How To Clean Your Removable Dental Appliance

Your appliance sits inside your mouth and against your teeth so it quickly accumulates bacteria, plaque and calculus. It is important you clean your appliance everyday.

There are several types of appliance which include:

  • Aligners: Clear braces, such as invisalign.
  • Retainers: Worn after orthodontic treatment to ensure that the teeth don’t shift back to their original position.
  • Nightguard: Prevents you from grinding your teeth at night.
  • Snore guard: Reduces snoring during sleep.

What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your Appliance?

If you don’t clean your appliance regularly, bacteria and plaque will buildup. Overtime it may start to taste and smell funny.

The appliance can harbour dangerous bacteria that can result in gum disease and dental decay.

How To Clean Your Appliance

You should rinse your appliance after every use. Try to do this immediately after it is removed to rinse away any debris before it hardens.

You can also soak your appliance. Check with your dentist which tablets are appropriate for your orthodontic appliance. In most cases you will add a tablet to a cup of lukewarm water and soak your aligner for 15-20 minutes. Then rinse.

8 Mistakes You Make When Cleaning Your Teeth

As long as I brush my teeth twice a day my teeth will be healthy, right? Not necessarily. This is a common misconception. This post will walk you through some of the mistakes people make when brushing their teeth.

1. Not Brushing For Long Enough

It is recommended that you brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, once before going to bed and at least one other time in the day. If you struggle to tell how long you’re brushing, try setting up a timer on your phone.

2. Rinsing Your Mouth After Brushing

When you rinse your teeth, you wash away the fluoride and enamel-protecting properties of the toothpaste. This also means don’t rinse with a mouthwash after brushing. You should use your mouthwash at a different time of day to brushing as it will contain a lower concentration of fluoride.

3. Using The Wrong Toothpaste

Make sure that your toothpaste contains fluoride, and make sure it contains enough. For adults, this is between 1,350 ppm to 1,500 ppm. Fluoride is key in helping prevent tooth decay.

4. Brushing At The Wrong Time

You should always wait at least thirty minutes after eating before you brush your teeth. If you brush your teeth before this, the acid from your food will wear down your enamel, weakening your teeth, and making them more susceptible to decay.

5. Brushing Too Hard

Using the wrong technique when brushing can cause wear on your teeth and could lead to receding gums. A lot of electric toothbrushes have a sensor that will flicker a light if you’re brushing too hard.

You should brush at a slight angle and focus on each tooth, instead of brushing side to side using a scrubbing motion.

6. Using The Wrong Toothbrush

Both electric and manual toothbrushes are effective at removing oral plaque that causes decay and disease. However, electric toothbrushes can be more effective at cleaning the harder to reach areas, such as your wisdom teeth.

You should also consider the toothbrush bristles. They should be soft or medium, instead of hard. This is because you want to clean your teeth gently, without damaging your teeth and gums. The same goes when choosing a toothbrush head size. A larger size isn’t necessary as you want to cover the surface one tooth at a time.

7. Using An Old Toothbrush

Your toothbrush won’t be as effective if the bristles become worn. You should change your toothbrush or toothbrush head every three months. You should also change your toothbrush if you have been ill as bacteria grow on the toothbrush and could cause you to reinfect yourself.

8. Replacing Flossing With Brushing Or Mouthwash

Even if you try to brush in between your teeth, your toothbrush won’t be able to reach those areas effectively. Mouthwash is also not an alternative to flossing as it can’t remove the plaque.

These mistakes are a good starting point to find out how you can improve, however, it’s best to see a hygienist regularly who will be able to give advice and demonstrate techniques. To book an appointment with one of our hygienists, call us on 01723 670500.

5 Reasons To Consider Getting A Dental Implant

Missing, damaged and broken teeth can cause pain and embarrassment. An implant may be the right choice for you.

1. Damaged Teeth

If you struggle with broken or chipped teeth, implants may be the best way to fully restore your teeth. Damaged teeth can be a source of embarrassment as well as causing difficulties eating, and in more severe cases, speech issues. Implant restoration involves removing the damaged teeth and replacing them with new, artificial ones that fit perfectly.

2. Missing Teeth

Missing teeth can also cause eating and speech difficulties, as well as affecting your appearance. There are various reasons why you could be missing your teeth, such as trauma, health issues, or a lack of oral hygiene. Implants will help to resolve these issues by filling in the gaps with natural looking, sturdy artificial teeth.

3. Loose-Fitting Teeth

If you suffer with weak and wobbly teeth implants can help you. If you can easily move one of your teeth around, you might want to talk to your dentist about replacing it with an implant. Similarly to how damaged teeth can affect your lifestyle, unsecure teeth can affect your ability to speak and eat as you normally would.

4. Infected teeth

Tooth decay and gum disease are both very serious issues that may lead to tooth loss. Periodontitis, a form of gum disease, results in bone loss. This means that there aren’t enough supporting structures for your teeth, causing them to become loose and eventually fall out. If left untreated, mouth infections can even spread to other parts of your body. Your dentist will remove the infected tissue and and replace the natural tooth with an artificial one.

5. Shrinking Jawbone

Missing teeth roots from the gum and jawbone can lead to the deterioration of the jawbone. Natural tooth roots transmit the pressures created by chewing into the jawbone, maintaining its form and function. The post portion of the implant acts as an artificial tooth root. It becomes osseointegrated, meaning it grows and fuses with the jawbone and transmits the necessary forces. Quickly replacing any missing teeth with implants helps stimulate the jawbone to continue its natural function.

If implants are something that you are interested in, please give our team a call on 01723 670500 for more information.

How Long Should My Crown Last?

What is A Dental Crown?

A crown is a type of cap that completely covers a real tooth and is fixed in your mouth. They can be fitted where a tooth has broken, decayed, been damaged or to make a tooth look better. The old tooth will need to be drilled down so that the crown can be attached.

A dental crown can last anywhere between fifteen years and a lifetime but it can be determined by a few factors:

Type Of Crown

The material that the crown is made out of can have an impact on the lifespan. Composite crowns, although affordable and tailored to your tooth colour, are limited to their toughness and lifespan. Porcelain crowns can last just about fifteen years, and a gold crown can last a lifetime under the right circumstances.

Health Of Affected Tooth

If the tooth was relatively healthy to begin, with longer roots and healthier surrounding gum and bone levels, both the crown and the tooth are likely to have a longer lifespan.

Injury And Breakage

An injury to the mouth can damage the crown as well as the tooth it sits on. If the damage to the crown is to severe to be repaired it will need to be replaced.

Changes In The Mouth Due To Aging

As we age, the structures in our mouth change. For example, gum recession can affect the fit of a dental crown. If your dental crown begins to not fit properly, your dentist will advise you to get a new one.

Tooth Grinding

Grinding and clenching your teeth, especially at night, can wear down a crown’s surface and threaten its stability.

So, How Long Do They Last?

Depending on the type of crown used, the average lifespan of a crown is around 10-15 years. However, with a good oral hygiene routine and regular visits to the dentist, some crowns can last for decades.

Book an appointment with one of our dentists who will be able to talk you through the options available and which type of crown they think is suitable for you. Call us on 01723 670500 to book an appointment.