Oral Health

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy (oral health) is an important aspect of your general health. Here, we will be giving you tips on how to maintain healthy gums and teeth.

Plaque: What is it?

Plaque is the bacteria that develop on your teeth and build up next to your gums and in all those hard-to-reach places in between your teeth. Plaque can lead to tooth decay and to gum disease if you do not remove it through regular brushing.

Tooth decay: What causes it?

Tooth decay comes about when the plaque on your teeth makes use of the sugar in the food you eat, producing acid that attacks your enamel. Your tooth enamel eventually becomes weak and this can lead to the destruction of your teeth. Tooth decay is identified as white patches on the surface of your teeth.

How should you treat sensitive teeth?

Having sensitive teeth is a common problem, affecting 25 percent of adults. Tooth sensitivity can be treated either by consulting your dentist or by using a toothpaste that has been specifically formulated for individuals with sensitive teeth.

What causes gum disease?

Gum disease (gingivitis) happens when gum tissue surrounding your teeth becomes red, swollen and inflamed. Your plaque needs to be controlled through regular brushing and flossing; otherwise, it can spread below the gum level, which results in bone destruction and spaces forming between your teeth and gums. If this is not treated, your teeth may need to be removed.

Using an electric toothbrush

Dentists generally recommend using electric toothbrushes. In Britain, over 80 percent of dental professionals (oral hygienists, dentists and nurses) recommend their clients to use electric brushes.

Are there benefits to using electric toothbrushes?

Electric toothbrushes are extremely effective at removing your plaque and thus reducing your risk of developing gum disease.

How do electric toothbrushes help gums?

Most people tend to scrub their gums when using a manual toothbrush and this can inflame your gums, making them bleed when brushing. Bleeding gums are an early sign of potentially serious gum issues and a very common oral health problem.
Electric toothbrushes have a consistent movement and pressure, thus they help by eliminating human error. To help protect your gums, some electric brushes have in-built pressure sensors that automatically cut out movement when you press too hard.

When should my child start brushing?

Babies need to have their teeth brushed when their milk teeth first start to appear. Get your child into a good teeth-cleaning routine as soon as possible. By the time your child is two, he/she should be brushing his/her teeth twice a day. You should assist your child to brush his/her teeth, as it may be difficult for him/her to brush effectively. To do this, stand behind your child and tilt back his/her head, so that you can see all the teeth surfaces that need cleaning.

The three easy steps towards healthy teeth

Brush: You should brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste as this strengthens and protects your teeth. Dentists will recommend replacing your toothbrush every three months.
Rinse: Twice each day use a mouth rinse before or after you brush your teeth to kill bacteria in your mouth that cause bad breath.
Floss: Brushing only cleans the surface of your teeth. To reduce the build-up of plaque, you should floss once a day between your teeth.
Have regular check-ups with your dentist or your dental hygienist to maintain good oral health. Talk to your IPSA pharmacist about the oral health products available at your IPSA Pharmacy.