Firstly, we hope that you are all safe and healthy!
We understand that you may be experiencing a lot challenges during this unprecedented time and knowing that your dental practice is closed for routine and emergency treatment, may have made things more difficult. But not to worry, we are here to help!
If you do have an emergency or even just a query, our phone lines are open during our normal business (and out of business) hours. Should you need any help or advice please give us a call, we would be more than happy to address any of your concerns.
In the meantime, it’s important to maintain your dental hygiene, so below we have outlined some simple advice for good dental health and solutions that may help you manage some common dental problems at home.
Oral Hygiene Routine
So where to start? Our good old friend, the toothbrush! Brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste can drastically improve oral hygiene and prevent tooth decay. There’s really not much to it, but it’s also about the technique (no point brushing with the wrong end of the toothbrush, right?). So use the bristly part, for at least two minutes (an electric toothbrush usually has a timer, or perhaps a two minute timer of your favourite song?). It’s important to brush both your teeth and gums, so point the tooth brush head at a 45-degree angle on the margin between the gum and the tooth and aim to clean all surfaces of each tooth.
You know what’s next…FLOSSING! It’s perhaps something that may take a while to get into the habit of doing, but once you start, you’ll soon get the hang of it. You can use floss or interdental brushes once a day, to remove plaque or food debris that may accumulate in between your teeth. You’ll be surprised to see what you’ve left behind.
We all know that excessive sugar consumption can cause decay – but what’s really important to note is the frequency of consumption and what you’re eating or drinking.
It can be easy to snack especially since we are all stuck indoors, so aim to clump your meals together and have a maximum of 4 ‘sugar attacks’ a day. A sugar attack occurs whenever we eat or drink anything other than water. The bacteria in our mouth (which is meant to be there, don’t worry) convert the sugar – which comes in any form, be it a sandwich, chocolate or even fruit, into acids and if we increase the frequency of eating (say by grazing or heavily snacking) we increase the risk of tooth decay. This being said, it’s still so important to make sure you are eating a well and healthy balanced diet!
Here are some top tips to help reduce the frequency of sugar intake
If you do have any dental problems, please refer to the following:
Broken Tooth or Lost Filling (No pain)
If you happen to break a tooth or loose a filling it can be uncomfortable due to the sharp edges or due to sensitivity. If there isn’t any pain from the tooth, then this can be managed from home. Most pharmacies stock a temporary filling material which you can buy over the counter. But please ensure you call them first to check they have stock to avoid an unnecessary trip outside. Placing some of this temporary material on the broken tooth will help prevent food getting stuck and resolve problems from the sharp edges. However, you will need to get this addressed by a dentist as soon as dental practices open again.
Pain from a Wisdom tooth
This can be an issue for people as their wisdom teeth come through. Occasionally the gum around a wisdom tooth can become red, sore and inflamed causing pain and discomfort. In these instances, initially you should rinse with saltwater (a spoonful of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water) and make sure you’re keeping the area clean. Try to avoid food from becoming trapped under the gummy flap. Usually this should resolve within 7-10 days, you may also need some regular pain relief like paracetamol (ensuring you stick to doses that are recommended on the packet). If you start to notice a swelling or severe difficulty in opening your mouth you may need a course of antibiotics. Please ensure you contact the dentist in this case.
If you are experiencing a constant toothache that is occurring on its own without a stimulus you will need to contact your dentist in order to get a referral to one of the Urgent Dental Centres. It is likely the nerve in the tooth may be irreversibly damaged and so you may need to have some treatment to resolve this.
Swelling or Infection
If you notice a swelling or suspect an infection, please contact your dentist immediately. Based on your symptoms your dentist will decide if it is suitable to manage with antibiotics or whether you need a referral to the Urgent Dental Centres.
We hope the information above has given you some useful tips to help you manage during the current pandemic. If you need any advice or are unsure, please contact us on 0203 883 8180 and we will advise you on the best course of action.
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