Archive for Dental tips

Tiny Teeth, Big Smiles: Preventing Tooth Decay in Toddlers

Tiny Teeth, Big Smiles: Preventing Tooth Decay in Toddlers

Ah, those adorable toddler grins – they light up our lives! As parents, caregivers, and guardians, it’s our duty to protect those precious smiles and ensure that our little ones’ dental health is off to a strong start. Tooth decay might seem like a big concern for such tiny teeth, but with the right steps, you can prevent it and set the stage for a lifetime of healthy oral habits. Here’s how to keep tooth decay at bay in toddlers:

1. Start Early: Begin Dental Care from Day One

Yes, even before those first little teeth make their debut, oral care should be on the agenda. Gently wipe your baby’s gums with a clean, damp cloth after feedings to remove milk residue and get them used to the sensation of oral cleaning.

2. Introduce the Toothbrush: When and How

Once that first tooth emerges – usually around six months – it’s time to introduce a soft-bristle toothbrush. Use a rice-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to brush your toddler’s tooth. Remember, it’s about forming a positive association with brushing, so make it a fun and gentle experience.

3. Set a Routine: Consistency is Key

As your toddler grows, establish a consistent brushing routine. Brush their teeth twice a day – in the morning and before bed. Make it a part of their daily routine, like washing hands or having meals. Consistency helps build healthy habits that will stick with them as they grow.

4. Lead by Example: Make it a Family Affair

Toddlers are keen observers. Let them see you brushing your teeth regularly and express excitement about it. When they see you taking care of your teeth, they’re more likely to want to do the same. Turn brushing into a family event, and let them choose their toothbrush and toothpaste flavor.

5. Diet Matters: Watch Those Sugary Treats

Toddlers are notorious for their sweet tooth, but a diet high in sugary snacks and drinks can contribute to tooth decay. Limit sugary treats, especially sticky ones like gummies, which can linger on teeth. Opt for healthier alternatives like fruits, vegetables, cheese, and whole grains.

6. Say No to Bedtime Bottles: Prevent Bottle Decay

Avoid sending your toddler to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. Prolonged exposure to sugary liquids can lead to a condition called “bottle decay,” where the front teeth are particularly vulnerable. Instead, offer water if your toddler needs something to sip on before bedtime.

7. Fluoride Protection: Consult Your Pediatrician

Fluoride is a superhero when it comes to preventing tooth decay. Consult your pediatrician or dentist about whether your toddler needs fluoride supplements, especially if your water isn’t fluoridated. The right amount of fluoride helps strengthen enamel and keep teeth cavity-resistant.

8. First Dental Visit: Make it Positive

Around their first birthday, schedule your toddler’s first dental visit. This initial visit helps your child become comfortable with the dentist’s office and allows the dentist to identify any potential issues early on. Make it a positive experience by talking about it in an upbeat way and choosing a dentist who specializes in pediatric care.

9. Promote Hydration: Choose Water Over Sugary Drinks

Water is the best drink for your toddler’s teeth. Encourage them to drink water throughout the day, especially after meals and snacks. Not only does water rinse away food particles, but it also doesn’t contribute to tooth decay.

10. Stay Alert: Monitor Changes

As your toddler grows and develops, keep an eye out for any changes in their oral health. If you notice white spots, discoloration, or any signs of discomfort, consult your dentist promptly.

In Conclusion: A Lifetime of Healthy Smiles Begins Now

Preventing tooth decay in toddlers is a wonderful investment in their overall health and well-being. By starting early, being consistent, and creating a positive dental routine, you’re setting the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Remember, you’re not just protecting their teeth – you’re also instilling valuable habits that will carry them through childhood and beyond. So, keep those tiny teeth sparkling and those little smiles beaming!

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Six foods that stain your teeth

Six foods that stain your teeth

We all love a radiant smile, but did you know that some of your favorite foods could be sabotaging your pearly whites? It’s true – certain foods have a knack for staining teeth over time, dulling their shine and making us less eager to flaunt our grins. Don’t worry, though! With a little knowledge and some simple precautions, you can enjoy these treats while keeping your smile bright. Let’s delve into the world of stain-inducing foods and how to maintain your dazzling smile.

1. Dark Berries: The Rich Color Offenders

Berries like blueberries, blackberries, and cherries are packed with antioxidants and vitamins, but their vibrant hues are a double-edged sword. The deep pigments that make these berries so appealing can also latch onto your tooth enamel, causing staining over time.


Enjoy these berries in moderation. After consuming them, rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth to minimize staining. Incorporating crunchy fruits and vegetables that help scrub away surface stains can also be helpful.

2. Coffee and Tea: Morning Sip Guilt

Your morning cup of joe or soothing tea might be the perfect start to your day, but the tannins present in both coffee and tea can cling to your teeth, leading to discoloration.


Consider drinking through a straw to minimize contact with your teeth. If that’s not your style, make sure to swish water around your mouth after indulging in your favorite brew. Regular dental cleanings can also help remove stubborn coffee and tea stains.

3. Red Wine: Cheers, but Beware

A glass of red wine can be the perfect complement to a meal, but its rich color and acidity can contribute to teeth staining. White wine, although not as pigmented, can also weaken tooth enamel, making it more susceptible to staining from other foods.


Pair your wine with cheese, as it helps neutralize acidity and create a protective barrier on your teeth. Again, drinking water or rinsing your mouth after sipping wine can reduce staining potential.

4. Sauces and Condiments: Delicious, but Discoloring

Tomato-based sauces, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar are flavorful additions to meals, but they’re also potent stain creators. The acidic nature of these condiments can open up your tooth enamel, making it easier for them to leave their mark.


Moderation and rinsing are key. Enjoy these sauces, but rinse your mouth or brush your teeth after your meal to prevent long-lasting stains.

5. Colored Candies and Popsicles: Sugary Hue Trouble

Brightly colored candies and icy treats might delight your taste buds, but their intense artificial colors can seep into your teeth and linger, causing staining.


If you can’t resist, consume these treats in one sitting rather than savoring them over a longer period. Brushing or swishing with water afterward can also minimize staining potential.

6. Curry: Spice and Stain

Curry, with its aromatic blend of spices, is a culinary delight, but its vivid pigments can cling to your enamel, resulting in staining.


Frequent water sips during your meal can help wash away staining agents. Consider incorporating crunchy veggies like carrots and celery, which can help prevent stains by scrubbing your teeth as you chew.

In Conclusion: Balance is Key

The key to enjoying these stain-inducing foods without compromising your smile lies in moderation and maintaining good oral hygiene practices. Remember to brush and floss regularly, rinse your mouth after consuming these foods, and consider incorporating stain-preventing snacks into your diet.

Your smile is one of your most valuable assets, and with a little mindfulness, you can continue to enjoy your favorite treats while keeping it brilliantly white. So, embrace a balanced approach, savor those indulgences, and keep that grin shining bright!

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Ten steps to take if you have a cracked tooth

Ten steps to take if you have a cracked tooth

You’re enjoying a meal or maybe just going about your day, and suddenly, you feel it – a sharp pain as you bite down. It might be a cracked tooth, and while it can be a distressing situation, there’s no need to panic. With the right steps, you can navigate this dental dilemma and ensure your smile stays intact. Here’s what to do if you find yourself with a cracked tooth:

1. Assess the Severity

The first thing to do is assess the severity of the crack. Not all cracks are created equal. Some may be superficial and cause minimal discomfort, while others might be deeper and more painful. If you’re experiencing severe pain, swelling, or bleeding from the cracked tooth, it’s best to seek professional dental help immediately.

2. Rinse Your Mouth

After assessing the situation, rinse your mouth gently with warm water. This can help clean the area and soothe any discomfort. If there are any food particles stuck around the cracked tooth, rinsing can help dislodge them and prevent further irritation.

3. Over-the-Counter Pain Relief

Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation caused by a cracked tooth. Remember to follow the recommended dosage and instructions on the medication’s label. However, pain relief is just a short-term solution – you’ll still need to address the underlying issue.

4. Protect the Cracked Tooth

If the crack is visible and you’re unable to see a dentist immediately, consider using dental wax or a sugarless chewing gum to cover the jagged edges of the cracked tooth. This can prevent the crack from getting worse and protect your tongue and cheeks from irritation.

5. Avoid Certain Foods

While waiting for professional dental care, it’s a good idea to avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that can worsen the crack or cause additional discomfort. Stick to soft foods that won’t put extra pressure on the damaged tooth.

6. Dental Cement

In some cases, you can find dental cement at your local pharmacy. This temporary fix can help hold the cracked tooth together until you can see a dentist. However, keep in mind that dental cement is not a substitute for professional treatment – it’s just a way to manage the situation until you can get proper care.

7. Seek Dental Care

This step is non-negotiable. As soon as you can, schedule an appointment with your dentist to address the cracked tooth. The severity and location of the crack will determine the appropriate treatment. It might involve dental bonding, a crown, a root canal, or even extraction in extreme cases.

8. Preventive Measures for the Future

Once your cracked tooth is taken care of, it’s essential to learn from the experience and take preventive measures to avoid a repeat. Avoid chewing on hard objects like ice, pens, or popcorn kernels. If you’re an avid athlete, consider wearing a mouthguard during physical activities to protect your teeth from potential trauma.

In Conclusion: Act Swiftly and Wisely

Dealing with a cracked tooth can be unnerving, but remember that with prompt action and the guidance of a dental professional, you can restore your dental health. It’s crucial to seek help as soon as possible to prevent the crack from worsening and causing more significant issues down the road. And while you’re waiting for your appointment, practice good oral hygiene and be gentle with your damaged tooth to minimize discomfort.

Ultimately, your smile is worth the effort, and addressing a cracked tooth promptly is an investment in your oral well-being. So, keep calm, follow these steps, and look forward to a healthy smile once again!

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Five steps to take if your gums are bleeding

Five steps to take if your gums are bleeding

We’ve all been there – you’re brushing your teeth and suddenly, you notice a bit of red in the sink. Bleeding gums can be alarming, but before you hit the panic button, it’s important to know that this issue is quite common and usually treatable. Here are five practical steps you can take if your gums are bleeding.

1. Stay Calm and Don’t Skip Brushing

The first thing to remember is not to panic. Bleeding gums might seem scary, but they often indicate an underlying issue that can be managed with proper care. If your gums are bleeding while you brush or floss, don’t avoid oral hygiene. In fact, continue brushing and flossing gently as you normally would. Good oral hygiene is crucial to prevent further irritation and maintain gum health.

2. Gentle Brushing and Soft Bristles are Your Friends

Using a toothbrush with soft bristles is your best bet when your gums are bleeding. Hard or stiff bristles can further irritate your gums and exacerbate the bleeding. Opt for a toothbrush designed to be gentle on gums. Remember, the goal is to clean your teeth without causing additional trauma to the sensitive gum tissue.

3. Flossing – Yes, But Do It Right

If you notice bleeding while flossing, don’t swear off floss altogether. Flossing helps remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth and along the gumline. However, if your gums are bleeding, try using a gentle touch and avoid snapping the floss between your teeth. Glide the floss gently and follow the natural curve of each tooth to prevent further irritation.

4. Rinse with Salt Water

A simple saltwater rinse can work wonders for bleeding gums. Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm water and use it as a mouthwash after brushing and flossing. Salt has natural antiseptic properties that can help soothe irritated gums and reduce inflammation. Swish the saltwater solution around your mouth for about 30 seconds before spitting it out.

5. Visit Your Dentist

If your gums continue to bleed despite your best efforts or if the bleeding is accompanied by pain, swelling, or persistent bad breath, it’s time to schedule a visit to your dentist. Bleeding gums can be a sign of various issues, such as gum disease, gingivitis, or even a vitamin deficiency. A dental professional can assess the situation, provide a proper diagnosis, and recommend appropriate treatment.

In Conclusion: Prioritize Your Oral Health

While the occasional bout of bleeding gums might not be a cause for major concern, it’s essential to pay attention to your oral health. Ignoring the issue could lead to more severe problems down the road. Remember, consistency is key. Continue practicing good oral hygiene, use gentle techniques, and don’t hesitate to seek professional advice if the bleeding persists or worsens.

The key takeaway here is that bleeding gums can often be managed and treated with the right approach. By staying calm, maintaining proper oral hygiene, and making a few adjustments to your routine, you can take control of the situation and work towards healthier, happier gums. So, don’t let bleeding gums dampen your smile – take action and give your gums the care they deserve!

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The power of fluoride in toothpaste

The power of fluoride in toothpaste

We all have our morning and evening rituals, and for many of us, brushing our teeth is a crucial part of that routine. But have you ever wondered why that dollop of toothpaste you squeeze onto your brush contains fluoride? What’s the fuss all about? Well, let’s dive into the world of fluoride and discover why it’s a superstar ingredient in your toothpaste.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride, in the context of oral health, is a mineral that occurs naturally in various sources, including water, soil, plants, and rocks. Its incredible ability to prevent tooth decay and strengthen enamel has made it a go-to ingredient in toothpaste formulations for decades. In essence, fluoride is like a shield for your teeth, helping to defend against the relentless assault of bacteria and acids that threaten your oral health.

A mighty defender: how fluoride battles cavities

So, how does fluoride actually work its magic? It’s a simple yet fascinating process. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, the fluoride ions are absorbed by your tooth enamel – the outer protective layer of your teeth. This infusion of fluoride makes your enamel more resistant to acid attacks from the bacteria in your mouth.

You see, when you eat, the bacteria in your mouth break down sugars and carbohydrates, producing acids that erode your enamel. Over time, this erosion can lead to cavities. But with fluoride in the picture, these acid attacks are met with a tougher defense line. It’s like giving your teeth a suit of armor to withstand the ongoing battle against decay.

Beyond Protection: Fluoride’s Role in Remineralization

But wait, there’s more! Fluoride doesn’t just stop at defending your teeth; it’s also a key player in the process of remineralization. The enamel on your teeth is composed of minerals, and these minerals can be lost when exposed to acids. Fluoride helps facilitate the remineralization process by attracting minerals like calcium and phosphate back into your enamel. This means that fluoride doesn’t just patch up weak spots – it actively aids in repairing and rebuilding your teeth’s natural defenses.

Separating fact from fiction: addressing fluoride concerns

Now, we know what some of you might be thinking – is fluoride safe? Let’s put those worries to rest. The controlled and regulated use of fluoride in toothpaste, as well as in water fluoridation, has been extensively studied and endorsed by dental experts worldwide. The small amounts of fluoride in toothpaste are not only safe but incredibly effective in maintaining oral health.

However, as with any substance, moderation is key. Using excessive amounts of fluoride toothpaste or ingesting too much fluoride from various sources can lead to a condition called fluorosis, which can cause cosmetic issues like white spots on teeth. But here’s the thing: as long as you follow the recommended guidelines and use fluoride products as directed, you’re in good hands.

The takeaway: embrace the fluoride advantage

In the grand scheme of oral health, fluoride is a true game-changer. From bolstering your enamel’s defenses against cavities to actively participating in the remineralization process, this unassuming mineral plays a crucial role in your daily dental care routine. So, the next time you brush your teeth and see that foam of toothpaste, remember that you’re not just cleaning – you’re investing in the long-term health and strength of your teeth.

Incorporating fluoride toothpaste into your oral care routine is a simple yet impactful way to ensure that your smile stays bright and your teeth remain strong. So keep that tube of fluoride toothpaste handy, and let this unsung hero continue to work its magic as you greet the world with a confident and healthy smile!

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How to write a letter from the Tooth Fairy

How to write a letter from the Tooth Fairy

Losing milk teeth can be scary for children. Maybe that’s why adults came up with the Tooth Fairy: it makes the prospect of losing a tooth exciting instead.

Traditionally, the tooth fairy has left money under children’s pillows in exchange for their teeth. But instead of it all being about (costly!) rewards, you can also make good use of the loss of a tooth to remind your child about good tooth care. The tooth fairy is now leaving thank you notes!

What should a letter from the tooth fairy say?

In her letter, the tooth fairy might want to:

  • Congratulate your child on looking after their tooth so well. This is a perfect time to remind your child of good dental hygiene. Saying that you have noticed they are clearly brushing twice a day and flossing might be a good reminder!
  • Comment on how the tooth was lost. Children love this kind of personal touch, particularly if there is a funny story around it.
  • Some insights into the life of the tooth fairy! It is such a magical idea so your child probably has many questions about the tooth fairy.

Answers to your children’s questions

Your children will have questions about the tooth fairy, and you can answer these questions in your letter from the Tooth Fairy.

In case your tooth fairy knowledge is a bit rusty, we have some ideas below for you. Obviously, as a fictional character, there is no correct answer, but it helps to pre-empt some of the likely questions!

  • What happens to all the children’s teeth? This might be a tooth fairy secret. You could come up with some ideas with your child. Some rumours are that the teeth get used as bricks for the tooth fairy castle or that they get ground down to make fairy dust.
  • Does just one fairy collect all of the teeth? This depends on what you have told your children in the past. If you decide there is only one fairy doing all of the tooth collecting, sign your letter The Tooth Fairy but if you decide there are lots of fairies all sharing the work, this can help explain why some children get a letter, some get money and some get both.
  • How old Is the tooth fairy? The tooth fairy is thought to be over 100 years old. They were first mentioned in 1908 but fairies tend to be spritely and age slowly so who knows if fairy ages are the same as human years!

Final tips for writing a Tooth Fairy letter

Of course, you can make your letter as simple or as elaborate as you wish. Bear in mind you are setting a precedent for any other teeth and any other children in your household!

  • Your child has lots of teeth so keep your letters short and avoid putting all of your ideas into your first letter!
  • Remember to print your letter in a magical font or disguise your handwriting. Children are smart!
  • Remember that a magical letter is likely to have a magical appearance. Glitter and stickers can give your letter that magical look.

Whatever approach you decide to take, you will make a visit from the tooth fairy a special one and a good opportunity to discuss dental hygiene.

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Home remedies for tooth pain

Home remedies for tooth pain

Pain is the body’s way of telling us that something is wrong. If you have ever had a toothache, you will know that tooth pain is no fun at all. Always seek advice from a dental health professional if you are experiencing any pain but here are some handy tooth pain home remedies just in case you are unable to see a professional straight away.

Causes of tooth pain

Many things can cause tooth pain to strike.

  • Teeth sensitivity. If the layer of hard tissue located under the tooth enamel gets exposed, this can make your teeth very sensitive to hot and cold liquids and sugary drinks. Recessed gums or worn down tooth enamel can expose this dentin.
  • Cavities. Cavities are another main cause of tooth pain. If the sensitive nerves in your teeth are exposed, something as simple and frequent as biting something hard could be very painful.
  • Cracked teeth. If you bite down on something too hard, you could crack a tooth, which can also be very painful. Trauma from an accident can also crack a tooth. In a severe enough case, the tender nerves that reside deep in your teeth could be exposed, resulting in pain.
  • Loose fillings or crowns. Sometimes dental treatment to fix one issue can cause another problem. Fillings and crowns can sometimes become loose or cracked, resulting in tooth pain.

Options to relieve tooth pain at home

First of all, keep in mind that these remedies only provide short term relief and are not meant to be a substitute for seeing a dentist. Always see your dentist as soon as possible if you suffering from tooth pain. Your dentist will be able to get to the source of the problem and treat it for you.

But while you’re waiting to see your dentist, here are some home remedies you can try to reduce your tooth pain.

  • Painkillers. Your first option to relieve a toothache will probably be over the counter pain relief, such as ibuprofen.
  • Cold compress. s an ice pack or a cool, wet washcloth can help to relieve pain and swelling.
  • Clove Oil. Clove oil relieves pain and reduces the swelling associated with toothache. Clove oil contains a natural aesthetic and acts as a temporary pain reliever. Soak up a few drops of clove oil in a cotton ball, then gently rub the cotton ball over the affected teeth and gums.
  • Salt Water. Another option is to try rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater. Add a few teaspoons of salt to a cup of warm water. Swish the mixture around your mouth and then spit it out.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide. In a similar way to saltwater, a hydrogen peroxide rinse can relieve pain and swelling in the mouth. It has also been found to kill bacteria, reduce plaque and heal bleeding gums. To prepare the solution, mix 3 per cent hydrogen peroxide with equal parts of water. Swish it around your mouth, but don’t swallow it.
  • Peppermint Oil. Peppermint oil has been used to treat toothaches throughout history. It has antibacterial properties, making it a popular choice for those seeking short-term toothache relief until dental help is available. Use a cotton ball to apply a few drops of oil to the affected area.

Remember, these remedies are not are a long-term solution to your tooth pain. If you have tooth pain, then please see a dentist as soon as you can.

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4 New Year’s resolutions for your teeth

4 New Year’s resolutions for your teeth

The New Year is an excellent time to make a change. Many of New Year’s resolutions involve taking steps to improve our health and our happiness. So why not make a resolution this year to improve your oral care?

In this post, we’ll look at four resolutions that can improve the health of your teeth and gums.

1. Brush your teeth twice a day

If you’re not brushing your teeth twice a day, then now’s a good time to start. By brushing your teeth regularly with fluoride toothpaste, you can dramatically reduce your risk of cavities and gum disease.

Here’s a reminder of the best practices for your oral health routine:

  • Brush gently for two minutes, twice a day
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to protect your enamel
  • Angle your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gum line when brushing
  • Use a toothpaste containing fluoride
  • Clean between your teeth, either with floss or an alternative device
  • Rinse your mouth after brushing with a mouthwash

Carrying out these oral care routines twice a day will improve your mouth’s health.

When you start making changes, try to notice the small differences you are noticing. If you start flossing, you will soon start noticing that your gums bleed less, are less sensitive and that you feel more confident in your smile.

Remember that consistency is key when trying to establish new habits. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a floss, but instead try to do it regularly for the rest of the week.

2. Eat healthier

Your diet is also very important when keeping your mouth healthy. What you eat can easily turn into food for bacteria in your mouth and contribute to gum disease and cavities.

Try to follow some of these steps towards a healthier diet:

  • Limit your intake of sugary or acidic foods and drinks
  • Avoid snacking between meals wherever possible
  • Rinse your mouth with water after meals or sugary drinks
  • Try to eat lots of nutrient-dense foods such as fruit and vegetables

3. Get your dental problems fixed

A New Year’s resolution might also involve addressing any existing dental problems that you have been putting up with. Bite the bullet (so to speak!) and ask for advice on anything bothering you regarding your dental health. Have you been suffering from sensitive teeth? dry mouth? difficulty in brushing or flushing? seek advice from your dental professional to get you on track to great oral health.

4. Quit smoking

You know it really – smoking is not only bad for your overall health but your oral health too. Tobacco can stain your teeth and increase your risk of many dental problems. This could be the year you completely commit to quitting smoking altogether.


Making a New Year’s resolution to improve your health in any way is a great decision. Remember to be forgiving if you have any setbacks and allow yourself time for your new routines to solidify into habits. It will take time, but you can do it!

You are now equipped with the knowledge to make this the year you make drastic changes to improve your dental health.

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Looking after your teeth as you get older

Looking after your teeth as you get older

Good dental hygiene and oral care are important at any age, but as we age, we might notice changes in our oral health that pose new challenges. Your dentist will be able to fully support you with these, but it is good to know what to look out for.

What might change as we get older?

As with any other area of our bodies, as we get older, we might develop conditions that were not present when we were younger. We’ll address some of these conditions now.

1. Dry Mouth

Getting older in itself doesn’t necessarily make you more prone to dry mouth, however some of the other factors that come with ageing can.

Taking some regular medications, having a chronic health condition or having existing cavities or decay can increase your risk for developing dry mouth.

If you feel you may be suffering from this, speak to your dentist who can recommend some products to help.

2. Wear and tear

As the enamel on the teeth inevitably starts to wear down through many years of chewing food, ageing teeth can have a greater risk of developing cavities.

3. Disease

This ranges from oral cancer and less serious illnesses, such as oral thrush.

4. Gum disease

Plaque forming on teeth, resulting in gum disease is one of the major causes of tooth loss in adults. See your dentist if you suspect you have gum disease because the sooner you treat it the better.

5. Sensitive Teeth

You may notice that your teeth become more sensitive as you get older. This can be due to your gums naturally receding and whereby exposing areas of the tooth that are not protected by enamel.

Initially, you could try toothpaste for sensitive teeth but if the problem persists, speak to your dentist.

How to look after your teeth as you get older

The good news is that many of these dental problems above are easily identified, solved, or even prevented when you know what to look for.

Keeping your ageing teeth and gums in tip-top shape requires a few common-sense practices:

  • Maintain regular dental visits: Even if you have dentures it is important to get your teeth and gums checked regularly.
  • Brush and floss daily
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash
  • Avoid tobacco: Tobacco in any form has been linked to an increased risk of mouth and throat cancer, not to mention heart disease and other serious conditions.
  • Monitor your sugar intake make healthy choices to limit your sweets and fizzy drink consumption. It is also a good idea to brush shortly after snacking if you can.
  • Calcium intake. Ensure you have low-fat dairy products in your diet to prevent osteoporosis, which can also affect the bone surrounding your teeth.

Does your arthritis make brushing or flossing difficult?

If arthritis or any other mobility issue can make brushing or flossing difficult or uncomfortable, speak to your dentist about dental aids that make brushing easier.

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Ten causes of yellow teeth

Ten causes of yellow teeth

Although not usually a sign that anything is wrong or needs treating, yellowing teeth can affect your confidence in your smile.

Luckily, improving the colour of your teeth can be as easy as making some simple changes to what you eat and drink and making a few tweaks to your dental routine.

Here are the top ten causes of yellowing teeth and how to address them:

1. Genes

Sometimes, simply, yellow teeth runs in the family. If you have a parent with yellow teeth, then chances are you’ll have problems with yellow teeth too.

2. Dentin

If you have thin enamel on your teeth, the dentin underneath can show through. Dentin naturally is a deep yellow to brownish colour and is underneath the enamel. Dentin is normally covered by a thick layer of white enamel but stains can develop on the enamel too.

3. Aging

Unfortunately, as we age, our teeth normally start to turn yellow, when the enamel starts to wear away from years of chewing and exposure to acids from food and drink. As the enamel thins with age, yellow can develop if the dentin starts to show through but it is not uncommon for teeth to develop a greyish tinge too if they are mixed with a long-lasting food stain.

4. Smoking

It is very well-known now that smoking is very detrimental to our overall health and just about every part of the body. The mouth is no exception. Among other more serious complications, cosmetically alone, nicotine products can leave a long-lasting yellow or brown stain on your teeth.

5. Foods

Everyday food can be notoriously bad for staining teeth! Tomato sauces, curries and berries can all stain the enamel. We can’t avoid these foods (life is too short!) but if you are aware of them, you can brush your teeth after eating them or rinse your mouth with water.

6. Drinks

Two of the country’s favourite hot drinks are very guilty of staining teeth – tea and coffee. Other culprits are wines, fizzy drinks and other soft drinks with artificial flavours. Always rinse after enjoying them.

7. Antibiotics

Some antibiotics can stain teeth when they’re developing in the gums. If you took certain antibiotics as a child or if your mother took them when pregnant, this could be responsible for a yellow hue.

8. Fluoride

Fluoride is very good for teeth, but too much fluoride can cause yellow or brownish yellow spots on teeth. Ensure you only consume the recommended amount of fluoride.

9. Accidents

Any physical impact to teeth in an accident can crack tooth enamel and potentially even damage the tooth’s interior. If you notice any discolouration after impact or trauma to your teeth, seek advice from your dentist.

10. Tooth grinding

Tooth grinding is on the rise, what with the stressful lives most people have today. It is a completely unconscious habit that can get worse when people are particularly stressed, especially whilst sleeping. Over time, grinding can be harmful to tooth enamel, potentially weakening it to the point of cracking and yellowing. If you think that you may be grinding your teeth, speak to your dentist.

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