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01 November 2021
Our dental Q&A

Q What’s the best thing I can do for my teeth?

A Simple: brush your teeth regularly using a fluoride toothpaste, clean between your teeth daily with floss or an interdental brush to clean those tiny spaces, and eat a balanced diet.

Q What causes bad breath?

A About 85% of bad breath comes from the head and neck, rather than the gut. It’s often caused by plaque, formed when saliva mixes with food and bacteria. Fortunately, plaque can be removed by thorough brushing and interdental brushes. Gum disease, infected sinuses and bacteria on the tongue can cause bad breath, too.

Q How can I stop grinding my teeth?

A Bruxism, or tooth grinding, tends to be subconscious and done in our sleep. So you can’t necessarily train yourself to stop doing it. Ask your dentist to assess the damage to your teeth and, if necessary, offer treatment or fit you with a mouth guard that will help prevent you grinding your enamel away.

Q Is it possible to repair enamel?

A Yes. Enamel is a calcified substance and tooth decay causes calcium to leach out because of the presence of acid. In the early stages, calcium in our saliva and fluoride in toothpaste can remineralise it and the body repairs itself. Chewing sugar-free gum stimulates saliva, and can help the remineralisation, too.

Q Is coffee really that bad for my teeth?

A No. Staining is caused by deposits of hardened plaque becoming stained, rather than the tooth itself. Marks left by red wine or coffee can be easily removed during a scale and polish

Q I’ve never cleaned between my teeth before. Is it too late?

A Never! Gum disease is preventable. And it’s all about simple, regular plaque removal. We recommend using interdental brushes or floss once a day to clean between your teeth, especially if you have veneers, implants, fillings or crowns.

Q Is interdental brushing the same as flossing?

A Both tools do a similar job, but interdental brushes make it easier to clean those tricky spaces between our teeth – just push it through the gap and turn like a key. Generally, flossing works for patients with relatively healthy gum tissue and small spaces between the teeth. Interdental brushes are best if you have gum recession or bigger spaces.

Q What are the signs of tooth decay?

A Sensitivity to sweet, hot or cold foods and drinks; tooth pain; an unpleasant taste in your mouth; marks appearing on your teeth.

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