Get – and stay – on top of your oral hygiene this springtime: Pembroke Dental’s dental hygienist Lorraine Doyle shares some advice on maintaining good oral hygiene at home.
Do you every find that if your house is not too messy to begin with it’s easier to keep it fairly tidy, but if it looks like a hurricane breezed through recently it’s hard to know where to begin? The secret of good housekeeping is the same as for good oral hygiene – consistency! Basic everyday care will keep your teeth and gums in the best shape possible, which has positive effects on your overall health and appearance.
For most patients, a professional hygiene cleaning every six months helps to keep your own standards high and boosts the efforts you make with brushing and flossing at home. Here are our top tips developing good oral hygiene habits at home.
Floss – every day! Do I have to?
You don’t have to floss all your teeth, only the ones you want to keep!
As Dr Owens often tells her patients here in Ballsbridge, brushing your teeth without flossing is like taking a shower without washing your armpits!
I don’t floss because my gums bleed.
No, your gums bleed because you don’t floss! It takes only 21 days of daily flossing after a professional clean for the gums to stop bleeding. Give yourself a 21 day healthy gums challenge and stick with it!
I can’t manage the floss.
There are lots of other options if you find regular floss too awkward: dental tape, long handled flossers, easy slide flossers, bridge and implant floss and interdental brushes, which come in various sizes and can be sized to suit. Lorraine can advise you on what’s best for you to use at your scale & polish appointment.
Isn’t swishing a bit of mouthwash around my mouth just as good as brushing or flossing?
Short answer – no!
Other great tips include moving the floss along as you go, to use a fresh section in each interdental space. Hold the floss so that it makes a C-shape rather than a straight line. Like this, it’s more effective and causes no trauma to the gums.
Brush regularly, twice daily
You should be brushing twice daily, morning and evening, for at least two minutes. If you’re unsure, check with Dr David Keenan, Dr Jennifer Owens or Lorraine Doyle what the correct technique is for your mouth. Try some plaque disclosing tablets when practicing your brushing technique at home. They will highlight the areas most in need of attention. You could also try an electric toothbrush, especially if you’re not brushing effectively or if you’re putting too much pressure on your teeth or gums when you brush.
Call 01 668 3242 or email email@example.com today to schedule a dental hygiene appointment with Lorraine Doyle and start your 21 day healthy gums challenge!
Or how to prepare your smile for your wedding and minimise the stress.
Our Pembroke Dental Ballsbridge practice manager shares what she’s learned about planning your dental treatment before your wedding so that the preparations are spread out and completed in plenty of time for your big day, minimising the stress and hassle.
How many engagements were made on Valentine’s Day just gone? How many girls took the opportunity to propose to their other halves on 29th February? It seems everyone I know is getting married, so I’m learning lots about how to organise weddings! Here’s how my last Sunday just went:
Morning: chat on the phone with a school friend who’s getting married next month about accommodation at the venue so she can try to confirm numbers;
Rest of Morning: spent 3 hours making place settings for my cousin’s daughter’s wedding (‘volunteered’ by my mum, 50 down, 150 to go!);
Lunch: chat with a friend about how her sister’s boyfriend’s cousin was on ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’ the other week;
Evening: exchange frantic Facebook messages with another friend who lives in Spain but who’s trying to organise her July Dublin wedding from Barcelona (can anyone recommend a make-up artist?!).
Let’s face it: there are enough things to stress about when organising a wedding without adding the perfect smile to the list. Especially when a beautiful smile is totally achievable, no matter what your timeline, once you put in a little planning.
Kudos to One Fab Day for their very clever Wedding Beauty Timeline. They’ve even included teeth whitening at the four-months-to-go stage. But what if your dental treatment needs are a little more involved than whitening? Here’s my suggestion for what your wedding dental timeline should look like.
6 Months Before (at least!)
Both the bride-to-be and groom-to-be should attend the dentist for a full dental exam, x-ray (if one is due) and scale & polish (cleaning). The best way of ensuring a healthy smile is to maintain your dental health.
If your dentist recommends any treatment plan at this stage, whether it’s something as straightforward as fillings or a bit more involved like a root canal treatment or a crown, you have plenty of time to schedule this and get it completed before the big day.
You’ll have more than a few other expenses over the next few months, so it may be helpful to be able to spread out these costs in the quieter ones. Don’t forget, if you have dental insurance (Vhi Dental or DeCare Dental) we can submit your treatment plan to your insurer and you’ll find your costs are reduced further. Plus you can claim back tax relief on some of the bigger treatments.
This is also the best time to discuss with your dentist any cosmetic treatments that you might be considering for the big day. Tell your dentist what you don’t like about your smile and what you’d like to change, and he or she will give you a comprehensive treatment plan with costings so you can decide what you’d like to do. Two of the most common in-surgery cosmetic treatments we get asked about before weddings at Pembroke Dental Ballsbridge are short-term orthodontics and veneers (or componeers).
Many patients dismiss orthodontics before their wedding as they think it will take a year or more to get a good outcome. However, it’s possible to achieve fantastic orthodontic results in as little as three or four months with adult braces. Read more about Inman Aligners, Six Month Smiles and Invisible Aligners on our website. And remember, payments can be spread over the course of the treatment with interest free finance, which can make them more manageable. Our recent blog post with before and after photos shows the fantastic results you can achieve in very little time with short-term braces.
Veneers are a very quick solution which result in a dramatically improved appearance in just one or two visits. Again, take a look at some of the before and after photos on our website which show just how dramatic the improvement can be with direct bonding, componeers and porcelain veneers. With the different options available there’s a solution to suit every budget.
4 Months Before
At this stage the stress levels may be rising and you find you don’t have a spare minute in the day. As a result, some of your habits may have changed. Have you been skipping brushing and flossing and just flopping into bed exhausted after a weekend of checking out bands and tasting menus? Have you been waking up with sore jaws, earaches or headaches? Are your gums bleeding more frequently than before? Have your grumbling wisdom teeth flared up into full-blown agony? Ah yes, STRESS!
Stress can lead to a number of changes in your mouth and even if you’re normally really good at keeping up with dental care at home and visiting your dentist regularly, it can play havoc! If any of the above symptoms sound familiar, then you should pop back to the dentist for a quick check-up. To minimise the stress, we have early morning, late evening and lunchtime appointments available at Pembroke Dental Ballsbridge so you can pop in before or after work, or on your lunch break. If you live or work in Dublin 4 it couldn’t be handier.
Being run down and missing a few brushings and flossings can allow oral bacteria to multiply, putting you at risk of gingivitis (red, inflamed and sore gums – not a good look!), and infections. Visit our hygienist Lorraine Doyle for a professional cleaning. Get back on top of you dental health – and your glowing smile – with a scale & polish.
Stress may be causing you to clench and grind your teeth at night when you’re asleep. This can result in sore jaws, headaches and even broken teeth. A bite splint is a simple device that fits over your teeth to protect them while you sleep.
While now might not be the best time to consider wisdom tooth extraction, keeping an eye on them in the run-up to the wedding is a good idea and any infection or flare-up can be quickly controlled using antibiotics, so that they don’t ruin the big day.
Now is a good time to begin teeth whitening. It’s a very simple – and at just €295 very cost effective – treatment that can produce quite dramatic results. We don’t recommend leaving it until just before the wedding (as you’ll have enough on your plate at that stage!) but by doing it now, with perhaps a top-up treatment just before the big day, you’ll have a beautiful white smile to match your white dress (or your blushing bride’s white dress!) In one quick visit with the dentist we can prepare bespoke trays which are ready to collect the next day, which you use at home to get the result you want. Everyone is different, so the dentist will advise you on what you need to do to get the effect you desire.
Whitening is an essential treatment that we provide at Pembroke Dental Ballsbridge before we undertake any cosmetic dental treatment. We can then match the new shade of your teeth to any new restoration that we provide whether that be composite direct bonding, porcelain veneers or componeers.
1 Month Before
If you haven’t already, now is a good time to come and see the dentist or dental hygienist at Pembroke Dental Ballsbridge for that final scale & polish before the big day to remove any staining and have your teeth looking their best.
Any pre-wedding short-term adult orthodontics should be planned to finish up around now as well, so that any retainers needed can be fitted in time to let you get used to them before the main event.
If it’s needed, a whitening top-up should be done around now as well so that you’re not trying to remember to do it in the hectic few days before the wedding.
So, you can see with a little pre-planning it’s easy to have the perfect smile on your wedding day with Pembroke Dental Ballsbridge. Call 01 668 3242 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today to schedule a check-up and treatment planning appointment with Dr Keenan to see what can be achieved before your special day.
Recent research has suggested that gum disease in patients carries a potentially higher risk of having a stroke than diabetes and has almost the same impact as high blood pressure in causing them.
Whilst obesity and smoking are commonly associated with raising the risk of suffering a stroke, many people don’t know the risks associated with poor oral health. According to the International Dental Health Foundation ‘only one in six people realise that people with gum disease may have an increased risk of stroke’.
Basically, bacterial infections can cause the body to be at higher risk of developing a blood clot which in turn is what causes the higher risk of developing a stroke.
What can you do?
If preventing gum disease may lower your risk of having a stroke, isn’t it worth flossing and brushing regularly? You should also visit your dentist every six months for a full dental health check and a thorough cleaning of your teeth.
If you are experiencing any difficulties please contact us in our Dublin dentist practice today at 01 668 3242.
*Impacts of Periodontitis on Nonfatal Ischemic Stroke
*British Dental Health Foundation
*Dental Wellness Institute. “Gum Disease and Health Risks”. 2010
Research carried out in the early 2000’s has suggested that people who have periodontal disease are twice as likely to also have coronary artery disease. Some of the researchers have suggested that the link between gum disease and heart disease is due to bacteria in the mouth which can cause bleeding gums, leaving a way for the bacteria to get into the blood stream.
The bacteria then produce protein which can cause platelets in the blood to stick together in the heart blood vessels, making clots more likely to form. These clots can reduce blood flow so the heart doesn’t get all the oxygen and nutrients which it needs. A heart attack could be caused if this blood flow is badly affected.
According to the American Academy of Periodontology the presence of common problems in the mouth, including gum disease (gingivitis), cavities, and missing teeth, were as good at predicting heart disease as cholesterol levels.
What can you do?
If preventing gum disease may lower your risk of developing heart disease, isn’t it worth flossing and brushing regularly? You should also visit your dentist every six months for a full dental health check and a thorough cleaning of your teeth.
The International Diabetes Federation have predicted that the number of people living with the condition in Ireland will rise to over 278,000 people by 2030. This will mark a staggering rise of almost 50- on current levels of just over 190,000 people.
So, many of you will be wondering why a dentist is quoting these staggering figures to you and why I am positioned to comment on them? What you perhaps don’t realise is that a majority of gum disease sufferers were found to be at high risk of developing diabetes in a recent report.
However, like the old adage ‘which came first the chicken or the egg’, it’s not entirely clear which way around the diabetes and gum disease link works. Researchers studied a representative sample of 9,000 people who didn’t have diabetes, although 817 of them went on to develop the disease. The researchers found that individuals with elevated levels of periodontal disease were nearly twice as likely to become diabetic within 20 years, even after adjusting for age, smoking, obesity and diet.
Diabetic patients with poor blood sugar level control are likely to have gum disease more frequently and also in a much more severe manner.
The importance of good oral hygiene cannot be overemphasised for patients with diabetes as gingivitis (the early stage of gum disease) can be treated and reversed. However if left untreated, periodontitis (the advanced stage) can occur which in turn may lead to bone loss.
Risks like impaired vision and limb loss are well known to diabetics, however gum disease is rapidly being referred to as the sixth major risk.
What can you do?
Diabetic patients need to pay much more attention to their oral health and ensure a visit to your dentist every six months for a full dental health check and a thorough cleaning of your teeth. You should also inform your dentist if you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes and ask for advice on keeping your mouth healthy.
If you are experiencing any difficulties please contact us in our Dublin dentist practice today at 01 668 3242.