Confidental Clinic – Tips For Oral Health Improvement In The New Year
With 2019 coming to a close, how can you improve your mouth health in 2020?
Christmas is now just a week away, followed by a short break until the New Year celebrations begin. Despite our focus being on these events, is never too early to start to plan for the new year. This applies as much to your dental care as it does to any New Year resolutions that you might make.
We suspect that some of our patients may neglect their teeth a little over Christmas, but despite all of the distractions, we do advise keeping an eye on this.
Some simple guidance such as avoiding too many sweets and chocolates, not smoking and drinking to excess, along with making sure that you brush and floss well, should help to avoid any serious oral health problems over the holiday period.
At the Confidental Clinic in Streatham, we believe that patients should expect more than just basic oral health levels and below, we offer some advice for you to consider in the year ahead.
How old is your toothbrush?
It may come as a surprise to some patients that toothbrushes are not made to last forever. Despite the fact that some of us may keep the same brush for a year or more, they should be replaced every 3 months, or the same length of time before you replace the head of an electric toothbrush. The reason for this is that as the bristles soften and become worn, they become less effective at removing food and bacteria from the teeth and gum line. When this happens, the increase in bacteria is likely to lead to decay and gum disease.
If you currently use a manual toothbrush, you may wish to think about upgrading to an electric one as these are generally considered to be more effective. Perhaps ask Santa to put one in your stocking!
Do you use dental floss?
If you do, you are in a minority, but a minority that is taking an action that improves your chances of having trouble free teeth. There may be a number of reasons why most people don’t use dental floss, but they really should make the effort. Some people claim that they have tried to floss but can’t do it. Although we accept that it can be a little tricky when you first start, you will soon master it, and nightly flossing does reduces your risk of decay and gingivitis.
If you have tried and struggled, or not even tried and would like some help, please ask one of the dentists or hygienists at the Confidental Clinic to demonstrate how to floss correctly.
Make an appointment
Please check your diary. Have you got your check up appointment with the dentist made yet? Your routine appointment is essential for monitoring teeth and gums and providing any necessary treatment as early as possible. Leaving even the smallest problem for too long can result in the need for more extensive treatment than would be necessary if your teeth had been checked earlier.
We know that finding time to see a dentist can be difficult for some people and we will do our best to arrange an appointment that is convenient for you. Making this appointment is essential if you want to keep your teeth healthy.
Do you see a dental hygienist?
Whilst most people do see a dentist fairly regularly, the same often can’t be said of dental hygienist visits. Too often these are seen as non essential and not that important as long as you see the dentist. The reality is that both dentist and hygienist appointments are important and adding the hygienist to your list will greatly improve your oral health.
Not only will a hygienist clean your teeth and gum line using a scale and polish procedure, but will also offer offer advice to help you look after your oral health better. For most people, a six monthly appointment will be sufficient, but some groups such as diabetics may need to have their teeth professionally cleaned more frequently.
Break bad habits
Perhaps you felt that Christmas wasn’t the best time to finally give up smoking? Maybe so, but once the New Year gets under way, this is an ideal time and you may also be able to find support from others trying to do the same thing. As smoking plays a significant role in cases of gum disease and oral cancer, stopping smoking is one of the best things that you can do for your mouth.
Once you have stopped, you may also wish to talk to us about ways that we can help you to have whiter teeth, whether using a teeth whitening procedure or porcelain veneers.
Please do have a fantastic Christmas and New Year and perhaps take some time to consider what we have discussed in this blog. Should you need to see a dentist in an emergency, please call our Streatham practice, even if we are closed for the holiday. There will be a recorded message where you can find further advice. Please call the usual number on 020 8674 2052.