Important Information about Teeth and Gum Care

Important Information about Teeth and Gum Care

What importance do my teeth have?

There are different types of teeth based on their location in the mouth, and based on that, they work differently. The teeth aid chewing and digestion. They help with speech and pronunciation. Lastly, facial structure is achieved with the teeth. Having a beautiful smile is a powerful tool. Knowing what your teeth can do is enough to care for them very well.

Can my teeth have issues?

Yes. Decay can set in. It makes people uncomfortable and can be fixed with restorations like inlays or crowns. A tooth abscess is caused by the death of an infected tooth nerve. Treatment for this can be a root canal or tooth extraction. Proper dental hygiene is encouraged to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Another issue is gum disease. It’s common, and if not treated, the teeth bone can be lost. Occasionally, this makes the teeth come loose, and they may be lost. There is prevention for gum disease, which can be minimised through dental checkups and professional cleaning. For tooth loss, restorative treatment may be either implants, dentures or bridges.

What should I do for healthy teeth and gums?

A clean mouth is simple to achieve and maintain. These steps can be of help:

  • Keep your teeth clean before going to bed and at one other time using a toothpaste containing fluoride
  • After brushing, spit out the slurry mixture and avoid rinsing to keep the fluoride active for long
  • Floss one time daily or use an interdental toothbrush
  • Eat a healthy diet; keeping sugared foods and drinks on the low
  • Attend dental checkups regularly

People always brush their teeth, but in between the teeth is neglected, and some persons don’t go for dental checkups. Upping your oral regimen can add a big bonus to your dental health. Your dentist can take out plaque buildup and an already existing gum disease. However, daily teeth cleaning is in your hands, and you can do your teeth a huge favour by using the toothbrush, floss, toothpaste and interdental brush the right way.

What is plaque?

This is a bacteria biofilm that accumulates on the teeth.

In what way does plaque trigger tooth decay?

Bacteria acts on the sugar and starch we eat to produce plaque, releasing acids that weaken the enamel. Because plaque is sticky, it holds the acids against the teeth constantly. Over time, the enamel yields to the acid attack forming holes (cavities) in the teeth.

In what way does plaque trigger gum disease?

Where brushing does not take out plaque, it will become dense, known as calculus or tartar. Following the spread of calculus on the gum line, toxic chemicals are released, irritating and inflaming the gum.

The gums and teeth gradually become detached, infecting the gaps created. Untreated gum disease will damage the teeth bone. This can lead to the loss of healthy teeth. When gum disease is serious, the teeth may fall out and require replacement.

I don’t want gum disease; what should I do?

Ensure you get rid of food debris and plaque from your teeth, especially between teeth, so that bacteria won’t react and consequently cause infected gums characterised by swelling and inflammation. Where plaque is not treated and develops into calculus, only a dentist can remove it. Again, going for dental appointments as the need arises is helpful as your teeth may get professionally cleaned when necessary.

What are the symptoms of gum disease?

Pain may not come with gum disease; however, the teeth bone is impacted. The mild form of gum disease known as gingivitis will present with gums that are enlarged, reddish, and bleed with teeth brushing. It’s natural for people to be bothered by bleeding gum. While some may resort to brushing with more gentle strokes, others may put a hold on brushing.

A continuous dental regime of effective brushing and flossing is critical to attacking gum disease. Please contact your London emergency dentist if bleeding doesn’t stop after a couple of days.

Which toothbrush is good for me?

Your dentist will answer that. But for adults, a toothbrush head with small to medium size is okay. And the bristles should be made of nylon and range from soft to medium with round ends. Your toothbrush should be small such that it can get to the back of your mouth, which is often inaccessible. For children, the same type of bristles but a smaller toothbrush is recommended.

There are special toothbrushes for different teeth conditions. Those with teeth sensitivity can get brushes with softer bristles. And for people with some form of malocclusion, toothbrushes with smaller heads can be bought. Most interestingly, toothbrushes with bigger handles and inclined heads are available for people who have challenges holding a brush steady due to Parkinson’s disease or physical impairment.

Why should I brush my teeth?

Plaque is an enemy of your teeth that, if not removed, will linger on the teeth, react and give rise to decay and gum disease. But with everyday brushing and flossing, this plaque is gotten rid of, leaving your teeth free from harmful bacteria.

Tell me about electric brushes

These are automatic brushes designed with a head that vibrates and rotates to clean the teeth without much manual support from the user, though you need to hold the brush in the right position. They’re also called power brushes.

Are electric toothbrushes more effective at cleaning?

For plaque removal, it’s been established that electric brushes are very functional. The most effective ones are those offering double direction rotation. A power brush is suitable for everyone. Those who have difficulty moving parts of their body – the physically challenged and the elderly who may not give their teeth a good clean using regular toothbrushes benefit more from power brushes.

Since children love interesting items, an electric toothbrush is great as they will likely want to brush often. Ask your dentist if a power brush is good for you.

Which technique should I adopt for brushing?

The perk of brushing is that it removes unwanted food debris and bacteria from all the teeth surfaces.

You may adopt this method, however, ask your dentist for a more personal technique:

  • Hold your toothbrush at an angle of 46 degrees against your gum line and, with gentle circular strokes, brush every surface of your teeth multiple times
  • Still holding the toothbrush at the same angle as your gum line, brush the outer part of the teeth using top-down movements
  • Repeat this for the inner part of your teeth
  • Hold the brush vertically and move its front part in small circles several times to clean the inner surfaces of the front teeth
  • Brush the surfaces of your teeth used in biting
  • Brush your tongue for a fresh breath and remove mouth bacteria

How many times should I brush?

You may brush either in the morning or afternoon, but ensure that you brush with fluoride toothpaste before you sleep. Contact your dentist should you experience bleeding or pain after brushing.

What will show that all the plaque has been removed?

With a special disclosing tablet or dye, you can paint your teeth. This can be rubbed on those pearly whites with a cotton bud. You can buy them from a pharmacy or dental clinic.

The stain doesn’t hurt and usually indicates areas you should brush again. Focus on the area between the teeth and gums. Brushing a little more will take out the stained plaque.

When do I need a new toothbrush?

Frayed toothbrush bristles will not remove bacteria as much as possible and can hurt your mouth. Get a new toothbrush every 2 to 3 months or earlier than that should the bristles wear out. Your teeth cannot be properly cleaned with deformed bristles.

Is fluoride toothpaste helpful?

Absolutely. The teeth get stronger and more protection with less tooth decay when fluoride is used.

3-year-olds should brush with a fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain, while 6-year-old children should use toothpaste the size of a pea.

Certain children kinds of toothpaste contain approximately half the fluoride contained in toothpaste for adults. These don’t protect the teeth completely. Please guide and watch children below 7 years while they’re brushing, so they don’t swallow the toothpaste.

What kind of toothpaste is good for me?

There are regular and special kinds of toothpaste on the market. People can control tartar with certain types of toothpaste, and even those with sensitive teeth can get relief with some toothpaste. The “Total care” toothpaste is specially formulated to resist gum disease, lower plaque formation, and give fresh breath. There is also a toothpaste option that whitens the teeth called whitening toothpaste. They remove teeth stains very well to rejuvenate the teeth natural colour; however, they don’t have the efficacy of changing the teeth natural colour.

Certain children toothpaste contain approximately half the fluoride contained in toothpaste for adults. These don’t protect the teeth completely. Please guide and watch children below 7 years while they’re brushing, so they don’t swallow the toothpaste; instead, they should spit it out but not rinse.

Your choice of oral care products goes a long way to determining how clean your teeth can be. So, speak with your dentist about what products you should use for optimal results.

What amount of toothpaste should I use for brushing?

Your brush head may not be entirely covered with toothpaste. A smear is enough for children below 3 years, while those above 3 can get pea-size toothpaste. Remember, after brushing, don’t rinse, rather spit out to hold in the fluoride.

Should I expect bleeding gums as I clean in between teeth?

It is possible to experience bleeding or soreness during the first few days of cleaning between your teeth. You may not bleed anymore when the plaque has disintegrated, and your mouth feels better. Report to your dentist should bleeding be continuous. Reasons could range from improper cleaning or the need for a more professional dental clean.

How should I keep in between my teeth clean?

By using floss or an interdental brush, this can be done. The importance of this cleaning is that it removes debris from areas inaccessible to your toothbrush, like below your gum line and between teeth. Adopt and adhere to a pattern for your flossing and interdental brushes and ensure all the teeth are cleaned. You might want to use a mirror for guidance.

Do remember to clean the teeth at the back of your mouth. Should you have restorations like bridges and crowns, they also need cleaning around the edges. Floss one time per day. Your dentist can teach you the right way to floss.

Interdental brushes

Available in different sizes, you may need to consult your dentist as to which size is appropriate for you.

Hold it with your thumb and forefinger and carefully position it via the gap between your teeth to use an interdental brush. Avoid forcing the brush to fit into the gap. Should the brush broaden or bend, it means it’s too large for the gap; you need to get a smaller brush head.


  • Gather a sufficient amount of floss (about 45 cm) and wrap some around the finger on both your right and left hand
  • With your thumbs and forefingers, hold the floss tightly, give an inch between them and tension it. Carefully roll the floss in between your teeth. Do not yank the floss into your gums
  • Form a c-shape with the floss around a tooth once you have guided it into position and hold it till it’s tense
  • Hold the floss against your tooth. Begin by carefully scraping a side of the tooth such that the floss moves away from the gum. Do this for the other edge of the gap along the side of the adjoining tooth.
  • Remember to floss the back of your last tooth
  • Floss following a definite style. Begin at the top, move from left to right, then slide to the bottom and repeat the left-to-right motion. With this pattern, you will successfully floss all your teeth without skipping any

How useful are oral irrigators?

This appliance works by releasing pressurised water against your teeth, removing food debris and plaque as the water hits the teeth. Oral irrigators can be of great benefit if you use a brace or permanent bridge that does not allow for easy cleaning. They also come in handy where flossing or interdental brushes cannot be used.

Do I really need a mouthwash?

Tooth decay can be kept at bay with a mouthwash. Your dentist may recommend an antibacterial mouthwash to lower gum disease and keep plaque under check. If you need a mouthwash for fresher breath, speak with your dentist. This is because bad breath can be a symptom of improper dental hygiene. The underlying cause has to be treated first.

What is the role of my diet?

For most people, taking a lot of sugar in a meal is equivalent to having tooth decay. On the contrary, this conclusion is not correct. Sugar-related dental issues are not caused by plenty of sugar in food but the frequency of sugar in your food. The acid produced by ingested sugar is cleansed from the teeth and gum in 60 minutes. Within this hour, your teeth are prone to the acid’s activities. Based on this, it makes sense to reduce acid attacks on the teeth by eating and drinking sugary things only when you are having your meals. You can also quicken the rate of clearing out acid on your teeth by drinking water right after eating or snacking. Chewing sugarless gum can also help.

The acid from sugary beverages, including wine, juices, and fizzy drinks, decay the teeth and thin and wear out the tooth enamel – a condition described as dental erosion. When this happens, the teeth may become sensitive.

What is the procedure for cleaning dentures?

Of course, you need to clean restorations like dentures the same way you keep the natural teeth clean. Bits of food may get stuck around the corners of dentures, and if they are not removed by thorough cleaning, these food particles will decompose.

Don’t use the same toothbrush you use to brush your teeth to clean your dentures. Generally, the rule is to brush the dentures, soak them, and brush a second time. Stand over a water container while cleaning your denture; they may drop accidentally. Don’t soak your dentures without first brushing them – this will remove food particles. Get a special cleansing solution, soak your dentures in it for a few minutes, and then have them brushed up once more. Give your dentures the same brushing you give your original teeth.

Do well to have all parts of the dentures cleaned up, including the part that sits around your gums. For dentures having scale, get your dentist to clean for you. You may use a small to the medium-sized brush head to clean your dentures.

What is expected of me as I’ve got implants?

Post-surgery, your dentist will tell you how to take care of your implants. As a restorative treatment, implants need utmost care, and it lies with you to ensure it is done. This will keep gum disease and potential infection at bay. Please stick to the guidelines of cleaning implants given to you by your dentist.

What is the importance of regular dental visits?

Dental issues are best avoided than treated. One good reason is that treatment may be complicated and cost more, while preventative care is straightforward and cheaper. When you attend dental checkups every now and then, you are doing yourself a ton of good because you won’t need much treatment, issues will be quickly diagnosed, and treatment won’t be hectic.

In conclusion

You are in charge of your dental health; you should take a step if you need healthy teeth. See useful tips for a clean and healthy mouth:

  • Brush your teeth before you sleep at night and for the second time either in the morning or afternoon for 2 minutes with a fluoride toothpaste
  • After brushing, spit out the toothpaste; don’t rinse your mouth to lock the fluoride in
  • Your toothbrush should have a small or medium-sized head
  • Choose a toothbrush that comes with soft to medium spherical nylon bristles held together at the base
  • Think of switching to an electric toothbrush
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 months or whenever the bristles start wearing out
  • Have the space between your teeth cleaned daily using floss or interdental brushes
  • Drink and eat less of sugared beverages and foods
  • Keep those dental appointments as scheduled by your dentist

Should there be a need to get urgent care for a dental problem, we are your London emergency dentist available to provide all the care you need. We aim to help you achieve the best dental health possible to have excellent overall health and enjoy life to the fullest. This is possible as we have the finest dental team at our practice. So, what are you waiting for? Book an appointment with us now.