What is the best advice to look after my teeth at home?
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Use a good quality small headed brush and replace as soon as the bristles splay (normally after 2-3 months)
- Use a pea sized amount of a fluoride toothpaste
- Brush using a gentle circular motion aimed and angled towards the gum margin
- Don’t brush after eating ‘bad’ foods – recent research suggests this can wear down the enamel.
- Don’t rinse after brushing, especially in the evening, as this allows the enamel to absorb more fluoride from the toothpaste
- Electric brushes are often recommended, please ask our advice
- At Diamond House we stock a large range of recommended dental and oral hygiene products.
- This is an essential but often neglected aspect of homecare
- It prevents gum disease and tooth decay in the area between the teeth where a brush cannot reach
- Floss daily
- If you find it difficult, concentrate on the front teeth initially and move backwards as you become more proficient
- Expect increased bleeding initially but do not let this deter you
- Our team can advise you on how to floss and what type of floss or tape would suit you best
There are many other aids available, which are recommended in certain situations. You may find these easier to use if flossing proves difficult. These include
- Spiral brushes
- Interdental brushes
- Mouth rinses are often a useful adjunct to your homecare regime but are not a replacement for good oral hygiene
- Fluoride rinses are recommended for anyone with an ongoing dental caries problem (tooth decay), alcohol free if possible
- Antibacterial rinses can help to reduce the amount of bacteria present either to reduce decay (triclosan) or minimize gum disease (chlorhexidine)
- Some rinses may combine these features, please ask our advice as to whether they could help you
What advice can you give on diet to avoid decay?
Healthy balanced diet
A healthy dental diet is no different from a healthy balanced diet and there is no great secret as to what element of our diet causes decay: sugar.
The role of sugar
When sugar is consumed it is absorbed by the plaque on the teeth and is then converted by the plaque bacteria into acid. With repeated attacks, the surface of the tooth becomes demineralised and the decay process begins. Initially the decay may be reversible but with further acid attacks, the outer surface of the tooth enamel breaks down and from this stage onwards the damage is irreversible.
The frequency of sugar intake
It is a general misconception that it is the amount of sugar consumed which is important. It is the frequency of sugar consumption that is the vital factor in tooth decay:
- Our teeth can cope with a couple of sugar episodes in a day
- With any further exposure the demineralisation becomes irreversible
- Try to limit sugar intake to meal times
- In between meals, stick to sugar free snacks and drinks
- If a packet of sweets is eaten all at once it will have little effect on the teeth. However if the same packet is eaten throughout the day, the teeth will be continuously bathed in acid and will begin to decay
- A bar of chocolate eaten all at once is better than a packet of mints eaten all day
- Sticky sugary snacks should be avoided altogether
Remember it is not just sweets and biscuits which contain sugar. Many products have added sugars, which can be just as damaging e.g., baked beans, tomato sauce, cereals etc. If in doubt check the label.
Sugar free alternative
- In general most savoury snacks are fine e.g. peanuts, crackers, crisps, pizza slice
- Fruit is a great option but remember some dried fruits such as raisins can cause decay
- Sugar free confectionery is available. Look out for the tooth kind logo.
These deserve a special mention as they are consumed throughout the day. Avoid:
- Fizzy drinks like cola and lemonade
- Sugar in tea and coffee. Use an artificial sweetener if necessary
- Squash and diluting juice
- Sports drinks
As well as causing decay, fizzy drinks and sports drinks are very acidic and can cause erosion of the tooth enamel. Therefore avoid diet drinks as well.
Basically stick to water and milk if possible. If you must have something sweet there are certain low sugar squashes available which are not perfect but better than most e.g. Ribena toothkind.
I am very nervous. Can you help?
We find that all nervous patients respond best to a careful and caring approach to treatment.
Experience has shown that the relaxed and friendly environment at Diamond House is often enough to convert the most nervous of patients but if you have any specific concerns please let us know. Many of our regulars started out as extremely nervous patients but now find their visits enjoyable!
Sometimes simple measures such as watching a video on our virtual visors during treatment are enough to relax you. Fawlty Towers is a perennial favourite!
What will happen on my first visit?
We firmly believe in allowing sufficient time for you to fully discuss your dental concerns and aims before any treatment is carried out.
This visit allows us to get to know one another and normally includes:
- Discussion of your medical and dental history
- Discussion of any problems you may have and treatment options open to you
- An oral health assessment which includes:
- A screening of your soft tissues
- A gentle examination of your teeth and gums
- An assessment of your bite and jaw joints
- Dental x-rays and occasionally other tests as required
- A costing of the treatment proposed
We have prepared two downloadable forms asking for important medical details. If you can fill these in before you come to us for your first visit, it will help make the whole process much quicker!
Will it hurt?
No. We can make sure that your dental treatment is totally pain free as we commit extra time and effort to ensure your comfort at all times.
We pride ourselves in using the most up to date anaesthetic techniques; in fact one of our dentists is a published author in the field of dental pain control.
By utilising the latest in dental technology we believe we can make your experience a pleasant one.
How much will it cost?
Once the initial consultation has been carried out and the results of any investigations have been analysed we will be able to discuss all of the options open to you and their relative costing.
Sometimes dramatic results can be achieved by relatively simple and inexpensive measures.
We will always let you know the cost of any treatment in advance and are happy to provide written estimates if required.