Home care for your gums

Think of the visit to the hygienist, in the same way that a Ferrari owner would think about their car being serviced. After service, they won’t be driving their recently serviced Ferrari through the woods!

Once the hygienist has carried out her treatment, we need to make sure that the home care maintains that optimal level of health.

Brushing

Use a toothpaste with at least 1350ppm fluoride.

If you use a manual toothbrush, hold the brush on the side of your top teeth on one side, angling the brush at roughly 45’ so some of the bristles are in between the gum and the tooth, and perform gentle circles, moving from the back of the mouth to the front, and repeat on the other side.

Repeat for the bottom teeth.

Next do the same, but now on the inside part of your teeth, top and bottom.

To finish, brush the biting surfaces of your teeth, trying to get into all the little grooves your teeth have.

This should take no longer than 2-3 minutes.

What about an electric toothbrush?

Electric toothbrushes are far superior to a manual toothbrush. They can clean up to twice as much plaque away from your teeth. I usually recommend an electric toothbrush with a round, oscillating head.

You place them on your teeth as you would a manual toothbrush, but instead of moving the brush around your teeth, you move the brush slowly across the surfaces of your teeth (trying to maintain that 45’ angle) allowing the brush to do all the work

Flossing

Wrap around 30cm of floss around your index fingers, and pull it tight. Place it in the space between two teeth and press against one of your teeth. Take it down under the gum-line, along the root of your teeth, pull it tight against that tooth and pull up. This action will clear the plaque sticking to that inside surface of the tooth.Place the floss back into that same space and repeat against the adjacent tooth. If dexterity or access is a problem, try using a floss pick.

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Inter-dental brushes

Another method of cleaning in between teeth, are the use of inter-dental brushes. They are sometimes easier to use, especially at the back of the mouth, and better in slightly bigger spaces.

Your hygienist will discuss the appropriate size brush (or brushes) for your teeth.

You gently insert the brush in between the teeth at gum lvel, turning slightly.

Once inserted, gently move the brush backwards and forwards a few times, removing the plaque and debris.

Rinse the brush  with water after use.

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No matter how good you brush, you’ll never be able to remove bacteria between the teeth and under the gums without flossing or inter-dental brushes.

 

Mouthwash

Mouthwashes are a great addition to gum and teeth health, but they are not a substitute to correct brushing. Mouthwashes contain ingredients which reduce the effectiveness of plaque to stick to your teeth and can help prevent further decay.

They also help with bad breath.

Administer the appropriate amount into a cup (the bottle cap usually indicates how much to use). Swish it around your mouth for at least 30 seconds and gargle for a few seconds after.

Spit out the mouthwash.

Try not to rinse with any water afterwards, as this will negate the benefits of the mouthwash.

 

Every single mouth is different. So for advice unique to you, call the surgery on 01562 822653 and arrange a visit with either Leanda or Neelam.

 

 

Gum Disease

One of the most common conditions we manage at the practice is gum disease. Gum disease describes swelling, soreness or infection of the gums and/or the supporting structures of the teeth. Gum disease is a little bit like diabetes or high blood pressure; you may have it and not know about it!

This is because it is what we call a ‘silent disease’. It continues to cause harm to the body, until its effects become noticeable and by then, it can be too late.

Early gum disease (gingivitis) is where the gums around the teeth become red and swollen, and may then start to bleed.

Long-standing gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease. This is where the supporting structures of the teeth are affected. At these later stages, you may notice bad breath, a bad taste in your mouth, receding gums, teeth moving, or if it’s too late, your teeth will fall out, as your body attempts to get rid of the infection, by getting rid of the tooth!

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What we can do to help!

Whenever you visit the dentist or dental hygienist, they will check the colour and tone of your gums. They will do a basic examination of your gums, and if required a more detailed examination of your gums, along with x-rays, checking the support of your teeth.

We have a highly skilled hygiene team. They will perform a special cleaning around the gums and teeth, clearing away any plaque or tartar deposits which carry the harmful bacteria, helping to maintain the optimal health of your gums, preventing gum disease from taking hold.

They will also discuss with you, and show you the best way we can maintain the health of your mouth. And discuss the optimal routine for maintenance.

 

Can gum disease be reversed?

Some of the effects of gum disease cannot be reversed, but what we will aim to do initially is prevent it from getting worse, stabilising the supporting areas of your teeth and ensuring we hold on to your teeth for as long as possible. We will also be able to discuss how best we can restore your smile.

To arrange a visit with one of our hygienists, please call the practice on 01562 822653.

 

Next time we’ll talk a little more on home care, for the prevention of gum disease and maintenance of health.

 

Thank you

Thank you for visiting our site. Prevention of dental diseases is key to our practice at Foley Park Dental Practice.

We will use this blog to talk about common conditions, hints and tips and treatments that we can offer.

If there is anything in particular that you would like to know more about, please do not hesitate to pop into the practice to speak to one of our team.

Our first topic will be the topic of gum disease! So stay tuned for that installment