Keeping Gum Disease Away
June 20, 2017
How To Keep Gum Disease Away!
What are the benefits of excellent tooth brushing?
Brushing your teeth is vital to good oral health. It helps prevent:
- Gum disease (one of the main causes of tooth loss in adults and is linked to other chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis)
- Tooth decay
- Tooth staining
- Bad breath
What is Plaque?
Sugars in our food and drink feed bacteria and help produce a sticky film, known as plaque, which builds up on teeth. The bacteria use the sugars to produce acid that attacks the tooth leading to decay. Plaque also irritates the gums causing: bleeding when you brush, redness, swelling and tenderness. This is called gingivitis (early gum disease). If plaque is not removed, the gums may pull away from the teeth to create a space or “pocket”. These hold destructive bacteria that irritate the immune system. In around 15% of people, the immune response to these bacteria becomes abnormal. The body’s own defences become too strong and cause accidental damage destroying the bone holding the teeth in place, called periodontal disease. Some factors that disturb the immune system can be controlled to restore a more balanced immune response.
How to Brush
Proper brushing takes at least two minutes and must be systematic. To get a feel for the time involved, try using a stopwatch. To properly brush your teeth, use short, gentle, circular strokes, paying extra attention to the gum line, hard-to-reach back teeth, and areas around fillings, crowns or other restoration. Concentrate on thoroughly cleaning each section as follows:
- Clean the outer surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth
- Clean the inner surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth
- Clean the chewing surfaces
- For fresher breath, be sure to brush your tongue, too
- Tilt the brush at a 45 degree angle against the gum line.
- Gently brush the outside, inside and chewing surface of each tooth using short circular strokes.
- Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen breath.
What Type of Toothbrush Should I Use?
Most dental professionals agree that it is better to use an electric brush (we recommend Braun Oral-B) but you can use a soft-bristled manual brush for removing plaque and debris from your teeth. Small-headed brushes are also preferable, since they can better reach all areas of the mouth, including hard-to-reach back teeth.
How Important Is the Toothpaste I Use?
It is important that you use a toothpaste that's right for you. Today there is a wide variety of toothpaste designed for many conditions, including cavities, gingivitis, tartar, stained teeth and sensitivity. Ask your dental professional which toothpaste is right for you.
How Often Should I Replace My Toothbrush?
You should replace your toothbrush when it begins to show wear, or every three months, whichever comes first. It is also very important to change toothbrushes after you've had a cold, since the bristles can collect germs that can lead to reinfection.
What is the Right Way to Floss?
Proper flossing removes plaque and food particles in places where a toothbrush cannot easily reach — under the gum line and between your teeth. Because plaque build-up can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, daily flossing is highly recommended.
To receive maximum benefits from flossing, use the following proper technique:
- Starting with about 18 inches of floss, wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with
- Holding the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth
- Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go below the gum line. Never snap or force the floss, as this may cut or bruise delicate gum tissue
- Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth
- To remove the floss, use the same back-and-forth motion to bring the floss up and away from the teeth
Use about 18" of floss, leaving an inch or two to work with.
Gently follow the curves of your teeth.
Be sure to clean beneath the gum line, but avoid snapping the floss on the gums
For some teeth, interdental brushes can produce better results than flossing but your dental professional will advise you. TePe’s wide selection of interdental brushes offers an option for every size of gap. They are available with a short or long handle, straight or angled brush head and different filament textures. Every size has its own colour, which makes it easier to find the right one.
Brushes should never be forced into a space but the bristles need to make contact with the teeth and the gums in order to remove plaque.
Generally, the spaces between the teeth at the front of the mouth are smaller than those at the back. You may need to use more than one brush size.
How to use an Interdental Brush:
Use between the front teeth
Use a straight interdental brush between the front teeth. Insert the brush gently between your teeth. Do not force the brush into a space; work it in gently or choose a smaller size. Move the interdental brush full length back and forth a few times.
Use between the back teeth
If you use a small interdental brush (pink, orange, red or blue) you may curve the soft neck slightly by adding pressure with your finger to make it easier to reach between the back teeth.
If you use an interdental brush of a larger size, access between the back teeth may be improved if you slightly curve the wire. The interdental brush will last longer if you do not straighten or bend the brush at another angle.
If you are worried that you have the symptoms of gum disease, learn more at Gum Disease or call us now on 01904 639667 to book an appointment with our hygienist for an assessment.