As it’s Dental Health Week, we take time to raise awareness of important dental issues and ways we can all take on board expert advice and top tips to improve our oral health.
So whether you have been struggling with plaque build-up, gum disease, tooth decay, bad breath, or if you’re simply looking to get the best out of your oral routine, keep reading.
1. Brushing Before Breakfast
Many of our patients admit to brushing after having breakfast. Of course, it makes sense to remove food particles and debris just after eating, however, this isn’t recommended and we advise you to brush before breakfast instead.
If you’ve had a chance to read our guide explaining the common mistakes you make while brushing your teeth, you’ll know that brushing before breakfast can rid your mouth of plaque build-up overnight. The fluoride in your toothpaste can then coat your enamel with a protective barrier to prevent damage from acid in your breakfast.
2. Flossing: Before or After Brushing?
When we ask our patients about their dental routine, often, we notice them miss out on one very crucial step – flossing.
Flossing might be something we think about every couple of weeks or months, but we should actually be flossing every day, before brushing our teeth. This is the best way to clean our teeth effectively!
Cleaning in between our teeth (using interdental brushing, dental floss or water flossers) can loosen bacteria and food debris from between our teeth. This can make brushing a more effective method of removing plaque.
3. Charcoal Toothpaste
Most of us have heard of the charcoal toothpaste trend that claims to dramatically whiten the teeth by removing stubborn stains on the surfaces of the teeth. These, however, are misleading claims as there is currently no evidence to suggest that charcoal toothpaste is safe or effective.
In fact, many dentists believe that charcoal toothpaste may harm the teeth and gums, so it’s best to stick with your usual fluoride toothpaste.
4. Spit, Don’t Rinse
After brushing our teeth, we might be tempted to spit out the toothpaste and then rinse with water to remove the remaining toothpaste residue. However, this washes away the fluoride in your mouth which continues to help protect your teeth throughout the day.
As the most important ingredient in toothpaste, fluoride strengthens the enamel and aims to prevent tooth decay and cavities.
After we have brushed our teeth, we should spit out the toothpaste. At this point, we might be tempted to rinse our mouth out, but if we do, we’ll be washing away that all-important fluoride!
5. Using Mouthwash After Toothpaste
Many of us will have an oral hygiene routine of flossing, then brushing, followed by gurgling a chosen mouthwash. However, using mouthwash after brushing your teeth can actually rinse away the fluoride which prevents tooth decay.
Instead, it’s best to use mouthwash during the middle of the day, although avoid eating or drinking just after using a fluoride mouthwash and try to wait a minimum of 30 minutes.
6. Three Meals a Day
As a nation of snack lovers, many of us tend to snack in-between meals or even skip meals altogether, meaning that we’re a little more tempted to indulge in sweet and savoury treats throughout the day.
While small snacks are completely harmless in moderation, snacking is still bad for our teeth, which is why we recommend sticking to three meals a day with a balanced diet, and try to avoid sugar where we can.
7. Disinfect Your Toothbrush Pot
If like many patients, you store your toothbrush in a toothbrush pot throughout the day and night when your toothbrush isn’t in use, you may be surprised to know just how many germs can build up. You might also be surprised to hear that the toothbrush pot is one of the most bacteria-ridden items in a typical house, closely behind the kitchen sink – believe it or not! Your toothbrush pot is home to all types of bacteria living in your bathroom.
We strongly advise regularly cleaning your toothbrush pot by washing in hot, soapy water, or running through a dishwasher cycle every couple of days.
8. Choosing the Right Dentist
NHS dental clinics are fantastic, however, surges in demand have left patients at the bottom of a two-year waiting list for both essential and non-essential treatment. These long waiting times, short appointments and lack of treatment options have left thousands of patients throughout the UK exploring private dentistry as an alternative.
If you are looking to find a suitable dentist, we strongly recommend looking into private dentistry. Private dental appointments are very quick to book with short waiting times, with some clinics offering appointments within a matter of days or hours, depending on whether or not you have a dental emergency. However, NHS dental appointments usually need to be booked several weeks or months in advance.
Treatments at an NHS dentist are very limited, meaning that you won’t have much selection when it comes to choosing an appointment. In comparison, private dental clinics provide a wide selection of dental treatments and cosmetic dentistry treatments that aren’t available with an NHS dentist.
To find out more, we do recommend reading our guide, NHS VS Private Dentistry: Can I Get
Dental Care in London
We are an award-winning dental clinic with experience and a proven track record within the industry. Our dental practitioners are on hand to leave you in no doubt that you are receiving a friendly and impeccable service every time.
If you require a more urgent dental procedure or simply want a reliable, professional service to attend on a routine basis, then why not get in contact today? One of our friendly, expert team would love to hear from you and get you on track to achieving the smile of your dreams.