One of the most common questions we get asked by our patients, is whether they should incorporate mouthwash into their daily oral hygiene routine.
Mouthwash has always been advertised as a key item in any oral hygiene routine… take TV adverts for example….
Brush, rinse, mouthwash= healthy teeth and gums.
Don’t believe everything you see on TV.
Don’t get me wrong, mouthwash is a fantastic agent to an oral hygiene routine if used correctly. However, it needs to be used correctly.
So when should I use mouthwash?
Mouthwash should only ever be used at a separate time of day from brushing. And at least 1 hour after brushing.
So when we brush our teeth with a fluoride toothpaste, we are adding that protective fluoride to our mouths and creating a lovely protective coating for our teeth. By using mouthwash straight after brushing, you are rinsing that protective fluoride straight down the drain (literally!).
Mouthwash is also fantastic for aiding gum health in patients that suffer with gum disease. Your hygienist can then recommend a suitable, alcohol free mouthwash that contains fluoride to suit you.
It is worth noting that chlorhexidinemouthwash can cause staining if used too frequently.
Therefore if mouthwash is something you think you could benefit from, just ask your hygienist for some advice! They will let you know if this is something you really require, or if your oral hygiene can be maintained with just your regular toothbrushing and interdental cleaning instead.
Numerous times you will come across drinks claiming to be ‘sugar free’….but are they really?
The immediate presumption would be that ‘sugar free’ or ‘diet’ really means sugar free, however this isn’t always the case. Most people are aware of high sugar intake causing tooth decay, but there is also the need to be careful of the acidity too. Diet drinks, fruit juices and other no added sugar drinks can have a higher acidity, meaning a higher risk of tooth erosion due to the lower pH.
Studies carried out by the Oral Health CRC on sugar-free drinks, sugar-free confectionery, and sports drinks found that “many of these products contained multiple acids and had low pH values.” Essentially, many people think that switching from regular to diet soda will keep their teeth healthy. Unfortunately, although they often contain no sugar, diet sodas usually cause about the same amount of dental erosion as regular sodas and can harm your teeth.
In addition to this, diet or sugar-free drinks also contain phosphoric acid which is also found in regular fizzy drinks. Citric and tartaric acids are just a couple of the added ingredients in diet drinks and fruit juices that can cause harm to your teeth. This happens by the frequent acid attacks occurring to your teeth whilst you drink, therefore weakening the tooth enamel, and causing decay over time.
But what should I drink that won’t harm my teeth?
Of course we still need something to drink! Sugary and sugar-free drinks should only be consumed with a meal, in order to minimise harmful attacks on the teeth.
In between meals, the drinks of choice should be water, plain sparkling water (no flavourings!) and milk.
After any acidic meals or drinks, you should rinse your mouth with water, drink milk or even snack on a little bit of cheese. Dairy and other calcium-rich foods can help neutralize acids. It’s also good to limit snacking between meals, so your saliva has time to rebalance its pH.
Cutting down on sugar is the perfect lifestyle choice to make. However remember to be mindful of what replacements you choose, and to take optimal care of your oral hygiene!
If you would like any further tips and advice on your oral hygiene and diet, our fantastic oral health educator, Beth, could help you. Just get in touch with us to make an appointment!
National Smile Month is happening between 17 May and 17 June 2021. During this time, the Oral Health Foundation will be raising awareness of important health issues, and sharing tips and advice on how to look after your smile.
Just a few benefits of smiling…..
It relieves stress, boosts your immune system, helps you stay positive, makes you look younger, lowers your blood pressure, and it is contagious in the best way possible! A happy and smiling you, means smiling people around you.
And the best part? It shows off your teeth!
A big factor as to why people avoid smiling is because they feel self-conscious about their teeth; which is why we are here to help!
If you have to have a tooth extracted, our Team will discuss with you the processes involved before, during and after your appointment. We will also help you decide what you might like to do about the gap this procedure has created. Whether this is to have Dental Implant, or another tooth replacement option.
Having a tooth extracted can in some instances be a dental emergency. If you are not registered with us, we can still help if you are suffering from toothache. Give our team a call to see what we can do for you. We have emergency dental appointments in Scarborough available every week day.
To provide you with further information about what you should do after having a tooth out, have a read through the helpful tips and hints below.
I’ve had my tooth out – what should I do now?
Take it easy for the rest of the day. Take as little exercise as you can, and rest as much as you can. Keep your head up to avoid any bleeding.
What precautions should I take?
Avoid hot food or drinks until the anaesthetic wears off. This is important as you cannot feel pain properly and may burn or scald your mouth. Also be careful not to chew your cheek. This is quite a common problem, which can happen when there is no feeling.
If you do rest, try to keep your head higher for the first night using an extra pillow if possible. It is also a good idea to use an old pillowcase, or put a towel on the pillow, in case you bleed a little.
Should I rinse my mouth out?
Do not be tempted to rinse the area for the first 24 hours. It is important to allow the socket to heal, and you must be careful not to damage the blood clot by eating on that side or letting your tongue disturb it. This can allow infection into the socket and affect healing.
Is there anything else I should avoid?
Avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours, as this can encourage bleeding and delay healing. Eat and drink lukewarm food as normal but avoid chewing on that area of your mouth.
When should I brush?
It is just as important, if not more so, to keep your mouth clean after an extraction. However, you do need to be careful around the extraction site.
What do I do if it bleeds?
The first thing to remember is that there may be some slight bleeding for the first day or so. Many people are concerned about the amount of bleeding. This is due to the fact that a small amount of blood is mixed with a larger amount of saliva, which looks more dramatic than it is.
If you do notice bleeding, do not rinse out, but apply pressure to the socket. Bite firmly on a folded piece of clean cotton material such as a handkerchief for at least 30 minutes. Make sure this is placed directly over the extraction site and that the pad is replaced if necessary.
If the bleeding has not stopped after an hour or two, call us.
How soon can I have a cigarette?
It is important not to do anything which will increase your blood pressure, as this can lead to further bleeding. We recommend that you avoid smoking for as long as you can after an extraction, but this should be at least for the rest of the day.
The longer you go without smoking,the better the area will heal.
Is there anything I can do to help my mouth?
Different people heal at different speeds after an extraction. It is important to keep your mouth and the extraction site as clean as possible, making sure that the socket is kept clear of all food and debris. Don’t rinse for the first 24 hours, and this will help your mouth to start healing.
After this time use a salt-water mouthwash, which helps to heal the socket. A teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water gently rinsed around the socket twice a day can help to clean and heal the area. Keep this up for at least a week or for as long as your dentist tells you.
Take all your regular medication as usual, unless we have advised you not to.
I am in pain, what should I take?
There will usually be some tenderness in the area for the first few days, and in most cases some simple pain relief is enough to ease the discomfort. What you would normally take for a headache should be enough. However, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and if in doubt check with your doctor first. Do not take aspirin, as this will make your mouth bleed.
Are there any medicines I should avoid?
As we have said, it is important not to use anything containing aspirin as this can cause further bleeding. This happens because aspirin can thin the blood slightly. Asthma sufferers should avoid Ibuprofen-based pain relief. Again check with your chemist or dentist if you are worried or feel you need something stronger.
I am still in pain, what could it be?
Sometimes an infection can get in the socket, which can be very painful. This is where there is little or no blood clot in the tooth socket and the bony socket walls are exposed and become infected. This is called a dry socket and in some cases is worse than the original toothache!
In this case, it is important to call us, we may place a dressing in the socket and prescribe a course of antibiotics to help relieve the infection. You may also feel the sharp edge of the socket with your tongue and sometimes small pieces of bone may work their way to the surface of the socket. This is perfectly normal.
Will you need to see me again?
If it has been a particularly difficult extraction, our Team will give you a follow-up appointment. This could be to remove any stitches that were needed, or simply to check the area is healing well.
We can also arrange a follow up consultation to discuss how you would like to manage the gap that has been caused by the removal of the tooth.
Implants are commonly use to replace missing teeth, and they are fixed replacement of the entire tooth. Other options such as bridges and dentures may also be possible, depending on where the gap is in your mouth.
Ask us or click here if you would like to know more about how to replace missing teeth.
Dental decay is a disease that destroys the tooth’s enamel and its underlying layer, the dentine. It occurs when specific types of bacteria in your mouth produce acid after you have eaten or drunk anything containing sugar. ‘Dental decay’ is the same as tooth decay and is also known as ‘dental caries’.
Dental decay is caused by plaque acids that gradually dissolve away the enamel and dentine of the tooth. Decay damages your teeth and may lead to the tooth needing to be filled or even taken out.
The signs of tooth decay
In the early signs of tooth decay there are no symptoms, but our Team at Newby Dental Practice may be able to spot early tooth decay when we examine and x ray your teeth. This is why you should visit us regularly, as early tooth decay is much easier to treat than more advanced decay.
When tooth decay is not treated early, you may have:
Tooth sensitivity to sweet things.
An unpleasant taste in your mouth.
Dark spot on the surface of your tooth.
Without treatment, these symptoms could get worse and you may need a root canal treatment or even risk losing a tooth that could have been saved.
If you have any of these symptoms, contact us for an appointment. If you’re not registered with us, now is your chance, our new patient consultations are just £50 and include a full examination, all the x rays you might need, a bespoke treatment plan and a Denplan Assessment if required.
There are also a number of ways you can help prevent and manage tooth decay at home.
Treating tooth decay
In the very early stages of decay, our Team may apply a fluoride varnish onto the area. This can help stop decay getting worse and help ‘remineralise’ the tooth.
If the decay is not too serious, we will plan to remove all the decay and repair the tooth with a filling.
The extent of the decay in your tooth will be discussed with you before any treatment is completed.
In some instances, teeth cannot be repaired, and teeth are required to be extracted.
The risk of having tooth decay
Anybody can suffer from tooth decay and it is very common. Around eight in ten UK adults have one or more teeth with decay, are filled or have been extracted out due to dental decay. It is also extremely common in children, with more than one in five showing signs of tooth decay.
Despite this, there are a few groups that are more at risk of tooth decay. These include:
Those on medication containing sugar.
Dry mouth sufferers, or those on medications that cause dry mouth.
People undergoing cancer treatment causing dry mouth.
People with diabetes.
Those having orthodontic treatment.
People with receding gums
Those with poor oral hygiene.
People with high sugar diets.
Those who do not attend a dental appointment regularly.
If you fall into one of these groups, book an appointment with us for an assessment. We will be able to guide you to reduce your risk factors and offer you a range of different options for preventing and treating tooth decay at home. One of which may be prescribing you a high fluoride toothpaste.
We also offer Oral Health Educator sessions- where your risks can be discussed and management strategies planned.
Preventing tooth decay
The best way to prevent tooth decay is by brushing your teeth thoroughly last thing at night and at least one other time during the day, with a 1450ppm fluoride toothpaste. This should take around two minutes.
Make sure that you brush the inner, outer and biting surfaces of your teeth and carefully along the gumline. Using ‘interdental’ brushes, or dental floss or tape, also helps to remove plaque and food from between your teeth. These are areas an ordinary toothbrush can’t reach. Daily use of a fluoride mouthwash at a different time to brushing can also help.
Talk to us to see how we can help.
As the new dentist In Scarborough “Where here to make you smile”
If bad breath is something you worry about, you’re not alone. Studies show that over 60% of the population worry about havng bad breath, but only 20% of these people seek advice from their dentist.
Bad breath can be caused by lots of factors, smoking and diet are the main causes, both of these can be changed to reduce the effects. Our oral health educator can help you make some improvements to your habits which will reduce the causes of bad breath.
Gum disease and dental decay can also cause bad breath, and this is where we can help. By maintaining a good oral hygiene routine, regular dental and hygienist check ups, we can help make bad breath worries a thing of the past.
Another concern that can result in bad breath is also oral cancers. This is the most important reason for keeping up to date with your routine dental checks, as at each visit we complete a thorough soft tissue check to make sure your mouth is nice and healthy.
If you’re concerned about bad breath see how we can help you keep your mouth fresh and healthy.
If you would like to know more about the different treatments we offer at Newby Dental Practice, why not book a complimentary appointment with one of our Treatment Coordinators.
Our Treatment Coordinators can discuss with you any dental treatment that you might be interested in, so you can get a better idea of what is involved, how it can help you, and further information on cost.
Beth and Beth are particularly experienced in discussing our more complex treatments such as Implants (to replace missing teeth), Invisalign (to get you straighter teeth), Dental Sedation (to help keep you relaxed) and facial aesthetics procedures.
Why not get in touch with the new dentist in Scarborough, see if we can help you
It’s stressful times at the moment. We are all feeling it, just in different ways. Work Life balances have shifted, working patterns have changed, working from home has its own challenges, not to mention if you’re homeschooling too. Not having social interactions and catch ups with friends and family has a massive impact on how we live our lives.
One consequence of all this stress and related anxiety is clenching and grinding your teeth at night. This is often a subconscious, and not always something you’re aware of doing. But the symptoms include severe pain and headaches, toothache and tenderness in the head, face and neck muscles.
If this sounds like you, we can provide you with emergency dental treatment in Scarborough, and advice you on the best solutions.