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Posts Tagged ‘tips for oral hygiene’

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. 

Five Small Changes To Your Diet Can Overhaul Your Oral Health

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

2429879_blogWhen it comes to your diet, even minor changes can make the world of difference to your oral health. Here are 5 simple ways to change your diet to benefit your teeth and gums:

  1. Drink more water: water is really important, not just to prevent headaches and dehydration, but also to keep your mouth moist and reduce the risk of dry mouth and to cleanse your mouth and wash away bits of leftover food. Drinking water is also a good way of neutralising acids in your mouth. You should aim to drink around 2 litres of water per day. If you don’t like to drink plain water all day every day, add a small amount of sugar-free cordial.
  2. Go for natural sugars to satisfy sweet cravings: sweet foods are really bad news for your teeth, so try to keep an eye on the amount of sugar you consume on a daily basis and stick to the recommended daily guidelines. If you have a sweet tooth, try to stick to foods that contain natural sugars, such as fruits, and create healthier snacks and desserts. Good choices include natural yoghurt with berries, oat-topped fruit crumble, baked apples or pears with cinnamon and rice pudding.
  3. Avoid eating between meals: grazing between meals is not just bad for your waistline, it’s also harmful for your teeth. When you eat, the enamel softens as a result of bacteria releasing acids; it takes time for the enamel to recover and harden. This means that if you eat throughout the day, your teeth are constantly under acid attack and your enamel is vulnerable. If you are hungry and you’d like a snack, avoid anything sugary or acidic and go for a healthy option, such as raw vegetables, a pot of yoghurt (avoid flavoured yoghurts as they contain a lot of sugar) or a wholemeal cracker.
  4. Dilute juice: fruit juice is marketed as a really healthy product, but it actually contains a lot of sugar, as well as being very acidic. Studies show that many of the juices on the market contain more sugar than fizzy drinks, so look out for labels and always dilute fruit juice. It’s best to drink juice at mealtimes and to follow your drink with a glass of water or milk.
  5. Don’t forget your dairy: dairy products are an excellent source of calcium, which is really important for building healthy and strong teeth and bones. Calcium helps to make the teeth stronger and protects them from damage and injury. Always ensure you hit the recommended daily intake of calcium; good sources include milk, yoghurt and cheese.