More Dental Advice To Help You Through Lockdown
A few more tips from our Ipswich dentists on how to keep your teeth looking the best that you can.
In the greater scheme of things, keeping our teeth looking nice is probably a fair way down our list of priorities right now. Even from a dental perspective, it is far more important to keep your teeth healthy than to keep them white.
For some patients though, it will be a bit of a concern, especially those who may have previously lost confidence due to having stained or unattractive teeth. As we are currently unable to see patients for treatments, including cosmetic ones, we thought that we would offer a few tips below that might help to keep your teeth looking OK for just that bit longer.
Some of these tips will also be of benefit, not only to the appearance of your teeth, but their health too. Enamel erosion is a factor which can affect both for example.
Brush your teeth well
This one should be pretty obvious. Brushing your teeth regularly will help to remove much of the surface staining that can occur as foods and drinks become stuck to our teeth. It will also help to remove acids which can cause tiny pits to appear in the surface enamel which in turn can trap discolouring substances as well as potentially harmful bacteria.
Avoid damaging foods and drinks
A surprising amount of foods and drinks can cause our teeth to look less pleasant. Some of this is down to the acidity as mentioned above. Some though are more likely to have an immediate impact than others. If you smoke, or if you drink very strong coffee such as espresso, you probably shouldn’t be too surprised if your teeth darken relatively quickly.
Whilst it might be a difficult time to cut down or cut out habits like this, by doing so, you will help to maintain the current condition of your teeth for longer. In the case of smoking; if you can use this time to stop, you will be doing your teeth and gums a favour. There is also some medical thinking that smokers are at a greater risk of the more serious consequences of the Coronavirus, so stopping now would certainly be beneficial.
We all have to eat and drink and, as mentioned above, a wide range of food and drinks can cause staining and other damage. Whilst brushing our teeth immediately after eating or drinking could cause enamel wear if done excessively, one thing that you can do is to swill water around your mouth. This will not only help to remove some of the discolouring substances from the surface of your teeth but flush away food debris and excess ‘bad’ bacteria that can contribute to gum problems as well.
We mentioned acidity and how it can cause rough tooth surfaces that attract staining and bacterial deposits. Whilst you can try to avoid these as much as possible, another way to minimise the impact of this is to eat a small piece of cheese at the end of a meal as this will help to reduce the acidity in your mouth and restore it to a healthier PH balance.
Avoid DIY suggestions
Sadly, but almost inevitably, there will be some who try to take advantage of these difficult times to make money by preying on people’s concerns. We expect to see a rise in the number of people promoting ‘DIY teeth whitening’ and other ‘dental solutions’. This is already a fairly popular way of obtaining monetised clicks on adverts.
Although some of these suggestions may be harmless (and very unlikely to work), there are also some that may actually be harmful to your teeth. Two which spring to mind are the use of lemon juice and home-spun tooth pastes. Using lemon juice may sound quite harmless but it is quite acidic and will cause enamel erosion. The same can be said about homemade toothpastes. Even where these contain natural ingredients, they usually attempt to work by using abrasive ingredients which ‘scrub’ the surface of your teeth, again, causing erosion.
Our advice is to avoid these altogether as using them could lead to long term damage to your teeth.
This is a difficult time for most of us, but it will not last forever. The statistics are starting to indicate that things are slowly improving. We will have to wait a while before we know when the current situation can be eased though. At the moment, we don’t know when we will be able to safely open our Ipswich dental clinic again, but as soon as we can do so, we will let you know. Even if you have missed a regular appointment for whatever reason; with a bit of luck, it won’t be long before you can ‘catch up’ again.
Our advice to you is to follow the suggestions above and remain patient. Our health is the most important thing at the moment and must be our priority. Helping you to have a healthy and attractive smile is also very important to us but this can wait until it is safe to carry out treatments again.
Please do keep an eye on our website for latest updates about the current situation, and if you feel that you are in need of urgent emergency dental care, please do call the Foxhall Dental Practice on 01473 258396 where you will be offered further advice on what to do next.