Friday 24 February 2017

Top Tips to Keep your Children´s Teeth Healthy

We want to take care of our children in the best possible way, keep them from harm and look after them. We like to treat our children every now and again too, maybe with a sweet treat or a bar of chocolate but what if that treat is given every day? Do you know the possible harm that the little daily treat is doing to their oral health?

Lets look at the facts, decay is the main reason why children in England, between the age of 5-9 are admitted to hospital. Between 2012-2013 it was estimated that the NHS spent nearly £30 million on tooth extractions on children aged 18 and under.  All this can be avoided by regular tooth brushing, fluoridation and diet control.

Top Tips

  1. Ensure your child attends regular dental examinations.  These appointments allow the dentist to spot any problems early. It also provides the dentist with an opportunity to coat the adult molar teeth with fluoride.  This strengthens the enamel and helps protect against decay.  If your child is deemed to be a high risk for dental cavities, the dentist may decide to place sealants over the biting surfaces of the new adult molars. These sealants smooth any pits and fissures making it hard for any plaque or food particles to become trapped which could cause decay.
  2. Make sure they brush their teeth regularly and properly.  Supervise your child till the age of 7 years to ensure they are brushing rather than chewing the brush. Choose a toothpaste for your child’s particular age.  This will ensure that the toothpaste contains the correct amount of fluoride.  Fluoride levels should be at least 1000ppm up until the age of 3 and between 1350-1500ppm after this age.
  3. Control the amount of sugar given to your child.  This means limiting the amount of sweets, chocolate and fizzy drinks.  The higher the sugar intake, the higher risk your child is at developing tooth decay.
  4. Try to stop or limit unhealthy snacks.  You may think that raisins are a healthy snack when in fact they are high in natural sugars and tend to stick to the teeth. The sugar in them then attacks the enamel.  Even if you choose sugar free drinks they most probably still contain acids which can still attack the teeth.  Milk and water are a good alternative to drink and raw vegetables and bread sticks are a better choice of snack.
  5. Be careful when giving your child fresh fruit juices and smoothies to drink.  Again you may think you are giving them the healthy option but in fact these drinks are full of hidden sugars which will and can damage your child’s teeth.
It is simply unacceptable how many children suffer from tooth decay when in fact it is easily avoidable.  We only get 2 sets of teeth throughout our lifetime so we need to take care of our teeth, preventing any possible treatment being needed.  In fact if you instil good oral hygiene habits from a young age, your child is highly likely to carry on these habits throughout adulthood

Friday 17 February 2017

Need to change your toothbrush?

If you have recently had a cold, flu or a viral infection it is recommended that you change your toothbrush. Microbes can implant themselves onto the bristles of your toothbrush which can then lead to re-infection.

Friday 10 February 2017

With the battle to get your cash, the large pharmaceutical companies spend millions of pounds marketing their products aimed at keeping your breath fresh and free of decay and gum disease.

Examples of when you should use mouthwash -

  • If you have bad breath ✔
  • If you have sensitivity ✔
  • If your gums bleed ✔
Here at Muaks we do not recommend the use of mouthwash without taking advise from your dentist first.  The type of mouthwash we would prescribe will depend on the underlying factors but will be in conjunction with a personal treatment plan.

Friday 3 February 2017

Cleaning your Tongue - How and Why

Do you notice that you may sometimes have bad breath, even though you brush and floss your teeth twice a day? The problem isn’t necessarily your brushing technique, but may in fact be that you aren’t cleaning your tongue properly.

Here’s what you need to know about why you should be paying more attention to the cleanliness of your tongue and how to do just that.

Why is my tongue so important?

The tongue is a major feature of the mouth and makes it possible for us to eat and articulate our speech. Without it, we would not be able to taste anything, whistle a happy tune, tell someone about our day, or chew and swallow efficiently. It is such an integral part of our lives, used constantly every day, and yet most of the time we fail to give it a second thought.

You may have heard that the tongue is a muscle, but that is only partly true. The tongue is actually a group of muscles with each one having a specific job. At the tip of the tongue is a small muscle that can move quickly and uses the surface of the teeth to create certain sounds of speech, such as when pronouncing the letter ‘L’. This muscle also moves food from the front of the mouth to the back where it can mix with saliva and break down into swallowable bits.

Other muscle groups in the tongue help to change the shape of the tongue and move it up, down, side-to-side, in, and out. The muscles at the back of the tongue make it possible for us to articulate what are known as hard sounds of speech, such as the letter ‘K’ and ‘G’. They also move food that’s ready to swallow into the esophagus in small and controlled amounts so we don’t choke.
Why do I need to clean my tongue?

Just like bacteria builds up on and in between your teeth, hardening into plaque and tartar if not removed, bacteria also builds up on your tongue. The surface of your tongue is covered in tiny bumps called papillae, and within the grooves of these bumps collect bacteria, dead skin cells, and food particles. This is then covered by a thin layer of mucus which coats the fleshy parts of the mouth. The bacteria and other debris trapped on the tongue can cause bad breath, or halitosis, and a white discolouration of the tongue. In addition, the bacteria on the tongue can redeposit onto teeth and gums, even after they’ve been cleaned, increasing the likelihood of plaque and tartar buildup.
So how do I clean my tongue properly?

There are two main ways to properly clean your tongue: brushing and scraping. Brushing your tongue involves gently scrubbing your tongue from back to tip with a moistened toothbrush. You can do this most effectively while brushing your teeth by spitting out excess toothpaste after cleaning your teeth so that your mouth and toothbrush still have toothpaste residue on them. Then gently scrub your tongue, cheeks, and the roof of your mouth.

If you’d prefer a different or additional tongue cleaning method, try out a tongue scraper. These devices can be found inexpensively at most drug stores. They’re designed to glide along the surface of your tongue, taking off the tongue’s layer of mucus, as well as the bacteria and debris it traps.

To use most effectively, place the scraper at the back of the tongue while sticking your tongue out and, with even pressure, slide the scraper down along the tongue’s surface towards the tip. Rinse the scraper and repeat, making sure to move from the back of the tongue to the tip so as to not to accidentally ingest the bacteria being removed. Once the whole surface of the tongue has been scraped, thoroughly clean and dry the tongue scraper, and brush and floss your teeth as normal.

How often should I clean my tongue?

Cleaning your tongue should be a part of your daily oral health routine. Bacteria begins to build up on the surface of teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongue very soon after brushing, so a daily tongue cleaning, just like regular brushing and flossing, is an important step in warding off oral health issues.

What if it hurts or I gag when I clean my tongue?

If you find that cleaning your tongue daily is resulting in discomfort, you may be scrubbing or scraping too vigorously. The pressure needed to clean the tongue is no more than the amount needed to lightly hold your toothbrush or tongue scraper in place on your tongue. Your tongue is made up of delicate skin which can become inflamed or painful when irritated, so if you are feeling discomfort, hold off on cleaning your tongue for a day or two until the skin of your tongue can restore itself and then try again with a much more gentle approach.

If the discomfort is due to a wound or sore, refrain from cleaning your tongue until the issue has healed as scrubbing or scraping the area will irritate it and may even cause more damage. Also, if this is the case for you, be sure to visit your dentist for further advice and to ensure that what’s hurting you is not part of a larger health issue.

Cleaning your tongue can be a challenge for those who have a very sensitive gag reflex as touching the back of the tongue can sometimes trigger involuntary gag responses. If this sounds familiar to you, try out tongue cleaning slowly to get yourself used to the sensation. A trick of the dental trade is to stick out your tongue and, when you are about to touch a sensitive part, relax the tongue completely while exhaling fully. Exhaling generally overrides the gag reflex and allows you to go about your business without having to worry about unpleasant and involuntary gag responses.

What if I still have questions?

If you still have questions, that’s okay! Make an appointment to have a chat with us!