are savoury, but they contain starchy carbohydrate, which is eventually converted into sugar. Crisps also tend to get stuck in the grooves of the teeth after chewing and this can increase the chances of plaque forming in and around the teeth.

 Chewy sweets

Chewy sweets are not just full of sugar, they also get stuck in the pits and grooves of the biting surfaces of the teeth.

 Sports drinks

Energy and sports drinks have become hugely popular in the last few years, especially among young people and studies have shown that they are incredibly harmful for the teeth. Many contain more sugar than fizzy pop, which not only increases the risk of decay and gum disease, but also contributes to an increased risk of diabetes and other health complications.

 Wine

Wine is a very popular tipple for people of all ages, but unfortunately, it is not good news for the teeth. Wine is acidic, which contributes to erosion and enamel wear and it also stains the teeth. Studies have shown that white and red wine contribute to discolouration of the white enamel.

5 Handy Tips To Get The Best Teeth Clean At Home

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

297243_blogGood oral hygiene is your best weapon against dental disease and it’s really beneficial to hone your home cleaning regime in order to enjoy a healthy, bright smile. Here are 5 handy tips to help you achieve that perfect clean at home:

  1. Choose the right brush: when looking for a toothbrush, try to go for a brush with a small head and soft to medium bristles. Electric toothbrushes are proven to remove plaque more effectively than manual brushes, but you don’t nee to spend a lot of money to achieve a really thorough clean.
  2. Swap your brush regularly: old, worn bristles are not capable of achieving the same depth of cleaning as new bristles, so make sure you remember to swap your toothbrush, or change your brush head if you have an electric brush, on a regular basis. Ideally, you should change your brush every 3-4 months.
  3. Use fluoride toothpaste: we strongly recommend using fluoride toothpaste, as fluoride helps to strengthen and protect your tooth enamel, the protective outer layer of the teeth. Follow the usage instructions and take care with children, as fluoride levels in adult toothpaste may be too high for younger children. It’s also important to make sure that you brush for 2 minutes twice a day, once in the morning and once before you go to bed.
  4. Brush gently: some people may assume that the harder you brush, the better the clean; however, this is not the case. Brushing firmly can actually do more harm than good, as it can damage the enamel. When you brush, be gentle, but thorough.
  5. Make time for inter-dental cleaning: your toothbrush can only clean part of your mouth and inter-dental cleaning should form an important part of your daily brushing regime. Inter-dental cleaning focuses on the cracks and gaps between the teeth and you can either floss or use inter-dental brushes to ensure a more thorough clean.

Three Ways Plaque Harms Your Teeth

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

364999_blogPlaque is a major threat to healthy teeth and gums and studies show that it can also increase the risk of potentially serious general health conditions, but what exactly is plaque and how does it harm your teeth?

What is plaque?

Plaque is a sticky colourless substance, which constantly forms in your mouth. You can often feel plaque if you run your tongue over your teeth having not brushed them for a while, for example in the morning. Plaque is easily removed with good oral hygiene, but it can be very dangerous if left alone. Plaque hardens and turns into tartar, which cannot be removed by standard brushing. Plaque is the main cause of dental diseases, including decay and gum disease and the best way of avoiding it is to remember to brush twice a day every day and keep on top of inter-dental cleaning, either by using inter-dental brushes or dental floss.

How does plaque harm the teeth?

Here are 3 ways plaque harms your teeth:

  1. Decay: plaque is the most common cause of tooth decay, a dental disease, which causes cavities to form in the outer layers of the teeth. The bacteria present in plaque released acids when they feed and this causes erosion of the enamel; once the enamel is worn, it is very hard to rebuild and the tooth is vulnerable to infection and injury.
  2. Gum disease: plaque acids irritate the gums and cause them to become painful and swollen; the outcome of this is commonly gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease. Plaque is constantly forming in the mouth and if it is not removed, it hardens and becomes tartar. Tartar beneath the gum line is a major cause of advanced gum disease, also known as periodontal disease.
  3. Bad breath: plaque contains bacteria, which release gases when they feed; these gases have an unpleasant odour and they cause bad breath. The best way to tackle bad breath is to maintain good oral hygiene at home and brush the teeth twice a day and floss daily.

How Does Oral Hygiene Affect the Rest of My Body?

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

2823674_blogMany dentists refer to the mouth as a window to the rest of the body and problems in the mouth can suggest issues in the body. In recent years, several studies have suggested a strong link between oral and general health, so it’s important to take good care of those teeth and gums.

Oral health and heart health

Research into the link between oral health and heart health is ongoing. Yet many studies have now connected oral health problems with an elevated risk of heart disease. This is especially true of gum disease. Researchers believe bacteria from the mouth can travel to other parts of the body via the bloodstream. This triggers an inflammatory response that increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. A study in Scotland involving more than 11,000 adults revealed that you’re more likely to suffer from heart disease if you don’t brush your teeth twice daily.

Oral health and diabetes

If you have diabetes, your risk of developing oral health issues is increased. In many undiagnosed cases  it is dentists who spot the warning signs of diabetes. Around one third of patients who have diabetes also suffer from periodontitis (an advanced form of gum disease). The increased risk is due to poor control of blood sugars.

Oral health and pregnancy

Pregnancy brings about significant hormonal changes in the body. One effect is an increase in the risk of gum disease. Dentists advise all pregnant women to visit them on a regular basis and arrange a check-up if they notice warning signs such as bleeding and swollen gums. Studies have shown that untreated gum disease can cause complications during pregnancy and increase the risk of premature labour and even stillbirth.

 

Teaching the Kiddies to Take Care of Their Teeth

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

318711_blogAt City Dental Leeds we are all about encouraging good oral health habits and championing prevention over cure and we are always here to offer advice to help you and your family enjoy beautiful smiles and remain free of oral diseases. If you’re eager to encourage your children to adopt good practices from an early age, here are some tips to teach kids to take good care of their teeth and gums:

Start early

It’s never too early to lay foundations and the sooner you start looking after your child’s teeth, the better. Encourage them to hold a brush as soon as they can and show them how to clean their teeth and work their toothbrush. Set a good example and let them learn by watching you and supervise brushing while they are still young. If teeth cleaning becomes part of a routine early on, children will be used to it and there will be a lower risk of tantrums and fall-outs when you ask them to go and clean their teeth in the mornings and before they go to bed.

Make teeth cleaning fun

Cleaning your teeth is perhaps not the most exciting thing to do, especially when there are toys or television programmes to distract your attention, but there are ways to make brushing your teeth more enjoyable. Try making up games and setting challenges, reward good behaviour and brush together as a family. Many children also like to use brushes and toothpastes that feature their favourite cartoon, literary or film characters.

Educate children

It’s important that children know why it’s essential to clean their teeth every day. If they have an understanding of why they need to clean their teeth, they will be more likely to do it without making a fuss. Teach them about what brushing achieves and what may happen if they don’t clean their teeth. There are some really useful guides, articles and books available to educate kids about oral health and show them how to perfect their brushing technique. Our dentists will also be more than happy to answer questions for children, show them how to brush and talk to them about healthy eating and the importance of brushing at home.