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Fizzy drinks and teeth

In this article, we will look at the relationship between the two. Most people know or at least are aware that fizzy drinks are not good for teeth, but with so many options now on the market (including diet / zero sugar varieties) it can be easy to get confused or perhaps led up the wrong path on this subject.

While fizzy drinks may taste good, they are damaging for your teeth. That is the bottom line – there is no getting away from that. Of course, life wouldn’t be worth living if we didn’t do what we wanted or had pleasures (including food and drink) every now and then. However, there are some important things to be aware of which simply a lot of people are not what it comes to fizzy drinks and teeth problems.

Most fizzy drinks contain many ingredients which ‘attack’ the teeth. This is not the primary aim of course, but it is the result. Most people think that swapping from sugar to sugar free varieties will get around the problems associated. This is only half true. The problem with fizzy drinks is the chemical composition of the liquid itself, just as much as the sugar that is in it. In other words, diet fizzy drinks are equally as bad for your teeth even if they are a bit easier on the waist.

relationship between teeth and fizzy drinks

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cartercomics/51944070/

Sugar aside, the common feature in all fizzy drinks is citric acid. As the name suggests it is very acidic (around pH 2 in its purest form, but don’t worry, it is diluted somewhat to make it safe for human consumption.) That said it is still an acid and will start to disintegrate teeth if it encounters the precious enamel.  If you increase your uptake of drinking fizzy drinks, you are exposing yourself to this kind of damage which can and may lead to oral problems. We have all heard or seen what paint stripper does to paint. Although much less dramatic, the principle is similar here.

As far as sugar in fizzy drinks is concerned this is considered somewhat of a double whammy when the above is taken account of too. When an amount of sugar is in the mouth, it gets broken down my bacteria which causes acid. Similar to the above, the more you drink sugary fizzy drinks, the more this happens. The result is somewhat of a double onslaught attack here, which makes full sugar fizzy drinks much worse than diet ones. Remember though that we are advocating that all fizzy drinks are bad for teeth!

The answer? Stop drinking fizzy drinks! We accept that this is perhaps impossible and unrealistic practically, so what is the sensible answer? Being aware of the above facts and information is a good first step. Chances are that this probably concerns you a little and will be the catalyst you need for you to reduce your intake of fizzy drinks. Like with anything, moderation is the key and getting the balance right between limiting damage and having pleasure is the ultimate destination.

One Tip: Try drinking fizzy drinks through a straw rather than normally through a glass. The liquid can bypass the teeth to some extent, helping the problem a little.

Want to know what we are like at our work? Visit our testimonials section, to find out what customers say about us.

Top 6 benefits of visiting the dentist regularly

Many people think that as long as you brush your teeth regularly and practice good dental hygiene then there is no need to visit a dentist as there would be little more that could be done. This is not the case. Just as you would visit a doctor for preventative advice or guidance when you are healthy, the same is true of a dentist. In this article we will look at why it is important to see your dentist regularly.

1) Spotting problems.

No one likes problems with their health but everyone knows and accepts that if something is wrong, the sooner it is spotted the sooner it can be treated and the less complicated it is likely to be. If you visit a dentist every 6 months (which is recommended) you can be sure that nothing will get out of control should anything arise.

2) Head and neck exam.

Have you ever noticed that dentists look at more than inside your mouth? You will often find your dentist touching or pressing around your neck or wider head area. This is to examine other areas such as your jaw or lymph nodes. Remember that visits to the dentists aren’t totally about teeth only!

3) A ‘proper’ clean.

We would all like to think that we clean our teeth very competently and thoroughly ourselves. Whilst this is generally true, it is impossible to clean all areas of our mouth because we can’t simply reach or see them physically ourselves. Having someone else look over all areas can ensure that all parts of the mouth and teeth are clean.

Why you should see the dentist often.

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4) Improve your overall health.

You may think that visits to the dentists are all about the mouth and teeth but as we have already seen in point 2 this isn’t totally or always the case. Visiting the dentist regularly to check all is in order can have benefits for your wider health, because it allows you to eat better or reduces the amount of harmful bacteria that is swallowed for example. Furthermore, studies have shown that there is a link between good oral health and lowering the risk of some diseases such as heart disease.

5) Saving money.

Some people worry about the cost of visiting the dentist regularly, but this can actually be a counter point. If you visit the dentist regularly meaning any problems are spotted earlier as mentioned in point 1, then it is likely to cost less money as advanced procedures won’t be needed.

6) Dentists are available for consultations as part of a routine examination to give preventative advice and care. The average person is not a dentist and doesn’t have the experience or knowledge. By seeing your dentist regularly you can share your concerns and advice be given. This would have long term positive effects which are essentially an opportunity missed otherwise.

Thinking of joining us as a new patient? Visit our dedicated section where you can find out what to expect.

 

 

Bleeding gums and gum disease

There are many dental problems or issues that we could experience during our life time. One of the most worrying and one of the ones which warrant greatest concern is that of bleeding gums (called gingivitis.)This is because if the problem is left untreated it can get worse, (leading to gum disease – called periodontitis.) This makes the problem become essentially past being treatable, and ultimately results in bone decay and tooth loss. Knowing what to do and how to stop it is key. In this article we will explore these points more.

How do I know?
Obviously the easiest way to tell is whether you ‘spit’ blood when you clean your teeth, or see your gums bleeding when the brush glides over the surface. Gums will also appear red, inflamed and swollen if there is an issue.
Generally speaking bleeding gums leads to gum disease which can lead to tooth loss. It is a process which normally happens in stages. Some of the more advanced stages of gum disease can present symptoms such as bad breath and loose teeth.

What is gum disease

From: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ajc1/7162674275

How do I stop gum disease and bleeding gums?
If you have bleeding gums, then pay particular attention to this because some simple changes could help reverse the problem. For more complicated or long term gum disease problems, visit a dentist who will be able to advise on the best course of treatment tailored to your situation.

Bleeding gums are often caused as a secondary effect of something else, and don’t usually occur for no reason or as a standalone issue. Some of these primary reasons which could lead to bleeding gums include:
* Plaque. A build-up of plaque can irritate the gums and make them become inflamed. Although plaque can easily be removed, it some cases it is not, or it is in a difficult place. Prolonged plaque build-up can increase the risk of bleeding gums and associated issues.

* Age. Generally people are more susceptible to bleeding gums as they get older. That said, taking care in other ways can still help reduce your susceptibility.

* Smoking. Smoking has many negative effects for the mouth, one of which is the contribution towards gum disease.

* Diet. Watch what you are eating, as lack of vitamins or minerals can increase the chance of bleeding gums. Vitamin C is a big (but not the only) dietary inclusion to help with this problem.

*Medical problems. Some conditions such as diabetes can all make bleeding gums and gum disease more likely.

Essentially the prevention of bleeding gums and stopping gum disease is making sure the above points are taken care of and do not become an problem.

How can it be treated?
If bleeding gums and gum disease do progress or get left untreated then a dentist will normally recommend the following:

1) Medicated mouthwash. This is a special mouthwash wash which is different from the one you would normally use every day. The special formula helps with bleeding gums by destroying bacteria. It is normally quite a strong product.

2) Scale and polish. This essentially involves a good clean of the mouth, teeth and gum areas with scraping away and polishing any tartar and plaque which has built up thus relieving the gum area.

3) Root planning. This procedure again involves removing bacteria but this is concerned with what is happening under the gums (at the roots.) This is considered a more advanced treatment.

4) If gum disease has reached the latter stages then periodontal surgery may be required which can involve removing affected teeth. A dentist or specialist may carry out any procedures at this stage.

To find out more on gum disease visit our dedicated page by clicking the link.

 

 

 

What is a good teeth cleaning routine?

We all (hopefully) have been cleaning our teeth for as long as we can remember and assume that this has served us well. Most people take cleaning their teeth as a given and an automatic or unconscious activity, so they pay little attention to it. Have you ever wondered whether you are doing it correctly or in the best possible way? Maybe there are steps you are missing which would make a real difference? In this posting we look at some tips to see whether you can improve your routine.

1) The time factor – around two minutes.

Brushing your teeth for the right amount of time is key, yet it is something most people do not adhere to as you simply lose the concept of time whilst you are cleaning your teeth.

Too little time spent means you have not covered all areas of the mouth or to a sufficient extent.

Too much time spent means you could be doing too much of a good job and actually risk harming / damaging your teeth – avoid this.

2) The duration.

Aim to clean your teeth twice a day. One of these should be before bed after you have finished eating / drinking for the day, as this acts as a cleansing measure. The second time is ‘as appropriate and necessary.’ Most people would tend to choose the morning but saving this for when you have eaten a particular food that stains your teeth might be a better option. Avoid cleaning teeth too many times in one day however.

3) Coverage of areas – what you can and can’t see.

Just cleaning the areas of the mouth that you see because they are visible is sometimes the approach that a surprising number of people will take, but clearly this is not best practice. When cleaning teeth make sure that all areas of the mouth have received attention and pay particular notice to hard to see and hard to reach areas.

4) Choose an appropriate toothbrush

This topic can actually cover many things:

* Electric V Manual?: Most dentists favour electric toothbrushes over manual, as the power delivers a better clean. Avoid the tendency to ‘over brush’ however as the electric pulses do the work for you.

* Type and shape of toothbrush: These days you could open a shop selling just toothbrush heads, because there are that many different styles and shapes in existence, which each have different purposes. The best way to approach this is to know what they are all for, then purchase one relative to anything particularly you are looking for it to do.

* Renewal: Worn toothbrushes do not work well and most dentists recommend that they should be changed every 3 month to ensure your teeth are being cleaned to optimal standard.

Ways to improve keeping your teeth clean .

From: https://www.flickr.com/photos/byrdhouse/4356137/

5) Toothpaste

Similarly to brushes, there are many different types of toothpaste which exist and this can all target a certain problem or condition (e.g. sensitivity.) Most toothpaste tends to have a combination of ‘properties’ inside them, which cover things like fighting bad breath, gum problems etc.

Whichever toothpaste you use we recommend that it contains fluoride which will help preserve your teeth.

6) Targeted cleaning.

Brushes don’t cover all areas inside the mouth, and so these areas need special attention with equipment different to a toothbrush. Using inter-dental brushes and flossing your teeth can help keep clean the gaps and other areas that are not covered by the brush.

7) Mouthwash.

Using a mouthwash is another complimentary measure to your teeth cleaning routine. We suggest a mouthwash which can stop tooth decay, gum disease and control plaque. Be aware that if you are feeling that you need to use a mouthwash regularly, this can be the sign of an underlying problem and this should be checked out.

8) Finally…Visit the dentist.

Sometimes, even carrying out all the steps above is not enough and so no dental regime would be complete unless you actually visit a dentist for your bi-annual check-up. Dentists have equipment and can see things that we can’t. Dentists also have the professional understanding and qualifications to know when teeth are normal or something is up. Visiting your dentist must be a priority in caring for your mouth.

To find out more on general dentistry, click the link to take you to that area.

The best natural foods to give your teeth natural whiteness.

You may be looking for or dreaming of ‘perfect’ white teeth. You may also be thinking that there are very few ways of achieving this that doesn’t involve regular trips to the dentist or having lots of treatments. In this posting you will see how this is not the only answer, and how you can help yourself on the way to achieving this also.

How?
Through food! We know there are certain foods which are bad for teeth and these should be avoided at all costs, but there are others which will actually help your teeth to become whiter. In this post we look at some of these ‘raw’ / natural items.

* Strawberries.
You might think that strawberries would be the last thing to help make your teeth white due to their vivid red colour, but actually these summery fruits can really help. Strawberries contain something called ‘malic acid’ which is a natural property that can help remove discolouration.

*Onions.
This is quite a strange one as it probably wouldn’t be top of your list for ‘DIY’ ways to enhance the whiteness of your teeth. Eating onions wouldn’t greatly help for your breath but eating raw onions can actually slow plaque forming on the teeth. Half of the trick in this is that most people will probably clean their teeth after aswell, so this goes to help the cause too.

* Apples
Apples are not only good for whitening teeth but they are great for your gums. As you crunch into an apple this helps to promote and strengthen the gum tissue. If you are looking for whitening properties of apples, then they are one of the fruits with the biggest water content which is a natural cleaner of the teeth because it increases saliva amounts in the mouth.

foods to make your teeth whiter

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* Nuts and seeds.

You might find it difficult to imagine that nuts and seeds can whiten the teeth as these are harder rather than softer foods, but this does have an advantage. Due to the more solid properties involved, these act like a brush against the teeth and the act of chewing helps to remove unwanted plaque and stains from the surface. Just don’t chew too mad or hard though, or your teeth could suffer!

*Pears

Pears are further ways to naturally enhance the look of white teeth. They do this by having the effect of neutralising mouth acid – this is what is responsible for causing plaque and tooth decay which is essentially the opposite of keeping your teeth clean.

* Don’t forget water.

Whilst water isn’t a food, it is in many of the products mentioned above in some form. Remember that our body is comprised of over three-quarters water and therefore it is no surprise that any addition of this into our diet is a good thing. Drinking water in-between eating and drinking other foods can help keep teeth clean and white. Remember to drink still water rather than sparkling however, as the gas bubbles associated with sparkling water can damage teeth.

To find out more on cosmetic dentistry visit our associated page.

 

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