Better Dental Hygiene For The Spring

As the warmer weather approaches, now could be a good time to ring the changes in your approach to oral health

Woman brushing teethIt’s been said that humans are largely a creature of habit. Whilst some of us might consider ourselves as more spontaneous, the truth is that nearly all of us live a largely organised life. It is true that we may break this from time to time by doing something out of the blue, but by and large, our daily lives probably follow a similar pattern. Whilst some of this might be down to work demands, it also often applies to those little things that we do on a daily basis such as our morning routine.

We suspect that many of our Chelmsford patient’s mornings go something along the lines of ‘wake up, shower, breakfast, clean teeth, go to work’. This is probably true across the country and whilst there will be variations; perhaps a trip to the gym or a morning run, it is the ‘clean teeth’ part that we, as dentists, wish to focus on today.

Brushing your teeth

We know that whilst some people are quite organised in the morning, others are much less so and are likely to be rushing to get to work on time. There is a concern when this is the case that one of the things that gets rushed is the morning brushing of the teeth. There can be a tendency to think that this is less important than the pre bedtime brushing, but even though we may not have eaten anything since our last brushing, the reality is that bacteria will have built up during the night and formed a fine film over our teeth and on the gums. These bacteria are potentially harmful and can lead to gum disease and even tooth decay if not managed well. It is important therefore that we don’t simply give a cursory brushing or worse still, just swill with mouthwash. Whilst these are better than nothing, they won’t be sufficient to keep your teeth and gums in good health.

A spring refresh

Spring is a time of renewal and we see this in nature, with buds and blossoms starting to appear after what has felt like a long winter for a lot of us. In line with nature then, we can use this as a time to renew the equipment that we use to keep our mouths healthy. Although these may be obvious and we have certainly mentioned them before in our Blue Sky Dental blogs, they are, nonetheless, very important.

Firstly, do make sure that your toothbrush is nice and healthy and doesn’t have old and worn bristles. The average life of a brush or electric brush head is around three or four months so make sure to replace it after this, or more frequently if necessary.

Secondly, check that your toothpaste is a reliable brand and certainly contains fluoride. This is an important ingredient as it helps to strengthen the enamel which protects our teeth. Some ‘natural’ toothpastes may not contain this and you will then run a heightened risk of tooth decay. If you don’t currently use dental floss, this is an addition that you should make. Both gum disease and tooth decay often starts in the area between the teeth that your brush won’t reach. Using floss is a great way to help to prevent this from happening.

Watch what you drink

The warmer weather can see a change in our drinking habits. Not only might we be tempted to drink more alcohol when we are outdoors because it is warm, but also more soft drinks too. Alcohol, as we have previously discussed, can be a significant contributor to gum disease if drunk in excess as it can lead to dehydration. It can also contribute to oral cancer too. Soft drinks, whilst not working in this way often do contain very high levels of sugar as well as being acidic; a real threat to the enamel on our teeth. It is not unusual for someone who consumes these regularly to suffer from sensitive teeth. Remember, whilst we accept that people will drink these from time to time, water is your best friend and should be your ‘go to’ means of quenching your thirst and staying hydrated.

Remember your dentist!

Finally, the obvious one. However well you look after your teeth, you still need to see a dentist. Even the best home brushing can miss hard to reach spots and decay can form. If this happens, it will increase if not treated early on and you are likely to need a larger filling or possibly even lose the tooth. The same applies to gum disease and if you are serious about maintaining good oral health, you should definitely keep regular appointments with our local Chelmsford  hygienist for a professional cleaning of your teeth known as a ‘scale and polish’.

Do enjoy the warmer weather that is (hopefully) coming, but also do take this opportunity to improve your chances of having healthy teeth and gums, not just for the months ahead, but for the years to come too.

To make an appointment to see a dentist or hygienist at Blue Sky Dental, please call our Chelmsford clinic on 01245 211070.

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