Oral health advice

At Apollonia House Dental & Healthcare the health and well being of our patients and colleagues is our top priority. Over the past few weeks we have been working relentlessly to ensure we stay abreast of the COVID-19 situation as it unfolds and we are continuing to adapt in accordance with the guidance from the Government and our governing bodies. We always put patient and colleague safety first and that philosophy continues through the current situation.

The latest guidance from the Chief Dental Officer of England means we are not currently able to offer face to face appointments and therefore our practice building is closed. For that reason we have put together some tips for you to follow at home to help keep on top of your oral health routine and to keep you smiling bright:

Home care checklist:

  • Twice a day, brush your teeth thoroughly with a brush. Make sure to brush the surface of all your teeth, paying special attention to your back teeth as these are the ones often missed, and where hidden bacteria can become plaque.
  • In addition to brushing, flossing between every tooth is important for removing any trapped food and keeping your gumline clean.
  • Avoid brushing your teeth straight after you’ve eaten, instead leave it 30 minutes before you brush.
  • Avoid rinsing your mouth out straight after you have brushed as this can wash away the concentrated fluoride in the toothpaste you have just used. Once you have brushed your teeth simply spit into the sink. Do not be tempted to rinse with water or mouthwash.
  • If you do want to consider a mouthwash as part of your routine, then wait 30 minutes after you have brushed before using. You could also consider using it after mealtimes.
  • Take caution when using a mouthwash for treating bleeding gums (such as Corsodyl). Although it can help with the treatment of gum disease, prolonged use can also cause staining and alter taste.

Toothbrushes:

Whether you’re using a manual, battery or an electric toothbrush, it’s the technique that is the key!

Manual toothbrush: Use a medium head toothbrush with a small head. Focus along the gumline using a gentle circular motion. Click here for more tips.

Electric/ Powered toothbrush: Often power toothbrushes with an oscillating head (like the OralB toothbrush) are more effective at removing plaque. Hold your brush at a 45 degree angle and gently move the toothbrush along each tooth focusing towards the gumline. Click here to for helpful tips on how to brush your teeth properly. Click here for helpful tops on how to use your Philips Sonicare toothbrush.

  • PRO TIP: Split your mouth into quadrants (Upper Right, Upper left, Lower Right, Lower left). Focus on cleaning each tooth surface, along the outside next to the cheeks, the inside next to the tongue and the biting surfaces. Each section should take 30 seconds, by the time you’ve finished brushing you’ll have spent the recommended two minutes.
  • Floss or tape.
  • ‘Super floss’ can help cleaning around a bridge or orthodontic appliances.
  • Interdental brushes (such as Tepe brushes).
  • Interdental picks (such as easy picks or wisdom picks)
  • Water flossers or air-flossers can be great for getting to those difficult to reach spaces towards the back teeth (sometimes an interdental brush is needed also).

Toothpaste:

Fluoride can be found in tooth paste and is very important for helping to prevent tooth decay. You can see if your toothpaste contains the recommended levels of fluoride by checking the packaging.

  • Adults should use a toothpaste that contains at least 1,350 parts per million (ppm) fluoride.
  • Children don't need to use special children's toothpaste. Children of all ages can use family toothpaste, if it contains 1,350 to 1,500ppm fluoride.
  • Children under the age of 3 should use just a smear of toothpaste. Children aged 3 to 6 years should use a pea-sized blob of toothpaste. Make sure children don't lick or eat toothpaste from the tube.
  • It is not recommended to let children use a sensitive toothpaste.

Interdental Cleaning:

Cleaning the spaces between your teeth is important to ensure you have removed plaque from the areas your toothbrush will not reach. Using interdental aids will help get to these areas and it is recommended to do on a daily basis, there are many options available. Click here for how to use dental floss and click here for how to use interdental brushes.

Remember - Only floss the teeth you want to keep.

Lifestyle & diet

During this time away from the dental practice it is important that you not only maintain and look after your gums, but also prevent against tooth decay. There’s truth in the saying you are what you eat, and food has a huge impact on your overall dental health. A good balanced diet means a healthy mouth, strong gums and bright teeth.

  • Try to limit sugar intake to mealtimes, it’s the sugar consumption between your meals that will cause the most damage.
  • Consider sugar free alternatives, such as replacing sugar in your tea and coffee with sweetener.
  • Have diet fizzy drinks through a straw, sugar free cordial or drink water if possible.

Keep safe during this difficult time and we look forward to seeing you very soon!

References: Information and advice taken from the Delivering Better Oral Health Toolkit.

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COVID SECURE - Our practice remains OPEN and welcoming patients. We have introduced several ways to keep you safe, take a look for more information.