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Posts Tagged ‘oral health’

Self-help techniques for improved oral health

Wednesday, August 12th, 2020

With many dental practices running a reduced service at the moment, dentists are urging patients to take good care of their teeth and gums. The Coronavirus lockdown has caused significant backlogs, and many dental teams are working to reorganise delayed and cancelled appointments before resuming routine services, such as check-ups. In the absence of the widespread availability of dental examinations, here are some self-help techniques you can utilise to keep your smile in check. 

Oral hygiene

Good oral hygiene is the most effective way to keep dental disease at bay and reduce the risk of ailments and unpleasant symptoms such as toothache, bleeding gums and infections. Ideally, your daily oral hygiene regime should include twice-daily brushing using fluoride toothpaste and daily flossing or interdental brushing. Clean your teeth for at least two minutes each morning and evening, and try and avoid brushing within 45 minutes of eating or drinking. When you brush, apply toothpaste to the bristles and gently guide the brush around your teeth, angling the head to reach right into the corners and covering every surface of each individual tooth. Try and resist the temptation to brush hard. If you brush too firmly, this can damage the enamel. It’s also beneficial to avoid rinsing after brushing to prevent removing fluoride from the tooth surface. Interdental cleaning using a small hand-held brush or floss is important for targeting areas that cannot be reached with a toothbrush. After cleaning your teeth, brush your tongue with your toothbrush or use a tongue scraper. This will help to remove bacteria and food debris and lower the risk of bad breath (halitosis).


Your diet has an essential role to play if you’re on a mission to protect your teeth and gums. While many foods, for example, dairy products, nuts, seeds and leafy green vegetables, are good for your teeth because they contain calcium, some can be harmful. Foods that contain a lot of sugar and acidic foods and drinks carry a risk of decay and gum disease. As well as keeping an eye on what you eat, it’s critical to think about when you eat. This is because bacteria release acids when they feed. These acids attack and weaken the tooth enamel temporarily, and the teeth can only withstand a limited number of acid attacks. Aim to stick to three main meals and avoid grazing. If you snack all day, your enamel will not get chance to recover, and it may become worn and weak. 

Dental care

It might not be possible to see a dentist every 6-12 months at the moment, but it’s vital to seek advice if you do have any concerns about your dental health. Contact your dentist if you have prolonged periods of toothache or severe pain, or you notice blood when you brush your teeth. Bleeding, sore and swollen gums are symptomatic of gum disease, while pain, fever, inflammation and tenderness can be linked to dental infections. Your dentist will be able to recommend pain relief options, and they can also book an appointment for you if you need immediate treatment. 


There are several very simple steps you can take to improve your dental health and reduce the risk of oral health problems. Twice-daily brushing, eating well and seeking advice if you notice unusual symptoms will stand you in good stead to avoid dental dilemmas. 

How Much Will Quitting Smoking Help Your Teeth?

Monday, July 31st, 2017

shutterstock_114112198Most of us associate quitting smoking with improved lung and heart health, but it can also have major benefits for your mouth. If you’re hoping to quit smoking, here are just some of the benefits you could enjoy:

Cleaner, brighter teeth: smoking is one of the leading causes of tooth discolouration due to the presence of chemicals such as tar in cigarettes. If you quit, you can reduce the risk of further staining and look forward to a brighter, cleaner smile.

Fresher breath: smoking is a common cause of bad breath. If you’re self-conscious about your breath or you’re keen to make a positive first impression when you meet people for the first time, giving up smoking is an incredibly positive step.

Lower risk of gum disease: smoking reduces blood flow, which increases the risk of gum disease. By giving up smoking, you can lower your risk of gum disease and improve your body’s ability to heal after treatment.

Reduced oral cancer risk: smoking is the most significant risk factor for oral cancer, a type of cancer that has become increasingly common in the UK over the course of the last decade. Smoking is particularly dangerous when combined with drinking alcohol. If you drink frequently and smoke, you’re more than 30 times more likely to develop mouth cancer than non-smokers who don’t drink.

Giving up smoking is not easy, but it does bring incredible benefits for your teeth and gums, as well as your general health. If you’re thinking of trying to quit, we can help, so give us a call now!

How important is it to clean between the gaps of teeth?

Friday, June 30th, 2017

shutterstock_402210988Most people know that it’s important to clean the teeth twice a day. Although brushing is really effective, it only cleans part of your mouth. This is why we strongly recommend cleaning between the teeth.

The importance of cleaning between the teeth

When you brush your teeth, you clean away bacteria and food debris from the biting surfaces and the areas of the teeth you can access with a brush, but it’s not possible to get the brush head into every area of the mouth. It’s usually very difficult to clean between the teeth because the brush head is too large to fit between the gaps. This is when flossing and interdental brushing come in useful.


Flossing is a popular means of cleaning the gaps between the teeth. It involves passing a thin piece of tape, called floss, between the teeth. Flossing displaces trapped bits of food and bacteria from those narrow cracks, reducing the risk of plaque formation. It can also help to prevent staining in areas that you can’t polish with your toothbrush. When you’re flossing, always be gentle, and never tug at the tape. If you pull too hard, this can hurt your gums.

Interdental brushing

Interdental brushes are specially designed, small hand-held brushes, which target the cracks between the teeth. There are various different sizes and thicknesses to choose from, and your dentist or hygienist can help you to choose the right brush for you and give you a demonstration to show you how to use your interdental brushes.

Brushing is really important for keeping dental diseases at bay, but don’t underestimate the importance of cleaning the cracks between your teeth. If you do this, you’ll achieve a much more thorough clean and you can reduce your risk of decay and gum disease by preventing plaque formation.

Top Five Habits to Kick to Keep Your Teeth Healthy

Friday, March 10th, 2017

shutterstock_281101001Bad habits can put your dental health at risk. If you’re keen to protect your pearly whites for as long as possible, here are five habits to try and kick as soon as possible:

  1. Smoking: smoking is often associated with an increased risk of respiratory illnesses and lung cancer, but it can also contribute to oral health problems. Smoking discolours your teeth and elevates your risk of bad breath and gum disease. It’s also the most potent risk factor for mouth cancer. If you’d like to try and quit smoking, we are here to help, so don’t hesitate to call in and see us.
  2. Biting your nails: biting your nails isn’t just damaging for your nails. It’s also bad for your teeth. Biting down on hard nails can damage your teeth. There’s a risk that bacteria from under the nails can get into the mouth.
  3. Grinding your teeth: if you grind your teeth, you may damage them and increase your risk of TMJ disorder. This is a group of symptoms that affect the temporomandibular joint, the joint that joins the skull to the lower jaw. If you grind your teeth at night, we can provide you with a bite guard to protect your teeth while you sleep.
  4. Indulging your sweet tooth: if you’ve got a sweet tooth, giving into cravings can have serious implications for your health. Sugary foods increase the risk of acid wear and decay.
  5. Avoiding the dentist: if you can’t remember the last time you went to the dentist, you could be putting your teeth and gums at risk. Patients who attend regular checks are up to 60 percent less likely to develop decay and gum disease.

Student Smiles: How to Protect your Teeth On a Budget

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

shutterstock_283862963At City Dental Leeds, we aim to provide high-quality dental care at affordable prices. If you’re a student, we understand that money may be tight. Here are some budget-friendly ways to protect your teeth.

Prevention is better than cure

Preventative dental care is always going to be cheaper than paying for dental issues. If you can keep cavities and gum disease at bay, you’ll save yourself a lot of money. The best way to do this is by maintaining good oral hygiene at home, and keeping an eye on your diet. Brush twice a day for at least two minutes using fluoride toothpaste, and try and limit your intake of sugary and acidic foods and drinks. Foods like sweets and biscuits and fizzy drinks and energy drinks can really take their toll on your teeth.

You don’t need to spend a fortune to get the best out of brushing. You can do a thorough job with a manual toothbrush, so don’t worry if you can’t afford a new-fangled electric brush with all the mod cons.

Dental visits are also incredibly important. If you see your dentist every 6-12 months, you have a much lower (up to 60%) lower risk of developing decay or gum disease.

Student discounts

We like to think of ourselves as a student-friendly practice, and we offer savings and special offers for students on certain treatments. If you’d like to find out more about how you could save money on dental treatment with us, don’t hesitate to give us a call or pop in and see us if you’re in the centre of Leeds.

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.

Foods To Avoid This Christmas To Maintain Oral Health

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

302075_blogChristmas is a time when most of us tend to indulge and enjoy fine foods and a drink or two. While it’s fine to let the diet slip for a few days, we do urge our patients to think of their teeth at this time of year and try to avoid going too crazy with tasty treats that are bad for oral health.

Here are some recommendations of Christmas delicacies that are best to steer clear of or at least, eat in moderation, over the festive period:

Sugared almonds: while almonds have many health benefits, the sugary sweet coating spells problems for the teeth. If you’re a fan of nuts, try to avoid any sugar-coated or chocolate-covered versions and stick to plain, unsalted and unsweetened nuts.

Chewy sweets: most people have tubs of chocolates and sweets lying around at Christmas time and it can be difficult to resist the temptation of shiny wrappers and delicious smells. By all means treat yourself to a few chocolates, but try to avoid chewy toffees and sweets and hard boiled sweets, as these tend to get trapped in the teeth and there is a risk of damage; the last thing you want is to be calling an emergency dentist because of a humbug, so take extra care.

Christmas pudding: Christmas pudding is a staple, but it can be chewy and it contains a lot of sugar, so try to stick to smaller portions and take care when chewing raisins and dates, as the seeds can sometimes be surprisingly hard.

Wine, alcopops and fizzy pop: drinks are often as harmful as foods when it comes to oral health, especially at Christmas time, when people tend to let loose with alcohol and fizzy drinks. Try to go for sugar-free mixers and dilute wine; it’s also a really good idea to drink a glass of water after every alcoholic drink to neutralise acids in your mouth and also to reduce the risk of a horrible hangover the next day.

In addition to taking care with what you eat, we also recommend avoiding snacking and grazing and waiting one hour after eating to brush your teeth; this will give your enamel time to recover after eating.

Leeds Offers Straighter Teeth On Your Terms With Invisalign

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

2445507_blogHave you ever thought about treatment to straighten your teeth, but been put off by the prospect of wearing braces? With Invisalign, you can get the smile you want, on your terms! These invisible braces will have you beaming with confidence and showing off your new straight smile in no time!

What is Invisalign and how could it benefit me?

Invisalign is a modern and discreet alternative to traditional braces, which uses clear aligners to move the teeth and correct alignment. Treatment involves wearing a series of custom-made, transparent aligners over a period of time; each aligner is worn for 2 weeks and treatment is complete after the last aligner has been in place for a fortnight. The aligners are designed to be taken out for eating and brushing the teeth and they should be worn for at least 21-22 hours per day.

Invisalign is suitable for many orthodontic patients and it offers an invisible solution for those who are worried about treatment affecting their looks and their confidence. With Invisalign aligners, it’s not possible to see the braces, so you can continue life as normal without worrying about exposing a load of metal every time you smile. You can also enjoy eating without thinking about checking your teeth for debris every minute and you can brush your teeth as normal, which helps to reduce the risk of oral health problems, which can be higher when you are wearing fixed braces.

If you want a treatment, which offers you freedom and flexibility, discretion and comfort, Invisalign could be an ideal choice! Call us today to arrange a consultation and we can check that you are a suitable candidate for treatment and give you more information about the treatment and the benefits and explain how it works in more depth.

Should I see a dental hygienist?

Monday, February 24th, 2014

585804_blogYou’re probably aware that you should see a dentist for a check-up every 6 months, but have you ever thought about going to see a dental hygienist? Many people think that they only need to see a dental hygienist if their dentist tells them to, but you can now book appointments directly with a hygienist without a referral from your dentist. Seeing a dental hygienist is beneficial for a number of reasons, not least because you can enjoy the amazing feel of a deep dental clean. When you emerge from a session with a dental hygienist, your teeth will look healthy and bright and they will also feel lovely and smooth; if you’ve noticed some mild surface staining and you don’t want to pay for tooth whitening, cleaning can have a dramatic impact on the look of your teeth. Seeing a hygienist is very important and beneficial for people who have gum disease or those who have a high risk of developing gingivitis or periodontal disease; hygienists work in tandem with dentists to provide intensive cleaning treatments, such as scale and polish, to remove plaque, tartar and bacteria from the mouth ad prevent the infection from spreading. Hygienists can also help with tackling bad breath and they also provide preventative treatments for children. You can also benefit from seeing a hygienist if you have questions about oral hygiene, or you are hoping to give up smoking.


Leeds lives for its Oral Hygiene

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

608718_blogIt is easy said than done for dentists to advise you on the importance of looking out for your oral hygiene; if you did, it would make their job a lot easier. However, life isn’t that simple and it is very easy to forget the basics when you’re having fun in a city as dandy as Leeds, but if you try to follow a regime or two, you will be at least trying to look after your mouth. Your personal lifestyle plays an important part in this and what you put into your mouth is important; a balanced diet will help keep your immune system strong and thus your teeth and gums too- and try to keep the smoking and drinking down. Okay, lecture over, now down to the basics: get yourself a decent toothbrush, paste, some floss (maybe some inter-dental brushes) and a good mouthwash and once you have settled on what you think is right for you, learn how to use them properly so that you get the best results- and use them at least twice a day, preferably after meals so that you remove bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth; and don’t forget to give your tongue a good scrub from time to time, as this holds more bacteria than any other part of your mouth. The final brick in the wall here is your dentist: pay them a visit often; they can see things you can’t and if you do go off the rails, they will be there to pick up the pieces for you when you get into a pickle.