Why are regular visits to the dentist important?

Whether you are a fanatical brusher or not, it is important that you keep up regular appearances at your dentist each year. Seeing your dentist for six monthly check up and cleans is an integral part of keeping good oral hygiene habits. Some of you may be wondering why we suggest that you come and see us regularly, when you already have good oral hygiene or don’t need any dental work.  Well, let’s break it down for you.

Brushing and flossing are important because they remove left over food and debris that builds up throughout the day. However, over time our teeth will get a build up of calculus (solidified plaque) which, if left can cause irritation to the gums and potentially decay in the teeth. If you brush and floss regularly then the build-up of tartar around your teeth should be minimal, however it still needs to be removed by a dentist to prevent any issues occurring.

Our mouths are home to millions of bacteria that thrive and feed off the plaque and tartar we accumulate over time. Your dentist will use specially designed instruments to remove the build-up from your teeth and around your gums, this can help to reduce swollen inflamed gums and prevent decay developing in the teeth. The longer we leave this on our teeth, the more likely we are to develop issues such as gum disease which over time can result in bone loss and the potential loss of teeth.

The dentists here at Redcliffe Smiles recommend getting your teeth professionally cleaned every six months to minimise the damage this build up can do to your mouth. We also suggest brushing and flossing multiple times a day as this promotes good oral hygiene and will make your check-up appointment much more pleasant!

The Redcliffe Smiles Team.

Our top 5 tips to a healthy mouth

We understand that life gets busy and sometimes looking after ourselves can take the backseat for a while. We may forget to brush our teeth as we run out the door for a busy day or maybe it’s been a week since you flossed and that piece of steak stuck between your teeth is now the last of your worries? With that in mind, we have compiled our top five tips to a healthy mouth.

Oral Hygiene

tidy-teeth-1-1425487-640x480Good oral hygiene is the first step to an overall healthy mouth, but what does this entail and how can we achieve it?

Well firstly, regular brushing is imperative. This is the first step to removing all of the leftover food and debris we accumulate from eating. If we don’t brush after meals then plaque (a film that holds millions of bacteria) builds up and over time it hardens into tartar. Plaque and tartar are what cause tooth decay and gum disease. So regular brushing helps to remove this plaque and the germs that cause these problems.

When brushing it is important to ensure that all surfaces of the teeth and gums are gently scrubbed and that we spend some time giving our tongue a good clean as well.

The next step in maintaining good oral hygiene is flossing. Brushing alone only cleans three out of five surfaces of your teeth. Only flossing cleans the remaining two. It not only cleans the hard to reach surfaces between your teeth but also helps to maintain healthy gums. It is generally recommended that we should be flossing once a day at night before bed with your along with your brushing routine.

 

Be mindful of what you are eating

candies-1177401-639x430In this day and age, processed and sugary food and beverages are everywhere. We consume them daily and although we are aware of the health issues it can cause, it is good to remember the damage that it can do to our teeth and gums as well. Sugary food increase plaque formation placing you at higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Acidic food, including some fruits are also something we need to be aware of. If we are consuming too much acidic food or drinks then it can soften the enamel exposing them to wear, erosion and decay.  

It is best not to brush immediately after having something acidic as your teeth are more likely to be weakened at the time. The best thing to do is it to rinse with water and wait at least half an hour after eating before brushing your teeth.

Alcohol and Tobacco

Not only can alcohol and tobacco products affect your overall health, they also play a part in your oral health. Alcohol can decrease saliva production, resulting in a dry mouth which is a cause of tooth decay. Saliva contains proteins and minerals that help to protect your tooth enamel, prevent decay and gum disease. Tobacco use can raise the risk of oral cancer and other diseases, this can be detrimental to not only your oral health but also your general health. The nicotine in tobacco raises the chance of developing gum disease and inhibits the gum tissue from fighting infection.

Protect your teeth

A lot of us are involved in sports, whether It be recreational or professionally. With this being said, it is crucial to protect your teeth during contact sports. Wearing a custom made mouthguard from your dentist is the best way to prevent injuries to your teeth, jaw and gums that may be caused from a blow to the mouth. A properly fitted mouthguard absorbs impact, protects the gums from laceration and cushions the jaw from impact whilst playing sports.

Regular maintenance visits

Waiting roomIt is recommended that you see your dentist every six months to have a comprehensive check-up and professional clean. You still need to brush and floss daily between visits, as this will help to prevent any issues occurring during these periods. Brushing and flossing your teeth removes the majority of plaque but over time we a build-up of tartar is inevitable. This hardened dental plaque is impossible to remove by general brushing. If this is left on your teeth, it gradually worsens and can start to cause tooth decay and inflamed gums. Your dentist uses special instruments that cleans away the tartar under and around the gums and will then polish your teeth.

We only have one set of adult teeth and by following our 5 top tips you’re well on the way to minimising dental issues and keeping your smile for life.

Why is a professional clean so important?

Here at Redcliffe Smiles we are passionate about sharing valuable information about preventative dental care. This helps ensure that our patients have the best possible understanding on how to maintain good oral hygiene in between dental visits.

Why is a professional clean so important?

tidy-teeth-1-1425487 (1)Brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day it important but this alone will not completely care for your teeth. Food and debris can become trapped under your gums where your toothbrush and floss cannot reach. If left untreated, over a period of time this can cause problems such as decay or periodontal (gum) disease.

Signs of bleeding while brushing and flossing are indicators of unhealthy gums. The gums become inflamed and irritated. This is caused by a build-up of bacteria in the crevices and gaps surrounding your teeth and beneath your gums.

To avoid gum problems and cavities it is recommended that you see a dentist once every six months for a professional clean and evaluation.

At Redcliffe Smiles we use specialised tools designed to remove plaque and bacteria above and below the gums. This helps to maintain optimum oral health and minimise the potential for expensive dental procedures in the future.


How can I care for my teeth after my professional clean?

Are you aware that there is a correct way to brush? Brushing correctly takes at least two minutes, most of us don’t even come close to that time. Tilt the brush at a 45 degree angle against the gum line, flick away from the gums and use short, gentle strokes. Make sure to pay extra attention to the gum line itself and hard to reach areas in the mouth (such as back teeth, crowns or any other restorations).

  • Clean the outer surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth
  • Clean the inner surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth
  • Clean the chewing surfaces
  • Don’t forget to brush your tongue to remove bacteria and to freshen your breath.

What Type of Toothbrush Should I Use?

Choosing the right toothbrush is extremely important, a soft-bristled brush or powered toothbrush is best for removing plaque and debris from your teeth. Small-headed brushes are also preferable, since they can get the hard to reach areas of the mouth.

How important is the Toothpaste I Use?toothpaste-1-1414249

If you look in the shops for a toothpaste you will notice there is a wide variety to choose form. Each may be designed for specific uses including, cavity protection, protection from gingivitis, whitening, stained teeth and sensitivity.

During your general check-up and clean our dentists can assess your mouth and can recommend the best toothpaste option based on your dental needs.

How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?

It is recommended that you replace your toothbrush when it begins to look worn or every three months, whichever comes first.

By maintaining a consistent oral health regime, practising proper cleaning techniques and visiting us for your regular clean and oral evaluation, you’ll be well on the way to maintaining a healthy smile and keeping your teeth for a life.

Do I really have to floss my teeth?

Dental Floss

Brushing your teeth twice a day is important for maintaining good oral hygiene, but did you know that daily flossing is equally important?

Dental floss helps to prevent gum disease and tooth decay by getting rid of food and plaque from between your teeth. Areas that are inaccessible to your toothbrush.

How to use dental floss

There are many different types of floss that you can find at your local supermarket or pharmacist. Essentially there is no real difference in their effectiveness. It comes down to proper technique. Follow your dentist’s advice about using dental floss. If you use dental floss incorrectly, it can damage your gums.

Here are some tips

  1. Use a piece of floss about 30 cm long. Winding it gently around the middle fingers of each hand.
  2. Hold the floss with your thumb and forefinger of each hand so that the floss between your hands is about 2-5 cm long.
  3. Gently guide the floss up and down against the sides of the teeth and under the gum line stopping when you feel gentle resistance against the gum.
  4. Make sure you floss between every single tooth concentrating on sliding the floss along the sides of both teeth. Not just passing the floss through the gap.
  5. Flossing at night is better than flossing in the morning

What if my gums bleed?

Initially your gums may be tender and bleed a little as you start to get rid of any plaque build-up. Continue flossing your teeth and the bleeding should stop, as your gums become healthier.

If you notice continued bleeding after a few days, please don’t hesitate to call us on 1300 428 715, we will be more than happy to assist you with any questions that you may have.

Floss HolderWhat if I find flossing difficult?

If you find holding the floss difficult, you could try using a floss holder. Floss holders hold the floss making it easier to reach more difficult areas. You can buy these from pharmacists, supermarkets or come and see us at Redcliffe Smiles. We have a vast range or oral hygiene products that will help keep you smiling for life.