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Men’s oral health

Men’s oral health

November 19th is International Men’s Day. It’s a day when we celebrate the positive value men bring to the world, their families and communities.

But did you know that men typically fare worse than women when it comes to oral health? This includes rates of gum disease, tooth loss and oral infections.

In this post, we’ll have a look at some of the dental issues that affect men more than women.

1. Gum problems

In general, men suffer more from gum disease than women. In fact, men have more severe periodontal disease than women of every age.

2. Oral cancer

Statistically, twice as many men as women develop oral cancer, often from smoking, chewing tobacco and drinking alcohol. In addition, white and African American women both have a lower incidence of pharyngeal cancer than men of the same background.

3. Missing teeth

A recent study in the Journal of Aging Research showed that elderly men have fewer teeth than women by a certain age. As a result, they more frequently wore dentures than women. This can cause more gum issues without proper care and maintenance.

4. Higher Risk of HPV

Poor oral health is also a risk factor for oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. More men than women suffer from the oral presentation of this virus, which can lead to oral cancer. Similarly, four times as many men as women suffer from oral cancer associated with HPV.

Why do men have more oral health problems than women?

Some of it can be attributed to the fact that typically, men neglect their dental health routines more so than women. Men are less likely to visit a dentist than women, according to a recent study. Rather than seeing the dentist for regular check-ups as is recommended, men tend to visit a dentist only when they have a problem that needs attention. Research has shown that around 8% more women brush their teeth twice a day than men. Men are also less likely than women to brush their teeth after every meal.

However, further research has shown that the quality of men’s dental health may not be all entirely their own fault. Because there is a higher incidence of heart disease and high blood pressure in men, more men will be taking medications to control these conditions and many of these medications are known to cause dry mouth. Saliva has a protective effect against bacteria, so the chances of dental issues increase when saliva production is low. Even more reason to up your brushing!

What can men do?

We’ve seen that men are at a  disadvantage when it comes to oral health. However,  there is plenty men can do to reduce their risk of dental problems. Brushing twice per day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once a day can maintain healthy teeth and gums. A dentist can offer advice on how to help prevent dry mouth.

Remember it is not all doom and gloom. Being aware of a lot of these issues and seeking help early on could make all the difference.

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Are artificial sweeteners a good alternative to sugar?

Are artificial sweeteners a good alternative to sugar?

We are all aware of the risks to our health of eating too much sugar; weight gain, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, to name just a few. Sugar also, of course, increases your risk of tooth decay and cavities. In a move to minimise these health risks and still enjoy some sweetness, alternative sweeteners in your morning coffee seems like a sensible switch – but is it?

Sugar and Your Teeth

A recent study has recently shown that sugar (sucrose) is the carbohydrate most likely to cause tooth decay. The way it works is this: bacteria in your mouth break sugar down into acids. These acids combine with bacteria, saliva and food to create plaque which eventually wears away at tooth enamel, creating cavities and tooth decay.

Artificial Sweeteners

One of the obvious appeals of artificial sweeteners is that they can add sweetness without the additional calories of sugar.

If you are looking to sweeten a drink or snack and consume fewer calories than you would with sugar, there are many options available. Some common artificial sweeteners include:

  • Sucralose
  • Stevia
  • Saccharin
  • Acesulfame K
  • Aspartame
  • Neotame

The good news is, unlike regular sugar, artificial sweeteners do not contribute to tooth decay.

Even better is the emerging thought that artificial sweeteners may have actions that help to prolong and prevent tooth decay from occurring. In the same way that sugar causes the pH of the mouth to drop, artificial sweeteners seem to do the opposite, which decreases the amount of bacteria in the mouth.

Are artificial sweeteners the way forward?

Artificial sweeteners clearly provide some benefits for your oral health and teeth. Does this mean that we should eliminate sugar entirely from our diets and use artificial sweeteners instead? Not quite. While cutting back on sugar is definitely a wise move for many reasons, you might not want to add an artificial sweetener to everything. This could lull you into a false sense of security.

As we know, we should aim for a balanced and varied diet for our general health but also our oral health, so we do not want to eliminate sugar entirely. If you swap a sugary fizzy drink to one containing an artificial sweetener instead, you are making sure that you do not have too much sugar that will create plaque in your mouth and also consuming fewer calories, but fizzy drinks are often not a very nutrient – savvy choice. An occasional treat is fine!

It is worth noting that diet fizzy and soft drinks contain acid that can wear down enamel and contribute to decay.

Whatever you decide to do to continue enjoying your food and drink, whilst at the same time minimising your tooth decay risks, always remember to continue brushing your teeth twice a day and to floss regularly. It is important to discuss any questions or concerns you have about your oral health and oral care routine with your dentist.

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How to Take Care of Your Retainer

How to Take Care of Your Retainer

Braces are a great way to get a perfect smile and straighter teeth. But did you know that after your braces are removed, you may need to wear a retainer?

Retainers are custom-made devices designed to hold your teeth in place. Dentists often prescribe them after braces to keep your teeth from moving back to their old position.

If you have a retainer, it’s important to take care of it. For one thing, you’ll need to keep it clean. A dirty retainer can harbour bacteria that can damage your teeth or give you bad breath. You’ll also need to protect your retainer from damage, which means storing it properly when you’re not wearing it. A retainer is expensive so it’s important to take good care of it.

In this post, we’ll go over what you need to do to care for a retainer.

Cleaning

Cleaning a retainer isn’t difficult. It generally involves brushing it once a day and occasionally leaving it to soak in water.

Brushing

You should brush your retainer every day, just as you brush your teeth. This is the best way to keep your retainer free of plaque and stains.

Here are the steps to brushing a retainer:

  • First, rinse the retainer underwater.
  • Then, take your toothbrush and scrub your retainer until there are no stains, plaque or tartar. Don’t forget to brush all the surfaces of the retainer!
  • Finally, give your retainer another rinse and then leave it out for half an hour to dry.

Some dentists advise using toothpaste when you brush a retainer. However, other dentists say toothpaste can scratch the plastic over time due to its abrasive qualities.
If you do use toothpaste, only use a pea-sized drop.

Don’t clean your retainer in your dishwasher or with boiling water. The heat will warp the material and the retainer may not fit you anymore.

Soaking

As well as brushing your retainer, it’s a good idea to soak your retainer from time to time in some type of cleaner.

Many orthodontists recommend using mouthwash or denture-cleaning tablets for soaking retainers; however, some orthodontists advise against these cleaning agents, as they contain chemicals like persulfate and alcohol that can damage your retainer and cause problems in your mouth.

A safe alternative to cleaning agents is baking soda. Mix two teaspoons of baking soda into a bowl of water and soak your retainer in that mixture.

Don’t leave your retainer soaking overnight because it can weaken the plastic.

Storage

When the retainer’s not in your mouth, you should store it in a dry and clean case to protect it.

Any time you take your retainer out of your mouth, whether for eating, sports, or cleaning your gear, you should always store it properly. This will help ensure that your retainer is not lost or damaged.

Keep your retainer away from heat. As mentioned, heat will warp the material.

Conclusion

Now you know how to keep your retainer clean and in good condition. If you’d like more information, just pop in for a visit or give us a call!

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How to protect your children’s teeth from Easter chocolate

How to protect your children’s teeth from Easter chocolate

The supermarket shelves are once again stacked high with chocolate eggs. This can only mean one thing – Easter is about to start.

But should we be worried about the amount of chocolate that children eat at Easter? And does all the sugar affect their teeth? In this post, we’ll be answering this question. We’ll also give you tips on how to protect your children’s teeth this Easter.

Is Easter chocolate harmful to children’s teeth?

Let’s look at the numbers. For children aged 4 to 6, the recommended maximum daily sugar intake is 19 grams. That’s about 5 teaspoons of sugar. Older children are not much different: children aged 11 to 18 should eat a maximum of 30 grams of sugar per day.

Now, a small Easter egg weighs about 100 grams, about 50 grams of which will be sugar. That’s already way over the recommended maximum sugar intake for children.

So, if you follow the national advice, then children shouldn’t be allowed to eat Easter eggs.

Of course, however, lots of children do eat Easter eggs at Easter, plus a lot more chocolate too. In fact, on average, children receive around four big chocolate eggs at Easter. That includes all the eggs from other relatives, like aunts and uncles.

The problem is that all this sugar harms our teeth. Sugar can cause plaque, which in turn becomes cavities.

Tips on how to protect your children’s teeth at Easter

So what can you do about sugar and chocolate at Easter? We’re not saying that you need to do something as drastic is banning chocolate. But there are three simple things you can do to protect your children’s teeth.

1. Reduce the frequency that your children are eating chocolate

The old advice of “don’t eat it all at once” is wrong. Eating a chocolate egg all at once is much better for your teeth than grazing on it throughout the whole day. This is because you bathe your teeth in sugar for a long time by slowly grazing on chocolate. It’s much better to limit chocolate consumption to just one time of the day, such as the morning or after lunch.

2. Limit the amount of chocolate

One easy way to protect your children’s teeth this Easter is simply to reduce the amount of chocolate they eat. So instead of buying them several huge egg and lots of chocolate bars, just get them one little egg each. A Cadbury’s Creme Egg, for example, has 26.5 g of sugar – while this is still a lot, it’s not as much as the amount of sugar in huge Easter eggs.

3. Think of alternatives to chocolate

It’s easy to feel guilty about giving children just one small chocolate egg at Easter. And it’s tempting to assuage that guilt by buying them lots of big chocolate eggs instead.

But there are ways your children can still enjoy Easter without gorging themselves on chocolate. For example, you can paint eggs, go on a walk, or make a treasure hunt.

Conclusion

Easter can still be fun without ruining your children’s smiles. By reducing the amount of sugar that your children eat, you can make sure that their teeth are safe and remain cavity-free for the rest of the year.

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Vitamins and minerals you need for good oral health

Vitamins and minerals you need for good oral health

Vitamins and minerals are critical to your body’s health, including the health of your teeth and gums. When you’re deficient in a certain vitamin or mineral, it can cause all types of health problems.

So in this post, we’ll look at the vitamins and minerals that are most important to our oral health. For each one, we’ll explain why it’s important and where you can get it from.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is important because it helps the body to repair tissue. Without it, the tissue in our body, including our gums, would break down more easily. British Sailors discovered this centuries ago on voyages across the oceans. They found that during long voyages, they would begin to get health problems such as bleeding gums. They also found that limes, which are full of vitamin C, cured these problems. It said that this is why British sailors were called ‘limeys’.

You don’t just have to eat limes to get vitamin C. Other citrus fruits are rich in this vitamin too, including oranges, kiwis and grapefruit. Other food sources are vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower.

Vitamin A

Like Vitamin C, vitamin A helps the body to maintain its tissues. You can find this vitamin in a large range of foods, including meat, chicken, Terry, fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is another vitamin that’s important for oral health. It helps the body to absorb calcium, and as we all know, teeth need calcium to remain healthy and strong.

We get most of our vitamin D from the Sun (at least, on the rare days that’s it’s sunny). You can also find vitamin D in cheese and milk, as well as fatty fish like tuna and salmon.

Calcium

We’ve already mentioned calcium, but it’s so important for our teeth that’s it’s worth mentioning again.

The best sources of calcium are dairy foods like cheese and milk. However, you can also get enough calcium from salmon, sardines, green leafy vegetables and some fortified cereals.

Phosphorus

Another important mineral for your teeth is phosphorus. In fact, most of the phosphorus in your body is in your teeth. This mineral works with calcium to keep your teeth healthy and strong.

You can find phosphorus in foods rich in protein, such as meat, eggs and nuts. It’s also found in whole grains and dried fruit.

Is it worth taking multivitamins?

Research shows that most people get enough vitamins from a healthy diet, which is a diet high in fruits and vegetables. So unless you suffer from a deficiency, then a vitamin supplement is probably not necessary.

Conclusion

Vitamins and minerals are important to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Your teeth need calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus to stay healthy and strong, and your gums need vitamin A and vitamin D. So do your teeth and gums a favour and make sure to eat a healthy diet, which includes lots of vegetables and fruits.

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How to treat and prevent tooth sensitivity

How to treat and prevent tooth sensitivity

Do you suffer from sensitive teeth? Many people in the UK do. It’s an annoying problem, making your teeth feel uncomfortable or even painful when you eat hot or cold foods.

Don’t worry though, because in this post, we’ll look at the cause of tooth sensitivity, as well as what you can do to treat and prevent it.

What causes tooth sensitivity?

To understand what causes tooth sensitivity, we’ll first need to look at the anatomy of a tooth.

Teeth are made up of three different layers: the enamel, dentin and the pulp. The enamel is the outer layer, and it protects the tooth from bacteria and acidity. The dentin is the middle layer. It has small tubules that tell the nerves how hot or cold the tooth is. Finally, there’s the pulp, which contains the nerves.

Normally, our teeth can withstand quite a bit of heat and cold, thanks to the enamel. The enamel helps to dampen the sensations of hot and cold so that your nerves don’t go into overload when we drink tea or eat ice-cream.

However, when your teeth have problems, they can lose this dampening effect. This means that the nerves inside the teeth feel the full effects of heat and cold.

One way this happens is when your enamel wears down, either due to acidity or brushing your teeth too hard. When your enamel wears down, the dentin and pulp are closer to the surface of your teeth, making your teeth more sensitive.

This also happens with gum recession. Gum recession is when your gums shrink back from your teeth and expose the dentin and pulp.

How can I avoid tooth sensitivity?

As mentioned, tooth sensitivity is usually caused by gum recession and enamel erosion. To prevent these problems, it’s important to brush your teeth and gums twice a day. If you don’t do this, then you could get plaque and gum disease, which will erode your enamel and gums.

It’s also a good idea to cut back on acidic foods and drinks, such as orange juice.

Another tip is to make sure you’re using a soft toothbrush. This will reduce any damage you do to your teeth during brushing.

What should I do if I already have sensitive teeth?

If you already have sensitive teeth, then the first thing to do is to see a dentist. Your dentist will be able to tell you the cause of the sensitivity, whether it’s gum disease, enamel erosion, or something else. Your dentist may also prescribe you with treatment. This could be topical fluoride, for example, to strengthen your enamel. It might also be toothpaste that’s high in fluoride. In more extreme cases of sensitivity, your dentist might reduce the sensitivity of your teeth by blocking the tubules in the dentin with bonding agents and sealants.

There are also things that you can do at home to reduce your sensitivity:

  1. Make sure that you’re not brushing your teeth too hard. If necessary, buy a soft toothbrush. Remember to brush gently with small circles.
  2. Maintain a good oral hygiene routine, including flossing and brushing.
  3. Cut down on acidic foods and drinks.

Conclusion

Tooth sensitivity is an annoying problem. However, it’s usually easy to find out the cause. It might be that you’re brushing your teeth too hard or that you have plaque or gum disease. The best way to find out the “root” of your problem is to see a dentist.

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Six tips to cure bad breath

Six tips to cure bad breath

Did you know that bad breath is a regular problem for a quarter of adults in the UK? It’s true: 25% of British adults routinely suffer from unpleasant smelling breath.

If you’re a sufferer of bad breath, then the good news is that you don’t need to be. There’s plenty of ways to fight bad breath (or halitosis, as it’s also called). In this blog post, we’ll go over the ways you can prevent bad breath and keep your mouth smelling nice and clean.

1. Brush often

Brushing your teeth is a great way to prevent bad breath. Brushing not only kills the bad bacteria that produce smelly chemicals, but it also dislodges leftover bits of food stuck in your mouth. Furthermore, most brands of toothpaste contain ingredients such as mint which help to freshen your breath. So do try to brush your teeth twice a day – once in the morning and once before going to bed.

2. Floss once a day

Flossing is another important weapon in the fight against bad breath. It’s a great oral hygiene tool because it dislodges food stuck between your teeth. In other words, floss can reach places that your toothbrush can’t. So while your toothbrush should be the cornerstone in your battle against halitosis, make sure to use floss too.

3. Use mouthwash

Mouthwash is another effective way to combat bad breath. It often contains special antibacterial ingredients that help to keep the bad bacteria in your mouth under check. Furthermore, most brands of mouthwash contain ingredients such as chlorine dioxide, which helps to neutralise bad smells in your mouth.

4. Use a tongue scraper

We’ll admit that tongue scrapers are not all that common – do you know anyone who actually uses one? However, they can be a great tool to fight bad breath. This is because your tongue is a place where bacteria often accumulates. The bacteria then create smelly sulphur compounds that cause bad breath. So if you’re serious about eliminating your halitosis, then considering using a tongue scraper every night to keep your tongue nice and clean.

5. Use chewing gum

If none of the other methods has worked, then why not try chewing gum? It’s been shown that chewing gum can actually freshen your breath by encouraging your mouth to produce more saliva – this, in turn, helps to kill the bacteria that cause bad breath. And of course, most brands of chewing gum are flavoured, which can temporarily alleviate bad breath by masking bad smells. If you do use chewing gum though, make sure to choose a sugar-free version so you don’t encourage the formation of cavities!

6. See a medical professional

If all else fails, then it’s time to seek professional help. This can be a dentist or a doctor. Although it’s unlikely, your bad breath might be a symptom of an underlying issue, such as diabetes, gastritis or a liver problem. Don’t be too worried though, as most cases of bad breath aren’t caused by anything serious, and they clear up once your oral hygiene improves. So get out that toothbrush!

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How to keep your child’s teeth healthy

How to keep your child’s teeth healthy

There’s nothing worse than seeing a child in pain, which is why it’s important to keep your child’s teeth strong and healthy. That’s because if you don’t take care of your child’s teeth, cavities can form, which can become quite painful and even eventually cause tooth loss. To make sure your child has healthy, cavity-free teeth, follow the advice in this post.

Make sure your child brushes their teeth twice a day

Dentists recommend that adults brush their teeth twice a day – the same goes for babies and children too. In fact, you should start brushing a baby’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears, which is usually between four and seven months.

For babies and children, it’s best to use a toothpaste that’s relatively low in fluoride – around 1,000ppm will do the trick. Adults are better off using a toothpate with around 1250ppm of fluoride, which is a bit stronger. Children need a weaker toothpast because they’re more likely to swallow the toothpaste than adults, and swallowed toothpast can cause a condition known as fluorosis if it’s ingested often enough. That’s why you should only use a tiny smear of toothpaste for babies and a pea-sized blob for children.

If you find that your child refuses to brush his teeth, then there’s a few things you can do to overcome the problem. First, let your child choose his own toothbrush – the ones with cartoon designs on them are often popular with children. Second, try using a flavoured child’s toothpaste as they can be more agreeable to a child’s palate. Third, make sure your child sees you brushing your own teeth, as there’s nothing a child likes more than copying Mum and Dad.

Take your child for regular dental checkups

It’s said that adults should see a dentist at least once a year. Children should see a dentist even more frequently – around every six months or so. This is because children tend to eat a lot of sugar in their diet and this can quickly lead to cavities. Dental checkups are important because a dentist can give a filling if the cavity has become too large, thus preventing further damage to your child’s teeth.

Many children are apprehensive about going to the dentist. If your child feels this way, then don’t worry; it’s entirely normal. You can help your child to overcome this fear by teaching her about what happens at dental checkups and by letting your child watch you yourself go through your own checkup, if possible.

Limit your child’s sugar intake

As mentioned, children tend to eat a lot of sugar. Sugar is found everywhere nowadays and it’s especially prevalent in kids’ diets – sweets, chocolate, biscuits, breakfast cereal, whole fruit, dried fruit and fruit juice are just some common sources of sugar. Try to limit your child’s sugar intake as much as possible because it wreaks havoc on children’s teeth. Sugar is the main cause of cavities in the UK, not only among children but with adults as well. Children should be eating no more than 25 g of sugar (that’s six teaspoons) per day.

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All you need to know about cavities

All you need to know about cavities

Cavities are a problem that affect the enamel, which is the hard, outer layer of your teeth. Along with gum disease, it’s one of the most common dental problems, especially among older patients.

How do dental cavities occur?

Your teeth are covered with an invisible layer of plaque, which is made up of bacteria and tiny bits of food from the meals you’ve eaten. This plaque forms just twenty minutes after you’ve eaten.

If you don’t clean off the plaque by brushing and flossing, then the bacteria that make up the plaque will take the sugar and starch from the foods you’ve eaten and convert it into acid. This acid will attack your enamel by demineralising your teeth, and eventually, you’ll get cavities.

What are the main risk factors for cavities?

The main risk factors for cavities are:

  • Poor oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth the wrong way, not brushing your teeth for long enough and forgetting to use floss can all lead to cavities.
  • Crooked teeth. If your teeth are crooked or are too close together, this can be a risk factor for cavities because it makes it harder for you to clean between your teeth.
  • Diet. A diet high in sugar, starch and acidic foods can easily lead to cavities.
  • Acidic saliva. Some people naturally have slightly acidic saliva, and unfortunately this puts them at greater risk of cavities.
  • Vomiting. Vomiting and gastrointestinal reflux can lead to cavities because the acid weakens your teeth.

What are the symptoms of cavities?

Initially, cavities are symptomless, but as they get larger your teeth will become more sensitive to certain foods, such as hot and cold foods as well as sweet ones.

Other early signs of cavities are stains, bad breath and a bad taste in the mouth.

Once the cavity has grown large enough to get through the enamel, you’ll probably feel pain as the cavity makes it way to the tooth’s pulp and nerve. You also might experience inflammation.

If you think you have a cavity, then it’s best to see a dentist as soon as possible. A dentist will be able to tell if you have a cavity or nor and will be able to administer treatment if necessary.

How can I prevent cavities?

Avoid cavities isn’t complicated. There are two main things you have to do: maintain a healthy diet and stick to a good oral hygiene routine. Here’s a few more tips on how to keep your teeth cavity-free:

  1. Brush your teeth twice day. Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day, change your toothbrush every three months and make sure to use a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  2. Floss. Make sure to floss every day before you go to sleep. It will help to dislodge food and bacteria from between your teeth.
  3. Chew gum. Chewing gum can help to prevent cavities because it stimulates your mouth to produce saliva. If you do chew gum though, make sure it’s sugar-free!
  4. Eat a healthy diet. Limit the amount of sugary and acidic foods that you eat, such as fruit juices.
  5. Visit a dentist regularly. Visit a dentist twice a year for a checkup.

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What are cold sores and how can I get rid of them?

What are cold sores and how can I get rid of them?

Cold sores are a type of blister that occurs on the lips and around the mouth. They’re common and usually nothing to worry about, and they normally go away on their own. However, if you’ve got an important event coming up – like a wedding, for example – then you’re probably looking for a way to get rid of your cold sore quickly. So, in this post, we’ll discuss some of the ways you can get rid of your cold sores faster.

 

What are cold sores?

First, let’s discuss what cold sores actually are. Cold sores (also known as fever blisters) are clusters of tiny blisters that appear on and around the lips. The cause is a virus called herpes simplex virus type 1 (or just HSV-1 for short). Most people are actually already infected by this virus, but the virus lays dormant most of the time. Occasionally, and especially during periods of stress, the virus will activate and cause a cold sore.

You can tell a cold sore is coming because of early warning signs like redness, burning, swelling and tingling of your lips or around your mouth. A day or two after the first sign, tiny blisters will start to appear (these are what are called fever blisters). These blisters eventually pop to form what are known as cold sores. Finally, the sores will crust over and heal.

 

How can I get rid of a cold sore?

Here are a few things you can do to get rid of a cold sore fast:

  • Use a cold, damp cloth. A good way to make your cold sore heal faster is to apply a cool, damp cloth to the affected area. This will also help make the sore less red and crusty.
  • Apply ice. If you don’t have a cold sore yet but you can feel one coming on, then try applying ice to the affected area. With a bit of luck, it will prevent a cold sore from appearing.
  • Apply ointment. If you want to get rid of that cold sore fast, then try an ointment. You can get a cold sore ointment over-the-counter at most pharmacies. Apply the ointment frequently and it should help to make the cold sore go away faster.
  • Use antiviral medications. Certain antiviral medications can make a cold sore disappear quickly. These medications include famciclovir and acyclovir. However, they’re not available over-the-counter, which means you’ll have to get a prescription from your doctor or dentist. Also, keep in mind that these medications are more effective when taken before a cold sore has appeared. So, keep an eye out for the early signs of cold sores and get a prescription quickly.

 

How to avoid cold sores in the first place

Once you’re infected with HSV-1 (and unfortunately, most people already are), you’ll probably suffer from occasional cold sores for the rest of your life. However, there are a few things you can do to minimise the risk of outbreaks.

  • Reduce stress. Cold sore outbreaks are often triggered by periods of stress. So have a cup of tea, meditate, take time off work – whatever you need to do to reduce your stress levels.
  • Use sunscreen. There’s evidence that people can reduce their risk of cold sores by applying sunscreen around their lips.
  • Take antiviral medications. If you suffer from cold sores all the time, your doctor might give you a regular prescription you with an antiviral medication to help prevent further outbreaks.

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