Do you love your mouth?
I’ve always been careful to have the boys brush their teeth twice a day, as although I have to admit I am lazy at times and go to bed without having done mine when I’m over tired, I don’t want them to have bad teeth or have to go through some of the horrible experiences I have had with previous dental work and very bad dentists. I have a bit of a fear of dentists, and I don’t want them to have this.
This is why when in the holidays one of my children had to have a filling in a permanent tooth, I felt really bad. Amazingly they used a special gel before they injected him so that it didn’t hurt, but that’s not the point.
The dentist reassured me that my son was probably just missing a bit when brushing, and that some people are just more prone to cavities, which made me feel a little bit better.
We are now doing much more careful brushing with the occasional spot check from myself on both boys, and we’ve also banned fizzy drinks apart from special occasions, and cut back on sugary stuff.
It was not long after we came back from the dentist, that I received an email asking me if I would like to try the Love Your Mouth Challenge. I said yes, as I think I need to start setting the boys a good example.
At the end of the challenge test, I was told that Corsodyl mouthwash and Corsodyl toothpaste would be the best things for my teeth to stop my gums bleeding at times, and help with sensitivity. GSK sent me a sample of both to try, and things have definitely improved for me, and I feel less of a hypocrite because I am now brushing my teeth as often as the boys are and looking after them.
The taste of the Corsodyl toothpaste does take a bit of getting used to, to start with!
Here are some tips from a London Dental practitioner on how you can also start to look after and love your mouth more.
Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time.
The ideal times to brush your teeth are before bedtime and at least once more during the day (first thing in the morning is recommended). If you choose to brush after a meal or drink, wait around 40 minutes before your brush as this helps to avoid rubbing off the enamel which is softened after consuming acidic foods and drinks.
Use a suitable toothpaste
Most people are never taught how to brush or floss properly (if at all), and aren’t aware that you need to use an appropriate toothpaste.
Use floss or other interdental cleaning aids.
Ask your dentist to advise you on the right aid and size for your mouth. Your toothbrush will not reach areas where the teeth contact each other, so if you don’t use interdental cleaning products, you’re not completely cleaning your mouth and this can lead to decay, inflammation of gums and many other issues. It is in the gaps between your teeth where you mainly trap food when you eat. Regular flossing especially at night is imperative in maintaining a happy and healthy mouth.
Use mouthwash, at least once a day at a different time from brushing, eg after lunch.
Mouthwash helps protect your mouth between brushing by maintaining lower levels of bacteria. Importantly though, mouthwash only compliments brushing and flossing but does not replace either. Mouthwash helps rinse out food particles from your mouth and helps deter bad breath as it is designed to leave your mouth with a fresh (normally minty) smell. For best results, no food or drink should be consumed for 30 minutes after it is used. Sploosh well, spit and don’t rinse.
Spit, don’t rinse. Leaving toothpaste in your mouth helps protect your teeth.
Fluoride is a mineral which helps to strengthen tooth enamel, helps increase resistance to tooth decay and can also reduce the amount of acid produced by bacteria in your mouth. Therefore try not to rinse your mouth out with water after brushing as you’ll wash away all the fluoride.”
Use disclosing tablets to see how well you are cleaning your teeth.
They will temporarily stain any plaque so you can see what areas you’re missing.
Use a small headed toothbrush with soft, rounded bristles and a comfortable easy grip handle.
The approach should be to slowly and carefully follow a routine ensuring that they cover all areas, making sure no food remains in the mouth, and that no tooth has been missed.
Prevention is key
Ask your dentist to teach you how to maintain a routine with correct oral hygiene procedures suitable for your individual needs as this is the key to long-term success. Historically, people have grown up watching their parents put a toothbrush in their mouth and simply brushing around, assuming it is quick and that’s all that is needed. I regularly encourage my patients to go back to the basics and start with easy instructions on how to use a toothbrush and floss properly.
Make brushing part of your bedtime routine
It can help if you connect the routine of brushing to the last thing you do before sleeping. If you like to take a relaxing bath or shower before bed, connect brushing your teeth with this relaxing part of your routine. To make sure you don’t forget to brush, it’s a good idea to set at least two daily reminder alarms on your mobile.
Visit your dentist for regular professional cleaning and check-ups
If you notice any unexpected changes in your gums or teeth (such as bleeding, redness or sensitivity), or feel something just isn’t right in your mouth (perhaps a lump, sharp edge on a tooth or other pain), book an appointment as soon as possible before the problem becomes bigger and painful. Small issues will regularly get sorted out easily and relatively cheaply by a dentist. The longer you leave a problem, the more time, effort and cost it will take to deal with, and you may suffer unnecessarily and for no good reason in the meantime.
I’m hoping with the Corsodyl and following the tips above for myself and the boys, that there won’t be any more fillings in this house!
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