Dental hygiene: how to look after your teeth and gums
Did you know that, as well as keeping your teeth and gums healthy, good dental hygiene is beneficial to your overall health and wellbeing? Clacton Dental Care now offers direct access dental hygiene appointments, which means you are able to see the hygienist without having to visit the dentist first.
When most people think of the hygienist, the first thing that comes to mind is a professional tooth clean –a scale and polish. In fact, this is just one of the important roles a dental hygienist plays. They are also instrumental in tackling and preventing tooth decay and gum disease.
Both tooth decay and gum disease are caused by a build-up of dental plaque. A scale and polish involves the removal of all plaque and tartar, including from areas that are hard to reach at home. But it is best to prevent plaque gathering in the first place, and your hygienist can help you to improve your home dental hygiene routine to make sure the problem doesn’t recur in the future.
This advice can include the type of toothbrush to use, specific brushing and flossing techniques customised to your individual needs, and the use of special tools such as interdental brushes. Your hygienist can also provide health advice, including how too much sugar in your diet will be bad news for your teeth.
You should always follow your hygienist’s advice. Top tips for taking care of your teeth and gums at home include:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste
- Don’t brush them immediately after eating or drinking anything but water – you should wait an hour after meals
- Use dental floss and/or interdental brushes as directed
- Never use your teeth to open bottles, to hold anything, or indeed for any other purpose other than biting or chewing food.
Gum disease is a series problem, which can cause issues such as bad breath and gums that bleed after tooth brushing in the early stages. If it is left untreated, it can develop into the more serious form of periodontal disease, which can lead to loosening of tooth ligaments, and ultimately to tooth loss.